One of the lovely and unexpected by-products of my visits to see my mom in Michigan is a perfect opportunity to visit my youngest daughter at school in Arizona.
Every time I come to campus, I take a photo of these three trees against the corner of this building. I just think the pairing is lovely.
I am a super budget-conscious air traveler. I will fly at any crazy time of day, and switch planes at any random city, as long as it saves a few dollars. Toward that objective, I've found that the cheapest way to get to Detroit is through Phoenix.
I know. That makes no geographic sense whatsoever.
During my college days at beautiful Michigan State University, I was madly in love with the ivy-covered Gothic architecture. While this campus has a decidedly different vibe, I love the parallels between brick buildings and twining vine.
But I'm not complaining. Because I've realized that for no extra airfare dollars, I can hop off my homeward-bound plane in Phoenix, rent a car to drive to nearby Tucson, and spend a lovely weekend with my fourth-born who goes to school at University of Arizona.
Palm trees. Yum.
That's what I call a win/win.
Walking back and forth between parking garage and dormitory. It was a lot hotter than it looks.
During my most recent trip to the desert, my eldest daughter flew down from Seattle and joined us.
Love that architectural detailing, and the cool shade of this north-facing portico.
What bliss to drop down into the warmth and intense light of the Arizona desert. After a week of hardscrabble weather in Great Lakes territory, ninety degrees and sunny felt like heaven.
And you know, just to mix it up, on the other side of the street, we have modern minimalism, a colorful fleet of bikes, and that sassy little palm.
Our agenda was pleasantly relaxing. After a few months of being trapped on campus without a car, my baby wanted nothing more than to spend a few hours wandering the aisles of the closest Target, eat at some off-campus restaurants, and sprawl her 5'11" frame across a spacious double bed.
Not her dorm. But a darn cute building.
And while I understand her enthusiasm for a much-deserved change of scene, I also treasure the time I spent with her on campus. It's so fun to see how she has made herself at home in this unfamiliar (to me) and faraway place, and I take comfort in watching the easy way she handles herself here.
My bookends: fourth-born and first-born.
You can tell by their outfits who has become accustomed to the ninety degree heat.
As much as I miss my youngest when she is away at school, and despise every single one of the 1500 miles that separates us, I must say, I love with equal energy the moments that we have together, here in Tucson.