Showing posts with label Arizona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arizona. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chasing Daydreams – and then. . .

Egad, we are back chasing the daydream.

You know, it’s the one we were after last spring and summer in Greece. The one that got away.

Roadside trees middle of Nevada - 2014
We were thankful for so many of you who followed the adventure here and offered words of encouragement and support as the purchase of ‘the stone house on the hill’ fell through because its owners found they didn’t have the documentation to sell it.

We’d had a good trip and an interesting experience. We’d moved on. . .or so we thought. . .

Last week when I wrote about “Opportunity rocking the boat” I didn’t quite tell the entire story as not only did that inbox of ours last month hold tempting alternate cruise offers, but it brought news that the owners of that ‘stone house’ were now in a position to sell it and they wondered if we were still interested.

Arizona Road Trip 2014
We were in Arizona at the time, enjoying the carefree life of timeshare ownership.  We focused on changing our cruise plans; we corresponded with Greece at first in general terms, and then those generalized discussions with Greece became more focused:  opportunity was again knocking at the door, the daydream had looped back again and was tempting.

We’d  looked at other properties, lots, homes, unfinished structures. We considered building. We considered forgetting the whole thing. We thought of our ages. We thought of the work needed to make this house ‘pop’. We thought of many things. . .

San Diego Sunset

Greece was set aside somewhat as we went to San Diego where I was attending a conference, but The Scout continued and stepped up the email conversation.

Then he found a reasonable airfare to Athens. . .

Outside La Jolla - San Diego

We arrived in Greece last night, those dream catchers in hand.  Unlike my rather naive writings of last summer, I am not going to say we will capture the dream of that ‘stone house on the hill’.  That remains to be seen. But, one thing is for sure, it will likely be an adventure.  We do hope you’ll come along with us for the next few weeks as we report on chasing the daydream – again.

We’ll be at the mercy of Greece internet access – which is somewhat limited in the Mani -- we do know the new house has none.  Our presence in the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter might be a wee bit disjointed but I’ll report back as technology allows.

Photos in this post are from Arizona and San Diego.

Linking this week:
Budget Travelers Sandbox – Travel Photo Thursday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Simply ‘Feelin’ Groovy’ in Scottsdale

It never fails. There comes a time – usually as each of our trips is drawing to a close -- that we want to shout, “Slow down, you move too fast!” It is happening again this week in Arizona.

With only a few days left in Scottsdale  Simon and Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” seems to say it best. . .

“Slow down, you move too fast; gotta make the mornin’ last

ScottsdaleNov2013 045
Daybreak - 6 a.m.
Just kickin’ down the cobblestones

ScottsdaleNov2013 014
Old Scottsdale - Art Walk
Lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy. . .

Arizona Spring 2012 249

Hello lamppost, what’s cha knowin’?

Arizona Spring 2012 157

I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’.

Arizona Spring 2012 237
Prickly Pear Cactus Blooms

Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?

Arizona Spring 2012 139
Kaleidoscope planter
Do-it-do-do, feelin’ groovy. . .

~~~~   ~~~~ ~~~~
I’ve got no deeds to do, no promises to keep

Arizona Spring 2012 129

I am dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep

ScottsdaleNov2013 013

Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.

ScottsdaleNov2013 003

Life I love you, all is groovy!”

ScottsdaleNov2013 058

That’s it for this Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox and Oh,The Places I have Been Friday at The Tablescraper. Click the link to each of those sites for some great armchair travel!

Note: ‘59th Street Bridge’ is the colloquial name of New York City’s Queensboro Bridge. If you’ve never heard them sing the song, click this link:YouTube. Guarantee it will make you smile!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scottsdale: Where Murder, Mykonos and Mission Meet

We met – I think – on Twitter. . . perhaps two years ago. . .

Since then, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and email  we’ve become what might be described as modern day pen pals.

The Scout and I have also  become hooked on the murder mysteries, set in Greece, written by our far-away friend.

Arizona Spring 2012 131So, learning that author Jeffrey Siger had a stop in Seattle on his fall book tour was pure delight – until we realized that we would be in Arizona.

The travel gods were smiling on us though, as Jeff  is appearing this week at Poisoned Pen Books, in Scottsdale and had a bit of free time today. . .

Enough time for the three of us to meet and enjoy a long lunch in the heart of historic, artsy Old Scottsdale.  Upon meeting, we agreed it seems somehow as though we’ve known each other for some time.

ScottsdaleNov2013 020
Jeffrey Siger and the TravelnWrite team

We share a love of Greece; he divides his time between Mykonos and the United States. He gave up a law practice to follow his dream of writing novels much as we quit the 8 – 5 work world to pursue our adventures.

PicMonkey Collage

We lunched at the Mission Restaurant (it’s next door to a Mission built in the 1930’s) and is a place you need to add to your bucket list if you’ve not dined here yet.  We will definitely be returning!

PicMonkey Collage
Guacamole made tableside, Mission margarita and Torta

I sipped my Mission Margarita while watching our guacamole being made table side. Then it was difficult at best to choose from main courses that included pozole, tortas, tortillas, ensaladas, sopas.  We didn’t dare even peek at the dessert menu!

If You Go:

ScottsdaleNov2013 024 
Scottsdale/Phoenix area: Jeff is appearing at Poisoned Pen Books, 4014 N. Goldwater Blvd. #101, 888-560-9919, www.Poisened,  Wednesday, Nov. 13,  at 7 p.m.
Seattle:  Jeff will be at Seattle Mystery Book Shop, 117 Cherry St., 206-587-5737,can meet him from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.
Check his website for a full schedule of appearances.

Jeff also contributes to a blog called Murder is Everywhere. A most interesting read.

Mission Restaurant, 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, 480-636-5005

That's it for today, Hope to see you back again on Travel Photo Thursday. We are linking up today with Marcia Mayne’s Foodie Tuesday at Inside Journeys.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Remembering Prescott, Arizona

Travel makes the world smaller. It turns places on a map into people; their kindness and your experiences remembered long after the trip has ended.

Arizona2012pt1 011
Prescott’s Courthouse Square – gathering place for families and friends

For that reason, our hearts today are back in Prescott, Arizona.  Our travels have taken us to this warm and welcoming town three times in the last two years.  Prescott is a vibrant college town draped in old west history about an hour and a half north of Phoenix.

DCVegasSeville2011 115

By now, you’ve probably heard of it. Prescott has been in both national and international headlines the last two days because the community is mourning the deaths of 19 firefighters based here – 14 of whom were in their 20’s. They were highly trained members of an elite team, known as  “Hotshots” and were killed on Sunday while battling a blaze that today continues to defy efforts to contain it.

So on this Travel Tuesday we want to pay tribute to this wonderful town, while joining with countless others who are sending prayers and condolences to the entire community.

Prescott captures you with its old west hospitality.  No matter who you meet there or why, there’s a warm feeling about the memory of that encounter. 

AZroadtrip2012 113For example, one evening last December we paused to look at the menu posted at a cafĂ© near the Square. We chatted with the owner briefly, saying we’d already eaten.

The next morning though we returned and she called out, “Oh, it’s good to see you two again! Glad you came back for breakfast!!” (It was a hearty plate of Huevos Rancheros we were served, I might add.)

Arizona2012pt1 012

It is a town that normally this time of year is focused on its July 4th rodeo.  They’ve held one here every year for more than 125 years.  This monument to rodeo riders is outside its City Hall. 

Arizona2012pt1 063
The town’s filled with public art that is  touching and whimsical – you never know what you might discover when strolling its sidewalks or entering a store.

These two were inside a small mall, and we found the delightful fellow below guess where?

Outside the public library!

Arizona2012pt1 015

You might recall a post I wrote about Prescott last December when I declared it PC: Pure Christmas!  Prescott is Arizona’s self-proclaimed Christmas City and we believed them after watching one of several Christmas parades they have each December!

AZroadtrip2012 114

Arizona2012pt1 019
What really struck us was the ‘neighborliness’ of the townsfolk. Although a vibrant, growing community there still exists a small town feel; the kind where neighbors know each other – they celebrate the good times and help each other through the bad. 

Arizona2012pt1 064And that may be what helps this town get through the coming days.

How You Can Help:
A Facebook page has been created honoring the firefighters. Click the link and ‘like’ the page.
NBC News Los Angeles reported on several ways to donate to funds for the firefighters’ families. Click the link for article.
Huffington Post has also listed ways to donate. Click the link.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Scottsdale’s “Club Grub”

Scottsdale2013 055Whew! We just crossed the finish line after a nine day eat-a-thon in Scottsdale, Arizona. Let me tell you. . .

There is just something about the food in Arizona's 'Valley of the Sun' that makes us throw our Diet2Go out the window. And this trip,contributing to the culinary temptations that snugged up our clothes, is what we’ve dubbed, “Club Grub”.

Not “Pub Grub” –  “Club Grub.”  I am talking a whole new food source:  eateries tucked away in golf courses; some in clubhouses and others in freestanding restaurants.

We don’t even play golf – but we spent a lot of time ‘at the course’ this trip!  Note: these aren’t the members-only places -  all three of our recommendations below are open to the public!

The Grill at the TPC Scottsdale

Scottsdale2013 183

While munching lunch at The Grill, we had this view over the 18th hole of the Stadium Course at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel. 

Scottsdale2013 185Tucked away in a corner of the clubhouse, this place has more than 50 craft beers, cocktails, a gastro-pub style menu, patio (with fire pits – not needed this time of year) and a Happy Hour.

The Grill is located at 17020 N. Hayden Road.

Troon North

Scottsdale2013 050 Our Seattle/Scottsdale friends, Mike and Joanne, told us to try Happy Hour at the Troon North Golf Club and for that we owe them big time!

We had some of the best- tasting and best-priced margaritas in this restaurant (also tucked away in a beautiful clubhouse), that we’ve had anywhere in Scottsdale. The HH price $4.50 (as compared to the Happy Hour $10 margarita at the nearby Four Seasons).

Troon North also offers full menu options but there were so many temptations on the Happy Hour list we never got beyond it. 

The photo below is of Dynamite Flatbread, $6, a mouthwatering chicken, cheese combo on  focaccia bread, just one of the HH offerings.

Scottsdale2013 051

Troon North is located at 10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale.

Tonto Bar and Grill at Rancho Manana

The interior of this restaurant has such a wonderful Spanish/Old West feel to it, that it is difficult to choose between sitting inside or on the patio. Both provide beautiful views of this Cave Creek golf course. 

The menu also has so many choices that it should be difficult to choose between them but I have become so enamored with their Southwestern Cobb Salad that I always order it.  (Going there for lunch means I will take enough home  for dinner as well. As you can see from the photo below. . .it is rather large).

Scottsdale2013 090

This place, like we've noticed at other restaurants, offer a choice of protein toppings for the salad. Mine was chicken and The Scout chose roast pork from the half dozen choices; price depends on the protein chosen.

Tonto Bar and Grill is located at the golf course at 5736 E. Rancho Manana Blvd., Cave Creek.

If you go:  A good source of Arizona golf course information is:

Your turn!  Do you have any “Club Grub” recommendations for the Phoenix/Scottsdale area?  How about any for golf clubs near where you live or in places you’ve visited?  Tell us about them!

Thanks for visiting today. If you’ve not yet signed up to receive posts in your inbox, please do so! Use the form on the right hand side of

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Arizona: Take a Hike! Or a Walk in the Park . . .

Pinnacle Peak is a neighbor of our Scottsdale timeshare.  And we had only last June’s  100-degree temperatures to blame for not getting acquainted then. We finally met in December.

A Walk in the Park

PFourSeasons2012 009innacle Peak is the centerpiece and namesake of the 150-acre Scottsdale city park Pinnacle Peak Park that abuts the  Four Seasons Hotel and Residence Club Troon North.

We aren’t talking a slow stroll through an oasis of green with leafy trees and carpets of lawn. We are talking a 1.75 mile, (moderate-difficulty) trail of naturally decomposed granite that took us to an elevation of 2,570 feet.

FourSeasons2012 034

The trail is an IN and OUT trail, not a loop – so what you walk going in will also be your route out and you’ll be walking 3.5 miles if you do it all.  And its wide, 4 – 6 feet in most places which is good as signs tell pedestrians to yield to horseback riders (as if we wouldn’t, right?)

FourSeasons2012 019
Pinnacle Peak is a granite summit that rises 600 feet from the valley floor to a height of some mountain passes in Washington State at 3,171 feet. 

The trail elevation rises only to 2,570 feet and it takes about two hours at a leisurely pace to complete the hike in and out.

Several passed us who were jogging its length and others were sucking air within minutes of starting the climb – know your limitations!

FourSeasons2012 024

We posed at the trail's summit, our dress, as you can tell from the photo, was for sun protection -- hats, sun glasses, sleeves  -- as well as for ‘critter and bush’ protection – long pants and closed-toed shoes.  We didn’t encounter any critters but the place is home to several varieties (rattlesnakes, Gila monsters and coyotes to name a few). I carried bottled water in that bag at my side; water and restrooms were available at the trail head.

Take a Hike! (but know your limits)

So inspired were we by Pinnacle Peak that we decided on a subsequent outing to try the newly-opened Tom’s Thumb Trail head, a few miles away in the heart of the scenic 21,400-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

FourSeasons2012 067In October 2012 the new trail system opened with five miles of new multi-use trails that include the Marcus Landslide Interpretive Trail.

There is no water available here and despite being only three miles off Dynamite Blvd., a main thoroughfare in Scottsdale, the area is remote.  The view’s literally for as far as the eye can see:

FourSeasons2012 063
That’s the roadway leading to the trail head that bisects the photo above.

FourSeasons2012 064 

Unlike Pinnacle Peak, this trail – as we learned after we got there – has a vertical climb of 800-feet, it is steep and the decomposing granite makes for a slip-sliding experience (bring a walking stick and hiking boots for this one.) 

FourSeasons2012 071
The Interpretive Center has restrooms and signage but no vending machines for beverages or water – you need to bring your own.

If you Go:

Pinnacle Peak Park, 26802 N. 102nd Way (Jomax Road).

Tom’s Thumb Trail head, 23015 128th St. (three miles off Dynamite Blvd.)

Information about both at:

FourSeasons2012 070
 Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope to see you back again on Travel Photo Thursday when we head to. . . (you’ll just have to come back to see where we are off to next!)

Until then, happy travels.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Where ever your holiday travels 
- actual or armchair -
have taken you. . .


. . . we are hoping you’ve found a bit of
Christmas Magic there.


Our wishes for the Happiest of Holidays  and our thanks for being a part of our TravelnWrite life!

~ Jackie and Joel

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Arizona: Where “PC” Means. . .

. . .Pure Christmas!

The High Plains Drifters (that’s us, you know) hail from a ‘PC’ state, but in Washington that means, “Politically Correct”.

And that means some stutter and stammer out watered down, lukewarm greetings this time of year for fear of: 1) hurting someone’s feelings, 2) dissing some other holiday, or 3) being sued by someone for not being that kind of “PC”.

I can tell you, that from what we've seen, we much prefer Arizona PC in December!!!

 Our introduction to the season came in Prescott, Arizona, a college town of some 40,000 that’s also  popular with retirees and serves as a weekend getaway destination for those living in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. We spent our third night here on our Southwest Winter Road Trip.

AZroadtrip2012 116We’ve been taken with the town since our first visit  there a year ago, but now I am enchanted by it.  You see, it is Arizona’s Christmas City!

Banners hang on light posts throughout the downtown proclaiming it so. Advertisements fill tourism magazine pages. Residents announce it proudly. Even in Scottsdale they tell you about their neighboring Christmas City to the north.

“Are you in town for the Christmas Light parade?” the clerk asked when  we checked into our hotel in the heart of Prescott.  It was the first of many celebrations this month, he said, describing a series of PC events.

“We are heading to the parade,” we told a couple dining near us shortly thereafter.  “This is the small one,” they cautioned us, “The big one is next Friday. It lasts two and a half hours”

AZroadtrip2012 097
This one, their Christmas Light Parade, about 45 minutes in duration, brought out hordes of people. They’d been gathering along the route as we strolled to dinner. Even the spectators were in a ‘light’ mood; decorating their own viewing stands with lights or waving lighted wands at the floats as they passed.

AZroadtrip2012 103
By the time we arrived back to the parade route the sidewalks were filled, in some places, people were standing six-deep, often calling out  and waving to friends who paraded past.

Cheers and clapping erupted as each new display came into view.

AZroadtrip2012 105
Among the Christmas celebrations scheduled for this month are the 30th Annual Christmas Parade and the 58th Annual Prescott Courthouse Christmas Lighting, (hugely popular events) and the Acker Musical Showcase which features live music throughout the downtown in stores, restaurants, bars and galleries.

AZroadtrip2012 114

It was music to our PC-dulled ears, when we were told that during the Christmas celebration calendar, there’s also a night when children gather on the courthouse lawn to hear a reading of “The Christmas Story”.

It’s a pretty special time in Prescott, the Poster Child of Pure Christmas.  But Christmas – not “Holiday” -- celebrations are taking place all over Arizona; I’ll tell you about them  as our jolly, pre-holly-day travels through the state continue. And next year we may just be celebrating Christmas in Prescott!

If You Go:

For More Information about the city: Prescott Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center, 117 W. Goodwin St., 86303, phone, 800-266-7534.

For Christmas events and travel information, click this link: Visit Prescott


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...