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Monday, January 4, 2010
After driving miles and miles through the desertland of Texas we finally began to sigh in relief as we approached some greeeeennn... even if it was in the form of larger-than-life cacti!

WELCOME TO ARIZONA! Where the mountains are all-encompassing, the water is scarce, and the cacti are bigger than the men who shop at the Big 'N' Tall! We drove into the beautiful city of Tuscon where we stayed with Kendra's second cousin one removed (?? still not sure about this??). What a wonderful, understanding woman. Our faces took on a glazed expression as we walked in the door and looked at the couches, the walls, the vast expanse of carpet and then *holding our breathe* the bed. Now call us overdramatic if you want, but had you been sleeping in an Impreza for more than two weeks straight save one night in a campsite bathroom, you just might feel as though you were hallucinating as well. Jennifer gave us the place to ourselves that night, letting us melt into her couches and eat anything we wanted out of real dishes from her kitchen. *sigh* glorious. Thank you, Jennifer. :)

The next morning we went for a hike through Ventana canyon, a mile drive from the apartment. This somewhat vigorous 5 mile hike was exactly what we wanted/needed, complete with wandering minds, burning buns, and a captivating view. The less-than-24-hours in Tuscon were, simply put, refreshing... a great segway into the next few days of civilization in Tempe, just outside Phoenix, where we headed next to spend a few days with Kendra's Aunt Gail..

We were treated to our first Thai experience (delicious!), toured 6 grocery stores, an IKEA (if you've never been, GO!), made 13 more pounds of granola and 4 batches of whole wheat biscotti, treked to a hole in a rock, became one with an Italian leather couch for an UPlifting movie experience (watch UP, watch UP!), bathed 6 teensy kittens, and exchanged story after story of funny life experiences. The best:

The $300 Cat Fart.

You win, Aunt Gail, you win. :) Thanks for being so good to us! The oranges and grapefruits seem to be never-ending.. an excellent source of on-the-road strength :)

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