They were delightful, a special couple who enjoy life and one another, surround themselves with friends and family and do everything possible to make sure their special guests – that would be me and Wendy most recently – lack for nothing.
There was just one problem. They live in HELL! Well, some people call it Phoenix, but the devil apparently is the demon with his hand on the thermostat here and he likes it hot! We managed mostly to stay in the shade or underneath one of the ubiquitous water misters that can be found in front of restaurants, retail stores, shopping centers and theaters – just about anywhere people congregate.
But being the adventuresome sort, Miss Wendy and I still managed to keep our cool, at least long enough to visit such touristy sites as Old Town Scottsdale, kitsch and tchotchkes with a western accent; Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, nestled in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, surrounded by the Sonoran Desert; and Sedona, a picturesque little community that also has its own kitsch and tchotchkes, but also some of the most spectacular and breathtaking scenery in the world.
Did I mention it was hot? Why, yes, I think I did. It was on our way back from Sedona when I realized just how heated up things get in this part of the world. Jason, Arlene, Wendy and I managed to stay busy playing a few roads games – don’t worry Arlene, I won’t tell anyone that you managed to come up with the name of a body part for every letter in the alphabet.
Thankfully we made it back to Phoenix before we started trying to name the states and capitals again when I happened to notice the temperature. It was well after 5 in the afternoon and finally it was starting to cool down. If I recall, it was 102 – that would be Fahrenheit – and still hot enough to easily fry and egg on my bald noggin. And, yes, I know it’s a dry heat!
I’m told that in another few weeks the weather will actually be pleasant and the area will fill with tourists. I figure, however, that Wendy and I still came out ahead. Fall visitors might be able to walk around without melting. But they won’t have Arlene and Jason to show them the sights!
BREATHTAKING: The views around Sedona are spectacular (photo above), a land filled with a harsh, natural beauty that seems touched by the hand of God.