Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Top 3 Reasons I Love Arizona

I wrote this post for my friend Amber over at Sneakers over Stiletto's back in January and thought I would share it here now that we are in the throes of what seems like the longest part of the summer (the end) here in I give you My Top 3 Reasons I Love Arizona

I live in Phoenix, AZ. The middle of the desert for those who aren't familiar with Arizona. We are called the Valley of the Sun for a reason...we are in a valley with mountains on all sides of the Phoenix area...and its always sunny. I think the chamber of commerce once made the claim that we have 360 days of sunshine per year. You might guess that it can get a little hot in the middle of the desert especially in summer and you would be correct! But putting aside the immense heat we get most of the year (from say April through November) there are some really great things about living here. Here is my top 3 reasons to live in the desert!

1. We have amazing sunsets. I'm not just saying that, I mean we seriously have the most gorgeous colors in our sunsets. Pinks, purples, deep blue, orange. Just breathtaking at times.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

2. Fall-Winter-Spring temperatures cannot be beat! I mean, look at this forecast for this week in Phoenix.

I'm sure there are people who love snow and cold weather, but for me, these kinds of temps are the reason I live in Phoenix. It is gorgeous like this from mid November til about April with maybe a few weeks of really cold temps. Well, really cold for us is like 50's so take that with a grain of salt! I think Mother Nature let's us have the few gorgeous months is because we are punished the rest of the year and our brains get fried in the heat of summer. We have to be reminded every year why we live here and tolerate the offensive heat! ;)

3. We have one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the WORLD in our backyard. The Grand Canyon is absolutely mind boggling. If you have never been I highly recommend you make a trip if you can. It is amazing to stand (as close to the edge as they will let you get!) and look out at this amazing creation. Whether you believe in God or evolution there is no denying there was something at work when this Grand Canyon was created. I have been a few times to the Grand Canyon, we of course went when I was a kid as a family and I don't remember a lot of that trip. When I was an adult I made the drive with my Gramma and an Aunt and cousins. The most recent I went was about 3 years ago and we went with a bunch of family. My dad rented a Suburban so that my parents, my aunt and 2 cousins (different aunt and cousins - these ones from Connecticut) and my husband my daughter and I could all take the trip up to the Grand Canyon. My dad drove and just the fact that we all made it there and back alive is a miracle, but we definitely had a memorable trip. The drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon takes about 3.5 hours. The previous trips I had made I took the same route so I was vaguely familiar with how to get there. When all of the sudden my dad turns off onto another highway that will take us to a different part of the Grand Canyon. After being on a two lane highway for a while, we turn off onto a dirt road. Now, I was thinking ok, we must be fairly close if we are on a dirt road now. WRONG. That dirt road went on for miles and miles and miles. And of course, Mario Andretti behind the wheel doesn't drive any differently on a dirt road than on pavement so naturally, we got a flat tire. On an unfamiliar vehicle. In May. In Arizona. The sun was beating down on all of us while the 3 men (dad, hubby and cousin) try to figure out a) where is the spare tire and b) how the hell do we get it out? Luckily I had my camera to document all of this adventure.

Once the men got the tire changed, we got back on the road with dad driving a little more carefully. We pull into a lot with a sign that said something about helicopters and I thought, surely he hasn't rented helicopters to take us over the canyon? Then we all pile out of the suburban and he asks, 'so who wants to go on the Skywalk?' Gulp. If you don't know what the Skywalk is it is a giant u-shaped structure that juts out over the side of the cliff with a 'glass' bottom so you see all the way to the bottom of the canyon while you are walking on it. The initial reaction of everyone was, uhm, NO WAY IN HELL! Then he convinced each and every one of us to do it using the old 'come on, when are you ever going to have another opportunity like this one' logic. There are no pictures from that particular adventure because they deem it unsafe for you to carry anything out on the Skywalk in case it should fall over the rail and to the bottom of the canyon. Yep, good decision there. Anyway, they put us on these giant buses and take us around 5 or 6 different locations to get pictures and such after the Skywalk. The Skywalk itself was amazing. While I was a tad nervous, I really am so glad I let myself be talked into it. Amazing experience if you ever get the chance!

Now, I don't know if I'm the only one that finds this sign amusing, maybe its just my sick sense of humor...but really? You don't say? Risk of falling when there is no guard rail and just a 3000 foot drop to the bottom of the canyon?! Really?! lol

This is what they call the Eagle, doesn't it look like an eagle in flight?

Overall, I really love living in Phoenix. Does it have it's drawbacks? Sure, but what place doesn't!


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