Cacti, Cayotes, and Cool People
In my last blog I wrote about my adventures in England and Iceland but what I did not include was that two days after I returned from Iceland, I went to Arizona to visit my friend, Vicki. I met Vicki in fifth grade when we were in the same class, and she really creeped me out. That’s how I knew she would become my best friend. From then on we were inseparable until we were physically separated by her move to Arizona in the summer before eighth grade. To this day I am having trouble forgiving her, but I decided it would be better to at least have her partially in my life than to completely shun her.
From Vicki moving away, I have learned a few things. One thing is that it really does not take massive amounts of effort to keep someone in your life that you really care about. All you have to do is shoot them a text or an email once a week just to keep the relationship going. Then when you happen to be traveling on the opposite side of the country, it isn’t completely random to meet up with them. Vicki and I only see each other about once every two years but each visit reminds me why we became friends in the first place. This is enough to keep me going for the next two years!
This last visit with Vicki was the first time I ever visited her. She usually comes to me because her grandmother lives in Virginia but this time my parents allowed me to go to Arizona. Not only did they allow it, but they paid for it as a birthday present and it was the best gift I could have ever gotten. Unfortunately the night of my arrival, Vicki started vomiting profusely due to “food poisoning,” but honestly I think she was just excited to see me. During my visit to Arizona I got to see Vicki’s way of life. It sounds ridiculous that it would be so different, but it was. For one thing, if you step outside from the hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can pretty much expect to shrivel up and evaporate into thin air. Obviously Vicki and I were not going to spend all weekend in her house so we gathered up a few gallons of water and went outside anyways. We hiked, swam, and visited a desert museum!
The desert museum scared me at first because the moment someone says museum my heart stops. I’ve never liked them much, but this one was different. It is basically a sectioned off piece of desert where they put native animals. At one particular moment it looked like a Coyote was out of the fence so Vicki’s friend tried to use me as a shield. Luckily, it turned out that the fence was just hard to see but the Coyote was indeed on the correct side. It was a good thing too because he looked really mad when he was charging at us. Aside from the coyote we saw a vast array of bizarre animals such as javelinas, otters , and rattle snakes. If you find yourself in Tuscon, Arizona, you should go to this museum. You should also go as soon as it opens if you want to beat the heat and the crowd.
In general, people in Tuscon, Arizona spend a lot of time doing outdoor activities because as far as I could tell there were no movie theaters, bowling alleys, and the closest mall was a good twenty five minutes away. For some it sounds like torture, but for the residents of this city, it is an excuse to spend more time away from screens and more time connected to nature. Vicki and her friends are all very environmentally conscious and just have their priorities set straight in general. I did not expect to learn anything from this visit but unfortunately I walked away with a valuable life lesson. What are you gonna do?