It's still 108.
To quote P.Hilton, that's hot.
Saturday after my 20 miler, I showered and hopped on a plane bound for the heat of Phoenix, AZ. I've been to Phoenix once before, like this trip it was for work and I didn't see much of the city. Determined to get in some much needed R & R, I went a few days early on my own dime and checked out what the desert had to offer.
Heat. Everyone says, "but it's a DRY heat." True, but it's still hot. I must say, it does cool down at night without the humidity. But I thought I might break in two I was so dry. I could NOT get enough water while I was there!
Saturday Lauren and I hopped in the red Versa (not the most exciting rental car...it was a a bit doggy going up the hills!) and hit the town. We found Trader Joes and this Pink Girl stocked UP. I cannot wait until TJ's finally opens a store in Dallas. Love that place! Eating well while traveling is always a challenge. So I was sure to outfit my hotel room with lots of fruit, milk, granola and of course, TJ's peanut butter!
Sunday, we collected Eric and Lacretia and headed to Camelback Mountain. Lacretia was most excited about the cactus. It did not disappoint.
I had prepared the girls on appropriate hiking apparel and hydration. They (mostly) came prepared. I love that Creeshy started up that mountain with her Coach wristlet - that girl has style in any situation! We ended up taking a trail described as "treacherous" and only for experienced hikers. Creesh and Lauren decided fairly early on that since they had been basically forced on this excursion in the first place, the golf course was a safer place to hang out. We bid them farewell with an admonishment to drink plenty of water, and hurried excitedly up the mountain.
It was breathtaking. No, literally. I was out of breath. It was 105, the sun was beating down since there is no shade and the climb was very steep. But totally worth every step! At one point Eric mentioned that maybe we should take a quick break as we could both hear our pulse in our ears. I thought that was a GREAT idea. Whew. Climbing in the desert is humbling. I only thought I was in good cardio shape!
I'm reading Aron Ralston's "Between a Rock and a Hard Place." These boulders looked suspect to me. I stayed away, lest they decide to take me down the mountain with them. That isn't the kind of adventure I'm seeking!
At some points during the climb, I wasn't even sure where the trail was. I am a timid climber. I like a defined path. Not a narrow path with a deadly drop off on either side! There was some scrambling to be aware of, but that's just me. There were other hikers running full tilt down the mountain. I am not one of those hikers. I'm not ashamed to say I went down on my heiney and hands in some spots!
Somehow, I didn't end up with a photo of Eric. He brought little toys from both of his kiddos and snapped pics for them along the way. Such a good dad!
You know, it's funny, I didn't see another hiker wearing several articles of clothing representing THEIR home state. Question, do y'all WEAR shirts with your state shape on it? Is that just a Texas thing?
Sunday night the crew headed to a local bar to watch the Dallas Mavericks win the World Series or Stanley Cup or something. Apparently it was a big deal. :o) Not being a basketball fan, and refusing to be a bandwagoner, I returned the Versa to the airport and elected to run back to downtown. The funny thing is, as I was dropping my friends off at the hotel, I glanced towards the "airport" signs and mused aloud, "I wonder how far..." Lauren quickly and sternly said, "No! Don't you do it!" But we all knew that I would. I'm predictable like that. No worries, I wore my Camelbak and only talked to 2 street people. I did see three jackrabbits though! Man they are FAST!
Most of the week I wore a lab coat and this was my view. I can stick a finger with the best of them. Was called a "vampire" more than once. Vampires drink blood people, they don't screen it for cholesterol levels. Duh.
Tuesday night we headed over to watch a Diamondbacks game. The ballpark was amazing! I was shocked at how cool it was in there. They had the roof closed and the air on all day - Arizonians (Arizonans?) know how to watch some ball! You practically bake in the oven they call our ballpark. Not here!
We became Ryan "Tatman" Roberts fans for the night. He's a Texas boy and played for the UT system so yay. Despite our cheering, they still lost.
But look what we found, my favorite, ch-ch-ch-churros! We placed our order and the staff let out a cheer. Apparently our order won them a bet with their manager. So to celebrate, they even made for us fresh churros. Mmmm, cinnamony.
Did I mention that it's an effort to eat right? What, doesn't everyone carry whey protein around in her purse? No? Just me? Huh.
The palm trees made me think I was in Florida.
There are sculptures all over downtown. I really enjoyed checking out the art scene. This grouping of nekkid dancers gave us a good laugh. There were about 15 larger than life nude dancers in various revealing poses. That's a dude holding her up. We checked.
Oh, such silly girls.
Due to the two hour time difference, I woke up quite early each morning. Which meant that I got to enjoy the sunrise each day. What a gorgeous way to start the day! I had an incredible view of the mountains from my 19th floor hotel room.
The view from the plane was so foreign. It's flatter than flat here in North Texas. And I only thought it was dry and brown here. Arizona has the market cornered on dry and brown!
There are wild fires burning in the state. (like in much of West Texas) I said a prayer for protection for the brave men and women out in that heat, fiercely fighting those enormous fires. Takes a special person to do that. But we all know how I feel about fireman. Swoon.
All in all, it was a much needed break from reality. Even though it was a work trip and I stayed busy, I made the most of what free time I did have. It was nice to be somewhere new, someplace without ghosts. I came home today feeling stronger and more confident.
I mentioned earlier in the post that I'm reading "Between a Rock and a Hard Place." Yes, still, it's taking me a while. I'm usually a voracious reader, but he details everything as if you were there so it's slow going, but worth it! Aron Ralston wrote this line that really spoke to me, "There is no room in my heart for doubt or fear."
Indeed Aron, there is not. No room at all.