Phoenix, AZ – Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona Biltmore

Phoenix is an odd city, with a number of mountains inside the city limits. Not sure if it was always that way, or if the city boundaries kept being extended as development expanded out to and beyond the mountains.

Also in Phoenix is The Desert Botanical Garden  – a feast for cactus-fans! So many different types of cactus, and great educational signs about the ways different plants have adapted to life with little water. Did you know that the tall saguaro cactus has those vertical ribs as part of its water-conservation system? The ribs allow the cactus to expand, like stretching out accordion pleats, to store more and more rainwater. One big saguaro can hold  a ton of water!

Another fun spot is Hole in the Rock, a short hike up and through a… hole… in a rock. Then off to another city mountain, for a hike starting at the “40th Street Trailhead” – how urbane!

We also stopped at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, the Jewel of the Desert, built in 1929 by a team that included Frank Lloyd Wright as a consultant.

Last dinner in the southwest – at Lucille’s BBQ.

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