Here's a description of the place we're staying: a sort of golf resort condominium in Scottsdale, with four bedrooms (three on the 2nd level, one on the 1st), 3 bathrooms, a formal dining room, a grand piano, and a fully-stocked pantry. I know that the fact that the kitchen has a dishwasher isn't a big deal, but it's a big deal to me. I don't have one at home. By the way, the kitchen is also fully stocked with dishes and appliances. We could just stay here all week, and read and swim and cook. However, there are so many restaurants and take-out places around here that my sister-in-law once observed, "I don't think anyone cooks up here." We do, a little. The oven and range are so much better than the one at home I think I should use it, even if just a little bit.
There are vaulted ceilings and balconies and a big-screen TV downstairs. Also there are huge windows upstairs and downstairs. When I wake up in the morning, I see the pink beginnings of the sunrise from our bed.
Our place is also in a gated community, something I have mixed feelings about. Once we left without our little re-entry card and had to convince the gatekeeper to let us back in. "We really are on the list," we argued. They finally let us come back.
It hasn't always been like this. I've been coming to Arizona for about 25 years, ever since my sister got married and moved here. I used to sleep on a sofa-bed in their living room. I thought it was luxurious to stay in their condo in Mesa, when they first moved in there. I couldn't afford to rent a car, and I just hung out and did things with them. When I first started coming here, I hadn't been very many places in the world, and the saguaro and desert landscape seemed very exotic to me. I considered myself more cosmopolitan because I had finally gotten out of the midwest and seen another landscape. I considered getting a subscription to Arizona Highways magazine. In 25 years, I think I've seen a lot of the major tourist attractions, as well. I've been to Casa Grande and the Heard Museum and Tucson and Tumacacori and Tubac. I've been to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, Florence and Sedona.
Since getting married, I've been to more places. Pennsylvania, New York City, New Mexico, San Francisco -- those are just a few of the highlights. Arizona doesn't hold quite the mystique that it once did. In fact, I'm content just to be here: read, swim, relax, visit antique stores and My Sister's Closet and Trader Joe's. Take lots of walks.
Be that as it may, we are going to take a day trip to Jerome today. It's part ghost-town, part artist's colony. It's both beautiful and falling-down. I'll send you some ambiance.