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As our plane took off from Indianapolis in dead silence—everyone was quiet, and the only sound was that of the jets roaring—my older brother loudly exclaimed, “my wallet!,” which elicited some stifled chuckles from yours portly, and I think I heard one other person react. Otherwise, no one bit on his hilarious joke about leaving his wallet in the airport.
After a very brief layover in Detroit, which saw us running to the next gate for our flight to Phoenix, we enjoyed a quiet flight to Phoenix. I’ve grown accustomed to airlines abusing passengers, but Delta is a great airline and my older brother has achieved a status where he gets some actual respect from the flight crew, so it was a welcome change. The snacks and soft drinks flowed freely, and I discovered that the chess app in the Delta entertainment console is impossible to beat, even on “Easy” mode—something that people who are actually good at chess have discussed at length online.
We landed in Phoenix and made it to the rental car area, where we managed to score a sweet Kia Niro, a car so laden with technology, it was difficult to figure out how to turn on the heat. Yes, despite being in Arizona, it was unseasonably cold, with temperatures comparable to those in South Carolina at the time (we arrived the evening of Monday, 19 December 2022).
Our AirBnB was a cool little duplex in downtown Phoenix, decorated in the Southwestern style. It sported an impressive fireplace, though we didn’t mess with it. The interior reminded me of smaller homes built in the 1920s, although I don’t know how old this home was. It had a cute (if tight) breakfast nook, where my brother and I were able to get some writing done during our stay, and a good, powerful shower. The host left us some coffee from a local roaster, which we tore through in a couple of days.
One of our major goals for the week was to visit Grand Canyon National Park. I’ve always wanted to see Grand Canyon, and this trip was the perfect opportunity to do so. We decided to knock out the visit—which took the entire day, as it’s roughly four hours to the north of Phoenix—on Tuesday, 20 December 2022, our first full day in Arizona.