Husband had some training that took him away from Alaska for the month of January. There was no way I was going to spend an entire month by myself in the Alaska interior in the middle of winter so I booked a ticket to Arizona under the guise of visiting my brother and sister-in-law. Truth be told, I just wanted warmth, sunshine, and great Mexican food. Just kidding - kind of. I chose the right week to get out of Alaska. While I was gone, temperatures hit -47*F (-44*C). I am already making plans to visit again next winter. My plan is to stay longer, maybe 3 or 4 months longer.
The one thing I really wanted was a picture of me next to a cactus. We went to a nearby park in order to get the perfect picture. We also did a hike in the park. The trail was rocky and since we hadn't planned on doing any real hiking, we were in our flip-flops. Not the best choice for footwear. The hike was worth it though. We were rewarded with gorgeous views at the top.
This is what most of the trail looked like. Not very conducive to walking in flip-flops.
At another location, we were able to pick lemons and oranges. In case you are wondering, you can take 3 pounds of lemons in your carry on suitcase and nobody will bat an eye as you go through security.
It wasn't quite as warm as I hoped it would be. I wanted it to be in the 80sF (20sC), but it was warmer than Alaska so I was happy. It was even warm enough one day for a bit of swimming.
My brother is in his second semester of med school so he had to study most of the week. That meant that my sister-in-law and I got to spend a TON of time together. It's a good thing we get along. We shopped a lot. I am not really a shopper, but since there aren't many stores where we live, I was super excited to go into any store we passed by. I took an almost empty suitcase down with me on the trip just in case. It was about half full when I returned. We ate some wonderful food. They introduced me to the Shake Shack, and I introduced them to Chipotle. I relearned the game Qwirkle and beat my sister-in-law by 2 points (#sorrynotsorry).