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Old 09-26-2010, 12:59 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Washington State
Posts: 211

Mini Trip Report:

So, we just got back from Disneyland and Arizona. You all know how fantastic Disneyland was so I'll just stick to my impressions of Arizona . In a nutshell, DW and I fell in love with the place. I was born in San Diego and lived there for 7 years. My family would go back just about every year for a visit and every time we would I would want to live there again. Not anymore. After seeing the greater Phoenix area, we are both hooked. We loved the dry heat (it was 100 most days), the palm trees, the golf courses, the swimming pools, and the abundance of shopping and dinning. It also seemed less hurried and materialistic than coastal southern California (although that isn't saying a whole lot). The sunsets each night were worth the whole trip. I thought people were photoshopping stuff when they made the sky purple over the desert at night. I couldn't believe the purple/midnight blue color we got each evening. Absolutely beautiful.

We also looked at houses in Gilbert and Chandler. Again, unbelievable how far your dollar goes down there. My wife was in heaven running around the show rooms of the new homes looking at floor plans and amenities. She had previously been somewhat opposed to a move, as she wants to be closer to family in Washington. Not so much anymore lol.

Also, we stayed at an amazing resort near Scottsdale, the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. Best resort we have both ever been to and that's accounting for the Mandalay Bay in Vegas, among other pretty nice places. I think we just liked the rustic old-school Arizona charm combined with the modern flare. And that's kinda how all of AZ felt to us--a combination of old-west and new urban. Pretty cool vibe.

Old Town Scottsdale was another favorite spot of ours. I would love to go back down there and hit a different local restaurant every weekend. We are Happy Hour junkies and it seems like they have plenty of that sort of thing going on.

Anyway, we are back in Washington now and it's been drizzling pretty consistently since we got home. The air did seem fresher when we got off the jet here. That's one thing Washington has going for it. But we are already missing our nightly swim in the 80-90 degree evenings. Talk about relaxing. I haven't slept that good in a long time.

Thanks again for all the advice and opinions! We are planning on going back down again soon...this time, I don't think we will be driving over to California half way through the trip. We want to stay in Arizona and see the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Flagstaff. Any hotel, resort, or sightseeing recommendations are welcome!
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:14 PM   #17
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Great to hear enjoyed our great State! October is my absolute favorite time of year in Arizona. The fall leaves are in full color in Flagstaff and the mornings and evenings start cooling off here in the Valley. If you enjoyed the dry heat, you'll love our Fall and Spring even more!
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Zoesmama03 View Post
Its not a bad area I just don't like it here much at all. I've lived in the east valley the majority of the last 17 years or so. The times I haven't lived here I had brief residency in Florida. My biggest problems with the area is the dust and allergies I face here. To me coming back to the valley from clean fresh air I can tell the difference and I definitely notice the dust I'm inhaling. Overall its a decent place to live. House prices are pretty great right now and we do have lots of decent free charter schools in most the cities. My dd goes to a charter after a bad experience with the Mesa public schools. Tempe and Chandler were better schools when I was attending school those many many years ago. I went to Tempe high school and it was much better than the Mesa school in my zone.

It is nice to not worry about warming cars up in the winter(may have 1-2 freeze nights you may need to scrap a thin layer of ice off window unless you want to wait for your defroster, I've found a credit card works well ) and everything is in close reach. And some very cool day trip options and even weekenders(to California, Vegas etc). But I prefer Florida to here even humid. After only one summer in Florida last year I was dying this year with the oven dry heat. And its still going strong sticking in the 100s this month too. UGH. We have had two cooler mornings but its raising back up for the weekend.
Agree with above! I got very sick with allergies after 5 years in the desert. I have since lived on both coasts (I'm presently in SC) and am doing better. I have traveled to FL in all seasons and prefer the heat with humidity rather than the feeling of being microwaved. That said, DH vastly prefers AZ!
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:16 PM   #19
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We just moved to AZ in July, but we're in Tucson, not the Phoenix area. I originally really wanted to be somewhere in Phoenix, but my husband's job offer was much better in Tucson so here we are. We moved from Washington, DC, so the climate is quite different, and we got here in late July, so full on heat!

So far we like it here, which I was skeptical about because I really preferred Central AZ to here. It's a pretty good city, just smaller than the Phoenix metro area. My husband and I are both 30, and we have 3 kids, so pretty much like you said, nightlife is of little importance. The public schools are iffy, but that's the case throughout AZ honestly. We are in the best Tucson district, but my oldest is in a charter school and my 2nd starts K there next August (he's in their private preschool now). I'm pretty satisfied so far with their charter school and we have 1 or 2 of the top 10 schools in higher grades (I know Basis is one of them).

And if you think houses are cheap in Phoenix, come to Tucson! Our sales tax is also less than Phoenix, so overall it's a pretty cheap place to live.

So it's an area worth considering if you're open to just more than Phoenix. I hadn't really considered it till this job offer, but I'm glad we did now cause we're happy here.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:17 AM   #20
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SD33, I checked back a couple of times to see if you had a trip report, today I see I missed it. But I'm glad to see you enjoyed your time here in AZ.

The Westin Kierland is really beautiful. I love the shopping and dining at the Kierland Commons. You had some really hot weather while you were here, so I'm glad you found it managable. This coming week we should have some really nice, cool evenings, so I'm pretty happy.

The city of Chandler won another recognition - 100 Best Communities for Young People. Have to do my Chandler PR and pass it along.

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Old 10-04-2010, 03:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Desert Dwellers View Post

The city of Chandler won another recognition - 100 Best Communities for Young People. Have to do my Chandler PR and pass it along.

Thanks for passing that along. Pretty cool! We thought it was a great city, what little we saw of it.
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