Day 5 - Arizona
|Tuesday, November 21, 2017: After genuinely getting to sleep in, we headed to Painted Mountain Golf Resort for breakfast.
|Recent development across the golf course has blocked the view of Painted Mountain, but it's still pretty. A year later, we learned that our friend Karen lives in one of those condos.
|We had a great visit over breakfast, ...
|... then a little more visiting back at the condo, then it was time to wave goodbye and move on.
|Next, we headed to Tempe to visit Debbie's cousin Rachel. We visited her apartment briefly and met her adorable dog, Oswald Cobblepaw, ...
|... then headed to Mother Bunch for a chicken salad sandwich for Debbie, bleu cheese burger for Tom, and 3-alarm burger for Rachel.
|We had some samples of their brews as well.
|We made a quick stop at the Tempe IKEA, just to add it to the growing list of IKEAs we have visited, then said our goodbyes to Rachel.
|We headed north to Scottsdale and passed these horse sculptures titled "Water Mark." In floods, water pours out of their mouths into Indian Bend Wash.
|We were visiting the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, which featured this full-size train that you can go into.
|We were here to visit the Merci Train - 49 boxcars given as gratitude from France to the US after World War II. Many states still have their boxcar on display, and Arizona's is in exceptionally great shape after undergoing restoration in 1989.
|Also known as the Gratitude Train, the boxcars were filled with gifts donated by more than six million French families and sent to the US in 1949. It's a really amazing story and more people should know about these wonderful boxcars.
|We had a little more time before heading to our next destination so we looked around the surprisingly large park. In addition to this adorable little train ride, there was a huge train-themed playground, picnic pavilions, ...
|... rest rooms, open spaces, and a statue of Bil Keane and his Family Circle characters (not shown here).
|This beautiful glass building contained ...
|... all the model trains you could possibly want to play with.
|This funny little sculpture very helpfully showed the differences in train scales. Let's reminisce a bit and go back to 1970 now. Debbie: "It's Ho scale." Debbie's brother: "Stop it! It's H-O scale!"
|This sign told us that we couldn't go any further, ...
|... because this ENTIRE GIGANTIC SECTION OF PARK was being updated to ...
|... display holiday lights. Seriously, this is an amazing park and everyone should go here when they have more than 20 minutes to spare.
|Off we went again, past Scottsdale's Top Golf, ...
|... and another Tesla. Look at that pretty door handle.
|We arrived at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West a half hour before our 4:00 PM tour time, ...
|... so we had plenty of time to check in for our tour, ...
|... and peruse the gift shop. Having just been to Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin a couple of months earlier, we were all shopped out and did not need to buy anything else.
|We were a little tempted by a copy of "Loving Frank," which Debbie's cousin had loaned to her after her Taliesin visit. Great read, by the way.
|Our tour began near a group of rocks that contained petroglyphs, including the one on which the Taliesin West logo is based.
|We ducked our heads to enter this room, ...
|... which opened to a much higher ceiling in typical Frank Lloyd Wright style - compress at the entrance, then expand once inside.
|Our excellent guide, Deirdre, told us all about how Taliesin West came to be and how this room was used to meet with clients.
|Here's a drawing of a design that was never used, except for the blue spire that was built in 2004 for nearby Promenade Mall.
|Here's the shot we came for - the full beauty of Taliesin West captured in one photo.
|From here, the view stretches west over cactus and scrub toward the mountains and the sunset.
|Here's another great view of the house.
|If you zoom in on this photo, you'll find the bright red signature FLW tile that exists on many Wright properties. Unfortunately, it wasn't pointed out to us and we didn't notice it until specifically looking for it in photos later.
|However, we did get a closeup of this lovely sculpture.
|Here's a cool door. Taliesin West is much more rustic than other FLW properties, as it was meant to be more of an experimental workshop/residence.
|Here's the beautiful garden room where we stopped for a bit.
|Here's the other end of the room, ...
|... and here's the impressive fireplace.
|This glass section of the room looks out over the courtyard.
|Around the corner was a second room ...
|... with cool skylights.
|Here's the courtyard with its funny little round hobbit door.
|Frank's wife, Olgivanna, had a bedroom here which opens completely onto the courtyard.
|Here's the view looking back toward the garden room from Olgivanna's plaza.
|Here's Frank's bedroom, ...
|... his bathroom, ...
|... and the sunken stairway that leads to the locked door to Olgivanna's second bedroom, which isn't on the tour.
|This funny little half-wall separates two narrow beds.
|There's a cute little water feature right outside.
|This is the Kiva, used as a storage room in the off season and a movie theater before the larger theater was built. Here it is with regular lighting, ...
|... and here is it with recessed lighting. This was much darker, but our camera compensated for the low light so you can't really tell.
|Here's the view back toward the west.
|This is the view looking toward the Drafting Studio, which we weren't allowed to photograph. Students of the School of Architecture at Taliesin were here, just like they had been two months earlier in Spring Green, so once again, we had to be careful not to disturb them or to photograph their projects. It was weird to know that we were seeing the same students a second time.
|Here's the Dining Room with glass-cornered windows.
|There's the bell tower.
|One of several fountains on the grounds.
|There were numerous sculptures everywhere.
|We loved most of them but did our best not to photograph all of them.
|Here is the Music Pavilion.
|Onstage, Deirdre told us about the performances held here. She also told us about the campsites scattered around the grounds and the history behind them.
|Next, we entered the Cabaret.
|Built mostly underground, it has an interesting cave-like quality to it, but it has amazing acoustics. Deirdre demonstrated how we could easily hear her whether she faced us or had her back to us.
|The light fixtures along the right wall were gorgeous.
|Of course one must include a triangle-shaped hole in the wall for one's grand piano.
|The sun was down by the time our tour ended, and the grounds were lit up with twinkly lights.
|Debbie photographed a couple amid the pretty display.
|Arizona sunsets are stunning and this one as we were leaving was no exception.
|And that concludes our cross-country Houses Named Taliesin tour!
|Hey! There's that blue spire on that mall we mentioned! No time to see it up close though - we have places to be! (We saw it in 2020!)
|Like Del Taco, for example.
|This is where we waited for much too long for our dinner, in our quest to visit as many fast food restaurants as possible with "Taco" in the name.
|Up the road at the Sunset Point Rest Area, we encountered this inaccurate sign and snapped a photo for Jill, because this is one of her pet peeves. "Poisonous" means that their bodies are actually poisonous. "Venomous" means that there is venom in their bite. To quote Jill, "Better not eat 'em!"
After several hours of driving in the dark, through hills that were probably quite scenic in daylight, we arrived in tiny Cameron, Arizona where we had a wonderful room at the Cameron Trading Post.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy