Once a year or so, we make the trip out west to visit and catch up with friends and relatives in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Except during the depth of the pandemic, of course.

And that’s where I am now.

Traveling out here is a pretty straightforward process most times. The flight is non-stop and weather is rarely an issue this time of year. At least not on the Arizona end. Always a little nervous about flying out of DC in the winter.

The weak link in any trip to Phoenix is always the rental car. Last time they had plenty of vehicles (after the big pandemic shortages) but still lacked the people needed to issue them. This time things went much smoother.

And the airport finally (FINALLY) finished the rail link between the terminals and the off-site rental car facility. But putting it three floors above baggage claim with no direct elevator/escalator access is an odd design choice.

Relating back to a previous post, there are really only three reasons for travel. But few trips are taken purely for one purpose, so I’ll be doing some curiosity side trips in-between scheduled meals and other family/friends activities.

Because, even though I lived in this area (a long while back), and have returned many, many times since moving east, there are always still new things to see, explore, and photograph. You just have to look closely.

More to come. For now, I need to navigate Budget’s car through unfamiliar traffic patterns to our next stop.

The photo at the top was shot as we left National Airport (never use the R word) heading south along the Potomac River. That’s the area known as National Harbor with the Capital Wheel in the bottom left quadrant.