I'm in Tucson for Christmas, and guess what? It's beautiful.
It's all different kinds of beautiful. Today is supposed to be 71F, with skies completely clear and calm. I don't know why I'm always surprised to rediscover how brilliant and vivid the sky is here.... I'm sure there are other places on earth with a sky this amazing, but so far I haven't been to any of them.
Earlier in the month I talked to someone I hadn't seen in a good long while. He mentioned that in the intervening time he'd made his first trip to Arizona, and was shocked to discover that it's really quite beautiful.
"What do you mean, you were shocked?" I asked.
"You know--you think it's just desert. But so much of the landscape is really amazing."
"You mean, it's desert, which is WHY the landscape is really amazing?" I replied.
He grinned sheepishly.
"What did you think it was like?" I asked. "After all, it's just south of Utah, which you already know has some pretty amazing desert landscape. Monument Valley straddles the Arizona-Utah border. And the Grand Canyon, one of the great wonders of the world, is in Arizona. So what did you think was down there?"