Arizona: first thoughts

Officially, we in Canada call this snowbirding…leaving the dregs of winter for balmy dry Arizona.

First thoughts on Arizona? It’s rainy. Not expecting to feel humidity in the air as we left the PHX airport.

Apparently they’ve been in a serious drought. How do they know they’re in drought where there are twenty foot cacti everywhere…

The only sun I’ve seen was the Prairie sun, beaming through my WestJet window seat in Calgary, Alberta.

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A male dominated flight if I’ve ever seen one.

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A few trophy wives. That would make me one right? I’ll have to find some silicone, botox and stop eating the mini-bar m&ms.

We had a full flight and were exhorted to tattle on passengers with too many carry-ons. I’d be more worried about the numbers of beers each passenger consumed. Par-tay. This flight was high school incarnate: “How many beers have you had, six?” somebody asked. We had none. Instead invested our life savings in crackers and hummus.

There are 4.3 million in metro Phoenix. A hefty million in Phoenix proper. By tomorrow, there might be double.

On our drive from the airport, Phoenix reminded me of Calgary, Alberta…as though we were on Deer Foot, until I saw the space age overpass. Later, I saw more Kamloops, British Columbia–the semi-arid Canadian city, plus a slew of cacti and more craggy hills. Jim noticed they washed their cars more…and that there’s a lot of xeriscaping going on.

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I do like my cacti…first plant I ever owned. In Canada of course. And it fit in the palm of my hand.

On our hike this morning, we saw a huge mosque. On our bus ride to Super Bowl media downtown, we saw the Sunny Slope Mennonite church. Oh, and the Paradise Hills Assembly of God church is for sale. Anyone want to snowbird the entire congregation for the winter?

Coming from a teeny mountain town with next to no fast food restaurants, this place is surprising. Huge fast food restaurants. The city is sprawling. Houses are big. Stores are ultra big box stores. And of course, there are lots of really big people.

Really friendly people. Always eager with a smile and a hello, and that’s not just on the resort. People getting off the bus would thank the driver. That is new to me. Very friendly people that like to chat. I’ve been told I have an accent. And I didn’t even say “eh”. Always eager to chit chat, I can talk comfortably with most strangers. But my football repartee is severely lacking so I’ll just to have smile brightly and warmly gaze at my husband till he translates…ahhh, yes, a practicing “trophy wife”.

I’ve never seen a shopping mall that busy. Four times as busy as Christmas. Might be that ESPN is filming out its back door. My husband was on ESPN. No, not being interviewed. No, not sitting pretty beside the interviewer. Not even really his full figure cheering from behind the set. More like, his shadow was on ESPN.

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Our American continental breakfast is the most decadent continental I’ve seen. Krispy Kreme doughnuts and cheeses and salamis and apple cheddar sausages and croissants and freshly made omelets, orange juice freshly squeezed from the orange trees out front.

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How is one supposed to stay trim with big box fast food restaurants and breakfasts like these? Maybe there’s no need, because the emergencies promise fifteen minutes to see their medical doctor.

It’s been two years ago since my husband and I have had a weekend away alone, and I’m loving it. I’ll make my own sun.

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