Flying into Pheonix Wednesdsay night, rain or virga, reflected the lights of the city sky scape. Unfortunately, it is barely visible in the photo.
Case had meetings to attend and I like tagging along! What's not to like about hanging out at comfortable hotel on the outskirts of Pheonix in the winter?
Conversations around the pool made it plain that many attending this meeting were escaping Midwest & East Coast snow. Kids and adults enjoyed the water slide, forgetting snow and minus 37 degree winter temperatures (yes, I actually overheard that figure!) for a few days. I also heard some Australian kids, here for summer break, reminiscing in the hot tub about their recent visit to Disney World in Florida
A desert river provides cooling scenery for golf courses and a nature trail -- the latter a nice spot for a jog. The river is one of a very few benefits that the Sheraton Hotels provides on a complimentary basis. (Our bill showed a whopping $42/day mandatory bell services "tip" -- not bad pay for opening a taxi door and lifting out a bag, then reversing the process three days later!) Apparently, the Sheraton engineered this feature in memory of the Gila River that once-upon-a-time watered this Pima Indian territory. (The Indians, having lost the flow of water, make do with a flow of money from the hotel and two adjacent casinos... though I did overhear someone saying they were suing New Mexico State and its farmers to get their water back, too!)
This stay provided time to make progress on a rather ambitious counted cross-stitch project.
The hotel property being situated on Pima Indian land, their culture is honored through out the hotel, which also employs many Indians from the tribe.
Following the meetings and some relaxation, Case files our homeward flight plan. (If Case didn't always have a pen or a flashlight to stick in his mouth, maybe he'd be tempted to take up smoking... Pockets, I say!)
The small airport we flew in and out of on this trip has a history for Case and me. Back in 2005, when Case and I were just starting to get to know each other, our mutual friend, Denis, invited us on a Sunday flight here, as he had to come meet someone. I remember escaping the 120 degree heat under this sunshade, chatting, going out to lunch at a local mall, and looking at airplane stuff with the guys. This was our first time back to this spot, a pleasant memory.
Case begins his pre-flight rounds of the airplane. (The real reason he schedules these meetings is to provide an excuse for communing with his toy!)
...we looked back on the resort, where the golf courses and water features stand out against the dry desert.
Looking over Pheonix's suburban sprawl, we glimpsed downtown in the distance.
The small mountain range southwest of Phoenix divides the city...
... from the desert. Maybe this is where the Pima's water went? "The desert shall bloom and blossom" ... well, if not quite as a rose, it's still pretty!