When I started college in August 2006, I thought I’d made a grave , life-ruining mistake by selecting the University of Arizona for higher education. The campus grass had been green during prospective student visiting week, but it was brown and worn out by the end of summer. The cacti had lost its initial appeal and the lack of redwood trees was suddenly alarming. I’d grown up in foggy northern California, a cold yet peaceful part of the Golden State, and at first it seemed like I belonged nowhere else.
After a year in Tucson, however, I began to love the desert. The dry heat felt good, even though it burned me practically every time I stepped outside. The palm trees made me feel like I was always on vacation. The fake grass wasn’t so bad after all — at least we didn’t have a ton of rain in Arizona! The sunshine kept me upbeat and inspired to get out and do stuff, and we appreciated the few gloomy days we experienced each year.
I loved the desert even more after three years on the east coast — one in D.C. and two in Manhattan — so it was awesome to go to Palm Springs last weekend. I met my lovely boyfriend’s parents in the desert, and the two of us went hiking during the day. Though I can’t run up the mountain like Ian, I can certainly climb it slowly, and that’s what I did on Saturday and Sunday:
I’ve always written about my obsession with sunshine and dry heat, but the more time I spend in SoCal, the more I love its weather. Maybe I’ll end up in Palm Springs someday — I’d be the luckiest person ever. Have your White Christmas and snowballs if those make you happy, but 75 degrees on December 25 is better than any holiday gift I could ever ask for.