As the birds called us from sleep in Tucson, we both sensed we had stayed long ENOUGH enjoying Homer’s great hospitality and generosity…..He’d barely finished taking care of his Mom for the entire winter just before we got there.
We got up fed the birds, packed up and decided to have a night of our own in the big city Phoenix…….so headed north. We didn’t feel the need to be anywhere, but finally got very hungry around Casa Grande where there was a “ruin” one could see…. in the small town near, it was pretty barren, nothing visible except ONE breakfast joint that was packed. We first stopped at a Dollar Store for a pair of sunglasses where we got only some sort of grunting noise from the clerk when asked where we could eat breakfast. So we went into “Tag’s”……got seated and the harried serving person again was NOT to be bothered by us…when I said, “May I ask a question about the menu?”, she said, “I’ll be right back.” Minutes. When she did come back and say, “Are you ready yet?” I said, what about….and she says, “I’ll be right back.” Minutes. Third time, when she says, “Are you ready YET?” I knew what she wanted and ordered. The food was straight off the delivery truck…..and the crowd plenty leery of what, I don’t know. …..we were happy to leave and immediately went on to Phoenix!
THERE, we ran into a delightful surprise….one of Phoenix’ most fun boutique hotels possible. We booked a room at:
THE CLARENDON ……… Here we took a most welcome break, refreshed, probably should have taken a swim…… but waited for happy hour in the adjoining Old Mexico Restaurant:
The GALLO BLANCO CAFE & BAR . . . .we really enjoyed some fabulous unique food here and were ready for an evening of exploration.
The evening was spent enjoying an evening out on our own seeing the gay side of Phoenix. Was a fun night.
The next morning, we DID what was recommended: Go to wait in the long line to eat at a tiny joint “because” it had been featured by Guy Fieri on his “Diners and Dives” show on the Food Network. Matt’s Big Breakfast IS a tiny joint, and although we went at 11:00, there was still a crowd. We FINALLY got in, served, and came out…..thinking the same thing we always think of Guy Fieri. We’re NOT a fan of his, he’s one of the MOST over-played guys ON that channel…. and this food could have been trucked in….. so there.
BUT, the rest of this day was pretty great. Following Michael & David’s advice, we went to the Heard Museum: American Indian History . . . . SO well done, and one of the current exhibits showing how Indian Children were taken from families for so long and placed in Boarding Schools to “turn them from ‘savages’ into model “Christian” Children… Another sad chapter in our treatment of the original inhabitants here.
Michael and David were superstar hosts once again, and I’ll never forget how kind they were to people they’d just met. We are honored to call them “friends” now……..and hope they’ll be coming to Portland soon.
SO. Next morning, we went to something both of us are fans of: Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture. TALIESEN WEST is in Scottsdale and open to public hours. **THE LINK here has several pictures of the place on that page…cool stuff. Yea, sure, he’s been known to build some places with some leaky roofs, but he changed modern architecture completely….. and some geniuses ARE a bit odd……it shows at this place. That was a GREAT 3 hours.
The afternoon was clear……..we HAD been told to see the “MUSIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUM” . . . . and I just couldn’t imagine why something worthwhile on that subject matter would be in Phoenix….I could only imagine some little old lady eccentric with an old clarinet sitting in her house…. WRONG again! This MASSIVE NEW Museum, still in development even though it’s been open a bit, can NOT be seen in one day. With admission you’re given a set of headphones that are GPS driven….just moving in front of any exhibit and the sets begin the video/audio of the instruments shown there. Almost 5 hours there, and we left without seeing everything. I DID get to play the Steinway in the lobby …..anyone who can play is encouraged to do that. Fun. I can’t describe this WELL enough…everything you could ever imagine that could EVER be built to create music (including “voice”)….is here from everywhere in the world. This place is NOT TO BE MISSED…………. What a GRAND WAY to end our Arizona tour.
We spent that Friday evening by Michael & David taking us out to “Happy Hour” at KOBALT…..a small bar but always packed with people on Friday after work. From there we had yet ONE MORE fabulous meal at a rather spectacular place: LUX . I have wished more than once that LUX would move to Portland. Great service, food and company.
We chatted into the night with the boys, and all went to bed fairly as Michael himself was flying out early next morning to get home for his Mom’s birthday. WE were returned, however, to a chilly, wet Portland, OR…..and reality.
BUT…lastly, the weather broke as soon as we arrived and we began 2 weeks of warm dry weather. We WORKED as soon as that happened on the yard / garden………and things are off to a good start there. Good way to end the vacation.
Evening with Michael & David.