February 11, 2019 Cool Phoenix
Phoenix has never appealed to me, partly because I am not drawn to big cities, and the Phoenix metro area is huge. However, my sister Alison was attending a relocation business forum in Scottsdale. She owns a successful relocation business called Alison's Relocations in Anchorage, AK, and won a prestigious award at the forum. I am very proud of her! Since I wanted to see her, a change in attitude was needed. I decided to book an AirBnB in the Phoenix area and be a big city girl for a couple of days.
I found a really nice and reasonably-priced apartment within walking distance of downtown Mesa and invited Radar to join me. Its large bedroom had two beds (in case anyone was wondering, lol), a nice bathroom with both a tub and shower, a well-appointed kitchen, super-fast WiFi, and even a laundry room (free). We both enjoyed the break from van living after being in the Sonoran National Monument for 10 days.
On Friday I drove up to Scottsdale to meet Alison. We had an excellent lunch in Old Town Scottsdale at The Herb Box and spent about three hours there catching up. Her daughter Valerie was able to join us as her flight through Seattle had been canceled in anticipation of another snowstorm, and it was nice to get to know her. That night Radar and I went to a dance studio in Tempe for a West Coast Swing lesson and social dance. Radar used to compete in WCS and can both lead and follow, so she did not need the lesson, but suffered through it anyway. We both had a great time at the dance.
On Saturday we checked out of our apartment and headed to north Phoenix to the Museum of Musical Instruments, aka MIM. It is one of the top ten museums in the country, and it was outstanding. We did not see everything in our four hours there, but we were tired by the time it closed at 5:00 pm. Off to the vans for some rest, because we had tickets for a concert that at 9:00 pm to see a group called The Sweet Remains. What an amazing performance! You can check them out on YouTube. I am so glad we went, even though it meant staying up after 11:00 pm two nights in a row. Luckily for us, a nice woman who works at MIM got permission for us to spend the night in our vans in their parking lot. It never hurts to ask and that saved us from having to boondock somewhere on the street.
On Sunday morning I headed north while Radar headed west to Quartzsite. I toured a little of the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree, stopping for breakfast along the way. I was able to get a campsite at Cave Creek Regional Park for one night only. I enjoyed a short hike before getting in my spot and it is so nice to have electricity to run my space heater, because it has been very chilly at night, even in Phoenix. Shortly after I got set up I was sitting in my “recliner” reading when I was startled by a loud buzzing sound. A beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird had flown into the van through the slightly-opened door! He was zipping around the looking for a way out and saying “Cheep! Cheep!” I tried opening the door wider and when that didn't work I said “Hold on little fella!” and unzipped an upper screen in the pop top. That did the trick. Later that afternoon I was lounging on my bed, being pretty damn tired after all my big city adventures, and heard buzzing again. There he was hovering and looking in my back window.
This morning after a hike and a shower (hopefully hot, the restrooms are freezing!) I will head back to the town of Cave Creek to pick up my mail at the post office. I am not sure where I will end up tonight. I have been trying to find another place to camp with electric hook-ups and found a wonderful-looking RV ranch nearby that has a pool, spa, tennis and pickleball courts. But I decided to pass it up because the “clothing optional” aspect gives a whole new meaning to the game of pickleball.