Things I've learned about the Phoenix area ~ Part 2

phoenixI wrote a couple days ago about just a few of the things I’ve learned since moving to the Phoenix Area from Wisconsin.  I realized once I started that post that I have REALLY learned a lot over the last 8 years so I decided to continue with a few more of those tidbits.

Don’t Call I-10″the I” or no one will know what you’re talking about.  I grew up and lived my whole life along “the I” in Illinois and in Wisconsin.  That “I” is Interstate 94.  Everyone knew it was the “I”.  Moving to Chandler, I lived not to far from I-10 which is never referred to as the “I”.  I tried it a few times and I was always rewarded with a look of confusion as if an ear of corn had suddenly emerged from my left nostril.  You can call I-10…The 10…thank you very much.

Don’t assume you can read or speak correctly.  Two double L’s in any word in pronounced like a Y.  Ocotillo (o-co-teeyo)…just like the L’s in Tortilla.  Germann Rd…is pronounced Germaine.  But the town of Casa Grande is often pronounced incorrectly and like the “e” isn’t even there.  If you’re talking about to Prescott…make sure that rhymes with Biscuit or that corn will start coming out of your nose again.

Unless you’re a native, Christmas will never feel like Christmas.  Who ever heard of putting up your Christmas lights with your shorts on or eating Christmas dinner on the patio?  Weird.  BUT…there is snow in Arizona and you only have to drive a couple hours to be in the middle of it.  The best of both worlds and you gotta love that.

The monsoon season doesn’t necessarily mean rain.  What it does mean is great walls of dust that move slowly across the valley.  It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.  And…speaking of strange.  Have you ever seen a dust devil?  The first giant one you see will freak you out.  Guaranteed.  But, they don’t seem to do any damage, as far as I’ve seen.

I love just about everything about living in the Valley.  Mountains, blue skies, sunshine, vast expanses of sky, laid back lifestyle.  But, there are some things that I miss…like having a garden in my backyard.  Don’t see many of those for some reason.  I miss the change of seasons, rain and the excitement of an impending snow storm. (though I do get all of those things up at my cabin in Pinetop).  I miss old architecture and homes with lots of old time character.

I don’t miss mosquitoes, 100% humidity, windchill and a pace that seems to run in fast motion as compared to the valley.  Yea…I think I’ll stay.


  1. Steve says:

    Despite all the grumblings, there is something to be said about snuggling up next to a roaring fire on one of the Midwest “snow days” when most of the businesses and schools shut down! The anticipation of spring and that first day its just warm enough to crack your windows open for the first time in four months! Those clear summer nights sitting in the back yard with friends and family talking about the those poor folks in AZ suffering in their 120 temps! Mother Nature’s tapestry, the fall colors, that certain unmistakable smell in the air that you can’t describe to anyone who has never experienced it!

  2. Amen to that, Steve. I miss fall the most to be sure and springtime breezes when it’s finally warm enough to open the windows in the spring. Awesome. I guess the nice thing about Arizona though, is you can drive 2-3 hours and experience all 4 seasons. I love the time at my cabin too. We were snowed in over Christmas…but it was great to know I could leave it all and be back in the sunshine in a blink. The midwest will always be in my heart!

  3. Steve says:

    Just a quick note Amy. I’m going to make you feel a whole lot better about missing the Midwest! 20 below zero here for tomarrow (thats not windchill either!!) and…blizzard,”white-out”, conditions for tonight!

    Wishing you were here?! 🙂

  4. Oh Wow! I DO wish I was there! I miss the excitement of a good snowstorm and not having, or even being ABLE to do anything. Nothing but boring sunshine here.

  5. Amy-

    Though I am not a native, every vacation we took from California was to here in the Phoenix area given family here. The monsoons were much more pronounced and serious back then. I recall the more dazzling electrical storms, Bell Road coursing like a river, and the downpours. I don’t know whether it is a changing climate or weather pattern or the asphalt and city heat keeping the real and wet monsoons away. But, I sure do miss their intensity and the way they mixed up the afternoons here.

    David Lorti

  6. Hey David~
    I do get excited when the thunderheads form during monsoon season, but the storm almost always seem to fizzle out. Has to be the heat island effect. Bummer.