I don't want to go home. Four days are just not enough. At least our flight doesn't leave until 8:30pm
The 4th Ave street fair is happening this weekend and we decide to do a quick visit. It probably doesn't start until 10am so we lazily check out. We talk a bit with the clerk and we mention that last time we stayed there in 2000 they were affliated with Best Western. She said that BW wanted them to modernize the rooms and make the hotel more 'cookie-cutter' style. They didn't want to change the ambience so they parted ways. I agree. I wouldn't want them to change it at all.
The street fair is going by time we get there. It is huge - about 7 blocks or more. I am looking for an eye glass holder/leash like I got last time and for the travel photographer from whom I've purchased a couple of prints. I find the photographer and get a photo of blue gondolas in Venice called Gondolas at Dawn. It is so hard deciding. I could not find the eyeglass vendor. Oh well.
We decide to spend the afternoon at Boyce Thompson. But first we need food. George suggests we try Sauce which is on the way out of town at Oracle and Ina. Great pizza. It is very interesting set up. The complex is very upscale but it is really fast food. You walk in and order at the front desk. The choices are very interesting. Everything from mozzerella and tomato to wild mushroom and truffled arugla. We decide on a Rosmary Potato, Spinach, feta and Olive Tapenade pizza and a Portobello and artichoke. Both are wonderful. I love the thin thin crust which still has a great flavor instead of tasting like a saltine cracker. We have these along with glasses of chianti which was so-so. I highly recommend it. You can also find some of the pizzas at North.
We head out and decide to go a different way. We decide to go towards Globe and then cut across at Wilkerson to Superior. Along the way there are some patches of yellow California poppies and blue lupine. Along the way, we pass the Arsarco Ray Mine which is huge. It is amazing how much of the earth is left barren and sterile after mining for copper. We get to Boyce Thompson around 2:30pm and head off to some of our favorite places. I really like the demonstration gardens. You can sit away from the others and watch the hillside for birds. We see several vultures soar above and notice a dart of red; a Cardinal. We spend some time watching and listening to him sing. We head off to the cactus garden to get some shots in the late afternoon sun.
4:30 comes too quickly. We need to give ourselves at least an hour to get back to Phoenix. We probably need to check in by 6:30 and we run into a little bit of traffic from some event near Apache Junction. The Superstion and Lost Dutchman peaks look so inviting. We must try a couple of hikes in the area next time. We have a new hiking book that has more hikes in the area so we have those to look forward.
We get to Alamo by 6pm and check in. I have to go to the counter to get my "optional" gas refund. The clerk in the lot knows nothing about it. The America West checkin is pretty amazing. There are at least 30 web check-in kiosks and the line snakes at least 4 times. But it is moving pretty fast and it takes us about 10-15 minutes to get to a kiosk. Then it is off to security. This takes longer - probably 20 minutes. Of course our gate is out at the end of the concourse. Sheesh... Seattle gets no respect. We stop and grab a pizza since there will be no food on the flight. It leaves on time and we get land at 10:30. Bags arrive, off to parking and we are home by midnight. Who knows what we will be like in the morning but it was hella good fun!