Arizona? I pictured sweltering sun that melted the soles of my shoes and uhm maybe a few tumble weeds. OK , maybe a lot of tumble weeds. Actually, more tumble weeds than houses, cars, and people. I envisioned myself standing in the sun with one wispy singed afro textured hair strand left on my head beneath the hot 110 °F sun . Well, my imagination always gets the best of me.
Skin and hair
This year I fell in love with Frugally Sustainable’s handmade items on Etsy.com. The seller happens to live in Arizona so my shipment came rather quickly. http://www.etsy.com/shop/FrugallySustainable . Her sunscreen held me down! Proectionprotectionprotection. Her probiotic deodorant is also the truth! It’s a bit pricey but she also has a website which gives ingredients and instructions here http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/11/homemade-probiotic-deodorant-that/ .
My hair was just fine in Arizona. I increased the amount of times I spray my hair with water during the day and made sure to stick to my deep conditioning weekly and my curlies remained healthy and safe under my Havana twists! I ran out of Shea Moisture products for my hair and was happy to find it at my local Walgreens. If you naturally have oily skin, don’t depend on that. My usually oily skin was dry in the moisture leaching atmosphere. A combo of aloe and jojoba oil did wonders for the skin on my face to combat dryness. Speaking of jojoba oil, did you know that jojoba is grows only in the western desert areas of the US and it’s uses were first discovered by Native Americans? I was beyond excited to see a jojoba plant! What what!:)Check out jojoba plants on one of the many outings or hikes in Arizona.
Hikes I loved the best
Papago Park- I hiked a mere 5 minutes in Papago park in a log sundress and was rewarded with a stunning view of downtown phoenix and a cool phone pic of me in said dress in the naturally formed Hole- in -the -Rock.
Grand Canyon- They have different trails here with different levels of difficulty. At the bottom you have the Colorado River in some parts. I say some parts because The Grand Canyon is divided into the North Rim and The South Rim. It’s HUGE and takes careful planning in order to experience the things you would like to. Some trails provide a mule, granted you rent one a year in advance. Also, there is the Havisupai village which, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go to. Havasupai is a Native American village which is only accessible my foot at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. You can have a mule take you belongings down into the village for you and take a helicopter back out if you choose. Enjoy the Havasu and Mooney falls a the bottom and share your pics with us! To be continued Grand Canyon:)FYI, save your entrance ticket as it is good for all national parks in Arizona.
Sedona-Devil’s bridge-4.8 mile is a “easy” hike with an amazing view of of a natural limestone bride. It’s amazing what time and the acid from rain can do to rocks. Did you know limestone is in toothpaste? Thanks Wiki:) I read it’s abrasive texture helps clean teeth. Also, limestone is made up of calcium etc, same as teeth so it helps keep them in tip top shape. Now we know where that sandy gritty texture we taste comes from! Anyone else picture themselves gnawing/cleaning their teeth on a piece of limestone rock like a beaver?? *raises hand.Hike in the early morning hours if you can(not in necessarily in these locations) with plenty of water. Also, I challenge you to hike at night while you’re there,flashlight in tow, it’s a nice break from the sun:)
Biosphere 2- A 1991 experiment was done at the Biosphere 2 in the Tuscon desert of Arizona .8 people were sealed in Biosphere 2, a 3 plus acre replica of earth sealed in glass for 2 years. Why? In the hopes of colonizing mars of course.Some people argue that the experiments were a failure which is akin to arguing that the glass is half empty. No attempt made is a failure in my book.The remnants of the experiment still stand and it is still wildly interesting. You might be a bit underwhelmed with their version of a “beach” and “desert” under the biosphere but like I said, interesting. http://b2science.org/
Dust storms or haboobs http://www.weather.com/glossary/h.html . Imagine blanket of dust descending over everything slowly but steadily. Dust storms are eerily quite since people seek shelter indoors and driving in the midst of one can be dangerous. Haboobs are more intense dust storms. These usually happen during the summer months, the hotter months. June-September. In September , there is cool down in temperature thus less dust storms.
There are many great restaurants in Phoenix, namely The Ethiopian Famous Restaurant and Coffee. However, unique to Phoenix is Frybread, a Native American dish. I guess the closest description I could come up with is a taco elephant ear type fusion. It is either filled with veggies, meat and beans or as dessert topped with only honey. I found the meat and veggie frybread too bland but still good. “ The history behind the frybread is interesting and a bit tragic. Check out The Long Walk and try the Frybread. FYI The Native American presence is seen ,felt and heard in Arizona. A refreshing change for this Jamaican/New Yorker/Floridian.
Check out Drumbeat Indian Arts. Small store full of Native American art and books. https://www.facebook.com/DrumbeatIndianArts
MIM(Musical Instrument Museum http://mim.org/ )-A huge 2 story museum where you are given a headset and get to see and hear the unique instruments played my a person native to that country. 200 hundred countries are represented in the museum. They have a music room where you can sample playing some of the many instruments featured as well as a room with glass partition where you can see employees restoring instruments in a lab. It took me 3 hours to finish this tour. FYI Save your ticket if you can’t complete the tour as you can come back a day during the same week of purchase for half price. Wear flat comfy shoes. Also, they have concerts here often. Check out their lineup.
Check out http://www.phxsoul.com/ for things to do!
Looking for some cool thrift clothing? I hit up 2 Goodwill’s in the Phoenix area, one on 16th street and one on Thomas road and was rewarded at both. I missed going to a “thrift store mall” at 10705 W Peoria Ave Sun City, AZ 85351. It closes early at 4pm and is closed Sundays so make sure to head out early. Don’t stare dejectedly into the darkened windows like I did after missing closing time by five minutes. Other than thrift, stop at African Fashions and More on 931 E Indian School Rd Phoenix, AZ 85014. I got 2 really cute and unique earrings from them.
Downtown Phoenix is bustling like any city with a variety of things to do. Take a break from driving and take the light rail, ground level train, into the downtown area and beyond. The train is very reliable runs every 15 minutes. Here is a helpful map with points of interest at lightrail stops http://phoenix.about.com/library/blmaplightrail01.htm, http://www.valleymetro.org/