Saturday, March 27, 2010

Howdy again from Scottsdale

Decided to break this up..

Anyway yesterday I went to the Desert Botanical Garden which was lovely except so crowded - yikes. I took the bus and missed the special entrance when I got off and walked the long way along a busy road until I clued into a hiking/cycling path so did that. Was exhausted by the time I got there. The Spring flowers were in bloom so it was very pretty. I'd go there again.

On the way out I discovered the special short cut for "bus people" so it was fast. Off by bus to Tempe and the Arts festival. It was fun but I didn't buy anything - so much it was overwhelming. The highlight was a booth that sold dog hats and the fellow had all four of his dogs up on the table (including a black retriever!) snoozing on cushions with hats on! I had to take pictures of course! I had a beef on a bun thing and sat outside and enjoyed it. They had a wine testing but with the heat and my exhaustion didn't think it was a good idea to partake!

Then back by LRT to my room as was exhausted.

This morning I walked over to the Phoenix farmers market which I loved - had a breakfast burrito there which was really good and coffee of course. Got myself some coffee beans, a meditation CD, a couple of pairs of earring and a gorgeous pendant made from wood. This fellow finds fallen wood in the forest and makes jewellry from it. Then I bussed it to Old Town Scottdale and visited the market there - had some wonderful banana ice cream but it doesnt' have the atmosphere of the downtown one. This one is much more upscale.

Next it's off to explore the shops and galleries of Old Town and from there who knows....

Howdy from Scottsdale

Well I'm at the Scottsdale Public library right now. Finally made it here. I arrived 24 hours later than expected due to a snow storm in Denver and was rerouted on Delta via Minneapolis. The fella at Regina airport did not check me in at all. (the people behind me got on the flight okay as the guy finally figured out how to do their job) It was funny as I was paged on the plane before we left Regina and handed a set of "new" tickets that looked just like the old ones - with 'seats to be assigned' on them. I thought it was sorted. I went to the gate and after putting us off for ages they finally talked to us poor "seatless" people and that's when it was discovered I was never checked in for the flight. The fellow who was dealing with me didn't seem to know what he was doing and was dealing with some security issue and he said he "didn't know" if I was on the flight or not. Well I stood there waiting while he was on the phone and figured it out when my plane backed out of the jetway. Okay...finally another agent came along (who had been a real bitch to a passenger earlier) and I thought "oh no" but she was fine with me....I got a $400 travel voucher, a hotel voucher and vouchers for two meals. (only used one) By this time I was absolutely exhausted - due to the stress and lack of sleep the night before I could barely find my way to the main terminal to get the shuttle. Anyway was so keyed up I could barely sleep. Off on the flight the next day and here I am.

My hotel is fine - clean and does the job. The breakfast leaves a bit to be desired. Coffee with instant creamer and a pastry in plastic just doesn't do it for me although I noticed this morning they had bananas too. Tomorrow I will eat there.

I did the Phoenix downtown 6 km walk which was interesting. I looked inside the State Capital - it has a wonderful bronze dome and is refreshingly different from others I've seen. I also visited the Wells Fargo musuem where I got photographed inside a stage coach and had my picture taken on money. I went to buy a pen and the guy gave it to me for free - hey, it's the little things right? I like downtown Phoenix and their LRT is wonderful - so new and modern. It literally glides...love it.

Had supper at Sam's Southwestern cuisine - had shrimp tacos which were delish. Sat outside by a fountain and loved it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Phoenix here I come!

Well I hit the road again tomorrow morning - flight leaves at 6:43 a.m and I am Phoenix bound. Well supposedly. Someone told me the girl in Tim Hortons at the airport says that the Denver flight is often delayed or cancelled. So take that as you will - all I can say is it damn well better not be!!!

I plan to hit the ground running all being well and on time. A bus and light rail to my hotel... I want to do the 6 km downtown walk and tour the State Capital building followed by a trip to the downtown farmers market which runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Supposedly I have a fridge in my room so can buy some fruit, etc. (we won't say what the etc. is) Then an early night as I will be exhausted!

Of course the reason for going is Paul...no need to say Paul Who is there? It's the opening concert of his 2010 tour. I have been wanting to explore Phoenix so it was a good excuse. I am hoping for a side trip to Sedona as well.

And I am doing it a very non traditional way - staying in the downtown area and exploring by public transit. I've heard it's difficult but we shall see...the only problem I can foresee is getting back from the concert Sunday evening. It will probably be a very expensive taxi ride. Oh well I am sure I will be too happy to care. :) There is just too much to see and do. I plan to visit the Desert Botanical Garden & the Heard musuem and possibly the zoo. There is a 50th birthday party for Duchess the Orangatan on Saturday. Now I don't know what got me more excited - getting to sing Happy Birthday to an Orangatan (pardon my spelling) or that the first 500 people there get cupcakes. (I am not above knocking a few kids over to get one) Speaking of which that is the one thing that has me apprehensive. I am not the greatest lover of small children - to put it mildly. And the zoo will be full of them...ick. All screaming and running and bloody shoving me out of the way or standing in my way so I can't get that super shot of some adorable critter. My last two trips to zoos (Toronto & San Diego) were cut short due to screeching pushy kids. I can handle one or two at a time especially if I am related to them or know their parents well but not hoards. I still have horrible flashbacks to picking my niece up from daycare way back in the 70's - shudder!

Okay got myself worked up there...anyway it is going to be a hot one but anything is better than March in Saskatchewan.

I plan to attend an arts festival as well in Tempe (and do a walk there) and there is an international festival downtown with entertainment and food.

I will try to blog but it depends on how often I can access a computer.

Cheerio!!!