Aging Expectations

Phoenix – Day Three

If you missed it, we went to Phoenix. Check out Day One here and Day Two here. Now, we’re on to Day Three.

Quite some time ago, the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau tweeted about the butterfly garden at the Desert Botanical Garden starting in May. I made a note of it since our trip coincided with the dates. With that as our main goal, we made our way to the Desert Botanical Garden. Entrance to the garden and to see the butterflies (extra) was $44 for the three of us. Wow, what a difference from yesterday.

Now, here’s the thing about a botanical garden in Phoenix, it’s designed to show off plants indigenous to the region. Duh, right? Well, after a few minutes of viewing the thousands of varieties of cacti (really there are so many different types), it gets a little, well, I hate to say it, but, it gets…boring. There I said it. It was boring.

It was especially boring for my three year-old and probably even more boring for my fourteen year-old. There’s just not a lot to ooohhh and aaahhh over. There’s just not a lot of color. There are a lot of prickers (my daughter’s word for thorns) though. The plants just seem mean.

Then we found the butterfly garden. It was lush. It was pretty. There were tons of butterflies (not a lot of variety but a lot of them). It was nice. I have to say, it wasn’t the best butterfly garden we’d been to…our favorite is in Washington, DC at the Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History.

We walked around a little more and found the herb garden area, which was a bit more interesting. We saw a huge artichoke tree. Yes, that’s what was exciting at that point. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long. I was disappointed after spending so much money. If you have younger kids or kids who don’t enjoy plant life, save this activity for your adult excursion and even then, remember you’re going to see a lot of prickers.

But I had to show this…the first is a picture of them going into the gardens. The second is a picture of them coming out.

Our next stop was lunch. We tried Coco’s Bakery. This place was the worst! In Nina’s (my visitor board contact) defense, she told us to go to the food trucks, something becoming very popular in Phoenix but I didn’t feel like driving into town so we picked this place.

It was horrible. I should have just turned around once I walked in the door but I thought we’d give it a chance. This was like a 20 year-old, run down, nobody cares Denny’s. Don’t ever go here!

Then it was onto the Phoenix Zoo. First thing we noticed, you can find all the same plant life from the Botanical Garden at the zoo. Next thing, there is no bear in the bear exhibit. There are a lot of signs talking about a lot of bears but there was no bear! Third, a mid-size bag of Lays potato chips costs $2.88.

I know because Leah begged for them and I bought them (against her brother’s efforts to get me not to waste my money – how funny is that). But it was money well spent. She was so happy with those chips, my son and I got to discuss the most hilarious things at that zoo. Yes, some of it was related to the animals and some of it was related to the visitors. Sorry to the family who was letting their two-year boy walk around in nothing but a saggy diaper…unfortunately, at that point, it must be discussed!

After leaving the zoo, we stopped by Hole in the Rock. We didn’t hike it but it looks really cool. Check it out if you’re at the zoo, it’s really so close.

That night we had dinner at Los Dos Molinos. They have multiple locations, we visited two that night (see details here…check #30 and #31). Both were great. Thanks Nina for the recommendation.

The next day, we packed up and went home. It was another great visit to Phoenix. I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

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