Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Journey to the city in the desert...

The day after Christmas we packed our bags and headed off over boulder encrusted mountains into the desert. Our journey to Phoenix was only about 5 and a half hours. Here in cowboy country shooting through the desert at 80 miles an hour is only slightly above the speed limit (it's 75 mph). Every 40 minutes or so Naomi would chime "Are we in Mexico yet?", and we would all explain "We're not going to Mexico".... for the fifteenth time. I could understand her confusion though, we drove along the border most of the way and had to go through 2 or 3 checkpoints with the border patrol.
We visited with family who showed us around the city. Mike's Aunt Jill and Uncle Ray brought us out to the Phoenix zoo.
This is a pond right outside the entrance.





We were a bit under dressed for the weather. Which was chilly and windy and overcast. The last time I came to Phoenix it was during May, and every time I stepped outside the car I thought I was going to catch on fire, it was so hot, so this kind of weather was quite a shock.
Inside the zoo we saw wallabies...



Prairie dogs...







Otters from Africa...



flamingos...





The animals were surprisingly cooperative. They would come over and hold a pose long enough for me to take a picture. It was a little weird. Here's a giraffe coming over to the people viewing....




Then posing and eating....







This is gibbons on an island surrounded by shallow water. I've seen this at other zoos. The monkeys don't know they can swim (or in this case wade) so they stay there.





It was a great zoo for kids with playgrounds in every corner.














My father also took us out. He bought us all tickets to see the Luminaries at the Desert Botanical Gardens.



This was an incredibly beautiful event. The gardens had sculptures and lights-here's Phoebe at the entrance...




Us posing by a giant Indian Head.



A luminous "tree"



Around many corners were various musicians, and bands, and the kids loved climbing into the Indian wigwams and huts set up near the paths.



Phoenix is definitely a nice place to visit this time of year!

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