Follow Dave and Kathy to Scottsdale, Arizona to celebrate their 22nd Anniversary. This long weekend was packed with adventures and some fine dining, all the things we love.
Feb. 8,
First stop was the Scottsdale White Dove thrift store. Besides being a really excellent thrift store, this is nearly headquarters for used golf items, but, everything was in evidence. Kathy found a lovely bracelet and some slippers, while Dave bought a new golf bag, golf putter, and the COMPLETE Three Stooges movies, on seven DVDs, offering 11 straight hours of the stooges with 140 movies. AND, it was military discount of 25% day!
Street Eats Food Truck Festival was next. Over 50 of the most popular food trucks that roam the streets of Phoenix. With Phoenix being the 5th largest city in America, you can assume correctly that this festival was packed. To enter, everyone had to pass through a metal detector. An unfortunate sign of the times. The food trucks were all inspected by the health department before the festival started. The Gyro truck failed and never opened.
We had a destination at the food truck festival, which was the Maine Lobster Lady, who is very well-known in Phoenix and wildly popular. We were in the gates just 15 minutes after the festival started and there was already a line of 100 people at the truck. Here is Dave showing his usual patient self waiting in line. Yes, it took 35 minutes but it was worth the wait. Lobster Lady flies in fresh lobster every day to Phoenix.
Here is an image of Kathy's lobster roll, already being consumed. Dave tried to get a picture with the roll still in one piece, but I guess not. Sales at the truck were made every 2 minutes, most ordering two or more traditional lobster rolls. But they were ready for us and since this was a two-day festival, a lot of lobster rolls were consumed, that's for sure.
After visiting a few more food trucks at the festival, it was off to check into our hotel, the Sleep Inn, in North Scottsdale. This is a very reasonably priced hotel (in peak season as well) and even has a pool. Our arrival time was perfect and after checking, we had our afternoon nap. We visit Scottsdale about twice a year and always stay at this hotel.
Here is Kathy entering the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Scottsdale, which is totally amazing with over 10,000 instruments and objects, organized by country or area. You wear an audio headset that picks up the audio for each display, which also places the audio event on a TV screen. Click Here for a 10-minute MIM video. MIM has a concert series as well but the evening performance while we were there was sold out (Ladysmith Black Mambazo).
With the MIM closing at 5 pm, we took off for a real estate tour of the area, including one Open House, but ended up at the very large Turn Style Consignment store. No purchases were made but the prices were quite good. Then back to the hotel to relax a bit before heading out to dinner.
For dinner, we chose the Uncorked wine bar, which was close to the hotel. For wine, they had "flights" of wine (three 3-oz glasses) for any particular kind of wine that you might like. Dave had the Sauvignon Blanc flight and ordered what he thought was a small cheese tray, but ended up with a Chef's Board with way too much food. Kathy settled on a single glass of Pinot Gris and some lamb meatballs. Quite nice!
Feb. 9, 2020
A beautiful Arizona morning where we skipped the free breakfast at the hotel (but did enjoy their coffee) and headed for the Squarz Bakery and cafe that we found on the Internet. They are famous for their ten kinds of croissants, all made each day. We both got the almond croissant and some more coffee. This cafe has a variety of seating so we took the large sofa, which also came with a morning newspaper. They feature local artists artwork on the walls.
Then is was time to head to the Willo Historic District for a house tour. It turns out that this district of amazing homes is located in a somewhat scruffy neighborhood. Kathy wanted to duck into a nearby Starbucks to use their restroom but found that you must be escorted to the restroom by a Starbucks employee. This allows them to judge if your up to no good, or something. Kathy said the employee was extremely tired of this ritual.
Now, the Willo Historic District, which was a collection of 1920s and 1930s homes, all of which had architectural importance. The homes tended to be small, but most had been added on to for more space. We made a video of our tour so Click Here. A fixer house in Willo will start at about $400,000 and finish at $650,000 and up. And up and up. We missed a few houses because of a ticket mix up, but by then, lines were long at each residence so we had seen enough.

Kathy loves Thai food and commanded Dave to find an exceptional Thai restaurant for lunch. Dave is uncertain how he found the Chanpen Thai restaurant, and it was in a dicey neighborhood (lock your car doors), and this tiny place had just five tables. The food was somewhat short of exceptional, but it was cheap! In this image, the cook is in the parking lot for a smoke. Our Thai waitress turned out be be Malaysian, but, hey, close enough.

Phoenix being the 5th largest city, is spread out in all directions, and busy, busy, highways, and expressway, packed with cars. We couldn't wait to return to the relatively calm Tucson area and our home in Oro Valley. Arizona is experiencing a lot of growth these days, and real estate prices are going up. We bought our house about 5 years ago and feel pretty lucky at this point. Anyway, home again! Happy Anniversary Dave and Kathy.