Welcome! This is my first official blog post, yay! So for my first post, I’ve decided to write about the place I know best: Arizona. Of course, this is just my perspective so forgive me if ya’ll disagree. But without further ado, here is my first post!
Things Arizonan’s Do:
1. Say, “… but it’s a dry heat!”
I think that this is a classic thing that people from the American southwest say. A “dry heat” is very, VERY different from the humid, moist air during summertime on the Gulf or east coasts. People who experience humid summers tend to hate dry desert summers, and vice versa for my fellow desert rats (I say this affectionately about those of us who live in the desert). I, personally, have experienced both types of summers and argue that dry summers are nicer if you want to spend time outdoors (i.e., hiking).
2. Always carry water bottles everywhere and drink a ton of water.
Living in the dry desert, it is very easy to become dehydrated and not even notice. When you sweat, the moisture instantly evaporates from your body and all that’s left on your skin is a sheen of salt. Because of this, Arizonan’s are very aware of the fact that we need to drink more water than normal to prevent dehydration and thus we carry water bottles around with us EVERYWHERE — to the grocery store, shopping, school, hiking, etc. When I moved to Houston, my housemates always commented on the fact that I always carried water around with me; one of my housemates even said that I drank more water than anyone else they’ve ever met. It’s a good habit that I’ve gotten into since living in Arizona and I still carry water around with me.
3. Put on a ton of lotion.
As I mentioned before, it is very dry in the southwest. No matter how much water you drink and how much you try to keep your skin moisturized, it’s impossible. Arizonan’s hardly put on just one layer of moisturizer — often times I need to put on two or three layers of lotion (I naturally have super dry skin too so I’m sure that doesn’t help anything). Finding the best moisturizer becomes a challenge and when you find the one that works for you, you still need to put on multiple layers throughout the day. Take a shower — put on more lotion. Wash your hands — lotion. Do the dishes — lotion. Watch t.v. — lotion. It gets tedious but if you don’t do it then your skin (especially your hands) become dry and cracked, which is terribly uncomfortable.
4. Turn our rooms and houses into a tomb during summer.
Let me explain. In the summertime, sunlight beams through a window and heats up an entire room. When the room gets hot, it’s uncomfortable to be in and it requires more energy, and therefore money, to keep cool. The solution to this problem is putting black-out screens/drapes on the window. It keeps the room much cooler and darker but by using the black-out drapes in the entire house and keeping them closed throughout the summer to keep the house cool, the house becomes a dark tomb. Whatever works, right?
5. Crack an egg on the sidewalk in summertime.
You always hear on the news that those of us living in the desert during summer go outside and fry an egg on the sidewalk because it’s so hot outside that the cement can fry an egg. I can say wholeheartedly that this is true and it is, in fact, possible.
6. Turn off the faucet.
Desert folk are very good and practiced at conserving water. We are aware that it is difficult to get water to our houses and that we have a limited amount so we need to conserve. We take quick showers, turn off the faucet while we brush our teeth and do the dishes, plant desert-adapted plants in our gardens, and much more. It is important to conserve our water not only because it is limited but because it is wasteful to use water in excess. There are plenty of people in the world who don’t readily have access to water.
*If your a desert rat like me and you don’t do these things, then you should probably think about trying to conserve water…
7. Hike. A lot.
Moving away, I never realized how much I enjoyed the outdoors and hiking. The weather is sunny and perfect 300+ days of the year and there are hiking trails all across the state. There’s also not much else to do in Arizona besides shopping and attending school (I’m speaking particularly to Tucson), so hiking is a cheap and healthy activity for the entire family to do.
8. Anything below 70*F is freezing.
Now, people not living in the American southwest will laugh at this and having lived outside of the southwest, I laugh at this too. But I’m not kidding. If the temperature drops to 69*F, kids and adults alike will bring out their long sleeves, jackets and sweatshirts. Tucson experiences one or two solid weeks of “winter,” usually in February, where it is actually “cold” winter weather. This is our time to wear our five long sleeve shirts, scarves, boots, and jackets. Desert rats don’t handle the cold very well.
Oh, and it does snow in Arizona! The northern region gets quite a lot of snow throughout the winter and the mountain peaks in the south keep snow for a few days.
9. Take pictures of Arizona sunsets.
The American southwest has some of the best displays of sunsets than anywhere in the world. With clear skies and desert terrain, Arizona is a hot spot for colorful displays of color at sunset. Sunrise can be just as amazing but our sunsets are the real show.
10. Get in petty fights over UA versus ASU.
Anyone from Arizona will laugh at this last one. “UA” is the University of Arizona in Tucson (BEAR DOWN!) and “ASU” is Arizona State University in Phoenix. The two schools are rivals in basically everything, from sports to academics, and Arizonans are either one or the other — there is no double-dipping between these two schools. There is also Northern Arizona University (NAU), but that school is kind of the red-headed stepchild that no one really cares about unless they decide to go there. I, of course, am a University of Arizona Wildcat.
Thank you for reading! Have you ever been to or lived in Arizona? How accurate do you think my commentary is? Let me know and like this post!