Sunday, May 18, 2008

In Arizona

An update on the goings on in Scottsdale:

I arrived Friday night without incident, and Hilary was there in a jiff. As it turns out, she had spent most of the day studying, patiently waiting for her resident to page her with something, ya know, medical to take of. Instead, we think that he took off golfing sometime around midday.

Anyway, Friday night was taken up with a quick dinner at the apartment while watching something on the History Channel about the history and production of chocolate. Hilary rejoiced in the return of wireless internet - she has been tethered to the DSL modem al week! Before long, it was almost midnight in Minnesota - high time for bed. The air conditioning here is rather a necessity, although I discovered the apartment's ceiling fans do a great job for less energy. Perhaps the previous occupant (another Mayo person most likely - there's a Minnesota utility bill addressed to him here in AZ) was keen on conserving energy more than us - only about 1/4 of the light bulbs in the place work.

Saturday morning was spent, not surprisingly, lounging around the apartment and trying not to heat up too much. Morning concluded with a nap. When we were finally ready to face the world, we went out to see the new Narnia movie. A good way to spend two and a half hours (almost three when you include the five previews that preceded it). Scottsdale, we have learned, is nothing but compact subdivisions, condos, apartments, wide roads, and shopping centers. As it happens, we stopped off at one that was close by after the movie to do some food shopping. I picked up some of the local brew. We picked up dinner to go at a neat local restaurant - Pita Jungle. Excellent falafel! I found it using the Google Maps feature on my iPhone, reinforcing my belief that it is the ultimate travel companion. We resisted the desire to hit up the gelato cafe right next door - it would spoil our appetite.

Here is Hilary doing her daily prenatal yoga practice. Yes, we know she's getting a bit large at 29 weeks. She's trying not to take it personally.

Sunday we decided to get an earlier start and get out and about. The local outdoorsy sight is Camelback mountain, which is a rocky ridge in the midst of the city proper, a bit NE from downtown Phoenix. Being a relatively short hike and right in the midst of the city, Camelback has lots of people on it all day. Urban Hiking, I think they call it. We approached the hike with this mindset: it's a mile and a half up, with 1200 feet elevation gain over rocky trail, with little shade, in what would soon be 100-degree weather. Ordinarily Hilary and I could make short work of it, in spite of the conditions. As it was, with her carrying extra weight and with decreased lung capacity, and me fighting off a caffeine-withdrawal headache and (as I would later conclude) a little dehydration, we moved a bit more leisurely. That was just fine - we still passed some folks on our way up. Even so, this was one of those rare occasions where the book time applied.

The south and east base of Camelback is bordered by a ritzy country club and resort: the Phoenician. This picture is, I think, the central clubhouse and hotel, with what looks like five swimming pools. The 27-hole course is verdant, well-kept grass, quite an accomplishment (and ostentatious extravagance) in the middle of the freakin' desert!

Actually, the descent took as long as the ascent. Hilary was being particularly careful of her footing on the gravel-covered rocks. The heat was up, our water exhausted, and the trail really seemed longer coming down. We received a pleasant surprise about halfway down - a call from Hilary's father, who is in the midst of a hike across Scotland. We stopped off at a supermarket on the way back to get cold water to knock back before anything else. Then we headed to the gelato place we found last night. It's a few hours later, and we're still trying to catch up fluids - a useful lesson there.

We'll be doing some of that fluid catch-up at wherever we decide to do dinner. It'll be an early night - Hilary has to report to the hospital, and my flight leaves, all before 7 am.

1 comment:

Mark Alvarez said...

Lookin' good,, kiddos. See you soon!