Favorite (Arizona) Things

I grew up in Arizona. I left and traveled to the east coast for college and yet, somehow found my way back to Arizona.

I was married here, had my children here, and most of my family lives here. I have not always loved Arizona. Like many young people growing up, I only saw the bad in this state. I found it boring and dull, uneventful and ordinary.

As an adult however, I have grown to appreciate this state. In light of the recent horrific events in Tucson, Arizona has understandably been in the news. Yet, despite the tragedy that occurred here, there is so much to love about this desert. To honor Arizona, here are my Favorite (Arizona) Things for Friday…

The desert. If you have never visited the Sonoran Desert, there is something simply majestic and mysterious about it, from the beautiful Saguaro cactus to the smell of the earth after it rains.

Sports. Okay, I am not the biggest sports fan, but I will acknowledge that Arizona has some great professional sports teams–the Suns, the Diamondbacks. Just don’t count the Cardinals, Arizonans don’t.

Our sunsets. There is something about the desert air that produces perhaps some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. People actually step outside of their homes in the evening to gaze at the glorious sunsets.

The diversity. Our state geographically speaking is diverse, which most people don’t know. We have forests, desert, plains, grasslands, and even tundra.

But enough geography, Arizona is also socially and culturally diverse. You can visit areas where ranchers are herding their cattle, where the wealthy of Scottsdale are driving their luxury SUV’s, where Native Americans are attempting to preserve their heritage, and where still others live quiet simple lives in small towns.

Grand Canyon. Enough said.

Wild West. Arizona, is in many ways, still synonymous with the Wild West. There is a mentality here of hard work, ruggedness, independence, the will to persevere, and the need to survive. People travel to Arizona, often in search of a new start, a second chance. People arrive here sometimes battered and discouraged, but are quick to notice the sense of determination and toughness here. Every Arizonan, whether they admit it or not, has a touch of Wild Wild West in them.

I hope and pray that despite the tragic actions of one man, Arizona will quickly be remembered for the beauty, diversity, and rugged spirit that it holds. Over time when the news stories fade away and people hear less and less about a man named Jared, they will instead look to the great things hidden here in the beautiful desert.

What are the favorite things about where you live? What do you love and what perhaps could you do without in your state or city?

post images here, here,  and here.

4 thoughts on “Favorite (Arizona) Things”

  1. I am from Pennsylvania, but LOVE the southwest! I’ve been to Arizona and New Mexico, and have loved my experiences in both states. I would love to live out there someday. Thanks for sharing the great pictures!

  2. Well, IDK about tundra! But, yes. I love Arizona’s diversity. I used to hate the desert: brown, hot, and dry. But, now… although I despise 110+ degree weather, and six months of summer, I really enjoy living here, for lots of different reasons, many of them similar to your own.

    I had a penpal from Scotland when I was in high school, back when people really used pens and snail mail, and he used to pull out a map of AZ and ask me about different place-names. I was confounded by the pointlessness of it back then; I couldn’t believe that anyone could actually be interested in our state! But, now I do understand.

    I love Arizona’s back roads.

    I love that it’s the second-best state in the US for birding.

    I love that you can really enjoy the outdoors, year-round (though there has to be some water involved, in the summertime).

    I love our thunderstorms!! The rain in other places is just wimpy. We get wind and lightning and dramatic skies — not just grey, drippy ones.

    I love that Arizona’s laws regarding homeschooling are lax enough that I can just pick & choose what is best for my children’s education w/o a government entity breathing down my neck.

    I have a love-hate relationship with the mobility of our residents. People are always in a state of flux, which leads to interesting neighbors, and a lack of staleness in general. (Too many people move away, though, and it can feel too rootless, as well.)

    I love that Arizona really does seem to always be in a “continual improvement process.” It’s not perfect, but I think that, in general, our state and local governments do a good job for the residents, and for the betterment of our state. I’ve lived other places where the politicians and the general culture of government was that you, as a citizen, really didn’t matter, and they were just gonna do what they were gonna do and they didn’t care if it was GOOD for the people or the state.

    Hm. So, that’s about it, off the top of my head!!

  3. Things I love about Arizona:
    1. That we don’t have daylight savings time
    2. We have – by far – the best Mexican food outside of Mexico…. Yes even better than Texas :)
    3. All of the outdoor activities: Hiking, the greenbelt, dog parks, bike paths, lakes, snowbowl anyone?
    4. We have some pretty darn good places to shop for clothes at. Okay its no New York city…but better than most places in the U.S. !
    5. We have some of the best pizza places ever… I have seen numerous TV shows (including Oprah) that have voted locations in AZ as having the best pizza in the country! So cool right? Places like Pizzaria Bianco in Phoenix, Grimaldi’s in Scottsdale, Fratelli’s pizza in Flagstaff.
    Yay AZ!

    1. Natalie,
      Great list. I forgot all about our lack of daylight savings, which is something that I too like, especially having lived where there is daylight savings.

      Great point too about Mexican food. I love it and AZ has the greatest. And I did not know that about our pizza joints. I’ll have to check a few of those out.

      Thanks for commenting Natalie!

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