Last Day in Phoenix

My last day in Phoenix got rained out, but the rain was a welcome reprieve from the heat. I’m sure the locals would agree.

I will have to visit Phoenix again one day soon, during the winter months, when I have more time to plan and more things will be open.

But, to make the most of the day, I decided to go out anyway. I did not go out for very long; the rental car that I was driving was very small and I’m nervous about driving in the rain in foreign places. In Houston, where I live, it floods a lot, so I am always concerned about street flooding, no matter where I am.

To start the day, I decided to go out of the way to get lunch. I ended up at the In and Out Burger, a place that I’ve heard a lot about!

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I cannot recommend the In N Out burger, though. The menu is very limited and the burger wasn’t that great. Perhaps there’s something that I am missing? Maybe that’s the fun of it, having fewer choices and eating a small burger? I’m not sure. Like the media ¬†always does, I’ll blame the hype of this establishment on the millenials. Sorry Millenials. Ha, ha, just kidding. No, seriously, what’s so great about this place? The bun didn’t even have sesame seeds on it. A disgrace!

The rest of the day, I just drove around, somewhat randomly, taking photos and looking at things along the highways.

Whatever this thing was, it was the highlight of my drive. I had never seen anything like this. It is a, ummm, I have no idea. It’s like a very large hill, but the sides have big holes. It’s like Swiss cheese had a baby with a mountain, or something like that. Perhaps I should Google it and get a proper name for it. Whatever it was, it was majestic and very, very interesting!

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The most surprising thing about Phoenix was the architecture. I really liked how lots and lots of the buildings were one story; many had flat roofs. Then, there were these really, really interesting buildings, like this apartment building, that kind of shot up along the roads. Many of the newer apartment buildings were, what’s a good word…fantastical! Very interesting designs, colors, shapes, etc. And, I love how the folks in Phoenix incorporate greenery into the landscape in interesting ways. This was an apartment building in Scottsdale, which isn’t very fair from downtown Phoenix. Look at those bright red patios and hanging plants over every balcony! GORGEOUS.

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This is the shirt I wore to drive around. It’s a glitter skull. I was going to wear it to the John Mayer concert and look super cool, but I found the other shirt and wore that one instead.

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The photo below will only be humorous to the folks in my hometown of Shreveport. I saw this place, named Kokopeli’s and laughed out loud. In my hometown, Kokopeli’s is a very rowdy and often times fatally violent night club. To see this quaint little gift shop baring the same name was like an inside joke that I shared with myself.

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I saw these horse sculptures while riding around in Scottsdale.

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This video shows a short detour that I took through a residential area. Look at the short houses and the really, really nice roads. I also found Phoenix to be very, very clean!

This video shows more of the very nice and well kept roads in Phoenix.

 

And on to my last Phoenix related story!

Take a look at these two gentlemen.

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These two probably nice, but definitely ANNOYING gentlemen were in front of me at the airport. Goodness!

These two guys were German, and I think they came to Phoenix to buy every, single used electronic item in the whole damn city.

Do you know how nowadays you have to take out your “larger than an iPhone” electronics and place each one in a separate bin? These guys used probably 10 different bins, I’m not kidding. They very methodically took out every, single, damn, item, oh, my, GOD.

I am glad that I’m usually at the airport very early; I was able to wait behind these guys and still have time to eat a salad and walk leisurely to the gate and make a restroom stop before boarding started.

Also, these two guys also had two of their bags searched. I also had my roller, carry on luggage searched because I had found some super discounted bath bombs at Ross and purchased them. They were only $2! But, they set off the TSA agents, so I had to be searched. When the guy asked me what they were, I had the intelligence and common sense to call them “bath soaps” instead of “bath bombs”, because, well, you know, I was in an airport. I would probably be in a holding cell right now if I had made that mistake.

The flight home was better than the one going there, except for the terrible landing and quite a bit of turbulence. It’s 9 hours later and I still feel queasy, but I’m glad to be back home.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures in Phoenix.

Until next time, my friends…

Take Me to Get My Nails Did (in Lagos)

“How do you keep your nails so nice while you’re here,” the red-haired, older lady asked across the table. I loved how she did that whole Cruella DeVille thing with the front of her short and sassy cut, a mix of a fiery red and a creamy blonde lightning bolt in the front of her head, resting right between her brows.

“It’s funny you should ask,” I gleamed, resting both hands to my chest, to make sure she could see that yes, all of my fingers had been painted a cheery and bright shade of In Yo Face Peach. “I just got them done today!”

One of the things that I dreaded about coming to Lagos was my (now perceived) inability to keep up my (very few) beauty routines. I only have a couple:

Manicures and pedicures: because who wants to bend over and paint their own toes or become ambidextrous enough to paint both hands with precision?

Eyebrow grooming: because I have the ability to grow eyebrows like the Wolverine grows a wicked beard and although we all know Hugh Jackman is a gift from God, I, on the other hand, am just a woman with facial hair that was inherited by some distant, wolf-like ancestor.

I decided to venture to a place called Marbella for the aforementioned beauty treatments.

When I walked in the door, the Lagos heat continued to hit me. I swung the door open, expecting at least a mild reprieve from the heat and…..NOPE, it was hot as balls inside the salon as well.

I looked around and quickly assessed the area. Every employee, aside from the receptionist, was asleep. Yes, asleep. In salon chairs or in waiting chairs.

“I would like a manicure and pedicure and eyebrow wax,” I informed the downright cheerful receptionist.

“Of course ma’am,” she almost whispered, but not in a “don’t wake my co-workers” kind of way, but in what I have found to be the calm Nigerian tone. If they’re not riled up, then they speak very softly. In contrast, Americans are typically loud and then LOUDER.

She rushed over to turn on the portable air conditioner. I walked over to the stack of nail polish. Things were looking up. Lots of brand new bottles of OPI lined the shelves. I picked orange and white.

I sat at one of the manicure stations and waited and  waited and waited. I finally realized that one of the newly awakened young ladies was preparing my foot bath, but, she was doing it by heating water in an electric kettle, pouring it into the basin, and repeating this process several times. She then filled the rest of the basin up with cold water, that came from the tap of the basin.

Having lived in Nigeria for a little while, this process didn’t surprise me. I just resumed my waiting.

Finally, it was time to get into the chair.

An average height, heftier woman with a short, brownish-red afro, wearing shower shoes and snake skin pants, scooted over to me. I say “scooted” because she never picked her feet from the floor.

“WHAT COLOR?” she demanded. I told her. “WHAT SHAPE DO YOU WANT ON YOUR NAIL?” she demanded next. “Round,” I replied.

She began filing away, gruffly motioning when it was time for me to reach across my body to provide the other hand.

When she had finished, she said, “DO YOU WANT TO DO YOUR HAIR?”

“No, not today,” I smiled.

“OH! NOT TODAY? YES, I SEE,” she replied, scooting back across the salon, into a chair, and began punching the keypad of her phone.

The young lady who did my feet was painstakingly thorough. I felt an almost shame, like when you feel that you should feel ashamed but some situation tells you that your shame is unnecessary. In my case, that situation is a West African country named “Nigeria.” Shame is low in demand here. You might as well get the hell over yourself before ever setting foot in this part of the world.

After the young lady had finally finished scrubbing my feet, the foot scooter came back to do my eyebrows. To my surprise, they turned out great. Her demeanor was so rough and unwelcoming, I thought for sure she’d groom my eyebrows, then slit my throat. To my delight, she only did the former.

My eyebrows turned out great, a little too thin for me, but a great improvement over what I went in there with. All in all, it was a good experience and I now know where I can go in Lagos to have a few beauty treatments and feel a little bit more like myself.

Here are a few photos!

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^ The beautiful interior of the salon.

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^ Brand new bottles of OPI!

^ Finger nails and toes, DID and DONE!

 

Until tomorrow, my friends…

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