Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Arizona Vacation

Anders, Kirsti and Christian
I think everyone should have the opportunity to see the Grand Canyon of Arizona once in their lives.  It is pretty darn amazing.  And very beautiful and awe inspiring as well.

My family had a great Spring vacation to Arizona and sent me these photos to document it.

Here is Anders posing with some creosote bushes, a mighty saguaro, and some assorted ocotillo and cholla cacti.  Saguaro (sa-wa-row) cactus grows only in the Sonora desert, which encompasses parts of Southern California, and most of Arizona down into northern Mexico.

Saguaro cacti are endangered, so it's illegal to harm or destroy one.  They provide food, shelter and water for many inhabitants of the desert.

Christian, looking like a lost Blues Brother,  found the prickly Saguaro interesting.

Even in black and white, the grand canyon is spectacular!

Once they traveled down south to the Phoenix area, the kids headed off to some baseball games.

In Phoenix, the Diamondbacks baseball team provide lots of fun entertainment.

Christian, Kirsti and Anders at the game.

Traveling further south from Phoenix down to Tucson, there are a lot of fun attractions.  Old Tucson, west of the City of Tucson, was a famous movie location back in the day.  John Wayne, Gene Autry and other western film greats filmed most of their movies here.  The popular 1970s TV show High Chaparral was also filmed here.  Although a fire destroyed many of the older buildings some years ago, it's still a very fun place to visit, where stuntmen re-enact movie-style shoot-outs in the streets for entertainment.  You can even ride in a real stagecoach!

There are other tourist attractions in the area, as well.  The Arizona-Sonora Desert museum is one of my all-time favorite places in the whole world.  It is a 98-acre museum and zoo 12 miles west of Tucson, and practically across the road from the "Old Tucson" studios park.  If you are ever in the Arizona desert, I suggest you visit these fun attractions!  They are fascinating places, and educational. Also, Kitt Peak national observatory is fairly close by.  It's well worth the trip through the desert to see the huge telescopes there.  There are daily tours of the facility for visitors.  (I'm sure all these places have websites with far more information than I can provide here.)

April is the perfect time to visit Arizona.  Once the heat sets in... well, it's not so much fun when the temperatures hit 115 degrees F, or it soars up to 117 and beyond and you have to use oven mitts to hold the steering wheel of your car!  That's why I no longer live in Phoenix... but that's a story for another day!

Of course, no trip to the desert would be complete without some water sports! 

Looks inviting, doesn't it?

Cannon ball!

- photos courtesy J.D. Evensen

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