A Tourist In My Own Town – AZ Biltmore Resort

As promised, I'm posting pictures from a one night's stay at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.  (http://www.arizonabiltmore.com) This beautiful landmark hotel was built in the late 1930s and was designed by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.  The picture to the left is a stained glass mosaic surrounded by the textured cement blocks that are very unique to this resort.

My friend and I arrived yesterday afternoon.  We were given our room keys and were quite amazed at all the amenities.  Our room opened up to a private verandah with a little table and comfy chairs.  The linens on the bed were the softest I have ever come into contact with.  My friend just turned 50 this year and she told me she really had to fight the urge to jump on the bed.  I told her to go for it!  I myself took a swan dive onto my bed and pretended to 'swim' across it.  All that was missing were the $100 bills.  I think I saw a scene like that in a movie, or on The Simpsons or something.


The neat thing about this resort is it's history.  Everywhere you go there are sepia pictures adorning the walls showing the resort through it's early years.  This was the place where movie stars went to get away from it all in the 1940s.  There is a very art deco feel to this place.

We ran into lots of folks from the American Holistic Medical Association.  They were there for a week long conference.  We had some great conversations with different attendees about the benefits of a holistic lifestyle.



These statues to left are all over the resort grounds.  They still maintain an art deco feel while being clearly Asian in design.











This one to the right was actually taken in the ladies room (believe it or not).  It seem like everywhere we went, there was some artistic touch to be seen and experienced.  You can see the sun shining through the glass ceiling.










This picture to the left was taken in the actual spot where the actress Angela Bassett was sitting during the movie "Waiting to Exhale," which came out about a decade ago.  Whitney Houston also played a major role in it.  I had forgotten it was filmed here but my friend made sure to ask the bartenders where it was (they informed us that they had already been asked that 3 times that day).  We promptly got up and moved to that spot.

There was another picture of a very old mural I was hoping to get but the room that housed it was closed for renovations.  It depicts a Native American scene and whenever I find myself at the Biltmore (usually for a work-related meeting) I go to this room and just stare at it's beauty for awhile. 

I won this stay at a silent auction last year.  It felt very special to stay at such an amazing place that is such a big part of Phoenix's history.  I highly recommend this to anyone.  You can even come for lunch and walk around to marvel at it's architecture.  It is truly an amazing testament to the history of my adopted state.

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Well Look Who Returned Home on Friday!

Two months to the date that we returned from Alaska and my bag is back. Hooray! I guess it stayed in Alaska for awhile.

This will place an end to the many questions I had:



This is truly a blessing to have my suitcase back.  I just knew it had to be somewhere.  I got a call from Alaskan Air (who we didn't even take) and they said they had it up in their Alaska warehouse.  Some people leave their hearts in San Francicso and then there are those who leave their bags in Alaska.  What's interesting is that we flew home from Seattle.  So how did my bag end up back in Alaska?  This one will have me scratching my head.  But regardless, it's back with everything in it.  It was a lesson in patience and not taking no for an answer.

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For Karlos…

You are my one neighbor that I have had the least interaction with and I find your posts, pictures (especially the moon ones) and insight –not to mention your taste in music– absolutely amazing.

This pic is for you. While I'm not as talented in the picture taking department as you, this is a picture of a prickly pear cactus in bloom from our front yard. It very rarely blooms. Enjoy.

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Seen In Phoenix

Have I mentioned that I love where I live?  There is so much here within the city that would make good blogging material.  Over the weekend I took a few pictures while I was out and about.  A few weeks ago my husband and I were driving by this area with all these run down little houses.  He explained to me that these were used to house Japanese Americans during World War 2.  This is a very sad part of Phoenix's past.  I guess these buildings had been located elsewhere throughout the city and then they were just stuck on this plot of land.


One very neat thing about Phoenix is that there are murals everywhere.  They are painted on the sides of buildings and on the sides of bridges underneath the freeway.  The photo below was taken outside of a menudo shop.  Menudo is a tripe soup (and was also the name of that boy band featuring Ricky Martin way back when).  The Virgin of Guadalupe is featured everywhere in this area.  She is the patroness of Mexico.  Her image adorns t-shirts, bumper stickers, and even car air fresheners.  In Spanish above her head it reads 'God Bless This Business.'  There's usually an angel underneath her but the angel here has been replaced by a man in a mariachi outfit. 


The next shot was taken from downtown Phoenix.  It's looking south to the aptly named South Mountains.  This was taken from where I work back in May.  I think that is the last time it really rained here.


Finally, my own backyard.  It's not much but it's a great place to sip wine and watch the stars.


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