I like Phoenix, frankly. I’ve been there many times—in the heat of summer as well as the very, very pleasant winter. I totally get the “snowbird phenomenon”—who wouldn’t love average temps of 66.4°F/40.2°F in December? Tennessee winters are mild, for the most part, but I can see why folks from Wisconsin or Ohio or New York would decamp to Phoenix for five or six months a year.
Though I will say even the winter sun is intense. And even in winter the climate is very, very dry. I kept noticing how dry my skin was, how dry my lips were.
I had some other Phoenix observations in my journal.
Where you fall, geographically speaking, in the time zone is interesting. It’s still dark in Phoenix at 6:45am (while it’s quite bright at 6am in Murfreesboro) but still light at 5:30pm (whereas it’s dark by 4:30 at home).
Shake It Up
It’s good to get out of your rut every once in a while. The scenery just seemed magnificent to me—the tail-end of the Rockies, the wide-open spaces (inside Phoenix, I guess, you’d call that urban sprawl), the cacti. To me it was all beautiful because it’s something I don’t often get to see. I know from personal experience, though—I lived in South Texas when I was younger—that I like a little more green in my life.
My father was a pilot in the United States Air Force, and it seems I inherited his belief that an airplane in the air is a thing of beauty. (At least from the outside. The experience of sitting in those tiny seats in tight aisles is not one I particularly enjoy.) I love that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is smack-dab in the middle of the city, because you get to watch planes setting down or lifting off from just about everywhere.
In the mid-80s (the first time I visited Phoenix) there were no interstates to get you across town; it was all surface roads and state highways, which used surface roads. (Here’s a charming history, not least for the writer’s use of the word freeways, which is a very Western way of referring to the national highways; I grew up in California, and freeway was the word we used too.) So perhaps the newness of the interstates accounts for the lousy driving on them. There is very little concept of “slow traffic move right.” People drive all over the lanes; passing on the right is common.
I love the way many of the overpasses are decorates with mosaics or murals. Loved also the message I saw over and over on electronics signs: Drive hammered, get nailed. Indeed.
I have barely been outside the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale triangle, so the extent of my tourism runs to Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home); the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art; the Desert Botanical Garden; the Phoenix Zoo (about 25 years ago); Arizona State University; and several malls. There’s a lot more to see. 🙂
I encountered quite a bit of flack when I posted a similar comment on Facebook, but I’m going to say it anyway. The latest in ladies’ airport fashion seems to be leggings. I know they’re comfortable. Still, not all ladies should wear them. Just saying’.