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Mesa Arizona, A Canadians Experience

Updated on August 23, 2019
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie is a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves to Share her passion of traveling to interesting places & photography with others.

Mesa Arizona

Mesa is a city in Maricopa County. It's, located 20 miles east of Phoenix. It covers an area of 132 square miles. The population as of 2015 was 462,376. Except for the road infrastructure, it feels more like a town.

Please don't forget. On the rare occasion, it rains. Heed the warnings they are there for a reason. Rain doesn't soak into the ground, and you could find yourself trapped in a flash flood.

Cacti right down town Mesa Arizona
Cacti right down town Mesa Arizona

Mesa and Area

Packing for a 2 Week Stay

Day wear
Night wear
Sandals, Shoes, boots
Sandal or runners
Dress shoes or boots
Hat, Swimsuit, light clothing, wind breaker
Light clothing or swimwear
Dress or semi formal
Book to write in, camera
Hat when it's warmer out
Light layers, when windy.
Small bag for shopping
Wind breaker or light coat.
No Camera, bring your phone.

When doing trails or out by the mountains, wear boots. There are snakes and scorpions.

Our Arrival In Mesa Arizona

I fell in love with Arizona in the winter of 2011. It all started with a visit to Mesa Arizona. We arrived at the quaint little airport, and it was love at first sight. Mom and I were elated to be spending time with my auntie and uncle. Being in a beautiful place for the first time made it even better. Leaving Alberta Canada in February only added to the sweetness of landing in Mesa, with no sign of winter in sight. Tomorrow we tour around the surrounding area and check out the market in Scottsdale. The ride into Mesa was awe-inspiring, to say the least. I couldn't click my camera fast enough. Good thing we don't load film anymore. I already felt like we needed more than two weeks to see this place. My brain was in overdrive trying to take it all in. My first thought was how can a city, still feel like a small town. Architecture galore and yet modern conveniences everywhere. It was like we step into another world. It's the perfect place to relax, unwind and still see something new.

Desert Near Mesa Arizona
Desert Near Mesa Arizona

Things to See and Do Around Mesa

Places, Stores, Great Eats and Entertainment.

  • Superstition Mountain and Museum, for fantastic unique gifts.
  • Little ways down the road was a ghost town, reminded me of the old west.
  • Apache Junction
  • Tortilla Flats, Store, and Restaurant.
  • Artisans market in Fountain Hills. And the Fountain in the man-made lake in the middle of town.
  • You also need to visit Saguaro Lake and the paddle boat.
  • Pack lunch and stop at any of the rest stops to eat and enjoy the view.
  • Organ Pizza, the place you want to be for entertainment and great food.
  • If you love tennis, stop in and watch the tournament every February.
  • There is also a marathon in Mesa on February 25th.
  • Don't forget to check out the 2nd hand stores too. You'll wish you had a moving truck.
  • Castle Museum.
  • Love Chinese Food? Go to the Chinese Buffet. In the heart of Mesa.
  • Cracker Barrel and Chilies. Both are family restaurants.

Exploring and Shopping In Mesa

We walked and talked for hours, and it seemed like minutes. Mesa is not regular shopping, between checking out the second-hand stores and the western wear stores. If I'd have driven there instead of flying, I'd need a moving truck to get back home. It's as if we've taken a step back in time. If peace, quiet and relaxation are what you're looking for, this is the place to be. Even the place we stayed was like a little community. They served breakfast, had a market and a place to swim. Along with a choice of hobbies and other activities. Sitting outside at night visiting and meeting new people was only the beginning. The night air was warm and inviting. My love of nature and animals was even fulfilled here in this Arizona town. If you keep your eyes open, you might even see a road runner. Yes, I am Canadian, I know it's a city. But my heart said it's a town. The trip to Mesa has even inspired me to start painting again. On my list of places to see, it ticked all the boxes. In the words of Arnold, I'll be back!

Our entertainment at organ pizza
Our entertainment at organ pizza

Organ Pizza, an Experience like Nothing Else

This place is unlike anything I've ever seen in my 50+ years on earth. Even the name stopped me in my tracks. It's not at all what you think. There was a line up at the door. With an hour wait to get in. Then you order at a counter like its take out. But surprise, you go upstairs and find a seat. They bring you the pizza order and drinks. But this is no ordinary pizza joint. You see there is a huge stage below where we sat. Windows and pipes, vignettes and lights. I was awestruck when the stage opened up and from it came out an organ, and it's master. What a fantastic site. He played and controlled everything around us. Entertainment was excellent, the puppet master and organ player controlled it all. A memorable night filled with joy, laughter, and curiosities. I've never seen anything like it. You could call it a dinner theater.

Saguaro Lake
Saguaro Lake
The view out at Tortilla Flats.
The view out at Tortilla Flats.

Drive Out to Tortilla Flats

Go to Tortilla flats. It's like taking a history lesson without a book. A step back into the old west. Hear stories about the old west and the horse thieves. The building looks like an old store and has a gift shop and restaurant. Don't forget to slip into the bathroom. It's good for a laugh. The doors are painted, like dancing girls. We had our picture taken. Yes, I never thought I'd ever say, my picture was taken, in a restroom. Ha Ha, there is a fist time for everything. Outside you can walk around and view some of the historical parts of the area. I, of course, took a lot of photos. You can spend hours looking around at everything, and it feels like minutes.

Horse rustlers not allowed, at the general store
Horse rustlers not allowed, at the general store

Mesa Arizona

Have you been here?

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Lake in the middle of Fountain Hills
Lake in the middle of Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills

Another beautiful and amazing site to see. If you go, do so in February. That's when they have the Artist market. I've never seen so many talented artists in one place ever. There were 500 vendors set up, all up and down the streets. I don't think we even got to see half of them. It's just one of the things I'll never forget. There were also golf carts that were painted to look like classic cars. This community is built, into the hillside. Adobe style homes are everywhere. I loved here so much. I plan to move there when I retire. They even have a fountain in the park, right in the man-made lake. I was compelled to take my camera out and snap some shots. Don't forget to bring your camera. You will need it. Now on to the next adventure.

Love adobe homes
Love adobe homes

Are You Creative? You Have to Go Here

If, you are creative in any way. You have to go here. You just can't help yourself. From photography, sketching and drawing. To golfing, shopping, hiking, and horseback riding. Mesa is a Mecca of creative inspiration. This Canadian will never get enough of this awe-inspiring place. Mesa is often my inspiration for my creative outlets. Writing this article is drawing me back in, as I type. This adobe home was the inspiration for my latest painting. All I can say is, find out for yourself. My heart has found another home.

PS, Not far from Mesa, in Scottsdale is the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction. Held there in January. Drive on over and have a look.

© 2016 Terrie Lynn


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