Thursday, 20 April 2017

Arizona

I flew to Phoenix, Arizona, a couple of weeks ago. When I left Ontario, it was 4C, a sprinkling of snow left on the ground, and a chilly wind blowing. Arriving in Phoenix still wearing my jeans and a sweater, running shoes and socks, I was hit with 34C, hot and sunny! People in Tshirts and shorts and flipflops. It takes a bit of getting used to for this Northern girl! Especially when the Customs people took away my sunscreen.

The first evening, looking out towards the neighbours house. I was so excited to see palm trees and cactus.

I wondered what these tiny oranges were on the tree in the back yard. They were about 1 inch across, a little smaller than a golf ball or pingpong ball. I was told they were kumquats, and are edible. I tried, but ooooh... really sour! However they make great marmalade.

The back of the house I was staying in. No grass in the back yard, that would be too expensive to maintain in the dry climate. The back and front yards of most homes are covered in gravel..... ours was grey, next door had a red colour, and the neighbour's gravel at the back was more yellowish. No need to water it or mow it.

At first I thought this was a sour orange tree, but it turned out to be grapefruit. Can you imagine strolling out to the back yard and picking a grapefruit for breakfast?
I was fascinated with the main thoroughfares lined with tall elegant palm trees. However I discovered not all is as it seems, I found the microwave towers were disguised as palm trees with green plastic palm fronds attached to the top.



I was staying at Sun City West.... a 55+ community of around 15,000 houses established in the 1960s.  Everything was so clean. No garbage anywhere. No dirty cars.  Perhaps if you drive a dirty car you get a traffic ticket, I don't know. No children. No schools. No graffiti. Lots of churches. Very few people walking the streets, probably because it was hot, and it's so much easier to drive your golf cart to wherever you are going.

There are ten golf courses, but I don't play golf. However, each golf course has a couple of really good restaurants which had to be investigated. One golf course even had its own church.
Definitely a retiree's paradise. I was there about a week, staying with my friend V who had just sold her house, so I had volunteered to drive back to Ontario with her, with the car packed with all her "stuff" including her little dog. But some time for some sightseeing first.

17 comments:

Marie Smith said...

Beautiful place but hot for a northern woman!

Jono said...

A few hours by air can make quite a difference in...everything!

Lowell said...

I lived in Phoenix while in high school for a short time and then later my wife and I moved there from Minneapolis. We loved it, but moved back to the midwest for professional reasons. Now we're in Florida where it is also hot but also very green in contrast to the the brown that is so indicative of Arizona. Those golf courses look nice, though. So glad you had a fun trip.

Wendy said...

Oh those custom's people! They took my sunscreen too!! As if we're gonna do something horrible with it en route. :-(

How clever! Disguising microwave towers as palm trees. I like that idea!

I visited Sedona, Arizona years ago and was struck with the gravel "lawns" too. Guess I just expected grass like here at home.

Nice pics! I'd love to stroll outdoors and pluck a fresh grapefruit or lemon or orange to eat! Well not the lemon - that would be for squeezing on a salad.

It must have been a very long drive home!

LL Cool Joe said...

As you probably know by now we have a house in Arizona. The weather is glorious, even in August when everyone is hiding indoors we are outside appreciating the heat! Living in the UK most of the time we never take the sunshine for granted.

Elephant's Child said...

You are so right about cumquat marmelade. And a fresh orange, or grapefruit picked warm from the tree is WONDERFUL.

Revrunner said...

Good for the sunscreen industry. You wonder if maybe it's in cahoots with the TSA. :-)

Anvilcloud said...

What a nice winter break ... or spring even.

Tom said...

...Arizona doesn't look bad when it's green.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Goodness that was quite a temperature difference Shammi, nice though I'm sure to get some sun. Smiled at your discovery of the kumquats, they grow quite happily here also, definitely an acquired taste ☺ So will you be heading back to the cooler weather for the weekend?

bill burke said...

Beautiful place to visit and enjoy the warmer weather. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

How nice! I was in Arizona last February and absolutely loved my vacation there.

stardust said...

Nice to know you seem to have had a nice trip. How so wonderful to pick one or two grapefruits for breakfast. One of my English teachers from Phoenix once said he liked notoriously hot and humid Japanese summer because it was breezy. 34 degrees C in April? I wonder how hot it’d be in summer.

Yoko

troutbirder said...

We visited nearby over Christmas several years at my wifes sisters. It was wonderful in December. Other months not so much....

ann @ studiohyde said...

Wow, that was some difference in temperature, must have been a bit of a shock when you got off the plane. At least you drove back to Canada....Drove! oh my that was some drive!!!!

Pat Tillett said...

I'm sure it was strange for you. I'd say you just made a pretty good description of the place. Phoenix gets amazingly hot during the summer.
Great photos!

joared said...

Enjoyed the several years we lived in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area -- before smog there, so many golf courses put in increasing the area humidity some of the time -- population had not expanded so much. More days in the way over 100's into teens now -- and that's hot. Same is true in Palm Springs east of where I live in California just off Route 66.

Sedona -- Red Rock country magnificent but were starting housing developments there. Jerome was virtually uninhabited except for a couple or so left-over hippies (we were told), who in subsequent years -- when we visited again -- had been joined by more residents, businesses to appeal to tourists.