Last weekend I took a trip to Disney World. I’ve been an annual passholder there since we moved to Florida at the end of 2016. I’ve taken a trip there for MLK Jr. Day every year since. It’s a good weekend to go – nice weather, and I get the holiday off from work. So I’ve just always taken advantage of it for a trip up to see the mouse. I did the same again this year. But while Disney World is HUGE, and I’ll likely never really see it all, I have seen and done a lot of things there since I’ve been a passholder in the last 2 years. So I tried to make my trip a bit different this time.
A part of me keeps wanting to write this post, and another part of me just thinks that anyone who has followed my Facebook or Twitter feeds the last two weeks is already sick of hearing about David Duchovny. Well, to me this post both is and isn’t about him. Honestly, I think the most general way to say it is this post is about inspiration. But I guess, let me explain.
It’s been a while since I blogged, but I would like to start blogging more. So, I think I am going to try to blog once a week, on Fridays. If Friday has passed, and you don’t see a blog from me, just poke me. No, not on Facebook. Well, feel free to reach out to me on Facebook, but don’t poke me. Nobody does that anymore. And yes, I see you people out there that are headed right now to go poke me and prove me wrong. Jerks.
So, a little over two years ago Ricky and I packed up all our belongings and moved across the country from Indiana to Arizona. I honestly can’t really believe that it’s been that long, and even after being here for two years, after spending the first 32 years of my life in Indiana, it’s still hard for me to believe that I am now a resident of Arizona. I linked to a video today on Facebook about Arizona, and as my caption, I put “I love my state”. I think that is the first time I have said it like that. Arizona is “my state”, the state where I live. It’s still hard to think of it that way. Don’t get me wrong, Indiana will always be where I’m from, Lebanon will always be my hometown, and Indianapolis will always hold a very special place in my heart, but Arizona is now “my state”.
Here’s the video I posted, if you’d like to see it. It’s actually really beautiful, and it’s a good reminder of exactly why I do love living in Arizona. Whenever I get asked why I moved out here, I tell the story about how both Ricky and I didn’t want to live out our whole lives in Indiana, and we both had visited Arizona before and loved the weather out here and had family living here, so it made perfect sense. And he was in love with Scottsdale, which is where we moved to and lived for our first two years. We now have a house in Phoenix (not far from Scottsdale, which we still love and visit all the time). Our house is great. I love it, especially the fact that it’s on this little hill and that we have a nice patio upstairs, meaning we can see mountains and for miles across the northeast part of the valley… similar to some of the scenes in this video.
Watching this video and reading a blog post a friend of mine wrote recently about his several month stint of living in Arizona (he’s from Oklahoma City) made me decide that I’d write a happy, grateful list post (because list posts are all the rage, right? Hello, BuzzFeed!) about some of the reasons I love living here. Without further adieu…
1. The weather
Ok, so yes, it does get up to somewhere close to 120 degrees during the hottest part of the summer. And yes, we have haboobs (dust storms to the uninformed) and this year it has gotten pretty wet during the last part of monsoon season. But… that’s the end of the bad weather list for here! There are basically 4-5 months of the year that you have to deal with “bad” (if you consider dry heat and dust storms that bad) weather here. It’s October now, and it’s pretty much going to be perfect weather now until next May. I will take that weather over humidity, thunderstorms, snow, ice, and freezing rain any day of the week.
2. The palm trees and mountains
I never saw either of these things in Indiana. And they are both things I love to see! Honestly, I never saw palm trees until I was probably a teenager, at least not real ones as a part of a place’s scenery anywhere. Driving around here still kind of boggles my mind sometimes, that there are literally palm trees and mountains wherever I go. It’s so pretty. We even have palm trees in our backyard and mountains in both the front and back, so I don’t even have to leave my house to see them anymore.
3. The sunsets
Oh yes. I’m pretty sure that there are not any more beautiful sunsets anywhere in the world. Almost every night here is gorgeous, you just have to glance over to the west. I also like seeing the mountains in the east during the sunset, and how the sunset reflects off of them. You just can’t beat the sunsets here. Sunrises are pretty hard to top as well, I just see those less often…
4. The laidback atmosphere
This one is a bit harder to describe, and I’m still not sure that calling it the “atmosphere” is completely accurate. Since it’s basically almost always nice weather outside, and pretty much never really cold, everyone usually dresses pretty casual. I think the fact that Phoenix/Scottsdale is also a pretty big tourist destination factors into that as well. You can easily go out to almost any nice restaurant here and dress casual. Since people are outside a lot, it just gives the place a laidback sort of vibe. It’s similar to how I’ve felt visiting Hawaii as well. I guess you can chalk it up to that warm weather tourist destination factor, since I would have to say Florida is similar to this too.
5. The diversity
This one is an interesting thing to describe also. In Indiana, it seemed like almost everyone was from Indiana. Most people grew up there and just never left, or left and came back because they had family there. Also, while you might run into some people that had traveled internationally or to lots of different places, it seemed that the number one reason people traveled outside of Indiana was to visit Florida for vacation. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Florida too. But it just seemed like that’s where so many people went on vacation all the time. It’s an easy vacation destination from Indy, since if you need to, you can even drive there instead of flying. But I’m all about visiting as many different places as possible. Ricky and I almost felt a little out of place because we did travel so much. But, living in Arizona… well, I’d say the majority of the population is NOT from here. There are a few, but there are far more that are people that moved here from somewhere else. There are actually quite a few from the Midwest, like us. And people that are willing to pack up and move to a new state across the country, also tend to be people that like to travel. I love the melting pot that is here of people that have lived or traveled to so many other states and countries.
There’s plenty of other things I love about living here, but those are some of the top ones. Arizona has proved to be a good home for us so far, and I hope it continues to be for quite a while!
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