Today was a non-travel day. It didn’t mean that we didn’t leave the hotel and just relaxed by the pool. Looking back, it has been a quite eventful and pretty useful day. But first “hello jetlag”. In other words, we were awake around 6.30 am. While Paul and Carla went to the fitness room to burn some calories, Yvonne and I decided to properly wake up, before going to the pool around 7.
First, you take a dip in the big pool, then you go to one of the small spas and relax and enjoy the terrific view. I wouldn’t mind waking up like that every day. I have to admit, waking up early feels as if you have a pretty long day. Shame, it mostly doesn’t work out with my working schedule at home, to wake up early. We woke up early, but most of the times, we also went to bed around 9-10 pm. That is a non-achievable feat at home.
Nevertheless, we swam, showered and 9.00 am equaled breakfast! The buffet that was offered by the hotel was magnificent! It was easy to stuff yourself with delicious goodies. Due to some difficulties with Wi-fi and other phone troubles, we first went to a T-mobile store before meeting Kelly and her husband back at our hotel. We had a busy day ahead with heaps of different options.
First up: Boot Barn in Mesa, AZ. This store is a piece of heaven on earth when you’re riding western in the Netherlands. Stores selling western wear aren’t very common in my home country and when you’re there the prices aren’t always within my budget. I always try to fit in a Boot Barn during my travels in the USA nowadays. My collection of boots at home is growing with each visit.
In Boot Barn, we shopped. I would say until we dropped, but it wasn’t that bad. Personally, I bought a pair of boots, a new hat and stampede strings to go with it. It could have been worse. After the Boot Barn we went to Walmart to stock up drinks and snacks for our stay at Sprucedale Ranch for the remainder of the week.
I’m always amazed by how big a grocery store can be. I reckon, that even if you imagine the largest grocery store in the Netherlands, it will either equal or be smaller than a normal-sized Walmart in the USA. I worked in a grocery store for 7 years; I find Walmarts fascinating. They’re good places to stock up cheap on candy and shampoo to bring back home.
After the Walmart, the six of us, went to the recently opened aquarium in Phoenix. The aquarium was wonderful! They had otters and the temperature was very cool compared to the almost 40 degrees centigrade outdoors. I just don’t understand why they had a sloth (don’t get me wrong, I love sloths!) and two toucans in a aquarium. They might need water to survive, but they don’t live in it like the turtles, sharks, crocs and other animals that were basically on display.
Kelly had arranged tickets for us to go to a baseball game of die D-backs (Diamond backs), one of the major baseball teams in the USA playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. But first, we had to eat. We went to this awesome small diner/restaurant founded by Alice Cooper. The food and atmosphere were amazing and I can recommend anyone to go there. You get good food for a decent price and in the end, that’s all we want right?
After dinner we went to the stadium. The game had already started, but there were still a few innings to go. I have always love to play baseball during secondary school. Unfortunately, sports aren’t such big a deal as they are in the USA and not many fancy playing baseball. That doesn’t change the fact that I love this game. It was also weird to experience the atmosphere in the stadium. I have to admit I don’t go to soccer matches either at home, but people love the sport and their team (whatever team they are rooting for). It’s nice and catchy. I’d go back to a baseball game in the future without a doubt.
After the game we went back to the hotel and planned our next day, the reason how this trip came to be: going to Sprucedale ranch for a horse drive.