Arizona’s changing scenery

While fall foliage is perhaps most well-known in New England, that’s not to say that those who live out in the southwestern more desert-y areas of the country are left without beautiful fall colors. And while Phoenix is still unbearably hot for the most, I’m filled with hope (and prayer!) that soon the heat breaks, the cool winds come, and the leaves on the trees start to turn their majestic hues of reds, yellows, and browns. Here are some great places to soak up the best of Autumn in Arizona:

Maybe in a few weeks it’ll be cool enough to venture out for a day hike…in the meantime, stick to your air conditioned car and go for some scenic drives through these areas. Enjoy! Happy Fall!

Martha
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Phoenix is TOO HOT!

It is just so so hot in Phoenix that my time off from work is rarely spent outside beyond the short walk to my car. So I’ve compiled a list of great air conditioned spots to hang out in Phoenix. Drink lots of water and have fun!

  • Metrocenter is a great mall in Phoenix. I usually head straight to Macy’s with my coupons or to Bath & Body Works where I always spend too much time and money. When I go with a girlfriend, Ruby Tuesdays and the movie theater are generally on the list.
  • Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa – I’ve mentioned this one before and now I’ve finally gone and checked it out…WOW! I’ve become a spoiled spa goer!
  • Phoenix Art Museum is another great indoor spot. This is a huge museum with a great collection, and a nice café.
  • Arizone Science Center – I’m not such a science museum goer, but this does happen to be a very good one so I’m putting it on the list.
  • Heard Museum – A unique collection of Native American art. This is a great place for visitors (but who would visit Phoenix in the summer??) because it truly epitomizes the southwester spirit. Definitely go to the café while you’re there.
  • Paradise Valley Mall is another great mall (again with a Ruby T’s) and provides good solace from the heat. And I’ve been known to drop by their morning walking club…
  • Cerreta Candy Company is a unique place to head when you need a change of scenery. A great place to bring kids, this candy factory offers free tours Sundays through Thursdays. Watching the chocolate flow is just mouth-watering.

Stay cool!
Martha
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Home Sweet Home – back in Phoenix, Arizona, and happy!

I had such an amazing trip, but it is good to be home. I was away for a month—do you believe it?! It flew by so quickly.

Last I left you, I was in Portland, Oregon, museum and park hopping, meeting interesting people, and relaxing. You know, when I used to travel, I’d always come back home a few pounds heavier; but this time, I’m proud to say, that I’ve actually lost a few pounds. For once food wasn’t my focus, but movement and activity. I must’ve walked from one end of Portland to the other, several times! I even went ice skating (at the Lloyd Center Mall) – something I hadn’t done in years! The Oregon Zoo was another blast from my past—when’s the last time I was at a zoo? I can’t even remember!

But it wasn’t all bustle and activity—staying at the Avalon Hotel & Spa, I ended up getting my second, third, and fourth massages of my life. Oh, dear—I really indulged, didn’t I?

But the highlight of it all was Smith Rock State Park, as I knew it would be. Robert was an amazing guide and showed me all there is to see. He’s a rock climber, as are many of the Smith Rock locals, and while he knew there was no way anyone was going to tie me to the side of a mountain, he showed me where some climbers were rappelling and it was quite a sight! The things people can do with (or TO!) their bodies is sometimes breathtaking.

And now I’m back home, and it’s like I’m seeing Phoenix for the first time. It’s not like I went off to see these beautiful things, great cities and the great outdoors, from a place where that doesn’t exist. On the contrary—I’ve got those things so close to my very own home, and rarely even notice them. Well not anymore…Phoenix, Arizona, here I come!
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