Valley of the SUN

Phoenix Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
Arizona State Capitol Building

I left Springfield at 4:30 this morning.  After getting the frost off my windshield, I had an easy trip across I-55 to St. Louis.  (I guess that's one advantage of living in Springfield).  This is the first time that I will be leaving a car at the airport, but it's going to be just as economical and convenient, if not moreso. I was walking into the airport at about 5 after 6; Dad called me just as I was walking through the garage, to see how I was coming.

I had the easiest check-in ever.  I just walked up to the US Airways counter, checked in, printed my boarding pass, and I was off.  I did not check a bag.  An extra $40 is ridiculous, and since it's just a weekend trip, I can get by with whatever I can fit in my carry-on.  The plane was practically full; I booked my window seat of course.

The dome is constructed of Arizona copper
  A full row, but at least I have my window to fall asleep against.  I only catnapped during the four hour flight, despite my early morning.

I had a sunny welcome to Arizona.  Not too hot, but anything is better than the 36 degrees I left behind.  Right off the bat, we started my tour of Phoenix.  Nadalee and Kim pretty well let me decide where to go.  Which is great considering I have a to-do list.  We started right off by going to the Arizona State Capitol.  I'm a legislative analyst in the Illinois House of Representatives, so I enjoy visiting other legislatures.  Being Saturday, though, the buildings were closed.  It was a really pretty complex.

I thought this appropriate, since I work for the Illinois House of Representatives.
  The dome is made out of Arizona copper.  Also near the Capitol grounds is an anchor of the USS Arizona.  I told Kim and Nadalee I wanted to go here because I'd been to Pearl Harbor and had seen the Arizona Memorial. The real reason... this anchor had been a cluebox location on the Amazing Race.  From there, we went downtown to the Hard Rock Cafe.  We were early, having to wait about 15 minutes before the souvenir shop opened.  I didn't ask to stick around for the meet and greet --one of the "Twilight New Moon" wolf pack members would be there a little later.  All I did was get my pin and then we left. 

We were ready for lunch by this time, so I suggested Chino Bandido, a restaurant I had seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

  Kim and Nadalee had never been, but recognized the address.  We found it in a mini-mall, in a pretty non-descript location.  We were given samples of pork and ginger chicken, Jamaican spicy chicken, and jade red chicken, which is what I ordered in a rice bowl.  It was okay, but I couldn't see the 'wow' factor of the Triple D feature.  However, the complementary snickerdoodle cookie was one of the best cookies I've ever eaten.

Nadalee had to work, but Kim and I spent the afternoon at the zoo.  This was a really hands on zoo experience.  I knew I wanted to feed the giraffes -- which I did and was interesting, standing on a platform and struggling to reach the giraffes.  My arms, nor her neck were quite long enough to make contact.

  I also got to feed the Lori parrots, which turned out to be one of the coolest things I've ever done.  We were there just in time for the three o'clock feeding.  I waited patiently, but none of the birds came to me.  I was disappointed, thinking I may not get to feed them, but a nice man shared his bird with me.  The bird ate the apple piece right from my hand!  We also strolled through the aquarium, where I touched starfish and sea urchins and jellyfish.  I DID NOT enjoy the jellyfish AT ALL.  They felt absolutely disgusting, like wet rubberbands.

One of my requests for my Arizona visit was to go to the desert, so on our way out to her mom's, we stopped in the desert, just at sunset.  It was perfect.  We roamed a little bit, and I picked up a rock to take back home.

I'm about 5'8... and I look like a midget.
  (Yes, seriously, I picked up a rock as a souvenir).

It was so good to see Sherry, Kim and Nadalee's mom, again.  She is just one of the sweetest people you could ever meet.  We visited for a couple hours, and she made us dinner -- heat-it-up lasagna and green beans.  Sherry's the first to admit she's not much of a cook!  I thoroughly enjoyed this time with her.  We left there pretty late, and after a quick stop at the grocery store (I was impressed by the entire aisle of tortillas), we came back to their apartment.  And, I curled up on the couch for the night.  I'd had a long day!

iramalama says:
Sounds like a great trip! Any plans to go back anytime soon?
Posted on: Jan 28, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Arizona State Capitol Building
Arizona State Capitol Building
The dome is constructed of Arizona…
The dome is constructed of Arizon…
I thought this appropriate, since …
I thought this appropriate, since…
Im about 58... and I look like a…
I'm about 5'8... and I look like …
One of the USS Arizona anchors
One of the USS Arizona anchors
Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix
Chino Bandido Takee-Outee... a Chi…
Chino Bandido Takee-Outee... a Ch…
Jade Red Chicken rice bowl
Jade Red Chicken rice bowl
Waiting... waiting... waiting... f…
Waiting... waiting... waiting... …
This nice man was kind enough to s…
This nice man was kind enough to …
The apple nibbled by the lory parr…
The apple nibbled by the lory par…
I did NOT like the feel of stingra…
I did NOT like the feel of stingr…
A lizard, in the desert.
A lizard, in the desert.
An entire aisle of tortillas... he…
An entire aisle of tortillas... h…
2,116 km (1,315 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
Phoenix
photo by: ahtibat17