Take my advice--if you live in a cold-weather climate, do not travel the American Southwest in January. You'll never want to come back home.
As my wife and I traveled through Phoenix, the Nevada/California desert, Los Angeles, San Clemente, Palm Springs, and Twenty-Nine Palms, we kept getting reports of minus-zero wind chill back home. This made the sunny and 75-degree weather of southern California feel like bliss. We got lost in a "desert reverie" of dreamy days and glorious sunsets. Calm and warmth seeped into our pores.
Now we're back home, and the weather is as dreary as ever. January and February in the Midwest make me wonder why in god's name our forebears ever settled here. Didn't they know what they were in for? Yes, I know California is having floods right now, but they won't last. And it won't rain there again until June.
What's worse, Ted Kennedy's old seat has been taken over by a Republican. Now the bastards have enough votes to block health care reform. What has become of the world when you can't even count on Massachusetts any more?
It's going to be a long, cold winter.