A Tourist Destination

While February found us exploring southern Arizona, March had us meandering around the Phoenix valley.  Phoenix, Arizona, has become a regular stomping ground for hubby and me ever since our son moved here five years ago.


approaching the Superstition Mountains located on the far southeast side of the valley

Phoenix AZOver the past five years, Al and I have taken advantage of our visits by exploring all corners of picturesque Maricopa County.  As an RV’er, we’ve found this area to be one of the most RV friendliest of places giving us oodles of parking options.

Not into RVing?  That’s ok as the lodging options are endless in that arena as well; from quaint Bed & Breakfast’s to Mega Resorts and everything in between.

Superstition Mountains

Spring in the desert

Maricopa County wants you to visit.  It’s a tourist destination.  Whether you spend a long weekend or spend the entire winter, all visitors are greeted with open arms and offered amenities for just about anyone’s personal interests and taste.  And with nine months of beautiful weather and plenty of sunshine, it’s no wonder northerners flock here during the winter months.

Speaking from experience; June, July, and August can be uncomfortably hot making it near impossible to engage in any outdoor activities.  This is the desert after all.

Arizona hiking trails

hiking near Phoenix during spring time

Spring TrainingThere’s no shortage of beautiful Golf Courses, wonderful hiking trails, or delicious restaurants.  Then there’s the various festivals, music venues, and sporting events.  This past February, Phoenix even hosted the Super Bowl.

Folks that enjoy baseball usually plan a vacation to Arizona in March to take in a Spring Training game.  The Cactus League is big business around here.

With only so many hours in a day, hubby and I picked our priorities for the month of March.  Hiking, socializing, and festivals seem to top our agenda.  Since I’ve already posted on some of the hiking we’ve done around Phoenix, I’ll focus on the socializing today.


We enjoy happy hour over at Mike and Linda’s of “Bear Tracks Blog”. Mike fixes cocktails while I prepare nachos.

We reconnected with some old friends and met new ones along the way.  New friendships were forged with fellow bloggers.  As bloggers following each other on the internet, we seem to know a lot about one another but rarely meet in person.  It’s always an entertaining time though when we do connect face to face.

Since Phoenix is such a great place to live AND visit, it’s not uncommon for one to live here full-time, part-time (like me), or sometime meaning there’s always another blogger in the vicinity.  So if you visit Phoenix, be sure to put it out on your blog – if you’re into socializing that is.  You never know who will reach out to you and say, “Hey, I’m in the area.  Interested in meeting?”

Phoenix ArizonaThat said, it’s easy for two strangers to quickly become new friends.

A one hour coffee date turned into a three-hour chat fest with Nancy over at Two Trails One Road.  We could have easily moved from coffee onto cocktails as we got to know one another beyond our blogs, but alas obligations had us bidding farewell to each other.

We were so engrossed in our visit, that neither one of us remembered to take a photo.  Oh well next time, as I am sure there will be a next time.

Another morning I headed off to a Fine Arts Festival in the town of Carefree; a community on the far north side of the Phoenix valley.  This was my second time attending a festival in this lovely community.  The first time was with fellow blogger LuAnn and involved chocolate.

Carefree Festivals

Al and Mary from Tales from the Backroad

art festivals

Me and Mary in front of her stunning photography

No chocolate involved this time, but meeting this artistic couple was right up there.  Mary and Al are a couple of VERY talented people.

Mary writes a blog over at Tales from the Backroad.

Not only was it great meeting Mary and Al, I loved seeing their art work.  Did I already mention how incredibly talented these two are?  Impressive!  I hope to run into them boondocking in the desert next season.

The communities of Carefree, Cave Creek, and old town Scottsdale are known for their art galleries, unique one of a kind shopping venues, art walks, and festivals.  It almost makes me want a house again.  I’ve always appreciated the arts and find people’s talents almost mind-boggling.  I’m amazed by the vision of an artist and awed by the wonderful sculptures and paintings one creates.

If fine art isn’t your thing, stay tuned for a little rough and tumble type of Expo we attended.  No arts or crafts involved…. it’s a guy thing!arts and crafts festivalsI’ve managed to do a bunch of previous posts on Phoenix, Arizona.  For another post with some different info, click here.  AND if you’d like to meet a lot of bloggers all in one place, consider attending the WordPress Event being held in Phoenix on April 18th.  Click here for more info on Press Publish.

Kiera Grace Family 10 Openning Collage Frame, 14.5 by 28.5-Inch, With 4 5 by 7-Inch and 6 4 by 6-Inch, Black
Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 Small Paintings: Pick up the skills * Put on the paint * Hang up your art


63 thoughts on “A Tourist Destination

  1. You look like you’re having so much fun! Browsing art galleries, garden shops, and craft fairs always makes me long for our house, too — I love decorating and gardening almost as much as I love traveling. 🙂

    • All that shopping – and I’ve been able to spend someone else’s money. I’ve been working on son’s home and having fun playing decorator BUT come the end of the month, I’ll be more than ready to get our wheels rolling again…. then in the fall, I’ll continue with more projects 🙂

  2. With Joe’s doctors being here in Tucson, we spend more time that we would like to here. We were just discussing today how we need to explore Phoenix…maybe next winter?

    • There’s so many great county parks to camp and awesome hiking trails, that I highly recommend spending more time around the Phoenix area. Traffic can get crazy around rush hour though 🙂

  3. My my, you had been a social butterfly! in the desert no less…
    I sure hope you can attend the WP event this time around that you are still in Phoenix. Then share your experiences and new friends you met.

    • WP seems to hold this event here yearly, thus I’m taking a pass on attending this year. I’ve been busy remodeling and decorating son’s home and having tons of fun.

  4. Great photos as always, Ingrid. Like Sue, I’m also glad it wasn’t me perched on that prickly cactus. 😯 Mary’s photography is really fabulous, Love the nachos and cocktails idea. 🙂

    • The blogging platform really degrades our photos thus seeing Mary’s photos in person and blown up was a treat…. beautiful. Nachos and drinks are always a fun time!

  5. What fun to be meeting bloggers in person! Since I also follow Nancy I feel like I had some sort of ‘virtual’ stake in your meeting – photo for sure next time please.

  6. I have lots of great memories from my years living in Phoenix. Next winter at some point I plan to get down there so hopefully we can connect again Ingrid and make a few memories of our own. Safe travels to you two. 🙂

  7. Your photos as always Ingrid are superb. The mountains with the desert flowers are fabulous and the first photo with the road leading out such wonderful composition. I’m glad not to be the wee bird perched on the cactus! Ouch! 🙂

    • You have no idea how much I needed to contain myself from standing in the middle of the road while composing that first shot. Unfortunately I never knew when a car would come over the hill, thus best to stand on the side or your nursing skills might have been needed.
      I love watching the various birds and their relationships with the cactus!

    • I almost used that as a title “boys and their toys”. I’m sure there’s a post in there somewhere. Safe travels to you. Son’s house is looking good, but I’m feeling the effects of my laboring 😉

  8. I love the majestic mountains you captured, Ingrid! A new rising baseball game star. 😀 Is it hot in the mid of May? Some years ago, I visited Phoenix in Sept, it was at around 112 F… The sunset shot is spectacular!

    • Yes, May and Sept can get pretty hot midday. The last couple of years have been unusually warm around here, but then again, it’s been strange weather everywhere.
      Spring training has been hard work as you can tell 😆

  9. Great post of all that this area has to offer. I am so glad we were there to see the desert floor bloom. Your gorgeous photo of the yellow carpet made me smile:) How nice that you got to meet up with Mary and Al at the art festival. Love that beautiful sunset:)

    • The saguaros have started blooming at the Botanical Garden. I’m hoping to see them bloom in the wild as well. Such a unique sight. Love the desert in the spring when she’s blooming 🙂

  10. It was so fun meeting you. I love being able to meet my invisible friends. LOL I sure wish we were still down there, are you seeing the saguaros bloom yet?

    • The saguaros started blooming at the Botanical Garden but I haven’t seen them out in the wild bloom yet. I’m watching. We’ll be here until the end of the month. The hot weather moved on leaving us with near perfect temps. I know by May 1st the heat will return and will push us north.
      Look forward to seeing you next season 🙂

  11. What a stunning landscape Maricopa County has to offer. The flower field and mountains in right up my alley:) I can understand you RVers flock down there:)

    • The Canadians are always the first northerners to show up for the season. Some are RV’ers and others rent or own homes. Phoenix is a great place to spend the winter when snow is no longer of interest 🙂

  12. I have a feeling you have driven up to Jerome…We were there in the 80’s, and for sure it has changed..but the fact that it hangs on the side of a mountain hasn’t..Den’s aunt and uncle had a home in Sedona for a couple years..That is a beautiful place, but has gotten TOO touristy for me..Heck fire, we couldn’t afford the taxes on a home there..!!!Looks like you are having a great time!!!

    • Yep, we’ve done Jerome, Cottonwood, Sedona, Prescott but could always return for a little more exploration. Quite often one visit isn’t enough to discover all the unique aspects of a location, especially in interesting places like Jerome.
      Afford the taxes you say? Did you know it only costs $7,000 a year in property taxes on a $900,000 home in Sedona? A far cry from the outrageous taxes in Illinois. I was paying that amount in taxes in the ’80’s on our Hinsdale home. Since we left IL we’ve never paid more than 1% on property taxes – i.e. home value $200,000 = $2,000 in taxes. IL is the worst!

    • It’s taken lots of visits for me to really come to embrace Phoenix. I guess you could say the place has grown on me and feels like home. Of course, having our son live here might have something to do with that but there really is a lot to see and do in this sprawling city.

  13. Ingrid – looks like you are continuing to have fun. I love visiting the west and southwest through your blog. it’s wonderful to follow your travels and see the beauty of the landscape as well as learn about the people you meet who enrich your travels. Phoenix sounds like a great place to visit. Maybe someday, I’ll get my kicks on Route 66, or some other road. Until, then I ma counting on you. Have a wonderful week.

    • Thanks Clay…. I will do my best to share the west and all her beauty with my Midwestern friends. We’ve got a busy summer planned 🙂

  14. You two have had a winter full of fun. One of the greatest things about this way of living is meeting up with new and old friends. We all have so much in common but are all so different. Paul and I are so glad we were blessed to spend an afternoon with you two. I hope we meet up again very soon.

    Enjoy your adventure and be safe!

    • Thank you Marsha. We’ve been keeping busy. It was our pleasure to finally meet you two. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again, probably in Texas.

  15. Love that sunset shot and I was hoping to see a pic of you and Nancy…too much fun can do that to you 😉 I am prodding DH to get us back there to visit fam before it gets too hot and the flowers all go away.

  16. Some of the nicest people we have met on the road are fellow bloggers. You are right, when you finally meet someone in person you feel like you know them already and quickly become friends. The interesting thing about friends on the road is that you can see each other once or twice a year and pick up right where you left off.

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