I planned a trip to visit my dear cousin, Celeste, in Washington state. When booking my flight I realized I made a major mistake. I booked a flight that was not flying directly to my destination. Instead it had two stops. The first stop was Chicago, Illinois for five hours and the next stop was Phoenix, Arizona for another 3 hours and then I would reach my final destination. Most people would see two stops and freak out. My first thought was to consider myself lucky because I’d never been to either of the places listed. Of course I’m going to make the best out of a crappy situation!
Fast forward to when I arrived at Chicago O’hare Airport. It was a relatively quick flight from Newark, New Jersey to Chicago. Overall I was in good spirits. Then the thought crept up in my mind again… Five hours to go… F i v e H o u r s… This is when anxiety snuck up on me and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay in the airport for that long. Sure, I love people watching but not for five hours straight.
I went over to the directory and saw that there was an earlier flight out to Phoenix. This flight was scheduled to depart 40 minutes then and a good five hours earlier than. To be frank, I figured Phoenix was a safer (and warmer) place to travel alone. I walked to the assistance counter and asked the woman wearing a welcoming smile if there was any possible chance I could be on the next flight to Arizona. To my joy I was able to get a seat on the flight (a window seat at that !!). A quick 3 hours later and I was looking out my window to pink desert sand.
Of course I don’t know anyone in Arizona so getting picked up from the airport was out of the question. Nor did I have the slightest idea what I was going to do for the next 8 hours but I seeing the mountains from my plane was enough for me. Fortunate for myself, I was equipped with an iPhone and Siri gave some great suggestions.
I decided to go to Desert Botanical Garden. It was ten minute drive from the airport. Naturally, I took an Uber. Special shout out to my driver Larry, he was very friendly and offered all his knowledge on the background of Phoenix. The garden itself was absolutely beautiful. You can see from the figure on the right how far it expands. I spent hours there admiring all the cacti and everything else they eye could see. If you ever find yourself in Phoenix definitely check this place out!