I consider myself a true American. We have lived all over the country, experiencing numerous cultures and lifestyles throughout the United States. Whether you know it or not, we do speak different dialects, enjoy different foods, and partake in different hobbies, depending upon where we live. We also learn what’s cool in one place might be curious in another. So teachable moments are a way of life for us. So, why Phoenix?
Cowboys? No. Our initial visit to Arizona was honestly to find a warmer place to spend winters upon our hiatus from Yellowstone. We had never explored the southwest and figured tacos and margaritas by the pool, in winter, would be a fun alternative to the typical, comfort foods of football season. We were attracted to the notion that is it a place where there is always something to do, and with our kids nearby, it was a natural choice.
Is it my favorite city?
Sometimes, but I think the word favorite offers an unfair comparison, since my favorite place is usually exactly where I am at the moment. It is also relative to the day. I think of New England in the autumn, Washington in the summer, or Wyoming in the spring. So instead of favorite, we call Phoenix our forever home.
In the 1930’s marketing gurus deemed it the Valley of the Sun in an effort to boost tourism. Named for obvious reasons, the name stuck. And again for obvious reason the people did too. It has it’s challenges like any place, but at the end of the day, it is exactly where we are meant to be.
It is a Sports Mecca: There are numerous professional sport teams in the Phoenix area and it is the perfect venue for baseball’s spring training. Cactus league teams are located throughout the Valley, making it a perfect opportunity to explore what else is in the city. That includes the Phoenix Open, but if spectating sports isn’t your forte’, pick something. It’s here.
City Parks: Many parks are at the foothills of mountains, so the city seems to mingle with nature. The mountains throughout the city are used for hiking, biking and exploring. It is possible to summit almost all of them, and it is interesting to view the city skyline while watching roadrunners, coyotes and wild burros on or near the trails with you.
Lifestyle: There is always something to do. Boating, golf, and gardening are not seasonal in Arizona, and instead every season. There are theaters, concerts, sports, casinos, spas, and nightlife. Or maybe you just like impromptu road trips? The car enthusiasts do too.
The Grid: If you live here you know exactly what that means. If you vacation here, you get it right away, but for me it means I can’t really get lost. The road system was designed on a grid with its major freeways going north and south, and Central Avenue going right up the middle. The cross streets are the same on both the east and the west.
Interesting Landmarks: We do have cathedrals and courthouses like other cities. They just look a little look different. Take for example, Courthouse Butte.
It’s a Foodie Town: There is a wide range of cultures that have landed in the Valley of the Sun, and with the influx of snowbirds, there is food from countless regions. So a piece of advice, when you want to dinner. It’s not necessary to think about where to go, and instead, what you want that matters. Narrowing down is the hardest part, unless it’s local fare.
Weather: Yes, the weather is a given. It is sunny almost every day of the year and the sky stays a brilliant blue. If you don’t have a pool, your friends do. Fortunately, if it’s still too hot in August, an hour road trip north, or a weekend getaway to the California coast will remedy that.
And finally: Those sunsets we all blast on social media are real.
Wind Kisses from the city,