Living in Arizona: Canyon Lake

It’s late March.

The 90-degree weather is making its way to us early. We’re supposed to hit 90 today!! Check it out…

A day such as this makes me think of Canyon Lake…a picturesque escape just over half-an-hour away from us, where clear and cold lake water is surrounded by glorious mountains on all sides, where watersports and camping are nearby, and fishing and swimming are just steps away from picnic grounds.

A picnic trip to Canyon Lake…that sounds so good right now.

Here are some pics from our last visit to Canyon Lake, back in August of last year.

The drive to get there takes you through dizzying zig-zaggy mountains, but quite worth the trouble once you get there.

Bring some lunch–and a camera–you wouldn’t want to miss Canyon Lake’s gorgeous views.

Not to mention some poignant moments between father and son + mother and son, too!

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Getting High Off the Cool Weather

Living in Arizona (at least, in the East Valley parts) means there is only so much cold weather you can enjoy–and endure–during the year.

For me, enjoying the weather during this time of the year would mean basking in the cool warmth of sunshine temperatures in the daytime ranging from the low-60’s to the upper 70’s. The Weather Channel says we would get that perfection come tomorrow (and the day after that, and then after, and then after…)

The past four days, however, have been more endurable than enjoyable, with clouds over our heads, and daytime temperatures only reaching the mid-50’s.

That’s COLD for Arizonans!

And it’s definitely COLD for me!!!

I like warmth, being under the covers, and snuggling in layers and layers of blankets and throws.

This is a sticky point for my husband and I, because for someone who self-proclaims as loving the Arizona HEAT, I think he indulges a little too much in the abnormal coolness of this weather. He tries to get away with going out in shorts, and–this I will never get–opens half the windows in the house so he can let the cool air in.

“It feels GREAT!”, he says.

Of course, I roll my eyes at him and blatantly protest.

“It’s TOO COLD!!!”, I say, and ask him to close back the windows.

He protests back. And brings our son into it.

Miggz, after all, takes after him body-temperature-wise. The little one profusely sweats when bundled up, and even in 60’s weather, we have to turn the fans on in the bedroom, lest risk waking up to a head-soaked pillow come morning’s time.

I make sure the boy has long-sleeves shirt, sweat pants, and socks on INSIDE the house. I see eyes roll at me from the man.

I give up on this battle and go upstairs to our room, light some candles–for the sheer enjoyment of heat given off, and, okay, the aromatherapy–put on a warm sweater, and go partly under the covers with book on hand, determined to study.

I quickly lose the motivation and blow out the candles.

I fall asleep instead.

The boys come up a couple of hours later and snuggle up to me. They linger for a few moments and bask in the heat-infused comfort that is our bed. I savor in the quiet moment and enjoy their cool embrace. I kiss the little one, and I hold the big one’s hand.

And then the little boy decides it’s time to play hide-and-seek under the pillows, and the energy that is his little body rocks the entire bed awake.

The window-opening. The protesting. The eye-rolling. I know all is forgiven.

I then go downstairs to a warm house, candles lit in the kitchen for the sheer enjoyment of heat given off, and, okay, the aromatherapy.

This is how I get high off this cool weather.

Year One in Arizona

It’s official. We’ve been in Arizona now for exactly one year today.

This grand state has SO MUCH to love–as we’ve discovered this past year–and it can easily take us a lifetime to explore the vastness and richness of what this state has to offer.

For starters, did you know that although Arizona is famous for its year-round sunny weather and desert climate (yup…absolutely no sticky-humid weather here!), the upper half of the state (reachable by a mere three hours drive from us) is actually comprised of pine mountains and enjoys milder versions of the four seasons? Yup. We get winter here too. And gorgeous winters at that! In mid-march of this year, my sister and hubby drove up to SnowBowl and hit the slopes on their snowboards on pure powder. And then in April, we were at the Grand Canyon and were pleasantly surprised by the snow-capped trees and mountainsides.

Summer in our parts is, well, summer in all its scorching glory. I call it the season of THE OVEN…because it really gets oven-temperature hot here in the months of June-July-August. I’ve read somewhere that living in Arizona through its summers is likened to having a child: you live through a few months of pain in exchange for a lifetime of beautiful climate. So true!

I didn’t want this post to be just about the weather, but here are some interesting links I’ve come across to describe the kinds of things we experience here either all-year round, or just in the summer:

Besides the weather, there’s just an abundance of natural beauty in Arizona. We all know about Grand Canyon and Sedona (been there and will go there again!) But there’s also a whole lot of other canyons, forests, state parks and monuments to visit. Canyon Lake and Fossil Creek come to mind for summer-worthy adventures. We have not been to either, but are looking forward to taking Miggz there one of these days.

Last Fall, we’ve done two Arizona-y things I hope we get to do again every year as a tradition: go to the Arizona State Fair and take Miggz to the pumpkin patch.

All year round, I look forward to going to these museums for free, courtesy of my Mesa Library Card coupled with a Culture Pass:

There’s not much amusement parks around us, nothing that will compare to Orlando or Anaheim. What we do have is an abundance of culture and nature waiting to be explored pretty much all-year round. And I cannot wait to experience these places with Miggz in the years to come =)

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