Anniversary Trip

DSC_0185Not that we need much of an excuse to travel, but it was our 28th anniversary on December 28th. So, let’s go! After visits to Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob and Pope-Leighey House, we have become fans of Frank Lloyd Wright. We decided a trip in December to Arizona might be nice, to visit his home in Scottsdale. So away we went.

We flew out on our anniversary itself, the 28th. Nonstop to Phoenix on Southwest out of Baltimore. I had reserved a special car for the trip, Ellen didn’t know what it was. We got to Hertz and they had Porsches and Ferraris on display. No, I didn’t go that nuts. We just got a Mustang convertible. Bright red. Lots of fun. Image

So off in the convertible for our 4 day adventure. It being lunch time, Ellen used the Food Network app to find a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives spot. And that’s how we got to Over Easy. We greatly enjoyed it. And highly recommend using the app, it’s worked well for us many, many times.

We then drove to Scottsdale. We were staying again at a Kimpton, the Firesky Resort. Always feel comfortable and happy at Kimptons.

We went into the old town and wandered. It’s a touristy but fun town, lots of restaurants, shops and such.Image

Dinner the fist night was at Citizen Public House in Scottsdale. One big room, with the bar in the middle, it was a great restaurant. I had smoked duck breast, Ellen had scallops.

Day 2 we didn’t have any specific plans. We wanted to drive and see scenery. We debated between a 2 hour drive south to Tucson or north to Sedona. Even though we had been to Sedona before, it had been awhile, so Sedona won. There is just nothing like the views, especially on a day with a deep blue sky. Bell Rock, just amazing.Image

I’ll let more pictures just speak for themselves. Image

We stopped at the Church of the Holy Cross. Nice view inside, but the view from below up to the church is really spectacular.


Sedona itself was a little tackier than we remembered it, but still some awesome views, like this from the Pink Java Cafe of Snoopy Rock (look carefully at the right). Image

We had lunch at an authentic Mexican place, the Javelina Cantina. I had the beef machaca burrito, Ellen the carne asada enchilada.

We drove back and found a great funky restaurant in downtown Phoenix, The Switch. Ellen had a salad, I had the mozzarella caprese ciabatta.

Monday was the main event, the tour of Taliesin West.Image

We had splurged for the 3 hour “Behind The Scenes” tour, which gave us not only access to more areas but got us talks from several of the employees. What started as a “desert winter camp” in Arizona in 1937 is now a graduate school for architecture. We heard from the student life manager, and an “apprentice” from 1952 who has been at Taliesin ever since. The chance to talk with someone who worked directly for Frank Lloyd Wright for 7 years? Just awesome oral history. We saw the living quarters of the Wrights, the music pavilion, dining room and the garden room. Just a great experience.Image

Afterwards, we decided we had to hit an In-N-Out burger. Nearby was the glass spire that Wright had wanted to top the Arizona State Capitol he competed to design. It was a little wild and ahead of its time.


We decided to spend the afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden. As luck would have it, there were Chihuly glass sculptures throughout. DSC_0299 DSC_0309 DSC_0322IMG_5151

Dinner Monday night was the best, Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale. If you ever go there, get the Stetson salad. You’re welcome. After dinner, we went back to the spire, because we thought you also had to see it at night. DSC_0340

Tuesday morning, we visited the Museum of Musical Instruments. Over 10,000 instruments from all over the world. The museum utilized an innovative audio player, that automatically played the sounds of the exhibit you were standing by. The most interesting thing there, besides the instruments, is Lady Gaga’s meat dress. IMG_5160

We had time for one more highlight before we left, another Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives place. We had lunch at Perk Eatery . If it’s good enough for Guy, it’s good enough for us.

It was a great 4 day trip. High temperatures were around 70, the sun was bright, there was a lot to do, and it was all very different than back home. Highly recommend all of it, but since Ellen planned the trip, that kinda goes without saying.


2 responses to “Anniversary Trip

  • Reba Heyman

    Great blog post as usual. Dad would be proud!

  • Holly

    What a trip! I absolutely love all the pictures it looks like a phenomenal place to take a trip to. Scottsdale is on my wish travel list for sure after reading this! Way to surprise Ellen with a fun car for the anniversary trip that was a great idea. Hope you two had a very Happy Anniversairy!

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