How Growing up in Phoenix Prepared Me for Living in Puerto Rico

We recently moved to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.  I was a little nervous about the culture shock of leaving our hot, dry desert city and adjusting to small town, island life.  It sounds weird, but it turns out growing up in Phoenix has actually prepared me for living in Puerto Rico.  GrowingupPHX

Here are 10 ways growing up in Phoenix, Arizona prepared me for living in Puerto Rico:

Close connection to foreign countries. 

It is faster to drive to Mexico from Phoenix than any state in the US, Mexico is Arizona’s neighbor to the South.  Likewise, Puerto Rico’s closest neighbors are definitely not the US mainland (Hello Dominican Republic and British Virgin Islands)

Everyone is (a little) Bilingual

Anyone who grew up in Arizona speaks at least a little Spanish. I even attended a bilingual elementary school for English as Second Language (ESL program).  Everyone speaks a little English in Puerto Rico.  Many people are fully bilingual in both Arizona and Puerto Rico.   Admittedly, Arizona Spanglish is a different dialect that the Puerto Rican Spanish, but it is a good foundation to build upon.  Plus I was always really good at charades, so I can act out many difficult phrases.

There are more Snowbirds than Local Residents half the year

Winters in Phoenix are overrun by people from the Mid-west desperately trying to escape the cold and warm up.  Since arriving in January, we have seen the population dwindle as the snowbirds leave the island for summer.  I just cannot escape snowbirds!

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Walking Guide of Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona

Old Town Cottonwood, affectionately still known as Downtown or Main Street, is a little town with a lot to offer in the heart of Arizona.  Cottonwood is part of the Verde Valley, and close neighbor to the Ghost Town of Jerome and ever popular Sedona, each accessed from the 89A highway.
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Old Town is a few shorts blocks along Main Street, perfect for a few hours and up to a few days!

Come hungry!  Cottonwood is building a reputation for fantastic local restaurants, with new ones opening every time I visit!  The “new” bakery smelled divine and received glowing recommendations from everyone I spoke to in town. Continue reading “Walking Guide of Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona”

Spirited Ghost Town of Jerome Arizona

2016 Jerome JPerched on top of Cleopatra Hill in the heart of Verde Valley, Arizona is the old mining town of Jerome.  Once a bustling copper mining town, Jerome officially became a ghost town in the 1950’s and finally a National Historic District in 1967.2016_JGH2

Jerome is a family favorite for me since the 1970’s.  Every time I visit Jerome, there is something new to see!  This little ghost town is a hidden gem bustling with activity.  There are hotels, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, art galleries, museums, and old fashion saloons!2016 WInery

The views are stunning throughout the town!  Customers line up at the various restaurants and wineries that showcase the view. One of the most popular spots is the delicious Haunted Hamburger restaurant.

This little town is full of eerie sights and locations haunted by former residents from the days as the “Wickedest Town in the West”.  These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects.   The town’s Community Center is also known as Spook Hall due to a resident ghost and her odd behavior.  The former brothels on Main Street are still popular for sightings of phantoms.  These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects.

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Arizona Renaissance Festival | Beginners Guide and Frugal Tips

Step back in time and into a world of fantasy at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, full of Knights, Royalty, Mermaids, Pirates, Gypsies, and more.  

Romance, adventure, and entertainment set in a Renaissance period fantasy world full of fun in the beautiful desert of Arizona.Let your imagination run wild in this family friendly excursion back in time!

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The festival operates every weekend in February and March, President’s day and a few select school days.  The base ticket price includes entrance to the festival grounds, ample parking, petting zoo, and all shows, including the joust.

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Explore Your Own Backyard | Travel Tips to Discover Your Local Treasures

Travel tips to discover the local treasures hidden in your backyard!

For as long as I can remember I have had the Travel Bug, my Dad calls this my “itchy feet” since I could never stand still.  I loved going on road trips and vacation getaways with my family as a child, then exploring on my own as I got older.  I was excited to get my Passport so I could travel to distant lands and experience the World!

Explore Your Own Backyard

After two trips outside the United States I realized that my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona was an exotic location for many people.  The locals that I was visiting were just as fascinated by USD currency, desert climate, and the “wild, wild, west” as I was with their home.  Some of my new British friends even made the trek out to Phoenix to see for themselves.  Treating my home as base camp, we explored my neighborhood through tourist eyes.  And I discovered treasure in my own backyard!

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