Monday, February 25, 2013
A Splendid Day in Phoenix
I don't know what could have made yesterday any better.
Fun, meaning-filled times with two former students/friends.
Southwest urban pleasures. An enlightening and emotional museum visit. A world champion hoop dancer named J.R. Remnders from a wise Apache to embrace those pockets of time when we should just "listen." Coffee time. Hike time. Good bye time to good folks.
Twas a phenomenal day in the Phoenix area with Jim and Laurie. They delighted in showing us a taste of their life as professionals here in Phoenix----Jim's does computer drafting and art; Laurie teaches the children.
I am honored to have taught both a little bit of English stuff back in the early '80s. We have since reconnected and do connect when in each other's territory.
Our hosts, generous with their time, took us to breakfast at Windsor's downtown Phoenix where going to the restroom (of course, I'd study the restrooms) is a happening.
Coldwater Creek's end stall in the ladies' room is cool, but it's a trip going to the bathroom at Windsor's, passing by the wall of cassette tapes, entering through the sophisticated door and finishing off the experience with monogrammed toilet paper.
Laurie told us they like to order the hip restaurant's bloody Mary's, not for the alcohol so much as the wide array of veggies.
After a breakfast and the first installment of good visiting, we moved on to the Heard Museum, recommended to us by the Navajo clerk at the Grand Canyon.
After yesterday's experience, we believe the Heard Museum should be a destination "must" for anyone visiting Phoenix. The Heards came to the Southwest from Chicago. He was a big land baron; she devoted her life to Southwest art and culture.
Their museum of Native American history is haunting, sad, uplifting, educational and seemingly endless. One could spend much more than a day there, especially with the extra programs.
Yesterday we watched a presentation by Yellow Bird----dancing and story telling by a family whose lineage includes several tribes of the Southwest and North Dakota. They perform all over the world.
And, we were treated the the additional pleasure of watching little J.R., who recently won the World Championship hoop dancing title.
J.R. and his family members put on an amazing program, and the simple wisdom imparted in their stories will stick within our souls for a long time.
We finally dragged ourselves away from the museum and compared notes on all that we had seen after parting company in the museum lobby and agreeing to meet back at a designated time.
At our next stop, a coffee shop called Lux (I think), we encountered scores of college students with their laptops, their coffee and their treats, most putting in some serious study time.
We sat outside in the sun and did some more visiting over coffee and delicious baked goods.
Then, it was off to the trails in the desert. Except for watching our footing so as not to stumble over parts of the rocky trail, the hike was perfect. We reached a saddle where we could see Scottsdale and then came back to enjoy the view of downtown Phoenix.
Of course, the obligatory cactus photos appear and, of course, this hike included the obligatory "snag someone from the trail to take our picture" moment.
Again, I'm trying to think of anything that could have made the day better. My mind is empty of such notions. It was a perfect day, thanks to some good friends and wonderful Southwest attractions.
Today is "take me out to the ball game day." Bill has already quizzed some of the other hotel guests about spring training while enjoying his continental breakfast.
We'll head off this morning to watch practice, then find our seats, soak up some sun and pull for the Mariners as they take on the Angels.
Happy Monday from Glendale, and thanks so much, Jim and Laurie for a splendid Sunday in Phoenix.