Now that I’m about to head back to Illinois from Arizona, I should answer the question people ask me most about winter travel: What’s it like to live away from home for three months, especially in a desert rather than in the snowy and cold Midwest?
|Aerial photo of Phoenix|
It may be easier to use some photographs. Years ago when my oldest child moved to Phoenix, I’d fly via Chicago/Denver/Sky Harbor Airport to visit Arizona. It took a whole day and three difference planes. What I remember most from that trip was the first sight of the city at night, a gorgeous panorama that suddenly came into view once we flew over the mountains surrounding the Valley of the Sun. I’m not sure I will ever forget that blazing panorama.
The most recent one looks like this and is located in an area of South Phoenix known as Ahwatukee. It’s in a small, gated part of the city near great shopping, restaurants, movie theatres, book stores, and a library. This is what I see (below) when I leave my house in the morning.
driven my own car out and back with a variety of friends and family members. I’ve become an expert at packing for a three-month visit and filling my car trunk and back seat. I have it down to a science. We’ve driven through snow storms, sleet, and a huge dust storm that almost did me in. But somehow we have made it through a variety of routes.
At first the overhead ramps and traffic seemed a bit daunting. But now I’m used to driving up and over just about anything. Because Phoenix is a city of freeways, I use four times more gasoline here than I use in my tiny town.
Some of the places I frequent the most are the
grocery store (10 minutes away), the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale (30 min), and the Chandler Mall (15 min.)
Phoenix has wonderful restaurants, shopping, and winter weather, and it’s hard to leave those joys to go back to the Midwest to a small town. However, despite missing my children and grandchildren in far off Phoenix, I feel that small town is home.