Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quick Trip: Phoenix, AZ

Since receiving tickets for Leonard Cohen prior to returning to the USA and having a job stateside, the Harrington duo was pleased to discover the weekend of the Leonard Cohen concert would be extended two days thanks to Parent-Teacher conferences, an obligation for teachers and parents, but not for paraprofessionals. Knowing that, if they were in the land of kimchi with a long weekend, they'd be sure to go somewhere and do something, the couple hit a few flight search engines and soon realized that Phoenix was beckoning them forth. Not only were tickets affordable, but the couple had a small handful of friends living in the city of warmth making the decision to purchase all the more easy.

So, after a cold, cold nights sleep in the Subaru, the couple checked in, disappointed to learn that Spirit airlines carry-on requirements were quite meager and the large bag to take-along the laptop (for NaNoWriMo) would cost an extra $40...bucking up and paying the outrageous fee, the couple was soon scarfing down breakfast, warming up and making their way to the gate.
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Upon arrival at the gate, the couple soon learned that their flight was delayed by about two hours, longer than the anticipated flight itself. Always attempting to make the most of every situation, Mike continued reading while Melissa added to her NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) story about Lady Annyeong (a story which would not find it's conclusion in November as hoped, but has, at the very least, been started). The couple also spent some time eavesdropping on a group of hockey players who'd spent a wild week or so in the Rocky Mountain city of Denver and had a series of conversations regarding missing teeth and drinking beyond their fill. Also stuck in the airport, the same crew of men decided to attach a dollar to a string of floss and see how well they could prank passers-by, turns out they could do it without much trouble and brought loads of laughter to otherwise annoyed travelers.


Eventually, the couple had boarded the plane and before too long found themselves debarking and being welcomed and lovingly embraced by Annalise and Erin. Thrilled to be embraced by good friends and warmth, Melissa was quick to shed some layers and both the Harringtons were quick to request a good, filling lunch as soon as possible.

Fortunately, for all the growling bellies a local grill serving locally grown veggies and meats was only a few minutes drive from the airport and the group was soon chowing down at Farmer Joe's (?) and enjoying perfectly grilled burgers, deep-fried onion rings and ice-cold water!
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Burgers, Tacos and Brew-Pub food, so many good eats in Phoenix, AZ

Continuing forth with their 2-day vacation, the Harringtons were introduced to Annalise's array of fantastic room-mates and given a tour of the much 'facebook/instagram'-famed Mulberry Estate. With the joy of warmth to surround them on an early November afternoon, the couple was quickly guided on a walk through the Maple-Ash neighborhood where they were able to stop for their afternoon beer(s) and make plans for the rest of the evening which would include delicious pasties at Cornish Pasty with the addition of Mindy and Alex (the same couple we ran to Tokyo to see) to round out the day with good friends in a warm, happy environment.

With full bellies and warm hearts from visiting with so many beautiful friends, the Harringtons were honored to return home with Erin where we were put up in a darling and inviting guest room.
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Our one full day of exploring and enjoying Phoenix was spent enjoying a lazy breakfast and coffee in the home of our generous host, Erin, before we piled into the car and made our way to some various sights. First up was the Mystery Castle which was unfortunately closed but lead us by a pretty impressive mural made of old road signs. We stopped for a photo opportunity before continuing forth with our day which involved a walk through the Arizona State University campus, eating killer tacos and eventually making our way out to Talisen West, one of the last great developments of Frank Lloyd Wright.
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Aside from being an impressive feat of architecture meets nature, the tour that the Harringtons and friends enjoyed was guided by a feisty old artist who knew a lot of history regarding Frank Lloyd Wright and his works, but who had a particular way with words...

Why? Because she was simply great in that way, well educated and passionate about her job. Why? Because she was teaching the world about one of the greatest architects to ever live, did you know he was brilliant? Why? Because he didn't patent anything! You want to copy that chair, no problem, go right ahead. Why? Because Frank Lloyd Wright didn't patent his work. He was brilliant, simply brilliant.

And we all left knowing what? That Frank Lloyd Wright was brilliant and he basically invented everything. Solar Paneling? That's Frank Lloyd Wright. Theater seating? Again, Frank Lloyd Wright. Earthquake architecture? Of course, that's Frank Lloyd Wright. Everything you've ever loved? Well, don't even question, you know it must have been Frank Lloyd Wright.

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The rest of the day and our stay in Arizona involved a meal at a fantastic brewery, drinks at Annalise's top cafe pick, lots of hugs, good conversations and warm, beautiful sunshine. Definitely an A+ way to spend a quick vacation!
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2 comments:

Kstylick said...

A trip no matter how short is worth it. Full of memories to cherish and look forward to happen again.

erin. said...

This had me seriously cracking up! I'm going back soon with my grandparents and am sincerely hoping we don't have the same guide. Thanks for coming, friends!

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