Jerry and I went to Arizona. We were going to look at some property belonging to Jerry’s brother and to see our Arizona lawyer. I was a little nervous about our destination. I know that there are many guns in Arizona and was not sure what the situation might be at the property. Our friend Paul who had taken care of Jerrry’s brother during several of his illnesses went with us. He too was concerned about who or what we might find at Jerry’s brother’s place in Arizona. Our Washington lawyer went with us also.
We flew to Phoenix from Bellingham on Allegiant Air. The best thing about it was that it was a direct flight. Nothing else was good. The ticket seemed cheap at first, but I discovered that there was a lot more to pay. I had to pay to have seats assigned. I was unable to book without doing this. Some seats cost more than others. I could pay for “expedited” boarding. That is, I could pay to not stand in a long line. Like most people I stood in the long line. Checked bags and bags sized for the overhead bins cost money. Only what fit under the seat was free. Once we got on the plane we discovered that even a drink of water would cost $2. And the seats didn’t recline.
Once in Phoenix we rented a car and immediately got lost. We had directions to our lawyer’s office from the main airport, but it soon dawned on us that we had not flown into the main airport, but to one quite far from the city center. When we picked up the car it was a little past 11 and we just made it to our appointment by 1. The office was in a building of marble and glass and fancy chandeliers.
That night we stayed in a hotel across the street — Embassy Suits. It was expensive, but unlike the airline it had a lot of free stuff. Free parking, free wine and cocktails — no limit, and free breakfast with individually made omelets, cooked by middle aged Mexican ladies. To me this seemed like a better business plan than Allegiant’s– pay more at first, then get unexpected stuff free. Here’s the indoor view from our room’s entrance overlooking the elaborate artificial landscape of the hotel interior.
In the morning we drove through the desert to the property we were to inspect. I like the stark landscape; the bare rock mountains and the scattered huge saguaro cacti.
The weather was unusually cold for Arizona. We had no idea how long dealing with the property would take — we thought possibly several days, but the business was done quickly and without unpleasant incident, all in one day. Then we looked for a place to stay the night. A clean, comfortable motel was recommended and we found it, but the proprietor said he had only one room available.
Paul and our lawyer each needed a room too. We went to the other motel which was terrible. Paul and our lawyer kindly offered to let Jerry and me have the room in the nice place and in return I offered to cook dinner for all of us in the communal kitchen in the nice motel. Here’s where we had lunch.
It was fine, but another meal there would have been redundant. For dinner we had pork chops and onions cooked on the outdoor grill, baked potato and Brussels-sprouts.
Jerry and I had 3 more days until our flight home. The next morning we set out early for San Diego where my sister lives. I wanted to visit her and to visit the church in La Jolla where my mother’s ashes are buried. We had breakfast in El Centro, where we got lost, and lunch in El Cajon on the other side of the mountains where we got lost again. Jerry did all the driving and I was supposed to navigate, but my cataracts are getting worse and I can’t see the signs until we are almost upon them; Jerry’s reaction time is not as fast as it once was. I suddenly shout “turn left” but he is well past the turn when he responds. I think we are a comical old couple in the car, but we get frazzled and nervous. The drive lasted about 6 hours and took us through some alien scenery.
People drive all over these starkly beautiful dunes on 4 wheelers, leaving ugly tracks and disturbing the fragile ecosystem. Why?
After the desert were cotton fields.
We dawdled a bit over lunch and arrived in the early afternoon, visited with my sister for a little while and then got a hotel in La Jolla. It was colder than usual in the entire west that week, and the room was difficult to keep warm, but it was in the center of La Jolla, the richest place in the country, and near the marvelous waterfront. We walked along the length of the marine reserve waterfront in brilliant sunshine. Here are some of the things we saw.
There were hundreds of pelicans.
There were hundreds of seals, and they were in a fighting mood, but needing naps too.
The wildlife on the shore coexisted in peace with the human and canine spectators. And we all watched each other.
Some went into the water for a minute or two (it was about 55 F), and some went for a real look at the underwater world.
I went to church alone where my sister sings in the choir. Jerry doesn’t do church. Before the service I stood outside in the sun on the approximate spot where my mother’s ashes and my step-father’s are buried.
I thought about my elegant, deeply intellectual mother and let a few tears dribble down my face. Later my brother-in-law cooked us a fine roast beef dinner with Yorkshire pudding — he’s a master of Yorkshire pudding. That was always our family’s celebratory dinner.
On Monday we drove back to Phoenix, and of course we got lost. A lot. But eventually we found our hotel and the next morning we flew home on the awful Allegiant. It was a clear day for the flight and we saw some spectacular geology from the air — the Grand Canyon and the chain of volcanoes of the Cascade Mountains. Jerry and I tried to guess which mountain was which, but we were never sure. The pilot never bothered to make any landmark announcements.
It’s good to be home. The poodles were ecstatic to see us. My next trip is a solo trip to Florida to greet a new great granddaughter not quite out yet, and a couple of days in the Dominican Republic to visit my granddaughter in the Peace Corps there.