The final stop on our family-visiting tour brought us to Phoenix, Arizona to stay with Josh’s aunt. Her lovely winter home is about forty minutes out of the city in a nice gated community, and overlooks a golf course and the mountains beyond. The weather was pretty perfect while we were there, eighty degrees and sunny, much better than the snow and bluster we left behind farther north. It’s not hard to see why someone would want to winter here.
Though our time in Phoenix was short, we made sure to make the most of it, with daily jaunts into the city in search of the best tacos and craft brews we could find. We even got the chance to catch up with some friends from our college days. I was amazed at how easy it was to slip back into our old dynamic and reconnect again. Evenings were family time, capped off with drinks on the patio while watching the sunset. All in all we had a great time in Phoenix and felt well looked after.
From there we made our way towards New Mexico for our next house sit. The plan for the weekend was to visit some of the national parks and monuments on our way. Unfortunately for us, the longest federal government shut-down in history was in effect, leaving the national parks unmanned and therefore unvisitable. And though we would have liked to see the Grand Canyon, it was simply too far out of the way to make the drive. Another time, perhaps.
Thankfully, not all was lost. We briefly stopped off in Sedona, as well as the surprisingly cold Arizona capital of Flagstaff. Though the two cities are quite close to each other geographically, they are drastically different in climate and culture. Sedona was warm, arid, and artsy, definitely a tourist destination. Flagstaff, on the other hand, was frigid and snowy, with more of a blue collar feel to it. While Sedona was the more beautiful destination, Flagstaff boasts a ski resort and some delicious local craft beers, so both are definitely worth a visit.