Two recommendations so far. Delicious regional dishes at Poco and Mom's and a wide variety of imaginative offerings at Amy's Donuts (the Elvis, Kit Kat, PB &J, Zesty Lemon, and Mounds to name a few). Learned that Amy's has outlets in Colorado Springs, Albuquerque (soon), and --wait for it -- Columbus! So if you're in the mood for an enormous sugar bomb, you can find Amy's on Georgesville Road.
It was a rather long three weeks in Phoenix waiting for our RV to get fixed. It was ready last Friday morning, and we were due in Tucson, so we picked up Sunny at the dealership an off we went. However, before leaving Phoenix, I did get a picture of this fountain, which is something Sharon Dodson should definitely have in her garden!
So we got to Tucson Friday evening prepared to set up camp and stay put for the next four weeks. However, we very quickly realized that the service people in Phoenix forgot to put our power cord on board! So no heat or light, the saga continues. One of their employees (who actually commutes everyday from Tucson) brought it to us on Saturday night. Now we are finally all settled in, as you can see below.
Geoff and Dave's friends David Bell and Iris Hu were kind enough to share their lovely home with me during my birthday visit to Pasadena. Clearly, it's the home of artists as evidenced by paintings, collages, collections of found objects and plants, baskets, and weaving.
Iris is an artist and maker with a current interest in Native American crafts, both weaving and basket making. David is a writer and gallerist. Dave and I made a quick visit to his gallery, Visitor Welcome Center, on Saturday evening to see an opening of works by John Burltle and Nikki Darling. Some of John Burltle's creations are below, made entirely using rubber stamps.
Jim Tuck's garden in January!
On our way to the airport for my flight back to Phoenix, we had breakfast at Foxy's in Glendale.
It's a mash up of ski lodge, cocktail lounge, diner, and fancy lighting shop. The lighting shop is actually across the parking lot. Breakfast was great, but then any restaurant where you can make your own toast at your table automatically gets my vote. It's worth the stop, you're sure to find something to like about it. And the Christmas decorations were on point too.
Thursday, I flew to Pasadena for Geoff's birthday--a long weekend of fun--visiting and celebrating with Geoff's family. After opening presents Friday evening, Geoff's sister Amanda treated us to a delicious dinner at Taylor's Steak House with brother Mike and nephew Matt. Taylor's is reminiscent of (and every bit as good as) the Top.
On Sunday, we had another gathering that included Geoff's other brother, Jim, and friends Mark and Mike. We shared a pizza buffet and a made-from-scratch (and enormous) chocolate cake that Mark and Mike made. Sorry about the lighting, but here's the gang!
So we have been passing this place in the neighborhood and finally stopped to take a look around. Last year I posted some photos of the RV park gardens we encountered in Tucson and the giant metal sculptures that live in Borrego Springs. I found where to get them! (The scuptures are, of course, imitations of the real thing, scaled down to residential size.)
This place is heaven to me! Years ago I fulfilled my dream to work as a professional gift wrapper. I now aspire to create a garden from the amazing stuff at the Soutwest Pottery. So, if you know of anyone who would like to commission a garden made entirely of Mexican pottery and metal sculptures, spread the word, I'm your gal! Here is but a taste of the Southwest Pottery's wares . . .
So I'm on the hunt for a very particular gift item, so Doug and I decided that Scottsdale would offer a lot of gift shops in a walkable area. We were right! There was a singing, storytelling, and perhaps stalking cowboy on horseback who seemed to show up on every corner when we did. Also some street musicians, a farm market, plenty of tourists, and the hoped for assortment of shopping options. I most enjoyed seeing and learning about the items made by Native American artisans that included jewelry, furniture, hand woven items, and pottery to name only a few. It's also the case that I often see items that remind me of family and friends. Here are some examples:
So Sunny is not fixed after all. The slide problem has returned, making it impossible for us to live in it. Apparently a poltergeist has taken up residence and moves the slide in and out on a whim. However, a number of factors have worked in our favor. The RV is still under warranty, it is at the dealer where we purchased it only a couple of miles from here, and to our delight, the ghost has revealed itself to the service staff at the dealership. That means that now both the dealer and manufacturer believe that we are not just a couple of lunatic senior citizens making up ridiculous stories as we roam randomly around the Southwest.
Most importantly, we found a very generous man from Minnesota who is willing to rent us his home for the next few days. We are settled and comfortable, with Moose, Darla, and all the amenities we originally had with our RV space. This kind person's mother lived here for some years. The place reminds me of the trailer Doug's mom inherited in Bradenton, FL where we spent many fun times with family over the years. We will get to meet the owner in person next week. And we hope to be back living in Sunny when he gets here!
Ann, Doug, Moose, Darla, Sunny, and with gratitude, Winnie and Chinny.