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Holiday in the desert

I spent 13 years of my life in the desert (and I’m not speaking metaphorically). I have some wonderful memories of my years in Tucson. Weekends with either one of my grandmothers, a rare snow day, summer monsoons, hikes in the mountains, meeting my husband.

The Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona is beautiful, barren, lush, and ugly all at once.

The sunsets are amazing, the wide-open sky both inspiring and unnerving. I love the endless sunny days, and simultaneously long for rain when I’m there.

I admire the scrappy cactus, mesquite, and palo verde that thrive in such arid land, while secretly craving maple and oak trees.

I loathe extremes of temperature, so I have no plans to ever move back. Visiting, however—especially during a mild time of year like November—is always a treat. (We look forward to summer visits to southern Arizona about as much as a five-year-old likes Brussels sprouts.)

Below are a few of my favorite photos from our short visit to Phoenix and Scottsdale. Click on any photo for a slide show.