Day One – May 2012

We finally got here. The trip was interesting to say the least.

Got to the airport at “oh-dark-thirty” (thanks Bri for the ride), decided to check our luggage curbside but found out they had a plane change and therefore the exit row seats we paid for were no longer our seats. We went inside and on the way to the luggage drop area, we ran into Michon (she went to school with Theresa about a decade or so ago). Turns out Michon has worked for Delta for some 30 years and decided she needed a project for the day and we were going to be it.

We finally unscrambled the ticket mess up, got a couple of perks from Michon and on through security.

Have I mentioned how much I am in total admiration of full body scanners? At my age, I’m just glad I’m not the one seeing the images that come through, bet it livens the day for the TSA agents though :).

Next adventure was bumping into our dear friend Scottie at Caribou. From now on, he shall be known as side-show Scottie. Nuf said.

Just about ready to board is not a good time to tell your customers that part of the plane’s ceiling came down and now it was going to take maintenance a couple hours to fix. Great start to our trip. Funny thing was they had an airport lounge literally a couple feet away from the gate, and after that exciting news nothing sounded better than a $25 bloody mary.

Finally it was time to board. They were boarding the plan from the middle door. We got the exit row seats right in front of people that were boarding. I quickly became the welcoming committee for Delta – I guess they wanted me to do a little work for all the perks we got back at the front of the airport.

Two hours late and we are in the air.

Landed in Phoenix. It was a little warm. 94 degrees and sunny of course. Being we were welll behind schedule, our planned day trip to Tuscon was now out of the question. We got our luggage and headed off to get our car. If you haven’t used Enterprise lately, I would recommend them. They have this personal concierge approach to helping their customers and I have to say it was pretty refreshing. Thanks Jenny for helping us out with that one.

Bummed around Scottsdale for what seemed an eternity while we waited for our friends Bri and Brandi to get in from Minneapolis. Of course their flight was delayed because of the weather in Minneapolis. They fianlly arrived, we got their luggage and hit the road.

45 minutes north, we stopped in Anthem, AZ and decided we needed provisions for first thing in the morning. Coffee, a couple micro-brews (actually I had a craving for some good old Oak Creek Nut Brown), snacks and other “essentials”. Then a swing through Taco Bell for a well-balanced, healthy dinner and it was back on the road.

Some 50 miles up the road and another 10 miles to go before our exit, I saw these really pretty lights in my rear view window. I’ve heard about UFO sitings in northern Arizona before but never knew they drove those things that close to the ground. I pulled over to perhaps take a picture and from out of no where, the alien appeared at the passenger window dressed in a highway patrol uniform. Strange. I guess doing 81 in a 65 isn’t recommended. ¬†After a freindly little exchange of information and other assorted small chatter (and a warning to be mindful of the vehicle’s speed), we bid a fond adieu to our new-found friend.

We finally go to the exit, through the Village of Oak Creek, admired all the infrastructure changes they have made to the roadway since we were here last and ultimately found the place we are calling home for the next ten days.

A little relaxing time, a good cigar, one or two of our micro-brews, good friends, my favorite person in the world and pitch black and full of anticipation to wake up and see the views surrounding the place I love most in the world.

Here is the view we got when we woke up today: