Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wonderful Lodgings in Wickenburg

One of my Northwest co-workers and her husband moved to Arizona a few years ago.  Due to the benefits of modern technology, "where" she works does not really matter much except for state income tax so we are still co-workers although many states apart.  When CJ moved to Arizona they decided to add a little suite to the home they were building so that visitors could come and have a nice place to stay.

 After receiving multiple invitations to "come down and visit," we finally did so.  Following our morning and early afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden (chronicled previous post), we headed northwest out of Phoenix toward Wickenburg.  What a wonderful place!  CJ really does have a "suite" for visitors.  The photos don't do it justice at all.  These two photos are taken from the corner of the room where I am seated in a very comfortable chair. In the top photo you can see the TV, microwave, refrigerator, full bedroom. Next to the refrigerator is a comfortable couch.  In the second photo you can just see into the full bathroom -- and in the foreground the little breakfast table.  I had meant to take more photos inside the room from the opposite side, but I was enjoying staying there too much to remember to take photos
In this room in addition to what is seen above is the chair in which I am sitting, a full sized couch, two large built in bookcases (stocked) and a large coffee table.  
We had wonderful places to sit and read.  Here's my husband sitting at the table on the back patio.  The surrounding countryside can be seen from the patio and we had many bird visitors, the most persistent of which was a Say's Phoebe.  We were feeling pretty healthy, so we didn't worry too much about the vultures that came and sat on the wires nearby. 
CJ cooking dinner.  What a wonderful kitchen!  The photo above is taken from the seat at the granite breakfast bar which is seen as the second bar chair in the lower picture.  The home is open and airy and very nicely decorated in a Southwest style.  
What a comfortable but yet elegant home.  It is built of adobe so stays fairly cool in the summer heat and warmer in the winter.  .  

Here is the little courtyard.  The "suite" is off to the left in this photo and we had our own locking sliding door so we were free to come and go at our leisure. 
CJ's home fits in so well with the countryside.  This is the view from the top of the driveway that winds up from the highway below.  
CJ is interested in maybe renting out the room during Wickenburg's "Gold Rush Days" (which I have never attended and know nothing about) , BUT I would without a doubt recommend these lodgings should they become available -- unless, of course, I plan to be there myself !  The one problem with advertising a great "find" is that you then create competition for the space.  I'll have to think about that!  Maybe readers should ignore this information!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Desert Botanical Garden and Chihuly

Earlier this month my husband and I grabbed five days from our busy schedule (that would be employment and self-employment :-) -- and went to Arizona to visit friends.  Co-worker had repeated said, "you should come visit" and so we called their bluff and did.   I warned her that once we blaze a trail somewhere, we are likely to return. 

We flew into Sky Harbor International Airport in the morning.  What a great name for an airport.  Sky Harbor -- evokes the feeling of airborne adventurous clipper ships silhouetted against the setting sun.  But before heading northwest toward our vacation destination, we took a side trip to the Desert Botanical Gardens.  If we lived in the area we would definitely become members.  Not only did I and my gardener husband love the displays of plants, but we also got to see several new birds.  We have photos of the garden, but not many of the birds.  Birds are notoriously uncooperative at sitting still for photo shoots.  But in addition to the artistic plantings and resident birds, Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly had an exhibit there at the same time.  It was almost like home away from home. 
 This was the first piece of artwork we came to after entering the garden. The gift shop and restaurant -- very good food -- is in the background.  There are several long paths and at first it was hard to decide which way to go.  These few photos do tend to highlight some of the glass art but the art does seem to mimic some of the textures of the plants. 
  I'm not sure which of the two above would be the worst to run into!  The glass or the cactus. . . .

 The weather was wonderful.  Nice and warm -- high 70's low 80's. 

 So dramatic!
 I think these pink glass lilies -- or whatever they are meant to be -- are my favorites! Probably have to take out a second mortgage on the house!  I would love to have those in my yard!

 More garden

 This was probably a good 12 feet high - maybe more.  As we wound up the hillside, it was nearly always in view. 

 I don't know if there is a name for this exhibit, but to me they look like egrets!  At least these birds stood still for photos ~
 This floating exhibit was not particularly one of my favorites, but the funniest thing here was the little Mallard Duck couple heavy into working toward achieving ducklings - not caught on film.  They looked a little embarrassed when we noticed them and Mrs. Mallard tried to look nonchalant!
 Looking down toward the previous exhibit

 More garden plantings

After a few passes through the garden we found ourselves back at the beginning.  We were probably at the garden about 5 hours.  It was wonderful to see plants, birds and glass and we particularly enjoyed the warmth and lack of rain!