Friday, December 23, 2016

A Valley Christmas, by Dylan

The sun hangs low in the western sky beyond Phoenix.

It's been months since I last posted any of Dylan's photographs. There are so many awesome shots I'd love to have shared, but my life has been a bit too full since school started. So much has slipped by, not unnoticed, but also not all shared.

The Rosson House Museum on Heritage Square in Phoenix.
This Queen Anne Victorian-style brick home was built in 1895.

Early in December, Dylan and Jake made a trip to celebrate Christmas with Jake's side of the family for four days, since both boys work jobs that will keep them busy during the weeks of Christmas and New Years. While there, Dylan sent me some gorgeous pictures I'd love to share with you!

On the grounds of the Rosson House.

One of the first things they did was explore Heritage Square, one of the original blocks in the center of the town of Phoenix, featuring buildings from the late 1800s.

The Lath House is often used as a venue for weddings and other events.

Their crew also hiked to Dobbins Lookout at the top of South Mountain, which gave them an amazing (albeit hazy) view of Phoenix below. The haze is typical of Phoenix winters because of a temperature inversion that traps pollution near the surface. Crisp, clear skies are more typical in the summer months.

The view from Dobbins Lookout.

There aren't many tall buildings in Arizona, so it's easy to spot
downtown Phoenix rising from the center of the sprawling city.

A closeup of downtown Phoenix.

A winter sunset as seen from South Mountain.

They spent quite a bit of time on South Mountain, watching the sun go down and then seeing the lights appear across the Valley floor.

On one of their final nights in the Valley, they all went to the LDS Temple in Mesa to see the thousands and thousands of Christmas lights and displays on view, an annual tradition for many families. Most people, whether LDS or not, will tell you that the Mesa Temple lights are the absolute best Christmas light display anywhere in the Valley, and I'd have to agree. It's not just the lights and sets, which are stunning, but the very spirit as you walk the grounds is so peaceful and quiet. Guests tend to speak in hushed voices as they wander throughout the temple's beautiful grounds.

I love this one.

I won't post all of Dylan's pictures of the temple least, not yet. Sarah, Chris, Mark, and I are heading to the Valley next week for an appointment, and we plan to tour the temple grounds ourselves before we head back home that night. As always, I'll have my camera with me and do my best to capture the wonderful ambience through the camera's lens. Then, perhaps, I'll share a collection of moments from both Dylan's and my own experiences!

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