Last weekend Katie and I went to Phoenix to visit her sister. When we planned the trip, we had an ulterior motive too: get our canine fix with Kelly’s newly adopted dog, Kona! Now, due to the timing of our own adoption of Max, we no longer needed the fix but we new it would be a wonderful trip anyway.
After having Max just one week, we dropped him off at Pet Paradise to be reunited with his buddies for the weekend and then we headed to the airport. I pulled a really dunce move and left my driver’s license at home. I had scans of both my driver’s license and my passport on my laptop but that was obviously insufficient. Just when it was looking like I would have to return home (in rush hour) to retrieve my license and then take a later flight, we received a very welcome surprise: TSA offered to help.
They took me into an isolated area and grilled me with questions about my identity, verifying my answers against a database of everywhere I had lived, which cars I had registered, etc. Then they gave my luggage the full treatment, checking every nook and cranny of it for sketchy stuff. Finally they gave me the full treatment, patting me down–well, up, down, and every other which way too! I passed all the tests so, after 20 minutes or so, they let me through. I was incredibly impressed with the professionalism and courtesy they showed me throughout the process. I know it’s not easy to keep millions of travelers safe every day but they did it with aplomb. Seriously, well done, TSA!
Kelly and her boyfriend, Mike, picked us up and took us immediately to The Vig, a bar/restaurant. We ate, drank, watched college football, and met up with their friends there; it was great weather for outdoor merrymaking! Then we went back to their house to meet Kona. We had another pleasant surprise, though: they were sitting two other dogs for the weekend! All the dogs were sweet and fun and it was clear that it was going to be a good couple of days.
Saturday we went to the dog park, had some breakfast, and then hiked Camelback Mountain. Mike and Kelly had made the hike many times but this was Katie’s and my first time hiking anything in awhile–and we decided to make the attempt in our Vibram FiveFingers barefoot “shoes.” The terrain was very desert-rocky so it put our Vibrams to the test, but we scrambled up OK. Coming down was a little slower as we focused on ensuring we had enough grip and tried to avoid stepping hard on jagged rock surfaces. It was hot and tiring but a very rewarding experience.
Afterward we treated ourselves to Thai food at Fresh Mint. The food was excellent, the oldies playing in the background were great, and the Joe Montana memorabilia on the walls (The owners are from San Francisco.) was very welcome. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing by the pool, cooking dinner, and watching 300.
Sunday we played some beach volleyball then had brunch at a vegan restaurant that offered many raw food options. I put together an entire meal made of raw dessert items: black cherry cheesecake, blueberry acai pie, chocolate donut, chocolate walnut brownie, chocolate macaroon–all raw! It was delicious and very filling.
We stopped by a microbrewery to watch some football before being dropped off at the airport for the ride home. A friend of mine had very kindly overnighted my driver’s license to me so I managed to avoid extra TSA attention on the way back. Max was elated to see us again when we picked him up.
Now, after nearly two weeks with him, he seems really to have adjusted to our house and life. We were sorry to leave him for a weekend but it certainly was a wonderful 48 hours!