A working week in the sun

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I’m looking back to a welcome sunny few days in Arizona in November 2015. The company I was working for at the time held its users conference in Scottsdale and I tagged along. Well, not just tagged along: I did end up giving a (successful!) live demo of a web application I had written, even though I couldn’t get MySQL to behave itself on my laptop.

1. Hello Grand Canyon

Knowing we were flying in to Phoenix, it didn’t take much research to see that we’d pass right over the Grand Canyon. Having flown over it once before back in 2013 I had a good idea of what to expect too. Seeing it in person remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I think even better than seeing it from an aircraft. Unlike our last pass over the canyon, I wasn’t able to work out exactly where we were but it didn’t matter. Just seeing it was good enough.

2. The Fender Trio – Tele, P-bass, and Strat

We were staying at the Hotel Valley Ho, a monument to the 1950s, from architecture to music (thought thankfully the beer has been upgraded since then). And no monument to 1950s’ music could possibly be complete without acknowledging some of the revolutionary musical instruments, such as these three from Fender. They made a really nice display and I couldn’t resist taking their picture. But I so wanted to pull down the bass and spend some time playing it…

Some might regard the hotel as a bit of a gimmick, but I thought it was great, even though I’m not particularly fond of 1950s’ styling (I prefer Art Deco personally), and I would recommend staying there, or at least checking it out if you’re in Scottsdale.

3. I wouldn’t mind going back for some of this weather right now

One morning we got out for a quick but glorious hike up to a nearby peak called Camelback Mountain. Later that day we lounged around the hotel, hanging out under the palm trees by the pool. Of course, being November, we returned to grey skies and rain and I naturally found myself longing for the warm sunshine I’d been enjoying just a few days earlier. Mind you, sitting under these palms was a little too hot for my liking…

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