So I promised stories about the weekend. We had a blast! Adrienne arrived Friday evening, and after stopping at Qdoba for a late-night snack, we headed home to visit until almost midnight, starting the catching-up process.
Saturday Phil took us out to breakfast at the 5 & Diner, a 50’s themed diner. The waitresses wore typical 50’s attire, although I think the prices were a little higher than they would have been back then. We sat outside in the sunshine, enjoying the warm morning and the fresh air and a delicious meal. Then he bowed out of our touristy activities and we headed to Chase Field, the home of the Diamondbacks.
We wandered to the stadium and spent a fair amount of time watching the moving sculpture at the entrance to the park. It’s called Based on Balls by George Rhoads, and reminded me of the old Mousetrap game. Balls roll along wire pathways and set into effect a variety of activities, from fans doing the “wave” to gongs being struck and xylophones played. I think it might be an example of perpetual motion (a name my father gave my sister, I believe). We tried to trace the path of each ball, to see where it would end up – and what it would do on the way there. It was great fun; I could spend a long time watching it.
We then discovered that there was a tour in less than an hour and signed up, then dashed to TGI Friday’s to share a brownie sundae while we waited. The restaurant is actually IN the stadium, and provides a front row seat (hence the name, Friday’s Front Row) on the game. We took pictures of the field, oohed and aahed over the view, and agreed that we’d return this summer to watch a game from this vantage point.
Our guide was a wonderful older gentleman who was chatty, funny, full of stories and insider details. He took us from a luxury suite to the visitors’ locker room to the Diamondbacks dugout. He answered questions, told jokes, shared observations, and made the two hours fly. We left, wanting to return to see a game, and with a new appreciation for the stadium and team. Chase Field prides itself on being a family/fan friendly venue, keeping their prices low and offering “all you can eat” seats and group areas, a swimming pool and hot tub for groups, and a respect for the history of the game.
Next was the Desert Botanical Garden, 44 acres of cacti smack dab in the middle of the city. We wandered the winding paths, read the signs identifying each plant, marveled over the many sizes and shapes they take. But at some point you grow full of cacti, and we found ourselves talking more than actually studying the plants.
After a couple of hours spent among the cacti, we made our way to Old Scottsdale, where we explored the tourist shops and had a yummy dinner of mojitos and gourmet mac and cheese. Then it was home to the hot tub, to watch the stars come out and enjoy the evening, before calling it a night.
Sunday started with coffee at the Lux with Phil, before returning to Aunt Chilada’s for brunch. I’ve been wanting to try their brunch ever since discovering that a chocolate fountain is part of the meal. I made the mistake of filling up on eggs and potatoes, leaving little room for chocolate-drenched fruit; next time I order a piece of dry toast, and pull up my chair to the fountain! We toasted our birthdays with mimosas, and soaked up even more of the Arizona sunshine.
A quick trip back to Old Scottsdale to pick up some decorations for her kitchen, and our wonderful weekend was over, all too soon. I dropped Adrienne off at the airport, promising to get together again this summer. It was wonderful to have a dear friend in town to do touristy stuff with, not to mention talk and dream and reminisce and laugh. We’ve been friends for six years, and it was great to spend time together again, after too long apart.
Anyway, one of my birthday presents is the memories we created this weekend. And the chance to spend quality time with a good friend. I hope your weekend was half as fun as ours! Now I just need to get some sleep…
Hurry back, Adrienne!