Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands. She visits Two Small Cities in Arizona

Winslow Arizona .... I know the song, of course, but I had never been aware that standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona is something that people actually do. Someone mentioned it to me when I said I was going there. "Nothing much to do there except stand on the corner." What?

Well there is a corner with statues, and it's even "official." You can go there. And stand. On the corner. And have a picture taken. And stand there some more. Now isn't that thrilling? We, as a people, are easily pleased quite often.

I got into town at the end of a long day. I noticed that out on the highway were the Safeway, Walmart, etc. etc. The town was mostly south of the highway. I did not find the town to be very impressive. I didn't see anything that would make me think living there would be a good idea. Corner standing will only get you so far.

I slept very well in this comfy bed after a long tiring day.

But visiting there again, that's another story. First of all, I stayed at a lovely B&B, Violet Rose Inn. It's the whole first floor of a little Victorian style house. You get a sitting room, dining room, bedroom & large bath. There are several beds so it would be a good place to stay with a family.
Lots of space.
Lots of Victoriana,

The place was decorated with all Victorian antiques and stuff all over the place. I found all the little things really interesting, but I imagine many men would find it all over the top and way too much. But it was a really good place to rest up after a long days' drive. I loved the comfy bed and went right to sleep when I had settled in.

BUT if I were to go back, I would stay next time at La Posada Hotel. This is a destination hotel. It's one the very last Harvey railroad hotels. It's still right beside the railroad tracks. The property is gorgeous, having been lovingly restored and updated. There is a beautiful garden, art all over the place, a really nice store and a great restaurant, the Turquoise Room.
Dinner time in the Turquoise Room

It was at the Turquoise Room that I had my best meal of the whole trip (lamb) and a lovely "adventure" in meeting new people.

I was seated alone when the Harvey Girl came over and asked me if I would care to join the couple at the table right next to me. They would be delighted to have the company. So I did. (We all paid for ourselves.) We spent the rest of the evening eating and talking together. We did not mention politics. A good time was had by all.

They were a retired couple who was doing some traveling. The wife came from Kansas and had grown up across the street from the Fred Harvey family home. The company was something she had always been interested in. Now the couple was on a bit of a bucket list trip, staying in all the remaining Fred Harvey hotels &/or eating in the remaining restaurants. She said there were a lot of people who did this. Apparently it's a thing. Their next stop after La Posada was going to be El Tovar at Grand Canyon. I couldn't help but think that there was a real good idea. I would find that interesting too. Something to think about.

But I need to back up a bit. The first city I stayed in in Arizona was Prescott. I put this last in my narrative because I have to say, it was my favorite.

Prescott is actually a bit difficult to get to because it is not directly on any large highways. It's in the vicinity of Flagstaff and Sedona but not right close to either.  That pesky landmark, the Grand Canyon, is in the way of you being able to get there directly when you are coming from the north. You have to drive around the canyon, miles and miles out of the way because there is no road across it. (Imagine that! What an oversight!) I decided to take the route via Las Vegas to the west because a lot of the route is interstate highways. I don't know if that was a "mistake" of not. Let's just say the that day was the most mind-numbing day of the whole trip. I fully believe that as I passed a given mile on highway 93, elves built two more additional miles at the other end. Talk about the endless high-way. That was it.

But I did get there and was able to find my way to the home of my dear dear friend S. who lives there. That's why I went at all. S. had deliberately chosen to move there a few years ago because she thought it was a great place to live. I wanted to see her again and to see what was up with her new home that was so much better than Utah.

Part of the draw for S. is family. Her family does not actually live there, but it's easier to get to them from Prescott than from SLC. That's always important. And for me, it's the main reason why I am pretty sure it's not the place for me. Just too far from people and things that are meaningful to me.

But I think S. is correct. Prescott is a great place to live and/or retire. It shows up on more than one magazine "dream town" list. Prescott College is a small college with a big draw because of its emphasis on outdoor education of all kinds.

Not unlike Farmington NM, all the modern, practical stuff is there, all strung out to the east on highway 69. The downtown, however, has been very well preserved and even developed within the historical context. There is a courthouse square in the center with al kinds of shops, restaurants and businesses surrounding it on all sides.
Fall art fair at the Courthouse Square in Prescott

There was some kind of autumn art fair going on when I was there, but then Prescott puts on fairs and events all year long. There's a really big one at Christmas with a parade and all.

S. & I had a snack at the downtown brewpub, Prescott Brewing Company and later high tea at an English tearoom. There are yarn shops in town, but for various reasons we did not get to any. Too bad. I really would have liked some souvenir yarn.

Prescott is located in a beautiful mountain setting. It has nice, affordable housing. S. had no trouble finding a friendly community when she moved there. I just liked everything that I saw there. Go. See it for yourself! But take more pictures than I did. I was too busy enjoying myself the whole time to stop and record it all.

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