Well, so much for posting every day, but whatever.
I got back from Scottsdale last night around 10:30pm. Returning to DC is always a bit depressing, especially when the temperature has dropped to a level in which flip-flops are no longer feasible, and the bullets continue to fly in your neighborhood. Also, there is no one to clean your room, bring you cappuccino at seven in the morning, or lay out your robe and place chocolates on your pillow. You have to do that yourself.
Early morning in Scottsdale, as captured by horrible camera phone
Arizona, and especially Scottsdale, reminds me a lot of the SoCal desert where I grew up. Our hotel, situated on a beautiful golf course, could very well have been in La Quinta or Indian Wells. The weather was perfect – sunny and temps in the 80s. We went horseback riding through the desert one afternoon. I used to ride a lot when I was a kid, but can’t remember the last time I’ve been on a horse. The ride itself lasted about an hour and a half, and led us through valleys filled with giant saguaro cacti and across the Verde River, where wild horses lounged on the banks. Admittedly, I felt incredibly city-slickerish riding a horse while dressed in Puma sneakers and a polo shirt, with a Treo repeatedly buzzing in my pocket. It’s a good thing my grandfather, an Oklahoma born, cowboy boot and hat wearing, ranch-owning rodeo participant, was not around to see this faux pas.
While in Arizona, I also learned how to play tabletop shuffleboard in the hotel bar. I even somehow managed to win a few games despite having had seven pints of beer by that time. We ended up playing a bunch of guys from Honeywell, who were also in town for meetings, and I won a home security system off them (which would be quite useful in my current neighborhood – more so that a missile guidance system, anyways). When we moved on to pool, however, I lost both games so our wagers with each other ended in a wash.
The food at the hotel was delicious, but after three days of eating like the bourgeoisie, I started to crave something with a bit more of the proletarian ambiance I am accustomed to. Thankfully, the good people at In-N-Out were kind enough to export California’s finest to the citizens of Arizona:
No, this was not all just for me
We stopped at In-N-Out on the way to the airport. I got my usual double double, fries, and chocolate shake.
Yeah, life in the energy industry is rough, I tell ya.