This post has been a long time coming. Ever since we moved to Arizona and I started this blog, I've been thinking about how I just want to write a rave post about why I love living in the southwest! It's so great!
However, the reason I am finally getting around to writing this post NOW is because I've begun taking pictures for my rant post highlighting the few things I HATE about Arizona. My complaints are not many, but I feel they need to be addressed. But I figured that it would not be fair to rant before I rave, because the positives about this desert life far outweigh the negatives. So here we go...
WHY I LOVE LIVING IN THE SOUTHWEST:
1) The southwest really is just that - a mix of the south and the west. Now for someone who grew up on the west coast, but spent a lovely six years living in Texas, living in the southwest means that my favorite things about both my worlds collide in one place. Here are some examples: I get all my favorite establishments from both places. From the west, we have Red Robin, In-n-Out Burger, Safeway, etc. From the south, we have Hobby Lobby, Quik Trip, and Chic-Fil-A among others. I could not be happier. Yes, my happiness is based, in part, on cheeseburger consumption.
2) Secondly, Arizona is more politically conservative than Washington (but then again, what state isn't?) and I just like being around conservatives instead of crazy liberals (Seattle's "self-righteous recyclers" as our friend Mike Finley calls them... sorry, Seattle friends, but you know it's kinda true...). Not that I am against recycling by any means. I think it's a very practical, simple way to be good stewards of what God has given us. And that leads me to one thing I hate about Arizona, which is the lack of recycling, but I'm not allowed to rant here, so I'll save it for another post...
3) However, even my love of conservatives has a breaking point. For example, I think people should be allowed to carry guns, but if everyone around me was packing heat, I would honestly feel a bit nervous. Thankfully, in the SOUTHWEST we get a healthy balance of conservatives and liberals. For every tried and true gun-in-his-holster Republican down here, there is a mowhawked, long-boarding transplant from California. We keep it balanced, and I like it.
4) Who can really complain about 310 days of sun a year? I know there are people out there who say "But I love the rain..." (liars!), but we all know you just tell yourself that because you live in Seattle or some other equally horrible climate and it's the only way to console yourself ten months out of the year. Can you really wake up in October, November, December, January, February, and March and see the sun smiling down on you and feel the sixty degree breeze on your face as you walk under brilliant blue skies and say, "I hate this." Please... And for those of you, my sweet friends, who live in sunny climes such as Texas, and claim you love Seattle-like weather and hate the Texas summer, I double-dog dare you to live in Seattle for a full year. Then get back to me on your feelings about the rain. But then again, who can afford to live in Seattle???
5) Which leads me to my next rave. The economy, all things considered, is pretty great down here compared to many other places in the country. Our gas prices were reasonable (until the insanity of the past month worldwide), and our rent is CHEEEEAP. If you remember one of my recent posts, I actually can't disclose our rent on this blog so my Seattle readers don't get depressed. Let's just say we are going to be house-hunting soon, and we won't rule out properties below $100,000. The only thing, as far as I can tell, that is significantly overpriced in Arizona is cereal. I don't know why it consistently costs $5-6 a box here (unless you go to Target), but I'm not allowed to talk about my irks right now...
This doesn't even cover all the reasons I love Arizona. There are others, such as being halfway between WA and TX (flights are shorter and more reasonably priced). We are six hours from LA and San Diego (aka the ocean) by car. And we will be traveling there very soon. All major sporting events take place here... hello BCS championship, spring training, PGA golf tours and MLB All-Star game, as well as regular Pac-10, NBA, MLB, and NFL games. And mostly, I cannot wait for the return of warm summer nights, where you can walk around in a dress or shorts without having to put a jacket on after 7pm. In Washington, I used to wear a North Face in June. Blech!
I will leave you with this. One Saturday in February I was sitting on my couch reading, and this is what it looked like outside my window. True love. Did I mention I fold my laundry out on the patio while wearing my bikini? Yes, I do.