I agree, people always say “oh, it’s a dry heat” and it makes me so mad. Yeah, your oven is a dry heat too, but you sure as heck wouldn’t want to sit in there or touch anything inside it. That’s really what it’s like in the summertime, you walk out to this huge blast of heat and you can literally see a shimmer around any solid object because it is so hot. You need tinted windows and steering wheel covers and window shades and all that stuff for your car otherwise you will burn the ever-loving shiz out of yourself when you get back in your car.
The freeways are pretty big and open here, and there’s hardly ever anyone in the carpool lane so even if the rest of the freeway is backed up, if there’s more than 1 person in your car you can probably avoid it. It’s pretty easy in general to drive around anywhere in the valley. Everything is on a grid and it’s almost impossible to get lost, if you can just get yourself to a half mile road you can just go in the direction you need and you’ll sort yourself out eventually. The only “weird” place to drive is in downtown Phoenix where there are one way streets and you have to watch out for the light rail. (above ground train)
Sky Harbor International airport is a good airport, it’s not some dodgy little place. They know what they’re doing. They’ve been there forever and are pretty well organized, I travel a lot and have never had any problems there at all.
I don’t live in Chandler so I’m not super familiar with that particular area, I live more in the North Phoenix area, but like PP said, it all kind of blends together. A lot of people just say “Phoenix” and that incorporates Peoria, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Paradise Valley, Tolleson etc etc. There’s tons of movie theaters everywhere and most places will have kind of the same layout – like there will be an outdoor shopping mall with a movie theater, a couple of restaurants (maybe like Chili’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and then a couple faster places like Rubio’s, Subway etc) and then shopping like Target, Ross, and a gas station and a couple other random little things. There’s areas like that all over the place. There’s never a shortage of things open or places to go, and there’s always somewhere to shop or eat.
You will have the best Mexican food of your life here. If you’re a foodie, the food scene in general is really starting to boom around here and I’m always happy to give suggestions.
Honestly I personally am not a huge fan of Phoenix, but that’s because it’s really crowded and I just hate the heat. But Arizona outside of Phoenix is beautiful, and you can get anywhere you want in like 5 hours. You can go ocean, forest, desert, plains, mesas, snow… almost anything you want in nature, you can get to pretty easily from here.