For the last few years, our holiday pattern has been the same. Just after Christmas, we look at the BA website to see which North American city near a National Park we can reach on air miles. In 2009, the answer was Phoenix. I had wanted to see the Grand Canyon for years but was afraid of the climate: my peely-wally Scottish skin burns in the sun and I wilt in the heat. However, as I get older, I have learned to take the view that if I want to see wonderful places I have to put up with the inconveniences, so we booked. Once the destination is decided, two or three enjoyable weeks of route planning and booking accommodation follow, then we forget about it till we get there and it all comes as a lovely surprise.
We only had one day in Phoenix but packed in two major sights. Because we’d just arrived the night before we were jet-lagged and woke up early enough to get to the Desert Botanical Garden when it was “cooler”, not long after it opened at 7am. It’s a fabulous place with more than 20,000 desert plants from around the world. We then crossed town on the METRO to the Heard Museum of Native American art and culture. We enjoyed the exhibitions – and were especially pleased to fortify ourselves when we arrived with lunch in their amazing cafe. I would get quite fed up with South West cooking by the end of the holiday, but this was the first, and very classy, example.
Below are a few more shots from the Botanical Garden.