We have been to Phoenix only once in the past, when we travelled down the west coast of the US during the summer vacation with our children when they were aged nine and six. We had held off taking them to Disneyland until they were old enough to remember how wonderful it was. We carried on to San Diego to visit Sea World and then headed east through the desert to Arizona.
We’d purchased a new car that spring and were eager to put some miles on the odometer. We’d opted for a car without air conditioning, never having one with A/C before, and thinking that we didn’t really need it in western Canada. However, it was a grueling trip through the desert with the windows open trying not to melt in the heat. We got up before dawn and set off at first light in order to arrive before noon in Phoenix, and we were thankful the hotel let us check in at 10:30am because we were almost finished by the time we arrived.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
Fast forward, twenty-five years and now we were making a return visit. However, this time we were driving a new car with air-conditioning, something we didn’t really have a need for in the month of January. To our surprise, it was quite chilly when we arrived in Mesa; the temperature barely reached a high of 10C that afternoon.
Audrey was golfing that afternoon and we’d made plans to join her at the clubhouse for a drink and a light meal. We were delighted to see that she had already made many new friends through her membership in a ladies league, and for some reason we were surprised that most of them were from Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and even Regina. Audrey became a US citizen some time ago, but the others are all ‘snowbirds’ who come down to escape the harsh Canadian winter.
We received a very warm welcome from Audrey despite the cool weather and we laughed about the fact that we had brought a huge snowstorm with us the last time we visited her in Denver, Colorado. Audrey had sent me a link to the builder’s website when she’d purchased her new home the previous spring, and I had poured over the floor plan with great interest. However, I was blown away by the interior of her new home and especially liked the fact that she had added a plunge pool in the back yard.
Our first order of business was to visit the local telecom and then the Apple Store and get her set up with her first iPhone and then a Mac Book Air. She was more than fed up with her current PC laptop, but wasn’t entirely convinced that she needed the latest in Apple technology. Her sons were thrilled that I’d managed to drag her kicking and screaming into the 21st century and by the time we left ten days later, she was becoming more comfortable with the new hardware.
The weather stayed unusually cold for the first week we were there, so we never did get a chance to jump in the pool, but we enjoyed our stay and managed to get out into the nearby mountains to see the wild rugged scenery, going as far as Tortilla Flat and then retracing our route home. Her home is barely a mile from the Tonto National Forest and there are several regional parks contained within it.
Audrey kindly agreed to let us park our car in her garage while we travel for the coming four months, and we very much look forward to returning in late April. She tells us the desert is in full bloom at that time of year and the weather will still be pleasant before the start of the blistering hot summer. After spending some quality time in that inviting plunge pool, we plan to head west towards California, checking out Palm Springs on the way, and then driving north along the west coast back to Canada where we will spend the summer.