Orange Blossoms are My New Favorite!

We made it to Arizona! My best friend, Christy from grad school, lives here and has graciously allowed us to park on her property for the month of March. It was a little dicey getting backed it. The conversations leading up to our arrival had our eyes swimming with sugarplums. “HUGE concrete pad”, ” fully gated yard where Indy can run with our dogs too”, “12 foot wide fence to back in through” and “clear, nothing hanging overhead”.

PERFECTION!

But that’s also from the perspective of someone who has never been in nor dirven a 5th wheel.

Michael is the world’s best driver and backer, if I do say so. I may be biased, but it’s the truth. He threaded this beast under the tree, through the fence and onto the concrete pad without hitting the metal clothes line that was perched at the end of the concrete pad. (It has since been removed. Apparently it was the plan all along.) All while being under the stress of holding up traffic on a busy, major street. This man is a cool customer under pressure!

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But once we were in it was exactly as described, on a concrete pad, within the fence so Indy could run free, clear overhead. They have a tangelo and lemon tree in their yard. We got here just as the citrus blossoms are releasing the most intoxicating fragrance I have ever experienced! Pure bliss!

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Christy and Ellen’s (her partner) lemon tree is still a baby and not yet producing fruit. But their neighbor brings them lemons off of her tree. Here is the latest gift from next door.

Orange, lemon, grapefruit…. they are EVERYWHERE! I actually LOVE running here solely because of the sweet smells wafting through the wind as we run. Even through busy streets! I can’t begin to describe it. I don’t have the words. Just come to Phoenix in March. You won’t be disappointed!

There are many reasons I’m excited to be staying at Christy and Ellen’s. First and foremost, I actually get to see my best friend of 16 years for a while! Not just a quick yearly weekend visit or so that we’ve managed for the past 12+ years. I also get to spend time with Ellen and get to know her more. I’m of the mind that you should really get to know your best friends’ significant other. Or at least be friends with them. It’s so much more fun to all hang out together and share experiences.

I was also excited that Indy would have the opportunity to run free in a fenced-in yard. However that has not turned out as expected. Christy and Ellen have three little dogs and a Greyhound. They also have an apartment on their property they rent out and the renters have two little multi-poos. The first day we arrived we let all the dogs out together and Oliver, an old, deaf small poodle mix (I think) went all ankle-biter on Indy. Indy did not like it. As a matter of fact he was terrified and traumatized by the experience.

My 80 pound Great Dane/ hound mix will no longer go outside the camper unless we put his harness on him and take him for a walk. Outside the fence. If he has to go bad enough I’ll open the door and he’ll stand there, look out to see if he sees any ankle biters. Only if he feels the coast is clear will he come out on his own. Sissy.

Another plus to staying here is the use of a full-sized kitchen!!! It’s funny how you get used to what you’ve got. I made dinner for us and one of their friends the other night.They have a big kitchen and I almost got overwhelmed! Funny, isn’t it, that I’m now so used to a teeny tiny space, that running around their vast kitchen was almost too much. It also doesn’t help when you cook in an unfamiliar place. But I think I pulled it off alright.

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We had Orange and Fennel Salad and then I grilled simple kabobs and served them over Black Bean and Wild Rice Salad. However, I made it with black rice instead of wild rice. And for dessert, Grilled Pineapple with Honey-Cinnamon Glaze. I used honey from a family friend who raises bees in South Carolina. I think dinner went over pretty well!

And the final reason I love it here…. did I mention the orange blossoms???

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