Monday, June 30, 2008

Off to Arizona!

But first, we had to check on our cars... sure enough, there was a tow notice on the Fat Kiwi. We had to call AAA to jump-start it, and found somewhere in South San Francisco to park it. I really hope it's OK, since Brendan realised later that he'd probably left his cellphone on the dashboard in plain view, in a slightly dingy area of town. At the airport, there was a huge line. We only just made our plane by one minute! And my expensive sunscreen was forgotten in Brendan's backpack when we checked in, and hence trashed due to US airline safety regulations. Sadness. The TSA agent didn't really want to throw it out, either.

Stepping out of the air-conditioned airport and onto Arizona soil was like walking into a hairdryer on full blast. 41 degrees C! We were very grateful for the car's air conditioning.

Maybe this picture will convey some of the heat....

The rental car happened to be a knock-off of a Chrysler PT Cruiser, which in our view is one of the ugliest cars imaginable. It was rather ironic! At least it didn't have wooden veneer panelling on the outside....

First stop, Baskin Robbins. Purpose: to eat the largest, most calorific milkshakes in America. Brendan and I had a competition to see if we could eat it all. (Videos were taken....) Brendan had the Heath Bar Shake, and I had the Chocolate Oreo Shake.

Everything was going fine, until about 2 hours later.... I was pretty sick, in the mall. So much that store assistants asked me if I was OK. Brendan thinks it's hilarious. It was... for him. Although he was nice enough to buy me bread to eat, but I was too sick to eat it. Luckily I eventually felt better.

Second stop, find sunhats. You really need them when you go outside for any length of time in Arizona. We couldn't find any suitable shops. So we headed to the largest mall in Arizona, Scottsdale's Fashion Square. It was reasonably small by California standards, I thought. Probably around the size of San Jose's Valley Fair. It had a nice fountain. It's apparently one of the largest in the SouthWest of America, but Brendan and I weren't that impressed. We have "mall-bias". Or something. Maybe we just didn't see all of it.

Finally, we headed up to Tempe to visit a friend, Kristin, from New Zealand. It was great to see her and her partner, Gene, and to hang out with them for an evening at their house in Phoenix. They're both very interesting and talented people, and we had a great time. They've just returned from Wellington, where Kristin was teaching at uni, so it was nice to talk about familiar things.

They also had a lovely pool, an absolute must over here in the heat! We went swimming....

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