Ryan is visiting with his parents in Arizona at the moment, enjoying some lovely summer weather. We spoke earlier today and I told him it is cold here. The wind is blowing hard, I am waiting for the power to go out, and tomorrow we are expecting three to five inches of snow. That made him happy. I'll bet. Just last week it was the other way around. I was basking in the Arizona sunshine while he was stuck in winter.
I was in Arizona for the annual National Indian Gaming Association's Conference and Trade Show. This was my second time and it was better than last year. I met some old and new business contacts, watched my old boss win a Harley Davidson, and participated in some very interesting workshops. But most of all, I enjoyed the weather.
Walking in Phoenix in the warm evening breeze reminded me of my vacations in Spain during my high school and college years. Pasty white skin, dolled up for an evening on the town, we would wander the streets of Blanes or Malgrat de Mar and enjoy the warm weather and the local charm. The Arizona locals complained it was cold outside one morning, a lovely 70 degrees, forcing me to pipe in and tell them they don't know what cold outside is.
Downtown Phoenix is a strange mix of old and new. Of European architecture, Latino architecture, and modern office and hotel buildings, rising above everything else. The vivid pink and red flowers and fresh green trees brighten up the drab colored buildings. The strawberries taste sweeter in Arizona, I found. The cars are nicer, classier, and cleaner. Phoenix is a very clean city. Surprisingly so because I had a very hard time finding a trash can on the streets.
One afternoon I stopped in to visit St. Mary's Basilica, Phoenix' oldest Catholic church just passed the Convention Center. It was a quiet and peaceful haven. The large cross facing the modest front doors was dressed in purple for Lent. Inside it was cool but not cold. Only one other visitor was sitting in the pews, silently praying. The stained glass windows were beautiful, as was the colorful dome. When I went to light a candle, a surprise awaited me. No doubt as a result of local fire code, I could not actually light a candle but had to push a button to ignite a small flickering electric light. Ah, progress...