Having spent a lot of time in Arizona in my earlier years I was never enamoured with Phoenix. It was always a "big city" and did not have the home town feel of either Tucson, Douglas or Bisbee, where I had spent a lot of time earlier.
In 2001 when I was laid off I had become good friends with Sam Garvin, the owner of CPG in Scottsdale and a Flexjet owner. I did two long overseas flights with him and his family and we just worked well together.
First one was from Bangor Maine to Malta, then Sicily and finally a week in Bermuda and returning home.
Three months later he emails me and asks if I would be available and interested in doing a flight to Australia in June. After lots of trials and tribulations by Flexjet (they did not like owners requesting any flight crew) we took off for Hawaii. One day there and we headed SE for Tahiti for 4 days. Then on to Tonga for fuel and then our destination of Sydney Australia for a week. After this we headed to the Marshall Islands for a night then returned to Hawaii for a couple of days and finally Scottsdale.
Three months later I was laid off by Flexjet and after working part time out of Dallas I was offered a job by Sam and made the move to Phoenix. It was so nice to get out of Dallas and back to Arizona again! Have gotten to love Phoenix as well but it would be nice to live in a smaller town someday.