Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Butterflies Aren't Free. They Cost $3.50.

DBG Butterfly House 8


The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is a special place.  I think of the lush Missouri Botanical Garden back home. This one shows you how beautiful plant life can be on a trickle of water. The big draw was the Chihuly glass exhibition. (Our garden had one two or three years ago. Everybody in the U.S. had had one, probably. Dale is making out like a bandit.) But there is something else worth going through on your way onto the grounds.

The DBG has a butterfly house. Not so unusual but always a pleasure. We got into the DBG gratis because most major American gardens have reciprocal admission privileges for members. But the butterflies aren’t free, if anyone is old enough to remember that movie. We had to pay $3.50 each extra, and no senior discount (harrump). It was worth it.

DBG Butterfly House 7

DBG Butterfly House 4

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog-O-Rama

Blog-o-Rama Phoenix

Bloggers in the desert: Sharon Anck of Phoenix Daily Photo, Julie Pace of Scottsdale Daily Photo, Dave Selden of Tamarindo Daily Photo and an interloper from Missouri on a beautiful spring night in Arizona. One of the reasons CDP is so very worth while.

Time to head back to reality today (hmm...is it worthy of being called real?) but lots more AZ pictures to come.                         

Monday, April 14, 2014

After Forty Years

Chihuly In The DBG 1

Today is the fortieth anniversary of Carolyn and my marriage, the excuse for the trip out here. Dinner tonight with friends and colleagues Dave Selden and Julie Pace. The photo above is from the Dale Chihuly show at Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden, much more about which later. I think of it as a candle for us.

Our two children have grown up to be good people. One of them has given us the most delightful granddaughter imaginable. We've seen lots of our own country and the wide world together, from our origins in Kansas and Queens to far, far beyond. We have supported one another through sickness and injury; times when the money was good and times when there wasn't much; long, long drives and instants of beauty. I wouldn't want to have done it with anyone else.

We're still friends after four decades. I really like living with her.

There's a full moon tonight.              

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Arizona Inn

Croquet At The Arizona Inn

We've been to Tucson once or twice over the years but really don't know the area. We asked our colleague Dave of Tamarindo DP, who lives in the Phoenix area, for advice about where to stay. He recommended the gorgeous Arizona Inn, a landmark since 1930. It oozes charm and style.

You can play croquet in a pink seersucker suit and bare feet after breakfast. Wander the gardens. Dine on the patio. Watch the moonrise. It was heavenly, and fairly priced for all the beauty. It's a place we would like to return to one day.                      

The Arizona Inn 1

Breakfast At The Arizona Inn

The Arizona Inn 3

The Arizona Inn 2

Dusk At The Arizona Inn 1

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tohono Chul

Tohono Chul 1

There is a stunning desert garden, Tohono Chul, on the northwest edge of Tuscon. We spent a pleasant afternoon there yesterday. We met one of the docents, Don Eagle, a retired physicist, who became our private guide. Those of us in temperate climates think of deserts as barren. You have only to open your eyes to learn otherwise.

Oh, and watch where you step.

Tucson notes:

Many of the place names are Spanish. We passed a common-looking residential side street called Calle Sin Nombre - Street Without A Name. I can find no explanation online.

The weather forecast for this afternoon includes the possibility of a dust storm. Better get back to Phoenix, which is, in fact, the plan.                         

Tohono Chul 3

Tohono Chul 6

Tohono Chul 7

Tohono Chul 4

Tohono Chul 5

Tohono Chul 8

Tohono Chul 9

Tohono Chul 10

Tohono Chul 2

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tucson

Saguaro National Park 1

So, the destination:

We got into Phoenix late Wednesday night and flopped at an airport hotel.  Yesterday morning we drove south to Tucson, Arizona's second city, and headed for the part of Saguaro (sah WHA row) National Park east of the city. There's another to the west we'll get to on Saturday. 

This is the iconic southwestern US plant, but they grow in a limited area of southern Arizona and northwest Mexico. The saguaro don't start sprouting the characteristic arms until they are about 75 years old.  But there are lots of other interesting things. You could, for example, wreck your bike and break every bone in your body.

Mrs. C and I like to look for local cuisine when we travel. We ended up at the Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant. It gets terrific ratings on Tripadvisor and we certainly agree. It's in a very old building, plain white adobe, but the food and staff were first class. I had maybe the best mojito of my life.

We drove back to the hotel through downtown. Ain't like the Midwest.                                     

Saguaro National Park 3

Bike Crash

Saguaro National Park 4

Cushing Street Bar

Midtown Liquors Tucson

Downtown Tucson

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Changing Planes

Landing In Chicago

Definitely taking the long way around to get to our destination, changing planes in Chicago. That's what you have to do sometimes to get affordable air fares these days. Better have a drink on the next flight to get ready for the gila monsters. Maybe one of them drives the shuttle to the car rental office.

The color weirdness is from the airplane window.