Tag Archives: Arizona

The Arizona Hangover

Coming home after a vacation is analogous to hangover.  While you were having fun, you gave little thought of tomorrow.  Then the morning comes and while you are reaching for the aspirin and the Visine, you regret the spirits of the night before.

The time change is only fun when you gain time.  Not when you lose it.  Thus, on the day we left we were on Arizona time all day and got in too late at night to feel rested the next day.  For two days, my house looked like the aftermath of a hurricane sight. Maria (my imaginary maid) has inconveniently taken a sabbatical.  My house is less welcoming to me when it is a disaster.  For days, I had a total disinterest in tidying it up.

It took me all weekend to get that motivation.

So let’s assess the damage of the Arizona hangover:

  • An unkempt house.  An unkempt mom / wife.  All weekend, I looked worse than my living room, which by the way was decorated in luggage that has been opened and rummaged through in a fitful attempt to fish out needed items.  I had to laugh when I thought of my last post.  It was all nostalgic about my desire to return home. 
  • Neglected pets. I think one or both of the hermit crabs did not fare well being on their own for a week.  I am contemplating on whether to conduct a private investigation and subsequent funeral when my son is at school.  The last hermit crab funeral was awful.  I was not ready to face the questions about heaven and God again today.  Maybe he’ll just forget about his little shelled pets. 

Yeah, right.

  • A weary child. For two days, son came home with bloodshot eyes, a head he couldn’t hold upright and a wad of homework that made my stomach flip.  It was all due today.  All of my neglected housework and his schoolwork had to be immediately attended to.  The weekend was a blast. 
  • Mail, mail, mail.  Bills, bills, bills.

So I am finally starting to feel a bit better.  At least his homework is done and my living room is… well livable again.  

Next task for me is to just get caught up on the bills today, go to class and then make a list of all the things I need to do for my school to get myself back on track.  Sounds lovely.

I really adjusted gracefully to the return home.  Can’t you tell?

Despite the Arizona hangover, it was still so worth it.


Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

The Grand Canyon


There is no way that I am skilled enough in my writing abilities to capture the essence of the Grand Canyon.  Prior to our visit, I had hardly thought of it more than just being the biggest hole in the earth and quite frankly, I wanted to go there just to say that I had been there.  After all, it was only about 200 miles away from where we were staying.  It is necessary to go there if you are in Arizona.  As my mother in law says, “It would be like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope”. 

It was awesome.  I loved being there.  Except for being at Sacandaga Lake, it was probably the closest to God that I have ever felt.  

~~As an aside, I am fully aware that these posts make me sound like a total loon, but I haven’t joined a religious cult yet.  I won’t be appearing at your door trying to push off a free bible.  🙂 ~~

Discovery Channel did not do this one justice.  Nothing could.  It was amazing.  I wonder how many people have taken up the study of geology after visiting the canyon. 

It took billions of years to create this majestic place that is unique to any other on the earth.  Standing there, I felt like an insignificant spec in this great universe.  It is similar to the way that I feel when I stare into the sky on a starry night gazing up into the heavens. 

It is the feeling of being so small in a place so large that feels a bit like an out-of-body experience for me.  It reinforces the connection to something larger and the connection that we have with each other.  It is in this way that I patch together a religion all my own.

In the middle of hoards of people, I looked over and caught my husband’s eye.  Oblivious to those around us and without a word, he told me that he was feeling the same way.

This beautiful introspection was ripped from us as a storm blew in and we were pelted with sleet and snow.  Here we were in Arizona and finally I was receiving the snow I had prayed for all winter in New York. 

As we ran for shelter from these blustery, wet winds, we couldn’t help but laugh. 

God has a wicked sense of humor.

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The unexpected beauty found in Sedona, Arizona

On day three of my Arizona visit we headed to Sedona.  It is about an hour or so to drive there from my in-law’s home in Phoenix.  We were promised red mountains and so we all anxiously awaited the view of them.  Postcards and Google pictures simply cannot prepare you for the site of these mountains when you are able to see them personally.  They are spectacular.  This is what I thought all of Arizona would look like before I came here.  These red mountains look to me like enormous, colorful, inverted icicles that are jutting from the earth.  I found myself thinking of Radiator Springs.  If any of you have watched the movie “Cars” then you understand the reference.

Once in the town of Sedona, I am immediately reminded of Lake George, New York.  Lake George is a seasonally popular tourist town that has a tourist strip on one side of the lake.  While there wasn’t a body of water close by, the similarities between the places were quite remarkable considering how far apart these two places are geographically. 

There were some distinctions, naturally.  The very first


place we visited had to be one of the coolest shops I had ever visited.  It had rugs made of the hides of animals such as cows and caribou.  Caribou!  It had the most exquisite leather goods such as purses, wallets and belts made by the local American Indians.  We were greeted by a woman of modest proportions and this only exaggerated her large firearm that was holstered at her hip. 

So that is a little different.

She reminded me a lot of my Aunt Sherry.  I could see my Aunt running this store, working with the local American Indians to showcase and sell their leather wares and jewelry while painting the landscape on her easel in the back – all the while having her “cowboy gun” (as she calls her revolver) strapped to her hip in the same fashion.

I am reading a book called “The Lovely Bones”.  It is a remarkably disturbing book, but there is something beautiful about it.  What makes it beautiful is the view that the dead have on our lives here on earth.  The way that they can see us and feel what we are feeling but can have limited influence on our lives.

I lost my Uncle a few months ago.  Sometimes, I feel that he is with me.  Reading this book is enhancing that feeling.  When I was in Sedona, I felt as though he was walking beside me, pointing my attention here and there.  As if we were seeing this place together for the first time.  In that way, I stood before a shop window admiring the revolvers thinking of him when I spotted a knife.  Not really a knife, but something that represented an arrowhead strapped to a bone of an animal with a leather tie.  It was beautiful.  I was overwhelmed with the desire to buy this for Uncle Don this Christmas.  It was then that I realized he didn’t need it because wherever he was now he could touch and admire these beautiful things at any time he felt like it.  I felt as though he was saying that to me, so I wouldn’t be sad.  My son came up to me at that moment and said, “Uncle Don would have liked it here.”  If I could have spoken at that moment, I would have told him, “Baby, he is already here.”

As we walked down the strip I admired the motorcycles where the people drove without helmets – it is not a law here to wear them as it is in New York – I felt very much at peace. 

Sedona is not a place to live.  It is so remote it is like being on another planet and that makes the people there seem peculiar to me.  However, it is my hope that Aunt Sherry finds her way here one day when she is ready.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. 


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The Phoenix Zoo

As soon as we landed in Arizona, we were all so excited to see each other.  We sat down and started to plan our visit – which of course partially revolved around entertaining my 5 year old son.  My mother in law saw some advertisements on TV for the Phoenix Zoo.  She said it looked really nice.  Parents and grandparents will do just about anything to provide their children with a magical, once in a lifetime experience. 

So on our first full day here we all packed up and headed over.  We paid the entrance fee of 16 dollars for each adult and 12 for the child and we were on our way.  Let the magic begin.

First stop – bathrooms.

While at the bathrooms my son spotted a tree house play area that he wanted to go to.  I looked at the map and told him that we would circle the zoo and land at the tree house so that he could play there in the end.

This was the coolest zoo I had ever been too.  It had every single kind of animal that I could think of.  I had never seen a rhinoceros or an orangutan before.  It was a very warm day – about 90 degrees and most of the larger animals such as the tigers and lions were sleeping.  The zoo was really great.  It was so clean and it was huge.  So huge that we had to walk everywhere and so we became tired quickly.

No matter what exotic animal we saw it could not top the idea of the tree house.  My son began rushing through each animal exhibit so that we could get to the tree house quicker.  Half way through the zoo tour I joined the chorus of the other parents scolding their children for complaining that they were “too hot”, “thirsty”, and “tired”.  I made eye contact with another mom doing the same and we both had a laugh. 

The monkeys were the featured show that my son wanted to see more than anything.  So after our camel ride, we headed toward the monkeys.  Then, there appeared a water park for the kids with cavernous hiding places, a waterfall and kids having a blast. 

After spending close to an hour in the water park we did see the monkeys and the elephant as well.  We ended our tour as promised at the tree house where kids played happily and the parents watched contentedly in the shade.

Our last spot was the souvenir shop where we bought my son a metal “zookeeper” badge. 

On the way home, I asked him what his favorite part of the zoo was.  He said that he liked his badge the best.  We all laughed.

This just emphasized what each of us knew all along.  If you want your kid to have a magical time, all you really needs is a hose, a few other kids and maybe a pretend badge.

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Not blogging as a student this week

I have to be honest with you.  I have no real intentions of doing anything this week that will help me with my studies.

I am in Arizona for the first time in my life and well, I am enjoying it. 

I have made my peace with it and so must you.    If you are looking for a blog about any scholastic endeavors – check back next week when I am back to the grind and am suicidal for having neglected my studies.  I may need your support.

For this week, I am going to blog about my trip because so far it is pretty cool. 

We arrived on Wednesday.  It was basically a lost day.  That is because I have a problem flying.  My ears bother me and I have yet to fly without having a spastic crying fit because of the intense pain in my ears that occurs during the decent.  It is great fun to be the circus freak of the airliner. The way I cope with this is a dedicated and diligent attention to drinking.  So the drinking coupled with the time change made me quite pooped when we got here.  No amount of awe for my surroundings could chase away the fatigue. My son and I were asleep before 7:00 local time. 

A friend of mine told me that landing in Arizona would feel a lot like landing on the moon.  Boy was she right.  The landscape is so incredibly different what I am used to in the lush, green, upstate New York.  It is really cool though.  Everything is so pretty in the various shades of brown, gray and intense red, broken up by highways, cactuses and palm trees. 

We are staying with my in-laws.  Actually, they are the ones that paid for us to come here which, I think was really pretty awesome of them.  They have a pool.  It has been 90 degrees each day since we got here.  The pool is about 69 degrees.  They say it is too cold to swim.  They are trying to explain this to my 5-year-old son.  Good luck.  I can’t quite understand it myself.  I think the desert sun has fried their sense of temperature.  Dry heat – my hind foot.  90 degrees is 90 degrees and I don’t care if you are in NY or on the moon that means pool time. 

I will work them down.  We didn’t bring out swim trunks on a trip for thousands of miles without giving them what they came for.  If we are rushed to the emergency room for 90 degree hypothermia I will definitely blog about it.  I plan to endeavor this treacherous risk very soon. 

I love to live on the edge – but not more than I love to do the opposite of what my elders tell me to do.  Some things never change.


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What a slacker!

This slacker has landed in Phoenix yesterday.  Thankfully, I was able to finish one group project in school before I left. 

I have big plans to blog and to finish my two papers while I am here. 

It is 90 degrees here now. 

Any bets on how much I get done while I am here? 

<<<evil grin>>>


Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind