Written by vampirefan on 30 Apr, 2010
Welcome back....Today there are a number of Frank Lloyd Wright homes open to the public on a regular bases and a number of them open on occasion or though special arrangements. 2 of Franks others homes, Taliesin in Spring Green WI and the…Read More
Welcome back....Today there are a number of Frank Lloyd Wright homes open to the public on a regular bases and a number of them open on occasion or though special arrangements. 2 of Franks others homes, Taliesin in Spring Green WI and the The Robie House just outside of Chicago are open to the public to tour. The home is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places as well as National Historic Landmark. More Frank in the Phoenix area . Love Frank like I do? There are a number of places you can visit or at least look at while in the area. Unfortunately my time ran out and I only got to see two others. I did stay at the Arizona Biltmore and you can read all about that in a previous journal. On my way from the airport I took a side trip to ASU-Tempe to see the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium . Wright designed the building in 1959 but passed away the same year and never got to work on the project. It was taken over by Wes Peters. The building was complete in 1964. You can stop by the campus anytime to see and photograph the building or you can visit during performances and on special tours. It is on the national registry. You can also visit and tour the First Christian Church . Frank drew up the plans in 1950 and by 1952 it was ready for its first congregation. You are normally welcome to visit the stunning church either during church services or during the week. You can go to the church’s website at www.fccphx.com for any special tours. If you’re planning on coming on your own, please contact the church first. Also in the area are Raymond Carlson House, Jorgine Boomer House, Benjamin Adelman House, the stunning Norman Lykes House, David Wright House, and the Harold Price Sr. House . There is also the Arthur Pfeiffer House is located somewhere around Franks house and supposedly you can see it from the grounds and is supposed to be open on occasion. Thought when I asked about it at the home, no one seemed to know what I was talking about. Please remember these homes are all private homes and unless they are open for a special occasion for a tour, they are off limits. You can photograph them from the road or sidewalk, which are public domain. I am sure people who own these pieces of art, are used to having their homes photographed. The Frank Lloyd Wright guide listed below gives you all the details. Also just a shout out to his son Lloyd Wright (1890-1978). Just like his dad he went on to become an architect and was brilliant just like his dad. He designed the renowned Sowden House in LA. One of his most beautiful pieces is the Weyfer’s Chapel built between1949-51. It is on the National Registry. I saw this gorgeous church on some TV show back sometime in the 70’s or 80’s. I just remember how beautiful this church was and always wondered where it was. The a few years go as I was leafing though my scrapooking magazine and there was a page with the church on it..so now I knew the name of it and where it was. This glass church is nestled in the woods and just stunning. You can tour the church or attend service here. For more information please go to www.wayfarerschapel.org. Website: www.franklloydwright.org. Resources: Frank Lloyd Wright Filed Guide . Thomas A Heinz. 2005 northwestern University Press. Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizonian . Lawrence W. Cheek. 2006. Rio Nuevo Publishers. Frank Lloyd Wrighte..The Houses . Alan Hess. 2005. Rizzoli Press. 1010 Gardens to See Before You Die , Rae-Spencer-Jones. 2007. Barron’s Press. Being a life long admirer of Frank’s work, getting to visit this home was indeed a bucket list item. I am sure Frank has to look down and see how much his work is still admired. Today Frank continues to inspire people with his brilliance. And being in this place…like the MasterCard commercials…priceless. Very, very, very, very HIGHLY recommended Close
Written by Mandan Lynn on 03 Oct, 2009
Maybe I'm a pansy for having made it to my 26th (pushing 27th) birthday without ever driving all night. I'm sure a lot of you have done this on more than one occasion, but it was brand new for me, and, to my lasting…Read More
Maybe I'm a pansy for having made it to my 26th (pushing 27th) birthday without ever driving all night. I'm sure a lot of you have done this on more than one occasion, but it was brand new for me, and, to my lasting surprise, an experience I wouldn't mind repeating.We had a strategy in place before we left, and I believe this is key. Driving while you're tired is no laughing matter, unfortunately, and you don't want to be messing around with the possibility of falling asleep behind the wheel. Years ago I had one near-sleeping disaster, and it made me realize that it CAN happen, and that you don't really see it coming until you're jerking back awake and swerving back between the lines, if you're lucky. So. Strategy. We promised each other that no matter what, if we felt tired we would pull over and ask the other to drive, or pull over and sleep. We checked the car before we left -- I didn't want to be stranded in the mountains or the desert in the middle of the night. There are long stretches of road between towns. We also agreed to fill the car with gas at every reasonable opportunity between the half- and quarter-full marks. Nick was to drive first, since I usually go to bed earlier than he does and would therefore be more likely able to sleep at 10:00 pm, which was our departure time. Unfortunately, in this case, I was not, so by 12:30 when he was ready for a snooze I had not had much in the line of decent sleep. But I felt okay, so I took the wheel and a swig of something caffeine-infused.The first hour of that was the roughest, but I pulled through until 3:30 when I turned the car back over to him. I was out immediately until he woke me at 6:00 to take another turn.I felt lucky to be driving as the sun was rising behind us. We stopped at 8:00 for some food and I kept driving on to the Grand Canyon, our first real stopping point.I thought the road would wind endlessly, but the trip went surprisingly quickly. There was something remarkably peaceful about driving in the dark for such a long time, about seeing occasional headlights (usually trucks) and the rocks near Moab, Utah, glowing in the moonlight against a dark backdrop. The sky was clear and sparkling, and I peered up out of the window as often as I safely could. I would not, at this point, recommend a trip like this without a buddy to share the driving. But if you have one, and you're up for it, it's a nice way to save some time and quietly experience the great American highway, one sleepy gas station at a time. Close
Written by wanderer 2005 on 29 Dec, 2008
On December 27, 2008, Phoenix finally caught up with the rest of the world and added a light rail system. The route is small as of now...but hopefully it will go all over the city in the near future.Compared to Brussels or Vienna or…Read More
On December 27, 2008, Phoenix finally caught up with the rest of the world and added a light rail system. The route is small as of now...but hopefully it will go all over the city in the near future.Compared to Brussels or Vienna or even NYC, the rail system isn't as accessible, but it's pretty nice. It's above ground and goes from East Mesa, to central Phoenix...about 20 miles in all.We were allowed to ride for free for the first few days, so we did, to get the experience in and see what it looks and feels like. It's excellent for hubby and I to take to the airport because we live about 30 miles from the airport and we can avoid the high parking fees there.As of 2008/2009, the route goes from Christown Mall on Bethany Home and 19th ave in Phoenix, to Tri-City Pavilions at Sycamore and Main St in Mesa. There are 28 stops along the way, including downtown Phoenix, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, ASU, Mill Ave in Tempe, Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, and Mesa.The stations are clean and outdoors which may be hard to deal with in the summer, but the train comes every 15 minutes, so maybe not too bad.We boarded at the station in Mesa and went West, to the airport which is the Washington and 44th st stop. The ride took about 20 minutes and was smooth.Once you get off the train for the airport stop, you'll have to cross the street and then take a shuttle bus to the terminals, which is free of charge. That shuttle will take about 5 minutes, depending on what terminal you need.There will eventually be a train to take you directly to the terminals, but that's a couple years way still.The cars are wheelchair accessible and there are racks for bicycles. The stations are announced verbally as you are arriving as well as on a digital reader board overhead in each car. There is also a routemap over the doors. No bathrooms at the stations or on board, just an FYI. I didn't see any vending machines at the stations either, so if you need to have something to drink, have it with you.There are seats as well as bars to hold on overhead, but I'm 5'2" and I could barely reach the overhead bar.You can purchase single ride tickets, all day passes, as well as passes for, 3days, 7days or 31days. The passes are good for the bus system as well. There are machines to purchase passes at all stations. You can also get passes on the bus or online at the website below. The train operates on a proof-of-payment system, meaning you must have a ticket to ride. Inspectors will ask people at random to see their ticket. If you don't have one, you may be fined from $50 to $500. A single ride is only $1.25, so don't risk it.If you DO have a pass, you simply wave it over the orange validator target on the pass machine at the station before you board.Hours of operation are M-F 4:40am to 11pm.Weekends and holidays 5am to 11pmBetween 6am and 7pm, trains run every 15minutes, other hours, they run every 20minutes.If you would like to see the map, click on the link below. You can also get info on the bus system and buy passes on that website.www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail/downloads/maps/ Close
Written by wanderer 2005 on 04 Oct, 2005
Every year from late November until January 4th, the Phoenix zoo hosts an evening light extravaganza to please all ages. Zoo Lights transforms the zoo into a light and sound display that will amaze and entertain you.
For only $7, you can enter the zoo from…Read More
Every year from late November until January 4th, the Phoenix zoo hosts an evening light extravaganza to please all ages. Zoo Lights transforms the zoo into a light and sound display that will amaze and entertain you.
For only $7, you can enter the zoo from 6pm until 10pm and walk the grounds witnessing holiday lights and music. It’s a wonderful way to spend an evening with the family. This has become a tradition with families in the valley and is busy on given night. The exhibit takes approximately an hour to an hour and half to walk through.
I love relaxing and walking around looking at all the huge Christmas and animal themed displays. Most of the animal exhibits are closed in the evening, but there are a few that remain open, due to the animals natural habitat and the ample lighting. Zebras, otters, javelinas, monkey village and coyotes are open, but no promises on seeing any of them.
For those of us with small children or people that don’t walk so good, there is a mule wagon that will take you thru the exhibit for $3.00 per person, but it does travel a different route than the walkways.
A couple snack bars are open if you crave a snack, as is the main gift shop at the front.
We used to go on Thanksgiving night, but it’s very crowded…apparently everyone else goes on Thanksgiving, too. So now we wait and go the Sunday after turkey day--it’s way less crowded.
So put on your jacket and head over to the Phoenix Zoo. You’ll be happy you did!
Written by btwood2 on 09 Apr, 2005
What’s with the title? Explanation: Zo means "so" in Dutch (I’m originally from Holland). We first discovered Z-Tejas in March 2004, on a busy Friday evening when we were finding restaurants filled up and with long (45 minutes to 1 hour) waits.…Read More
What’s with the title? Explanation: Zo means "so" in Dutch (I’m originally from Holland). We first discovered Z-Tejas in March 2004, on a busy Friday evening when we were finding restaurants filled up and with long (45 minutes to 1 hour) waits.
From the looks of the full parking lot in front of Z-Tejas, we almost didn’t bother to stop and check it out. But the hostess told us it would only be a 20-minute wait as she handed us a remote that would flash and vibrate when our table was ready. As we were waiting, we took a peek at the food being prepared in the kitchen, visible from the entry. We saw plates of Z-salad, looking fresh and green, and small cast iron skillets of cornbread.
The large central dining area contains mostly tables and chairs, but booths line either side. On one side is the bar. If you like your music on the louder side, sit near the bar, or you can dine outside on the attractively sheltered patio. Jagged Z lines repeat themselves indoors and out in architectural motifs and decorations. Many-pointed stars hang over the light fixtures.
Once seated, we both ordered large Z-salads with their specialty house dressing, red-wine blue-cheese vinaigrette, which is sweet and delicious. They came with the cornbread skillets we’d seen before. After the first bite, Bob immediately asked me if I could make cornbread like this. My usual cornbread was crumblier and not as moist. For the best cornbread you ever tasted, here’s the Z recipe. The ingredients that make it so deliciously moist are buttermilk, yogurt, and creamed corn.
About halfway through our salads and Fat Tire pints, we were served our entrées. Actually, Bob had ordered an appetizer that was on special, Hector’s Chile Verde. It was more than sufficient as an entrée. It came with a cup of black beans and four very fresh homemade tortillas. My entrée was the chile relleno stuffed with smoked chicken, chopped pecans, apricots, raisins, and jack cheese served with green chile mole, roasted tomato cream, and black beans and Spanish rice on the side. The wonderful fusion of flavors melded scrumptiously on my taste buds as I tried not to eat too fast.
It was at this point that we noticed a pie and ice cream being shared by a neighboring couple. We rarely order dessert but hadn’t noticed any desserts on the menu, so we asked our waitress. She informed us that there was no printed dessert menu, but the pie we were seeing was their famous Ancho Chili Fudge Pie. But by the time we shared a third Fat Tire and ate about as much as we could (still requiring a container for what we couldn’t finish), there was simply no room left in any part of our digestive tracts.
March 2005: In this, my birthday month, I found a birthday surprise from Z-Tejas in my Yahoo mailbox. I’d joined the Z Club online while locating their cornbread recipe, and now they were sending me an e-coupon for $10 off a meal. Luckily, March usually finds us in Phoenix, and I was more than eager to sample some more of their delicious food. I knew immediately that their special of seafood enchiladas ($10) was what I wanted. They are corn tortillas filled with blackened tuna, salmon, and shrimp mixed with spinach and mushrooms. This delicacy came topped with salsa fresca and drizzled with sour cream. Jack cheese melted dreamily into the black beans on one side, while on the other side was perfect Mexican rice. Bob ordered pecan-crusted chicken spinach salad topped with goat cheese and bacon with a bacon vinaigrette ($10). This is an unusual selection for him, and he was not as crazy about his meal as I was about mine, though I had a taste of it and it was delicious.
The day before we’d both had unpleasant weight-gain surprises when we checked our weights for the first time in months after working out at 24-Hour Fitness. I think Bob would have been happier with one of their steaks, either the 14-ounce Gorgonzola New York strip ($20) or the 8-ounce grilled beef tenderloin with wild mushroom horseradish ancho sauce ($20). I firmly put weight issues out of my mind, determining tomorrow would be a good day to work out, when I got my second birthday treat from Z-Tejas: a big piece of that famous ancho chile fudge pie, with a birthday candle stuck through the dollop of whipped cream on top! Rich, dark, and chocolaty, and with just enough chile to give it some zing but not overpower, I let each bite linger a while before swallowing, to the great delight of my taste buds.
Z-Tejas’ roots are in Austin, where the first Z-Tejas Grill began in an old Victorian on 6th Street in 1989. The four chefs whose brainchild it was combined Southwestern, Cajun/Creole, Mexican, Native American, Pacific Rim, and California cuisine in new and visionary ways to create the Z-Tejas taste. One of those chefs, Jack Gilmore, is now the executive chef overseeing the culinary operations of at least 10 Z-Tejas restaurants: four in Phoenix, two in Austin, and one apiece in Las Vegas; Costa Mesa, CA, Bellevue, WA; and Salt Lake City. There may also be one in Maryland, but the Z-Tejas locator map does not show it. The Z-Tejas described above can be found at: 7221 West Ray Rd. Chandler phone: 480/893-7550 Open for lunch and dinner daily. Very highly recommended
Written by SeenThat on 09 Jun, 2007
Before landing, I watched from above at Phoenix and the curious rock formations in its vicinity and got for the second time the impression that Phoenix was a big city. That impression was reinforced by the huge airport terminal. It wasn’t due to the number…Read More
Before landing, I watched from above at Phoenix and the curious rock formations in its vicinity and got for the second time the impression that Phoenix was a big city. That impression was reinforced by the huge airport terminal. It wasn’t due to the number of departures and arrivals – after all you always need just one plane – but the extensive commercial activities taking place on every available spot of the terminal.On my second visit to Phoenix, I was practically trapped inside the airport for a few hours. I needed to wait for my next flight and leaving the terminal – though possible – would have meant to pass the security checks all over again. In a sudden attack of laziness, I postponed exploring the city for my next visit – I knew it would happen in about a month – and decided to take a look at the terminal. As in most other airports I visited, the Sky Harbor offered few entertainment options. Looking at a screen showing a news network constantly displaying a tiny clock reminding there were still two hours and thirteen minutes until my next flight was not a good way to pass the time.Despite being one of the busiest airports in the world with more than forty million passengers per year, the Phoenix Sky Harbor had been designed spaciously and the crowds weren’t oppressive. In my visits, there was always enough space to look at the shops across the corridor. The airport featured many services aimed at international passengers, including a surprising amount of money exchangers. In that aspect it was better even than the more important San Francisco International Airport; I visited both airports in tandem several times and had a good opportunity to compare between them. An inherent advantage to its generous design was that exploring the place and trying to decide in which coffee shop to sit down (it was the first and only time I had troubles deciding where and what to eat while in an American airport) occupied most of the waiting time to the flight; there wasn’t even a well defined restaurants’ area, and exploring them through the dilapidated terminal required the determination of a mountains’ climber. Moreover, the only place where the substantial activity of the airport was evident was at the lines to the food shops; sitting inside them was impossible. I opted for taking the food out to one of the many coaches available for the passengers and for once I appreciated the paper cups (instead of the more solid versions given abroad) used by Starbucks. My second choice for a snack was at Quizno’s, which offered excellent sandwiches at reasonable prices and a free refill for a coffee. The last turned out to be a life-saving feature when my next flight was delayed. Close
Written by nadurak on 08 Mar, 2005
The resort boasts some of the best golfing in Arizona, but to a family on vacation, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Upon arrival you realize that you and your family will be treated like royalty. The hotel itself is beautiful, with numerous…Read More
The resort boasts some of the best golfing in Arizona, but to a family on vacation, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Upon arrival you realize that you and your family will be treated like royalty. The hotel itself is beautiful, with numerous cactus gardens, a fragrance garden (with over 500 different rose bushes), and an abundance of desert wildlife. I especially like the gamble quails that scurry about foraging for food all the while looking like tiny Picasso sculptures. The kids have plenty to keep them occupied as well, from the giant slide pool to fishing for blue gills in the lagoon. The nice thing is that the kid’s club is for all ages, which gives mom and dad all day to relax if they so desire. After wearing each other out in the pool, fishing, or playing basketball or table tennis, they can spend their afternoons in the game room, complete with an entertainment center. And although I don’t play tennis, I would venture to say that the tennis facilities are every bit as good as the golf if that is your sport.
The restaurants are terrific. La Hacienda was my favorite. An upscale Mexican food oasis with a decent wine list and a good margarita, the restaurant is perfect for all ages. The lamb was outstanding. For a night out without the munchkins, Marquesa is the spot. It is a fine-dining experience; they expect collared shirts and no shorts, but otherwise it’s everything one would expect. If steak or lobster is what you’re craving, then the grill at the clubhouse is the ticket. Obviously, the TPC tournament meant that they had to have an accomplished grill chef, and they have achieved their goal. The aged rib-eye was almost as good as at Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Dallas, and that is saying a lot. The one thing that there isn’t much of is nightlife (except during the Phoenix Open). We actually went downtown to a place called Sugar Daddy’s. A dive for all ages with live bands and pool tables, it’s a good time - just take a cab.
Some of the more adventurous may want to go on a hot-air balloon ride. We decided that the kids weren’t going to let that happen, so instead we did a horseback ride through the Tonto National Forest. It was truly spectacular. We saw everything from Chuckwallas to Javelina. We also went up to Carefree, which is just minutes north, and enjoyed an arts and wine festival. For old-times sake, we had lunch at Boulders, which is another great resort I need to write about.
Written by lashr1999 on 03 Mar, 2006
My main reason for going to Phoenix, was to see the Indian cliff Dwellings. About a month prior to going to Phoenix, I researched various companies trying to find one that goes to this particular site. There were several I found, however, most…Read More
My main reason for going to Phoenix, was to see the Indian cliff Dwellings. About a month prior to going to Phoenix, I researched various companies trying to find one that goes to this particular site. There were several I found, however, most required a three person minimum. I called several places who said they did not have the minimum number of people yet. I then called Open Road Tours, directly, to see if the tour would go through with two people. I was told to book early, and they guaranteed availability. I did this the same day, and I booked a second tour to see Tucson.
The night I arrived in Phoenix, I called to confirm the pickup time. I was told the Tucson tour was cancelled because some people had canceled the tour that morning. I was told the cliff dwelling tour might be canceled as well, due to lack of people. They could put me on a city tour which was all they had. I accepted because it would be hard to find anything the next day. The city tour was OK, the guide was knowledgeable and took us to a few good places. We saw the state capitol, various lookout spots and Old Town Scottsdale. However, this was not exactly what I came to see in Phoenix. I scrambled to find alternate ways to get to the cliff dwellings during the city tour. I called Detours who suggested their competitor Vaughn tours. Vaughn tours said they had cliff dwelling tour available, and would not cancel once they confirmed.
In summary: Open Road tour should take a page from Vaughn tour’s and Detours book in terms of customer service. Open Road tours are OK if they actually have them available.
Pueblo Grande Museum4619 East Washington St.Phoenix, AZ 85034Discover Hokum culture while inside the museum. Kids will like some of the interactive exhibits, such as the ones that let you design your own pots and go on a pretend dig. A 10-minute movie about Hokum…Read More
Pueblo Grande Museum4619 East Washington St.Phoenix, AZ 85034Discover Hokum culture while inside the museum. Kids will like some of the interactive exhibits, such as the ones that let you design your own pots and go on a pretend dig. A 10-minute movie about Hokum culture should be seen before you go outside to see the actual ruins. The movie will help you imagine what life was like during these times. If you venture out without seeing the movie, you will see the ruins out of context and they will probably bore you. This was the case for my mother, who did not understand the exhibit since she is hard of hearing and her hearing aid battery was depleted. However, I enjoyed the exhibit.
When outside, I tried to imagine what the people who lived among these ruins did. While at the ancient ball court created 750-1200 AD, I tried to imagine the games they may have played. You can see recreated ruins, which show what archaeologists think Hokum homes may have looked like.
Bottom Line: If you have an imagination or are intrigued by Native American culture, this exhibit will interest you.
Written by CraigK on 29 May, 2005
Most Phoenix travel material goes straight to the high-dollar spa and vacation package trade. Primarily, you see stuff like "Bank One Ballpark, fine dining and world-class spas make Phoenix an ideal vacation destination". Great! It's early March, I only have a few hours, I’m…Read More
Most Phoenix travel material goes straight to the high-dollar spa and vacation package trade. Primarily, you see stuff like "Bank One Ballpark, fine dining and world-class spas make Phoenix an ideal vacation destination". Great! It's early March, I only have a few hours, I’m on a limited budget, and riding the bus. At least the weather was perfect.
I will now sing praises of public transportation in Phoenix. An all-day pass is $3.60. Individual fares are $1.25. Their website also has a great trip planner that aids the traveler in getting around with a minimum of hassle: http://www.valleymetro.org/. With a little planning, we managed to see quite a bit of Central Phoenix in a short amount of time. We got from the airport to downtown on the Red Line in about 20 minutes.
One of the cool things Valley Metro provides is the Downtown Area Shuttle, or DASH. It's a free shuttle that runs weekdays 6:30am to 11pm. The route changes at 5:30pm to accommodate the crowds that flock to the ballpark and the basketball arena. We used it to get to the Arizona Capitol Museum and take a quick (and free) tour of Downtown Phoenix. One odd thing I noticed on the DASH bus was the sign stating "No Smelly Packages." Either Phoenicians have tendency to transport stinky stuff while riding public transportation, or it’s a ploy to keep the homeless and their belongings off the bus. You be the judge.
Speaking of the homeless, downtown seems to have their fair share of indigents wandering around. However, due to the desert climate and long stretches of cloudless days, they all appear to be nicely tanned, as opposed to the homeless in, say, Montreal.