Megan Visits the Desert, Part II

He writes in this font, she adds to the story in this font.

Sunday: How often do you plan with sincere intentions to wake up early Sunday morning and get after the day? There is something empowering about starting a Sunday off with productivity — maybe it gives the feeling of taking the lead on the week. After all, Sunday is the quintessential lazy day. I don’t know about you all, but I feel absurdly accomplished doing anything productive on that sacred morning of extra sleep-time.

Our plan was to wake early (no later than 6am!) to beat the heat and start the day. We are so optimistic! As we laid in our awesome indoor fort Saturday night, watching a moon that beamed like a spotlight, we calendered the morning hours with hopeful activities: 1. Run (up and at it by 6am); 2. Get ready SUPER fast (7:30am); 3. Take pictures downtown (be snapping by 8am); and 4. Have a delicious breakfast to celebrate the successful completion of our early morning (no time designated).

Well, I won't say that we failed to implement our plan, but we did have to make a few… adjustments. Ringing loudly, my phone’s alarm informed me that it was 7:17am already — so cancel the run. Unexpectedly, it only took four attempts to persuade Megan that there was no time to lose so that she would get ready.  Four attempts sounds about right. I'll admit, being up early in the morning is not my favorite thing.  With a piece of toast to put off hunger, we were out the door and heading downtown by 8:10am.

Looking for places to shoot (and playing tour guide), I showed her my office, where I typically eat downtown, and the way I drive to work. None of that was exciting (or picture-worthy) until she saw where I have some of my trials. I guess that I take it for granted, but the "Old Courthouse" in downtown Phoenix really is a beautiful building and a relic to a time when architecture and drama were more important than functionality. It was locked, of course, so we took some Law and Order style pictures walking down the stairs of the main entrance as I told her my trial stories. Hopefully it didn’t bore her, it was fun for me. It did not bore me at all! I love to imagine what his work day is like. It’s such an exciting mystery to me.

The sun was definitely not bored, it wanted in on the action. Maybe thirty minutes into taking pictures and walking around, the heat had prevailed again. Her camera battery died, drained by that scorching, meddling sun. Oh yes, and we were also very hungry. Damn you, Sun. I am still in awe at how quickly my battery died. My poor camera simply couldn’t handle the heat!

It was time to eat. Like anywhere else, brunch is a big deal in Phoenix. Slowing making our way from downtown towards my neighborhood, we drove past the popular breakfast spots and tried to peer into the windows — gauging the wait time by the amount of people clustered near the entrance. Packed! Everywhere was packed. What’s worse? I was running out of options near my place and my stomach was expressing its growing disdain. Luckily, my body was still fueled by that piece of toast!

Then I remembered a place that was both near me and, according to Yelp! — delicious. One mile, maybe four minutes later, Megan and I were gawking over an assortment of delectable pastries at Essence Bakery. There were too many options! Hunger battled indecision as we stared at all of options and reiterated to the cashier that “we were NOT ready to order.” (Why do they always ask that over and over again).

We have gone a little overboard, but we simply had to try the Brioche French Toast and the Big Breakfast… okay, and an almond croissant. All delicious. I will take full responsibility for the selection of that croissant.

Although we didn’t manage to stick to our early-bird plan, I feel like we did pretty good job for a Sunday morning. Besides, it’s really quite unreasonable to be out of bed by 6am on the universal day of rest. Some would even call that outright poor etiquette.

Sundays are usually difficult days for us. It means at some point we will have to say goodbye and begin a new countdown for seeing each other. There is always this longing of not wanting the day to end. Despite the late and rushed start, we had fun this Sunday. I can never tell if that makes the goodbye easier or harder… Even though we are both pretty optimistic people, I think these goodbyes are always hard.

Thank goodness he will be flying into #PDX today!   


Megan Visits the Desert, Part I

He writes in this font, she adds to the story in this font

The definition of "sweltering" is "uncomfortably hot." Funny, I was using it as if sweating and melting could be one word squished together. How fitting, this was the word that we kept using while describing any time spent outside on our most recent excursion. For those of you who have never visited Phoenix in the summer, this is what she was willingly to withstand for me: 112 degrees of oven-like heat radiating from a sun that felt like it's only a few feet above you. Oh yes, she was the brave one this time. I was probably more dehydrated and delusional, than brave. I also can’t handle waiting more than two weeks in between visits. I had to visit, no matter the heat.

My plan was for us to spend as much time indoors as possible. Little did I know that she had other plans. "It's all about the lighting" became her mantra as we went hand-in-sweaty-hand all over downtown Phoenix, exploring. Yes, I too get sweaty. We did so much adventuring over the weekend that I had to break it into two posts.

Saturday: After sleeping a tad too late, we started our adventures in downtown Phoenix. First stop: the Heard Museum. We are both huge museum enthusiasts (wow that sounds nerdy as I type it) and she is tribal, so we enjoyed learning about Native American history while taking solace in the air-conditioning. Haha! I think it’s time for us both to come to terms with the fact that we enjoy most things people would describe as nerdy. It’s just who we are, and frankly, I’m perfectly fine with all of that!

The museum is a marvel on its own, with beautiful architecture and style unique to the southwest on the outside. Inside it has high ceilings with intricate designs and elegant staircases. My first thought upon entering the property was, “Oh my goodness, so many photo opportunities!” I say that statement with an annoying frequency, but the Heard Museum was incredible! Trying to speak softly and not being very successful, we imagined the whole space empty and then planned an elaborate party (while also viewing the exhibits, of course). This is where it gets dangerous when two overly imaginative people unite — there is no end to playing in fantasy. Imagine the outfits!


Our not so quiet party-planning was disrupted by the absolute-cutest old curator who decided that she must show us her favorite exhibit. She was priceless. I think Megan would like to describe her. I most certainly would! She approached us twice while we were admiring the art. There was something about her that I just loved! Maybe it was because she had the most adorable 1920’s flapper bob haircut, or maybe it was because she took us through an authorized personnel  only doorway and said, “This is usually a no-no. It says no trespassing or something or other.” As soon as she left, I turned and looked at Guy and said something like, “She is the most ADORABLE little old lady! I just want to take her with me. I wish she could be my grandma!” haha!

Near the end of our museum-going, we came across a room of games. Oh how we loved the games! Particularly picaria, which is a board game that is sort of a mix between checkers and tic-tac-toe. On second thought, I think only I had fun with the games. After losing three games in a row, she did not seem too interested in making it best of seven. Yes, let’s move on to something else.

While we were leaving the museum, she found inspiration and the unwavering compulsion to use a white wall and some cacti as the set for a quick photo shoot. It was somewhere around 104 by now. Though I was wearing all black (and pants) she seemed slightly less tolerable to the heat in her skirt and little shirt. Between the imposing sweat and getting beat at board games, I think she was getting more than a little hungry. She needed a burrito and fast. I may have been giving off the vibes that if I didn’t have burrito and like now, then I would get cranky. Guy has gotten incredibly good at reading my level of hunger!

Fortunately, I knew just the place. Less than five minutes later we were sitting in PHX Burrito House cooling down with some very strong margaritas and laughing at the chalkboard written hashtags that lined an overhead wall. #burritoful #burritogangster #burritolove - these were just some of our favorites. Burrito culture is a way of life here in the desert and PHX Burrito House is easily at the top of the list for best places in town.  It’s locally owned and they make margaritas that are the perfect remedy for hot summer days. Megan looked like she was in heaven.

Phew. That was enough running around for one day. We braved the sun once more to grab groceries for dinner and then took refuge in doors for the rest of day… we may or may not have a built a fort in my room and pretended to camp. Let’s be clear. We did make a fort and watched old movies while in it. It was awesome!