As we climbed out of bed at 4:20 this morning, Drea and I experienced the phenomenon that occurs when you’re awake at an hour that, under normal circumstances, would cause sleep-deprived irritability, but under given circumstances, you’re too excited to be tired. Yes, the first day of our vacation has finally arrived!

My dad dropped us off at the airport, wishing us a great time and expressing his jealousy that he wasn’t going too (heartfelt, but trivial since he just spent a week with his buddies hiking around Wyoming and Utah.)

After an uneventful (therefore agreeable) flight to Phoenix, we grabbed our luggage and took our first steps out of the cool, air-conditioned airport.

Now, Arizona is hot. So hot that people have written songs about it. Take for example this old drinking song my grandfather used to regale us grandkids with at Ackermann family reunions:

Well the state of Arizona is a hell of a place to be
The temperature in the shade is a hundred-and-ninety-three
There ain’t no flowers and there ain’t no grass
All there is is cactus that’ll prick you in the…

You get the idea. It is hot here, but actually not quite as hot as I remembered. Last time I was in Phoenix was a few years ago during that summer when forest fires were wreaking havoc all over Arizona. It was (no joke) like 115 degrees. So, I was pleasantly surprised that it only reached about 100 today. Of course, 100 degrees feels a lot different in DC (e.g. that sticky, stifling humidity that feels like having a hot wet blanket on your shoulers), but here in the arid Arizona desert, it just feels…very warm. It’s actually not bad at all.

We’re staying in the posh neighborhood of Scottsdale (or “Snobsdale”, as it’s commonly called.) I booked us a $66 room at the 4-star Scottsdale Resort, which goes to show that if you come in the summer, you can stay pretty cheaply at some swanky hotels.

We’re currently taking a little breather after traveling all morning on four hours of sleep. Tonight the plan is to consume some Phoenix-style Mexican food, and perhaps hit the waterpark later on if we’re so inclined. (Yes, we’re in our mid-twenties and are super-psyched about tackling the waterslides and splashing around in the wave pool with a bunch of 13-year-olds. Don’t hate!)

More Ackermann vacation updates to come soon. Until then, stay classy!