A Day in Phoenix…


In general, I’d say people visit the Phoenix-Scottsdale area to find a spa retreat, golf, or visit friends and family. When you live in the colder climes, it’s a great way to get away to get some sun mid-winter.

It’s not a place where people go to see a ton of sights.

Originally, Rob and I had planned to do some hiking on the day that we would have to ourselves while Nora was working. At this point, Rob’s back was not 100% better from the accident. So we were looking for something much more laid back than, say, hiking the Superstition Mountains. 😉

We debated over coffee…


Nora recommended this eclectic little cafe called Sip Coffee and Beer House not far from her place in Scottsdale. Oh how I loved this coffee shop and wish we had one like it near us!


After a little fuel, we opted for a little jaunt around Papago Park. It was a gorgeous day. In fact, we had all perfectly beautiful days during our February stay in Phoenix – 70 to 85 degrees with a very slight breeze!


The wonderful thing about Papago Park is that it is a beautiful example of Arizona’s natural beauty situated right within the city.


There are also so many places to park; so you can drive around and walk as little or as much as you want. We chose to park and take the short walk up to the famed Hole in the Rock.


The natural, eroded “hole” in the rock was used by the Hohokam {one of the first peoples inhabiting the area} for astronomy and seasonal change by the positioning of the sun.

We decided to take the path up and around the rock. It’s not a long path, but it’s rocky and steep in some parts.


While I was spending a lot of my time looking down, Rob swears he saw a salamander or lizard of some sort scurry by… We also so this… squirrel? It may seem basic-looking to you, but to us, it was huge!


Rob also saw other little squirrels that he swears were neon green. I, however, believe it was just the lighting from the angle we were at once we got up to the hole in the rock.


We climbed up a bit further so we could peer through that smaller hole in the photo below.


To our wonderful surprise, we had a beautiful view of the oasis of Papago Park.


This lovely area could be considered the Central Park of Phoenix. It’s a great area to walk about, relax. While we were climbing the rock, we were all alone. However, there were only a few more people in the park on this lovely Thursday morning. I tried to zoom in and get a photo of one of Rob’s neon squirrels; but alas, you’ll only see a shadow. Can you find it?


Since our hike was short, we had to find something else to do for the next several hours.


We had thought about hitting up the Botanical Gardens (also located in the park), but will have to save that for next time. But one thing we have learned over the years – we love exploring zoos!

Phoenix Zoo FTW!

It was only a $20 adult entrance fee and we would be able to take the “Arizona Trail” to learn more about local wildlife. Rob was especially curious about the javelina. And we found them!


We sent the photo above to Nora at work. She was smart enough to realize we had not found them in the wild because there was a wall in the background. We should have sent her the photo below instead ;-).


So, what is a javelina, you ask?


Rob was hoping we’d spot one in the wild on this trip. After reading that, we realized that if he did see one, he’d see many!

A Thursday February morning was a perfect day for the zoo. It wasn’t very busy with kids until later and the weather was perfect. Nora asked if it was smelly and I can’t recalling it being so. Perhaps if the weather was hot and the sun was beating down…

We saw many more animals we’ve never seen before – like the Arabian Oryx and the Komodo Dragon. We also saw a Bald Eagle up close. One of the most fun experiences, though, was to go into the Monkey Village! After being briefed through double doors to give these squirrel monkeys at least three feet of room at all times, you can walk through their habitat. It’s the only one in the U.S.!


We have learned lately how much we love zoos, so I vowed to finally make a trip to the {essentially} free Como Park Zoo in St. Paul after our visit, as well as finally see the Hawaiian Monk Seals at our MN Zoo. It’s the only place where you can see these endangered creatures outside of Hawaii!

Now, it was time for lunch… but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Do you visit Zoos when you travel?

If so, what has been your favorite?

What is your favorite animal/exhibit to see?





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