Published: October 26th 2006July 4th 2006
With the traffic delay and hungry tummies we decided to set up camp in a trailer park just outside of Phoenix. Thankfully this one had a pool as even well into the evening it was still 38oC! The next day we drove into Phoenix and once again made sure we picked a campground with a big pool! We went out to see the Arizona Science Centre but got a bit lost with the major roadworks and detours in place. We realized that we had parked a long way away from the centre and just couldn’t bring ourselves to take the hike (it was way to hot). There was no one else out on the footpath so we decided to find another activity whereby we could hide inside in the air conditioning as the locals were obviously doing. We decided on a baseball game as we found ourselves right near the stadium. We purchased tickets and found a bar to hide in until the game started. We got talking to a really interesting guy who worked as a US Marshall (not the Air Marshalls that we hear about). Then it was ‘take me out to the ball game’ time. The
It's not the best photo but these saguaro (pronounced sa-war-oo)cacti are all along the side of the freeway into Phoenix and only grow at this altitude.
stadium could seat nearly 50,000 people and thankfully they had closed the roof and cranked up the air conditioning! We sang the national anthem, sang ‘take me out to the ball game’ and clapped and cheered at the appropriate moments. The ball was hit into the crowd a number of times although sadly not to where we were sitting. One guy smashed his bat he whacked the ball so hard, and later on one of the coaches was sent off for arguing with the refs. All the usual sports dramas! Unfortunately it was a very low scoring game and our team (Arizona Diamondbacks) lost to the Seattle Mariners 3-2. It makes you appreciate the athletic ability of our rugby and netball players. Baseball isn’t much about athletic ability, it is more about good hand-eye coordination (as demonstrated by the fact that even middle aged, slightly overweight guys can play pro ball!) No offense to the middle aged men that might be reading this blog!
On Friday night we decided to go out for dinner and dancing. We found a little place recommended in the Lonely Planet which also had swing dancing lessons. Sadly they had stopped providing the dancing
lessons but we decided to check it out anyway - and we were glad we did! McAlpines was a very retro little diner with booth seats and old mini jukeboxes at the tables. Our drinks were served in retro coca cola glasses and a hearty meal was followed by a hot fudge sundae for me and an old style malt thickshake for Nick. It is really like stepping back in time as you can see from the photos below.
Saturday we visited Scottsdale a little town known for art and gift shops. The gift shops were definitely worth a look and I decided that this, like Boulder was a place I must come back to when I had more cash to spend!! I was very self controlled and left with just a Christmas decoration (a snowman dressed up like a cowboy). The rest of the day was spent hiding away from the sun and that evening we decided to go to one of the bars that were recommended in Lonely Planet as having good sunset views. Well we got there a little late for the best of the sunset but Jade Bar (inside a very nice resort / spa)
Mc Alpines #1
Mmmmm desert! Also check out the mini juke box between us.
was worth the 1 hour drive! We had a great night sampling the Cantelope (rockmellon) Martinis and non-alcoholic beverages. We highly recommend the Cantelope Martinis (as does the Lonely Planet).
We went to the Arizona Science Centre which was a hit with Nick who was all of a sudden 7 years old again and fascinated by all the exhibits. My favorite was a maniquin in an ‘operating theatre’. They projected a video showing a close up of what happens in a bypass operation on his chest - it really looked like you were looking at his heart and seeing the surgeons hands work their magic! Nick got to fly a model plane which he loved. In the area surrounding the centre they have a whole lot of beautiful historic houses which we had a look at on our way out.
We celebrated the 4th July on the 2nd as we heard about a place that was having a show and the states biggest fireworks display not to far from us. We enjoyed the show which involved a host of patriotic songs performed by people of all ages with a HUGE American flag as the back drop. A favorite
was a whirlwind trip though US history done in comedic fashion. This included a girl asking if the new civil rights movement meant that she had to be civil to her black classmate and a guy crying ‘the British are coming!’ When they said the largest fireworks display in the state they sure weren’t kidding - 25 minutes of fireworks with background patriotic music.
There are more photos below