As all of you loyal blog readers know, our eighteen-year-old niece Daisy came over from England to spend two weeks with us here in Arizona. The two weeks went past far too quickly. Did Daisy enjoy herself? Well... I have a sneaking suspicion that she's already planning her next trip! Until then, I thought I'd share some of the memories we made during those two weeks.
|Staying cool in the pool!|
While Daisy was here, we had a tiny little heat wave. I say tiny because Phoenix has had even higher temperatures since she left. One day, it reached 115°F/46°C, and guess where Daisy and I were? You got it-- staying cool in the pool!
For three days, we stayed fairly close to home. Daisy went shopping in an American grocery store, and she helped me install a new solar fountain. (More about that on another day.) Then it was time to pack the Jeep and head to northwestern Arizona. We had some adventures planned for our niece.
|Daisy on the brink before going to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.|
Our first stop was Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk, owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe. The Skywalk is a cantilevered glass "shelf" that hangs out over the Grand Canyon. You can see it behind Daisy in the photo above. The Skywalk is not affiliated with Grand Canyon National Park in any way, and to be honest-- although it was an experience Denis and Daisy were glad to have shared-- neither of them were all that happy when all was said and done. The Skywalk is pricey. It's a bit off the beaten path. To walk out on that glass shelf will cost you almost $72 each, and you cannot take any personal possessions out there with you. Not only that, but you are not allowed to take photos. They are more than happy to take four photos of you out on the Skywalk and email them to you... for a fee of almost $100. It made me even happier that I don't do "standing at an abyss" stuff and stayed in the Jeep with a cold drink and my book.
|Grand Canyon West|
The next morning saw us heading west on the Mother Road-- Route 66-- to the old mining town of Oatman. When the ore ran out and the prospectors left, they abandoned their burros. The burros are wild and roam freely up and down the streets of the town, and the human residents take good care of them. Tourists are watched to insure that they aren't feeding the burros anything unhealthy. The last time Denis and I were there, carrots were a preferred food. Now they are a no-no because it's been discovered that too many carrots can make the burros diabetic. Who knew?
|Denis, Daisy & some Oatman residents|
|My favorite Oatman gift shop|
If you look closely (or left click on the photo so you can see it full size in a new window), you'll see a burro standing on the porch of the gift shop. Any true Arizona resident can tell you the value of shade! And take a look at that bloom stalk on the agave out front. It's huge! I always think it's too bad that, once it's flowered, the agave will die.
|Youngest Oatman resident|
This is the youngest resident of Oatman. A mere five days old, this young one sports a sign on his forehead telling people Do Not Feed the Baby!
|Daisy standing by the side of the Mother Road.|
|Daisy at Sitgreaves Pass.|
You can see three states up at Sitgreaves Pass: Arizona, Nevada, and California, and it's right on Route 66.
|Daisy wading in the cold Colorado River.|
We continued on Route 66 to Peach Springs, where we bought permits to drive the 20+ miles down the unpaved Diamond Creek Trail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It's fortunate that the Colorado is so cold because the Canyon plays tricks with the heat. It's almost as if there's a huge magnifying glass up at the top that focuses and intensifies the sunlight so that the bottom of the Canyon is much hotter than it is up at the top. When we were there, it was a rather toasty 120°F/49°C. And may I just say right now how well our fair English rose was adapting to all this heat and sun? I was so relieved!
|Miss Daisy driving....|
Daisy had voiced a desire to drive on the wrong side of the road (and the wrong side of the vehicle), so we decided that there was no better place to do this than on the rather straight stretch of Route 66 from Peach Springs to Kingman. Miss Daisy done good!
|Daisy standing on a certain corner in Winslow, Arizona.|
Luckily the Eagles' "Take It Easy" played on the radio during this trip; otherwise, standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, might have meant nothing to this young'un.
|Daisy & the girl in a flat-bed Ford.|
|Daisy at the edge of a very big hole-- Meteor Crater.|
If you're going from Winslow to Holbrook, you just have to stop at Meteor Crater. The size and near perfection of that huge hole in the ground is a bit awe inspiring.
|Daisy exploring the Petrified Forest.|
Next stop was the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. We saw some amazing sights and stopped at a gift shop to buy some petrified wood. I have a large polished slice of it amidst the rubble on my desk right now. It's gorgeous.
|My slice of petrified wood.|
After those adventures, it was time to come back to Phoenix. Daisy and I went to see "Alice Through the Looking Glass" so she could compare UK and US movie theaters. We also went to the Desert Botanical Garden. We went early in the morning, but we spent almost three hours there, and by the end of that time, I think we were trying not to dash from one patch of shade to the next!
|An English Daisy with a Desert Rose|
And of course, you're not an official Arizona tourist until you've had your photo taken standing by a saguaro! After this, it was off to the Olive Garden for lunch (and buckets of iced tea and lemonade)!
|Daisy and the saguaro|
Knowing me like you do, you know that I had to take Daisy to The Poisoned Pen. It was a very special afternoon. Daisy got her book autographed, and she chatted with three authors.
|L to R: Kate Carlisle, Laura Bradford, Paige Shelton & Daisy|
It's not really a vacation if all you're doing is go, go, go, is it?
Before we knew it, the two weeks were up, and Daisy had to go home. I had to smile when I saw her "going home" outfit....
|Have I made a convert?|
Daisy's been gone less than a week. I have the house back to myself. I'm not wearing company clothes. I'm reading up a storm and back online.
I miss her.