Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Phoenix report

Got here on Monday and spent the day visiting Taliesin West, driving around the Phoenix grid, and asking why people live in the desert as I was already missing the color green. Had a brief swim in my funky hotel pool; the odd shape and the presence of bored ducks put me off a little. Later in the evening I went for a brisk walk in the park next door, checking out the public pool and the running paths.

Tuesday was the first day of my ANA course (the reason I'm in Phoenix); afterwards Jenna and I went out for dinner at an amazing place called Barrio Cafe. We waited an hour to be seated; I can honestly say it was worth the wait. But the wait meant I didn't get back to the hotel until 10:30ish; that and the fact that I was STUFFED meant no exercise for me.

Overslept this morning but still made it to the last day of the course on time; came back to the hotel and got caught up with my neglected e-mail. I did, however, also make it to the pool... glorious, lovely, public pool...

The pool at the Eldorado Aquatic & Fitness Center is one of the loveliest pools I have ever seen. Okay, it's not nicer than the pools at Hearst Castle... but for a public pool it's amazing. It's got a play area, two big water slides, a therapy pool, a diving well with four diving boards, and -- get this -- FOURTEEN 25-meter lanes. Fourteen! It's incredible. Swimming under the night sky in pleasantly cool water, alone in my lane, just swimming back and forth, back and forth... I only had 30 minutes before the pool closed, so I only got 24 minutes of swimming in, but it was wonderful, relaxing, perfect. It wasn't the best workout I had ever had -- I felt sluggish and strangely breathless -- but it was a fantastic experience.

I must confess that I have been underwhelmed by Phoenix and Scottsdale, but I'm impressed by the Scottsdale pool and parks.

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