Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We spent a few days in Arizona last week....

     I had occasion to travel to Phoenix on business last week and decided that this would be a good trip for Char to accompany me on.  We dropped Nolan at "She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named"'s place and off we went.  I won't bore you with the business part, but here are some things we did afterwards....

     We are big fans of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" so we like to check out places that the host has visited
Outside of Matt's
when we travel.  We found the first gem right in Phoenix and it's called Matt's Big Breakfast.  We waited for 20 minutes and then got our seats and the meals did not disappoint.  I had country sausage, peppered bacon, hash browns, 2 eggs over easy, whole grain toast and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Char had the eggs, bacon, toast and had homefries with rosemary. We liked the hash browns better as the homefries were delicious but they weren't crispy.  By the time we left, there were 20 people outside waiting and it looked like an hour wait to get in, and I had consumed 1350 calories, all by myself.

     We left Phoenix that am and headed to Sedona, but stopped first in a small town called Prescott.  I
Outside view of the Palace bar
sat next to a guy on the plane and he had recommended a stop there.  In particular he told me a great story about the oldest bar in Arizona, called the Palace.  The story goes that in 1900 or so there was a fire on Whisky Row that endangered the Palace.  The bar patrons couldn't extinguish the fire (there wasn't enough water), but they could save the bar, the back bar, and ice cooler.  They picked them all up, and carried them to safety across the street and continued to drink
while the town burned.  The bar continued to operate in that location until the new bar was built.  This story says a lot to me about what motivates guys and the lengths they will go to, once motivated.  We did have a drink at the Palace and can now say that we drank in the same bar as the likes of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and some of their friends.  The picture on the right shows the back bar, the bar itself and on the end, the free standing icebox.  Amazing that it all survived.

   We headed to our resort in Sedona next and were
treated to a spectacular view from our balcony.  The beauty in Sedona is indescribable, but I'll try.  The iron in the sandstone and rocks make everything red or pink and the mountains stand out against the sky, so well.
View from our balcony
There are cacti all around, and scrub bushes.  We didn't see any wildlife but they have deer, and elk and rattlesnakes.  They have Agave plants too, but not the good kind that tequila comes from, these are hard and pointy and will kill you if you fall off from your horse onto one. They do have the good kind of junipers there, that is the ones used to flavor gin.   We ate at the resort restaurant the first night, relaxed in the hot tub, did a wine tasting, and then settled in for the night.   

     The next morning a red open air jeep picked us up at the hotel for a 2 hour tour of the red rocks of Sedona.  The tour guide, Bevin, was very knowledgeable about the history of the area and could identify the plants very well. She would have made a good Boy Scout.  Sedona was named after the wife of the first settler there. It barely escaped being named Schnebly Crossing or something like that, but the guy was convinced to use his wife's name instead.  Smart guy.  We got out of the jeep near a summit and hiked down for the next picture, which is a good panoramic view of what we saw.  We learned that an earthquake shot these peaks up over 10,000 feet a while ago, and about 6,000 feet still

remain.  Eventually it will just be desert again, so get there now while it still exists.  It was about 40 degrees that morning, and a little chilly in the back of that jeep, but I'd risk the frostbite again to see this kind of beauty.  We headed back to the hotel, packed up and then headed off to explore on our own.

     We stumbled across "The Chapel" built into the hill by Frank Lloyd Wright and it was breathtaking too.  I've always enjoyed his architecture and this
building was no exception.  It blended so well into the surroundings, but was a marvel in itself too. We meandered towards Flagstaff for the rest of the afternoon, and other than the snow at the top of the mountain, the views never changed from spectacular.  We stopped at another Triple D location in Flagstaff, called Salsa Brava, but honestly didn't find this place as charming as it should have been.  We
have never been disappointed in a Triple D
My lunch
recommendation, but this one was tough to distinguish from your average Mexican restaurant.  I had the stuffed Sopapilla and it was just all-right, The smoked chicken actually tasted like pork. 

     We headed back down to Phoenix at the end of the night, ordered a pizza and a movie and just chilled.  Although it was a whirlwind tour, we got to see 4-5 cities in Arizona, got a little flavor or each one and learned a ton.  I'd recommend the area if you get the chance, but work out first, so you can enjoy Matt's Big Breakfast without guilt. 

Relaxing with a cigar at the open fire pit
Sitting Pretty


Anonymous said...

Hi just wanted to say that I like your article very much. Please keep up the good posts Thanks a ton! and Have a good day

AA said...

Did you pick out your retirement community?