On June 26, 2010 I got in an airplane heading to Phoenix Arizona, leaving my home of Woodbury, Minnesota behind. My dad had a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. My mom and I chose to accompany him. Little did I know, I would return with more than my luggage, I would have a new perspective as well. Three hours later the plane had landed and my adventure began.
The first thing I learned was that even though Arizona is only one time zone away from Minnesota, there was a two hour difference because Arizona does not fallow daylight savings time. Later I found the reason for this was that life does not start until the sun goes down because of the heat in Arizona. Heat is a word that could not even begin to describe the rush of air that enveloped my body as soon as I stepped from the air conditioned baggage claim. My fair skin seemed to crawl as if it was trying to flee from the heat. When my body realized the battle was lost it gave in wearily. My mom’s favorite way to describe it was to say, “It’s like walking in to your oven.” As soon as we hopped into our rental car, my father cranked up the air. My nose was pressed to the window as we zoomed down the high way. I had never seen a cactus before. They were everywhere and in so many varieties. It was so weird to see rock landscaping instead of grass the normal sight in Minnesota.
We arrived at the Fairmont, our resort, and had enough time to smile at the valets and notice a beautiful mosaic above the entrance before we took refuge in the cool lobby. We took advantage of their water station to cool down. Because of the time change our stomachs were growling, so we tried out one the resort’s many restaurants, the LV Bistro. While eating I noticed a bird flying around inside. It, like me, had come in to escape the heat. There was a lot to do at the resort. When my dad was stuck in a conference, my mom and I filled our time with yoga, fishing, shopping, and of course looking at cacti. In the evenings when the sun had finally gone down we floated on inner tubes in our choice of three pools. We would relax and watch the bats perform an aerial show.
On my dad’s days off, we became tourists. All the Arizonians gave us questioning looks when we said that. “Tourists in June?” they asked. We visited Old Town Scottsdale to look at all the shops. Another day we drove to Goldfield Ghost Town. After slathering on a bucket of sun screen, we saw native reptiles, took a train ride around the area, toured an old mine, and walked through a house of illusions. Each night we would eat a different type of food. By the end of our trip we had tasted American, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Organic, and Mexican. When we drove around the town of Carefree, just North of Scottsdale, we sampled Arizona’s best burgers at Buffalo Chips Saloon. We also visited the largest Sundial in the world, staying only long enough to snap a few pictures before the heat became too much.
By the end of the week, I was ready to leave Arizona. I appreciate my cooler weather and the green lawns in Minnesota more since my adventure. If I ever start thinking about moving I now have my own personal cactus to remind me how great Minnesota is.
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