Sunday, February 28, 2010

Land of the Long White Cloud meets the Desert State

As you all know, last Sunday I left the land of the long white cloud to travel to Phoenix, Arizona for a two day course for work... 12 hours after leaving Auckland International Airport we touched down in LAX. That Airport is massive. I think we departed at gate 106. And I am sure the gate numbers go higher than that!!

Western Samoa Islands

The flight was pretty darn bumpy. Turbulence started about 4 hours out of Auckland and lasted until we landed. I managed to get a few hours of broken sleep. After clearing customs we walked down to the US Airways terminal where we waited a few hours before boarding for Phoenix Arizona.

Phoenix is HUGE. All the buildings are painted in colours of the desert. Not much variation. I found it hard to landmark buildings because they all looked the same. Block after block. Mile after mile. And did I mention how flat Phoenix is??

We checked in shortly after landing in Phoenix. Showered. Grabbed 'coffee'. And called a cab for Arizona Mills. A massive outlet mall in Tempe (I think). I spent four hours working around the mall and only managed to explore half the neighbourhoods. WOWSER. I bought a lot of clothing for Ollie. T's for $4 each. PJ's for $10 each. Pretty impressive shopping.

Monday was the first day of our course. After the course we headed straight out to the Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale. If you are ever in Phoenix, go to this mall. It is AMAZING! I managed to spend a small fortune in Gap and the Disney Store, but still only managed to see about 1/5 of the mall.

Tuesday was the second and last day of our course. We finished up an hour earlier than expected and headed straight back out to the Scottsdale mall again. I was determined to at least explore another floor. Managed to spend another small fortune in a few clothing stores for all the family. Lots of variety. Lots of fun.

We managed to spend the Wednesday sightseeing. First a visit to the local zoo, followed by getting lost going to a fabric store before heading downtown to check out Chase Field and a few other sights in the city.

Sleeping bear at the Zoo.

Inside TGI Friday's at Chase Field. Very impressive stadium. (Use the tractor to gauge the size of the stadium in the diamond.)

The local Catholic Basillica. Just as beautiful inside as outside.

and the Children's Mueseum of Phoenix. Unfortunately it was closed :(.

I have got to say that for the parts of the city we saw, it was very clean, safe and tidy. But downtown Phoenix was a ghost town. We were the only people it seemed walking around the city.

We left the States on Wednesday night arriving home midday on Friday. I was very pleased to be home. I missed the boys and the DP A LOT!! But I definitely want to go back to America in the very near future.


  1. Glad you had a great trip. It is always interesting to see familiar sites through another person's eyes.

  2. Sounds like you had a fabulous time Lara and certainly made the most of your free time. Shopping is great over there isn't it!!


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