The last few days already brought some rain showers and mostly overcast skies and for Christmas the whole western part of the US is hit by a heavy winterstorm – higher elevations got up to a foot of snow and temperatures in the metro Phoenix area considerably dropped within a few hours on Christmas Eve. It actually rained almost all afternoon with some strong wind gusts and it seems that northern Arizona got more snow than all of Switzerland. We go food shopping early on the 24th in order to be back before the big rush and the rain.
For Christmas Eve we prepare the very traditional Swiss Fondue Chinoise with some excellent thinly sliced beef tenderloin, rice- and roasted bell pepper salads, 5 different home made dipping sauces, and some pickles – it is delicious and we enjoy the evening although missing family.
By Christmas Day, sunshine returns, but the cold air stays with temperatures in the mid 40s – to burn off some calories, we go for a walk along the shores of Tempe Town Lake and to our surprise we even see two Californian Brown Pelicans – they are probably visitors from California who settled here as they adapted to their new desert surroundings.
Besides us there are very few people out this morning – the streets are empty, not a single car on the parking lot and very few other people at or on the lake. Everyone seems to be home getting ready for the Christmas family get-together. Christmas Day is one of very few days in the United States where all the stores (even grocery stores) are closed.