I'm back in Denver, IA to the cold mid-west. Arizona was great and something a person could get used to... I see why my parents enjoy their winters there. Before reality sets in I'll share some views from my trip south.
Chuck the festive bulldog was at the Waterloo airport on Christmas Eve. He was there waiting to greet someone who was to arrive. He loved the attention and made sure to greet everyone there. He looks a lot like my brother's dog Winston. His owner said he dresses up for every holiday. There were only 6 people on my first flight to Minneapolis that night. We were all fearful they would cancel that flight too! In Mnpls. a UNI student and I trekked across the airport to reach our flights which were at gates next to each other. After boarding my plane we were told to get off and switch to another plane delaying our flight about an hour. :-( Mom and Dad's neighbor, Brian from Canada, was kind enough to drive out to the Phoenix airport with Mom to pick me up. The traffic and directions out that way can get pretty confusing. What a nice neighbor to help in the early morning hours.
After a few hours of sleep at Mom and Dad's we got in the van to head to Tucson on Christmas morning.
We pointed out sights along the road, noticing changes since we last traveled that way, sang some Christmas songs and the time passed quickly. I even got Dad to listen to a few songs on my iPod sharing the headphones. Traffic wasn't too bad, we figured everyone was at home opening presents.
It had been raining so you could see puddles in the desert. Clouds were descending on Tucson full of rain, making for some great views but I didn't get the really good ones from the back seat of the van.
The mountains on the north edge of Tucson had clouds coming down on the tops. If it'd been pink it would have looked like cotton candy.
The next few days we had comfort foods of Christmas's past: lutfisk, lefse, lingonberries, limpa bread, ham, turkey, scalloped spinach, wild rice, boiled potatoes, peanut brittle... There were lots of leftovers so don't think we ate it all at once!