I live in Gilbert and have for the past 22 years. I have my favorite places, like Flancer’s for lunch on Friday. Not sure what it is, exactly… the homemade bread for the sandwiches, the atmosphere when you walk in as Greg and his great staff greet you immediately, or the incredible specials, which never disappoint.

Usually after lunch, I have to justify eating so much so I typically take my dogs for a walk through Riparian Water Preserve in the evenings when it cools down. Lucy is a mini dachshund and the other, Ricky, is a mix of terrier and a ball of energy. Walking them through Riparian and down the canal never fails to exhaust them. There must be a million smells as their legs and noses never stop.

A great hidden gem in that area is “Carl’s Damaged Pet Warehouse.” The name is lovingly given, as Carl is an animal lover who has adopted unwanted pets. He has ducks, chickens and geese, donkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, and tortoises. He even puts pellet food out for anyone who wants to feed his castaway pets. They literally come running as soon as someone comes up to the gate to pay attention to them.

I’m a little embarrassed to say I know most of their names too: Knuckle-head the goose, Patrick the donkey, and Buttercup – Patrick’s mom, just to name a few.

Start planning your adventures. This heat can’t last forever!