I know there was a point where you probably thought it was never going to end, but I said I was going to get this done within a year of me being in America and damnit if I set myself a goal I'm going to achieve it.
So just a re-cap of what the hell was going on in America and why I was there:
I was over there to see American Girl and American Boy get married which was, as you would expect, brilliant. But before that happened I got to do some good old traditional American stuff like watching a Spring training baseball game and then embarked on a four day road trip which took in more sights than it should be possible to take in in that amount of time.
Day One - Drive from Phoenix to Monument Valley
Day Two - Drive from Monument Valley to Four Corners and then to Page, Arizona
Day Three - Visit to Antelope Canyon and then a drive to the Grand Canyon
Day Four - Visit to the Grand Canyon and then back to Phoenix
Once I was back and weddinged out there was time for one more piece of adventuring in Phoenix - this time heading out to the Desert Botanical Garden.
I'll be honest it wasn't my choice to go. There were a couple of other people over from England who were without a car and they had suggested going and if I had said "Naaaaaah, don't fancy it" then no-one would have been able to go. And nobody wants to be that girl do they?
In my head botanical gardens are kind of boring. They tend to be something that you're dragged to on a wet weekend where you are trailed into a slightly damp and muggy over-sized greenhouse where you wander around looking at ferns on steroids.
But you see I forgot that a botanical garden in Phoenix is not going to be the same as a botanical garden in Belfast. For a start - it's in the flippin' desert innit? No need for the greenhouse! And no ferns on steroids here, instead, about 4 billion types of cactus. And we all know that cacti are hilarious to look at.
Not only were there cacti there but there was wildlife to spot - we saw an actual roadrunner (it is not blue and it did not say "meep meep" which was a huge disappointment, but it did run almost horizontally so it pulled it back slightly for me.) - and we were lucky enough to be there at the same time that there was an exhibition by Chihuly, a glass sculptor whose work can be seen over here in England in the form of the glass chandelier in the V&A Rotunda.
His pieces of work were dotted all over the gardens, popping up in unexpected places and I'm almost ashamed to admit that I may have once or twice mistaken a sculpture for a real cactus, only to be terribly disappointed that the very pretty thing was glass and not nature.
It was actually a really fun tramp around, you could walk for miles without realising and some of the views were absolutely beautiful. There are several trails that you can take around the gardens and there's a wildflower and butterfly garden. (Although I stayed away from the butterfly garden because let's all remember that they are the creatures of the devil and not to be trusted.)
If I hadn't have gone, I'd have probably spent the day recovering from the wedding and being hungover on the sofa, which I can't lie would have been pretty good fun but pretty much a waste of a day when this was the other option.
So the rules to remember. Botanical Gardens in deserts? Not boring.
You are welcome,
And we're done.
Now I need to plan what to do next time I go over there...