30.03.2012 - 14.04.2013 32 °C
We went to Phoenix seeking hot weather and we were not disappointed. For two weeks, our days were filled with blue skies and hot temperatures (who would have guessed that I was actually acclimatizing myself for "Hot Trot Boston 2012" but more about that in the next blog).
We rented a condo in Tempe and we loved the convenient location to grocery stores and parks, our access to Netflix, and the two large pools in the complex.
There are several major league baseball teams who use the stadiums in Phoenix each spring for a month of exhibition games. We went to two of these games at Salt River Field. We took our picnic blanket and sandwiches and joined hundreds of other families on the grassy fields just beyond the outfield. It is a most excellent way to watch a baseball game! By the end of the game, the free sunblock dispensers were empty and the beer vendors were looking ragged but quite content with the day's sales. We went to one more spring training game and then travelled downtown for a Diamondbacks regular season game at Chase Field. These crowds love their baseball so there are always cheers and songs to join in with as well as animated reactions to watch when the calls don't go their way. It is fun to adopt the home team and to share animated mock outrage at the perceived injustices of the sturm and drang of the proceedings.
We are hitching our hopes on the Phoenix Coyotes this year for the Cup now that the Vancouver Canucks have fallen. We went to the last two Coyotes regular season games at the new and slightly cooler than expected, Jobing Arena. At the first game, we were wearing shorts and t-shirts (as one does when it is 30 degrees) and after the first period, I considered buying the toques and mitts from the people in front of us. Imagine living where the only time you get to wear that stuff is when you go inside to a hockey arena?!
Phoenix loves their "Yotes" and excitement was huge when the team made it into the first round of the playoffs. We were lucky enough to nab the $30 playoff tickets (huh?!) and enjoy the free parking at the arena to participate in "whiteout" fever first hand. There was a white Coyotes t-shirt on each seat and, with the exception of the Chicago fans, everyone put it on. The Coyotes were ahead until 17 seconds left in the final period...the Chicago fans made their presence known at that point. In overtime however, the Coyotes scored and the crowd went wild. The team has since made it through the first round and moved on to face the Predators in the second round. (Coyotes - 2, Predators - 1 at press time!)
We visited the very impressive Desert Botanical Gardens where we enjoyed a wonderful butterfly exhibit and saw more cacti variations than we ever imagined existed. It was an amazing time of the year to visit to see all of the colourful desert flowers in bloom. Some of the cacti look like they were taken right off of a Hollywood sci-fi movie set - who knew ?
Frank Lloyd Wright owned a desert residence here which is now a museum and architectural school. The tour took us through his home and highlighted the many ways that he revolutionized home and building design. Three of the interior design innovations which spring to mind are theatre, and eventually aircraft, track lighting, interior acoustic enhancements through the effective utilization of local rock structures, and strategic theatre seat placement which recognized the habitual left to right crossing of the legs.
In an early 2000's poll of the most significant architectural designs in America of the 20th Century, as I recall we were told, 7 or 8 of them were from Frank Lloyd Wright with the iconic Fallingwater residence being #1. In my opinion, most of his designs were not necessarily classically fancy or artistic, but his realization of effective form and function was brilliant, and his legacy is everywhere today. (oh, Nils, stop showing off)
On April 14th, I flew to meet my Whitehorse running buddy Michelle in Boston and the next morning, the boys set out in our trusty Subaru for Las Vegas and, the adventures continue...