Phoenix on 3 hours sleep

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 18, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, May 9, 2009

Three hours after the party, we had to get up and go to the airport. It's 5 a.m.....

We take a taxi to airport and we're lucky we did that because the line for customs is ridiculously long. I guess the U.S. has set up border inspections in my home country before I even get there. A sign says "Welcome to the United States of America". That's funny, because I thought I was still at the Calgary airport....

We are soooooo tired, but for some unknown reason I decide to still watch the in-flight movie. As we approach Phoenix, the Grand Canyon appears on the right side of the plane. A giant crevasse in the desert, displaying magnificent oranges and pinks. Completely unreal.

"I'm going there next summer." It's now a matter of fact.

Arriving at the airport, I call Howard. We have a few hours to spend doing nothing, so I attempt to find Judy online, I do and we arrange to meet after she gets off work.

Howard and his wife Judy (yep, another Judy) arrive at around 1:30 p.m. We exchange all our documents and pleasantries, I think they like us... maybe.

We are supposed to meet Judy at Camelback Mountain for a little bit of a hike, the only downside? It's 105 degrees. That's 40 C for all you Canucks out there. FORTY....CELSIUS.... just let that soak in a while...

Driving around the Camelback area, there are all kinds of amazing mesa style houses, weget really lost but end up at an upscale gourmet grocery store where I get some gazpacho (it's SO spicy, not what I was expecting) and we buy various other things to keep us alive.

At the checkout, I notice some kind of strange mist wafting from the roof outside. I ask the cashier, "What is that coming down from the roof outside?" I'm pretty sure it's water, but I just want to make sure.

"This is Arizona, baby!"

"I know but.. what? What do you mean by that? What is that that you guys are spraying everywhere?"

"Oh honey, that's water! Haven't y'all ever seen that before?"


That's entirely insane. They spray water outside the front doors of their grocery store just so that the air nearby would be a little cooler than the air further away from the grocery store. I stand outside and watch it, it evaporates before it touches the ground.

We get to Camelback Mountain and it is SO hot. I have to change into shorts and flip flops. My feet will burn if I touch the asphalt.

Judy is supposed to come soon, but I guess she got delayed so we hung out for a while at the foot of the mountain. Relatively cool in the shade of a little cement structure.

A lady from Serbia talks to us for a while, she has abandoned her friend at the top and is waiting for him.

Finally Judy gets here, dressed in her office clothes! We slowly but surely climb up the mountain. We get to a little outlook, and it's a little windy, so it's nicer up there. Just barely. We can see the entire city from up there. I decide to go back down, and the boys all go up some more. Judy is waiting for us down the hill a little bit. She is wearing way too many clothes and on the way down she starts to get dizzy and it's a little scary.

Judy just needed to rest and drink some water and she was better again.

Adam had the idea to go to the botanical gardens. It was full of cactus, desert wildflowers and little lizards running around all over the place. We took a bunch of pictures and walked around for a while. There were a few wedding receptions happening, so some of the various exhibitions were closed. We also missed the butterfly greenhouse.

There was a special display of blown glass mixed in with the plants, so that was extra special.

Judy and I talked about TravelPod stuff, and walked around while looking at the lizards and hummingbirds and trying to find butterflies.

Soon it was time for the Phoenix meetup, so Judy and I split up while all the boys went to go find our place for the night. We had not been able to contact him yet, so they figured they'd go and see if he was around.

It was kind of our fault, because we didn't call him all day. We were kind of supposed to call him as soon as we got into Phoenix. Oops.

So a bunch of people actually showed up to the meetup. It was really nice. We sat out on the patio eating pizza and mingling etc. etc. Good times.

All the boys came back and told us they couldn't find our host Will. Aw.

Luckily for us, Carrie and Thomas opened their home to us, and let us sleep on their couch and in their guest room. Awesome.

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marian55 on

loved the cacti in the sun pic
I loved the pictures on your hike up the mountain. So glad you did it for me.
I really loved the cacti in the sun picture.
I hope you do get to the Grand Canyon next year it is probably the most beautiful site I have ever seen.

gypsyirene on

Lucky you starlagurl
I would gladly trade the droplets falling from the grey Vancouver sky for the cooling mist from the roofs of Arizona resturants. Have fun!
Gypsy Irene

travelmonster on

Glad you had fun with Judy and the other TP'ers!

starlagurl on

Meeting everyone was awesome. It was great meeting everyone all along the way, I should have updates soon.


loolie on

Love it!
Love the pics of the cacti! Wow...I can't believe how hot it is there, even for this time of the year! The scenery is awesome, sounds like you're having a great time!!

starlagurl on

Re: Love it!
Thanks! We did have an awesome time. So glad I'm back in the semi-frigid spring of Ottawa.

henry@phoenix on

I must say living in phoenix for so many years I couldnt capture phoenix as you have did

starlagurl on

Really? Why thank you. And thank YOU for reading my blog.

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