Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goodbye, Phoenix; see you around, America.

Phoenix airport. After five p.m. From experience I know that it's the heat of the day out there. Around 40 deg C., which is 104 F. We've experienced worse during this trip. But how would I know what it's like outside -- I'm the privileged user of the BA Executive Lounge, and it's freezing in here, according to my standards... I'm wearing a thick sweatshirt, for Heavens' sake. Outside, the land is flat and boring, surrounded by mountains. Mountains are pretty. When I get home I'll post some pics of pretty mountains for you.

This morning we returned our RV to the CruiseAmerica offices. Having heard horror stories about customers penalized severely for leaving some cookie crumbs lying around, I scrubbed the interior of the vehicle more thoroughly than I ever scrub my own home. I had a container of antiseptic wipes and another of window-and-other-shiny-surfaces no-streaks wipes. And a mop and what-not. But the only guy on duty, Scott, didn't seem impressed with my hard work; all he was interested in was reading the meters and gauges -- how many miles we'd done, how many generator hours we'd used.

We had to check out of the hotel by 2 p.m., the drive to the airport was short, our flight doesn't leave for hours, so we're very luck to have the use of this Lounge: a fully stocked bar and lots of delicious munchies. Free WiFi. Comfortable desk and office chair. Not half bad.

My one disappointment was that there are no proper Duty Free shops! I could hardly believe my eyes, and mentioned it to Shira (on Google Chat, she being in Toronto as we speak.)

- "Yes, duty free in Israel is way better than it is in many places," said Shira. "Often they have different terminals for domestic/international flights, so you'd think the international terminal would have duty free. Which airport did you say this is?"
- "Phoenix, AZ.," I reply. "I'm spoiled -- used to TLV and LHR."
- "Ha ha," responds my daughter,  "Yeah, like Phoenix would have anything good to offer."
[Ouch, said Phoenix.] 
- "What do I know about Phoenix???"  says I -- "It's a big city. Huge. I expected it to behave like one."
- "But it's not a major city, it's just big -- there's a difference," elucidates Shira. "There's a big enough population in the States to support many big cities, but it's like Orlando won't have anything but Disney-world to offer. The cool cities are the ones you see in movies."
- "Hmm... interesting point of view," I concede, "haven't thought of it in those terms. You mean there's no good movie about Phoenix?..."
- "Not many, anyway." shrugs Shira, "maybe a football movie or something like that."
- "Is that a wild guess or are they known for their football team, or do they just sound like a city that would have gung-ho football players?... "
- "Wild guess -- what do I know about football? I don't even know if they have a football team."
- "Still, you're probably right..."
- "I usually am," grins my daughter.
And indeed she usually is. She just did some swift googling and has informed me that the Arizona Cardinals are based in Tempe, part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. 
But by now, dear readers, you have probably lost interest, so I shall quit, and go have a few of the cute sandwiches that are being passed around by our gracious BA hostesses. That should sustain me until supper is served aboard our flight. It's a longish flight to London.

The main part of our trip is over, but this blog is not. I have around 150 pages of handwritten notes, and hundreds of photos. There's still plenty I'd like to share with you. Au revoir, chers amis.

- To be continued...

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