Our Fun In Phoenix!

 Hello from sunny and hot Phoenix!

I have a love affair with Phoenix, AZ.  As in adore.  Amour.  Love.  And thankfully, so does the rest of my family…my parents and my in-laws both winter here, and it’s also the dream of my hubby & I to do the same.  There’s just nothing like this desert.  It’s hot…like a blow drier in the face kind of hot and I love it.

The wildlife and plant life are amazing, the weather is amazing, oh and the shopping!  My word, the shopping…there is just so much more variety here as compared to at home.  Really, I just love everything.  If I could, I would move here in a heart beat.

But for now, we will take holidays and soak up the sun, and at this very moment that’s exactly what we are doing!  If you follow me along on Instagram you have seen a lot of these photos already, but I wanted to share them on my blog because we are just enjoying ourselves SO much!  (And because I’m addicted to iPhone photos…no really, I am…can’t get enough.  It takes all my willpower not to post on Instagram every 5 minutes.  But I don’t, I promise!)

Phoenix-2013-{A-Pretty-Life}

We spent the first week of our holidays with my parent’s and we packed in quite a few activities during that time!  We went to Cave Creek for THE best Peanut Butter milkshake on the planet.  It really is, trust me.  Creamy with big gobs of peanut butter.  Yum.  And while we were there we explored all the cute little shops full of so much great stuff – I wish I could take so much more home with us!  Then we headed out to Tortilla Flats because when you are here you just have to go there and eat lunch in their money covered restaurant.  And of course there’s A LOT of pool time…and trash novel reading.  Ya, I go to the pool to read and sit in the hot tub…my hubby goes in the pool with the kids, ’cause that’s how I roll.  ;)

There’s been a lot of eating out…mmmm Chipotle…we don’t have these in Canada so we get our fill when we come down here!  And we have fun trying out new restaurants.  My Mom & Dad took us out to Maggiano’s – have you been?  SO good.  So so good.  Oh, and I can’t forget Sofrita’s.  Best Mexican restaurant ever.  Their Street Shrimp Tacos are the best…oh and the Pineapple sangria…to die for.

And of course I’ve been busy snapping photos of all the cactus’s and skylines and desert wild life…I have over 400 photos…I’m not kidding!  There’s just something so amazing about seeing cactuses and creatures we don’t have at home!  Oh, did I mention my husband saw a tarantula on a little walk we took?!  He may have screamed like a little girl… ;)  We’ve been scorpion hunting at night too.  This is always so fun and creeeeeepy to do…if you walk around at night and shine a UV light around on the ground you can see scorpions (they glow under this light)!  It’s really quite amazing!

Anyway, we’ve been enjoying our time here so much.  It’s been a long time since the 5 of us have spent so much one-on-one time together and it’s been really really good for us.  But we are savouring our time here together before we go back to the snow and cold (which I have to say, I’m kind of looking forward to too!).  For now, I’m off to the pool…and shopping…and eating…oh my.

Have an inspired day!
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Comments

  1. The trashy novel reading and sitting by the pool sounds delightful as I contemplate shoveling the driveway.

  2. Looks like you are having a great time! I love Chipotles too! Yum! Enjoy the rest of your vacay with your family! Angie xo

  3. You know what this means right? You’re going to have to create your Peanut Butter milkshake to make at home. You know, for those of us who probably can handle a blender vs *cough* their oven. No idea who that could be. Lalalalala…

    • Oh YES! Totally have to try to make this at home…but that’s dangerous…I might have to bring out my elastic waistband pants, lol! And there’s nothing wrong with mastering a blender over the oven, lol! ;) You know, for those who can handle a blender better… haha

  4. Don’t worry, there is lots of snow awaiting you! And it makes me sad how much better their shopping is, we just don’t have that variety here in Canada. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • Oh the shopping…it’s so great and so much cheaper! I wish I could do all my Christmas shopping here but it’s too hard to get back home! And yay for snow…I love it this time of year!

  5. I love seeing all the instagram photos together – Phoenix looks like somewhere I need to check out!

    • Thank you! I think it’s fun to see them all together like that too…I really should order one of those Instagram posters – now that would be great!

  6. WOW!! Arizona looks BEAUTIFUL!!! So happy you get to go and spend some time with your family! On my list of places to visit someday!

  7. I LOVE the dry heat and Arizona is on my list of places to go to soon! Glad you’re having a blast and enjoying yourself! Have fun :)

  8. My hubby was born and raised in Phoenix, and we spent the first 15 years of our married life raising our kids there, too. Glad you’re loving it this time of year… would NOT advise going during the summer months! There’s not as much “dry” heat during the ‘monsoon’ season. When temp LOWS, just before dawn, are in the 90′s and highs reach into the 120′s, it can get pretty miserable!! Take my word for it…. at those times you need gills to breathe, LOL! Weather reports showed what they called the “miserability factor’ during the summer months…. (like ‘wind chill temps’ in the winter)… showing what the temperature FELT like, usually about 20 degrees higher than the actual temperature! It might only be 118, but the miserabilty factor was 135! With months on end of triple-digit heat, it’s no wonder there were so many pools in backyards. We had one, and our kids lived in it… both after school in the spring and fall months and during the summer months, literally…. got out for lunch, dinner and bath to bed! (There’s really not 4 seasons in Phoenix… just 2…. hot or not so hot!)

    You eventually get acclimated if you live there long enough. You know it when you’re in winter clothes when the high temp only reaches 70…. I’m not kidding! When I first moved there in December 1979, I was job-hunting in a summer dress with temps a balmy mid-60′s, and the locals were in winter coats and boots! I thought it was hysterical until I became like them.

    And I’m sure the smog is much worse now than it was when we left almost 20 years ago…. the smog was getting bad then with 2 million people in the Valley (Phoenix and all suburbs). I heard the population had doubled just a few years after that. Last time we were through there was in 2005, and it had totally changed…. new suburbs had popped up that did not exist when we left. There used to be a lot of desert space between the city area proper and Cave Creek, AZ. Quite a little drive it was back then from Phoenix…. wide open area where you could go with dirt bikes or 4-wheeling in the desert, even for target practice without the fear of shooting someone nearby. But by 2005, that was all swallowed up, all privately owned and houses were popping up everywhere out there in what used to be those ‘open’ spaces…. no more ‘open’ desert. Quite sad really. It was so devastating to my hubby, that he said we were never going back, and we haven’t…. so sad :( My heart hurt for him.

    Anyway…. I’ve been so long-winded that I almost forgot to tell you that you ought to try a Mexican restaurant called Carlos O’Brien’s (still there in 2005), and a wonderful sandwich place called Miracle Mile (they had moved in 2005, but were still in Phx as well) while you are there. If they are still around now, and you get to try them out, I hope they are as good as they used to be…. they were the most popular in Phoenix during the time we lived there.

    OK… I’m off the soapbox now! :)

    • Oh I loved this comment Paula! So much great info!! It definitely sounds like Phoenix has grown a lot in the last few years…there’s not much open space between Cave Cree and the city area anymore…so many new houses!

      We really love AZ and hope some day to retire here! The weather is so fantastic, even in the ‘winter’ here…I have to laugh at that because it’s 75-80 here right now and there aren’t too many people in shorts and tank tops besides us, lol!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and share your experience! I loved reading your note!
      Jo-Anna

      • Thanks Jo-Anna….. As I re-read my comment, I realized how negative I sounded about AZ. :(
        Don’t get me wrong, though, AZ is a lovely State! The only things I hated were the summer heat and the smog. But even when living in the Valley, you can escape north to the mountains… in the summer for cooler temps in the 80′s and 90′s, and in the winter for snow and skiing.

        In the 35 years my hubby lived in Phx (and back when he was a small boy), it only snowed once where the snow actually stuck on the ground. My MIL said it was about an inch and it shut the city down! Everyone stayed home from work and school just to play, and because they didn’t know what else to do!

        In the 15 years I was there, I saw some snow flurries… just once, very early in the morning… before 6AM… on my way to work! Didn’t even stick to the windsheild… so yes, the wintertime is great, especially if you’re tired of a bunch of snow! And like I said, just take a couple hour drive north and you’re in the mountains when you want snow…. nice, and on your schedule! We always took the kids up for some sledding fun!

        A lot of people retire in the Phoenix area and many just have it as their winter home. Phoenicians call them “Snowbirds”… they live in the Valley when it’s too cold where they’re from, then they fly home as soon as it gets too hot… the best of both worlds!

        Then of course there is the Grand Canyon!!…. Awe inspiring!!!… And IF they still do it, there’s no better way to get there than taking an old steam locomotive train up to the Canyon from Williams, AZ. They put on quite a show back then for the tourists…. Old West Town complete with sheriff and saloon, train gets held up by bandits on horseback, sheriff arrives to save the day… the whole nine yards! Our kids had a BLAST!!…. of course, that was back around 1990! Things may have changed quite a bit since then, even in a small town like Williams…. which may not even be small anymore either. :(

        • No worries Paula! :) I didn’t think you were negative at all! I completely understand feeling ambiguous when seeing somewhere that you have lived has change so much. I feel that way when I go to my childhood town…it’s hard to see things change and grow so fast sometimes!

  9. I have never been to AZ. But the heat sounds so good right now. Especially considering it is currently 2F above here (-17C). No snow but damn cold, especially for November. This is January weather. And the thing is.. it is supposed to be 50F by the weekend. I am so tired of this roller coaster weather. It is so easy to adjust to the warmth, but so so hard to get used to the cold. I am glad you are having fun.

    • I’m loving the heat right now, but I have to admit that I’m looking forward to going home to the snow! I love snow in the early part of winter, but come March I’ve had it…and I totally agree with you on roller coaster weather…I hate that the most!

      Thanks for stopping by Michelle!

  10. Oh, I could use a warm destination right now (perhaps in the new year)! Sounds like you’re having a fantastic time!

  11. I have a few friends whose parents own a place in Arizona and they all absolutely love it! It’s making me want to trek down there to visit. Looks amazing!

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