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View Full Version : Arizona-Nevada trip - suggestions, advice?



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cruisin
05-20-2012, 01:29 PM
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch, for a convention. It was very nice.

manhn
05-21-2012, 05:24 AM
It is hot, but for whatever reason, I've been handling it okay. I remember when I went to Vietnam, it was similarly hot but I was whining like a baby. Tomorrow, I will be going to Downtown Pheonix along the Metro Light Rail, so I better roll myself in sunscreen.

The Phoenician is nice, I tried to drive in and check out the grounds, but they have a person at the gate, so I pretended I needed to do a U-turn.

Grand Canyon was awe-inspiring, but the commute is sooooo long. Flagstaff was cute, but not as wonderful as I was anticipating.

There are two rest areas along I-17 while driving from Pheonix to Flagstaff. Stop at both. The views are spectacular and the washroom facilities are immaculate.

Best coffee I've had was at Carmel's on Camelback, but the service was indifferent. The service at Elevate Coffee was superb and the coffee almost as good. I love the atmosphere of Macy's in Flagstaff and the coffee was pretty good. Press Coffee was only okay. Echo Coffee was a little bit better than okay.

Furthermore, Zoes Kitchen needs to move up north.

I have been running in the mornings at a park called El Derodo Park near my hotel. Love the park. I hate to run in nature (I like to do my runs on a treadmill while watching the news), but the park has been really nice.

I think I have been to all the major shopping centers in Scottsdale and parts of Phoenix (not sure how Phoenix is configured). My favourite was Scottsdale Quarter and its movie theatre that charges something like 30 bucks. Also, I love how stores and restaurants have this spray system that spurts out mist to cool down the walking patrons.

I do notice that it gets dark here quick. Not much to do when it gets dark unless it's the type that requires you to dress up. Any ideas for maybe tomorrow? After I finish the light rail, I will then go to Tempe Marketplace, so something in that area.

I hope to explore Echo Park before I go to the airport. Camelback Mountain looks so dark cool!

Also, while driving back approaching the outlet mall (which was only okay), there was this high school that looked like a friggin' shopping mall. Do rich people live that far out?

Japanfan
05-21-2012, 08:55 AM
I do notice that it gets dark here quick. Not much to do when it gets dark unless it's the type that requires you to dress up.

I notice that too, it can be disconcerting. It's not great to come back to cool raining weather after sunshine and warmth further south, but I do appreciate the longer days we have her. We get one-two hours more daylight than further south.

skatemomaz
05-21-2012, 04:50 PM
I notice that too, it can be disconcerting. It's not great to come back to cool raining weather after sunshine and warmth further south, but I do appreciate the longer days we have her. We get one-two hours more daylight than further south.

There is a very good reason we don't do daylight savings in Arizona. Right now we may be hitting triple digits but it still cools off at night and the mornings are reasonable. Once we hit the real summer and are into daily triple digits we can stay into the 100's well past midnight and it is usually close to 100 at dawn. We are getting daylight starting at 5AM and stay light until around 7PM, we don't need more sunshine! :P

TheGirlCanSkate
05-21-2012, 06:32 PM
My favorite nighttime hang outs were The Grapevine in old Town Scottsdale - sitting on the roof was always pleasant with a lahvosh pizza and bottle of wine and friends. very casual.

http://www.theoriginalgrapevine.com/The_Original_Grapevine/Home.html

I also liked AZ88 but I always dressed up a little. http://www.az88.com/Home.html

As for places like The Phoenician, just let the gatehouse know you are just going for cocktails, they all have public facilities and don't care if you are just looking.

Casual food http://www.orangetable.net/

and http://www.arcadiafarmscafe.com

manhn
05-22-2012, 06:11 AM
It was sooooo hot.

Tempe Beach Park. Awesome. But it was soooo hot.

As was the Jeffrey Buttle Mountain. The one with the A on it.

Does Downtown Phoenix have any shopping? It has a substantial financial district, a huge convention centre, nice sports arenas, a lot of museums, theaters, several restaurants and A LOT of courthouses. And their library is cool. But where do residents shop? I saw an Urban Outfitters and a pharmacy.

The light rail was clean and air conditioned, but it is infrequent and inconsistent (due to not having a right of way at every phase of the line). And in the heat, walking from and to each station was a bit of a pain (don't even get me started on Papago Park Station--wth was the park?!?!?).

I must say, I was very impressed by Tempe. A good mall, well used and well placed transit (although they need a light rail station at Tempe Marketplace), interesting park and rides, interesting restaurant name (Long Wang?), a beautiful campus, a great park, and a fun downtown.

I have ended all of my nights at Old Town, lol. I didn't intend to do that but it's fairly close to the hotel, it's nice out and there aren't bugs. Too bad so many of the shops are closed at that time, as I have never been in the mornings.

Vash01
05-22-2012, 08:33 AM
There is not a lot of shopping in downtown Phoenix. A lot of the shops are only open during the day. For shopping you have to go to the malls, or downtown Scottsdale, or Tempe or one of the other suburbs. There are lots of cute little shops in downtown Scottsdale, There are also large malls, so take your pick.

However, Scottsdale closes quite early. If you want to do something in the evening, you may have to go to east valley (Tempe, Chandler). Glendale may have sports events (right now the NHL playoffs).

Evenings: There are many cultural programs and sports events, plus other events that are listed in the local newspaper. The Phoenix Art museum and other museums are pretty good. If you want to see something different, the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix is good.

The Arizona State University campus always has something going on. You can check the newspaper for it.

There are some Indian reservations in the middle of the Phoenix metro area. They have casinos, with entertainment, although I have not attended those programs.

I hope this helps a bit.

paskatefan
05-22-2012, 10:02 AM
As was the Jeffrey Buttle Mountain. The one with the A on it.



Jeffrey Buttle Mountain? Please explain! :)

TheGirlCanSkate
05-22-2012, 05:31 PM
In Phoenix there is the Biltmore Fashion Park for upscale shopping, Metrocenter for regular mall shopping...
*****
Tempe Butte is the official name of an andesite butte of volcanic origin, located partially on Arizona State University's Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona. It is often referred to by locals as A Mountain, after the 60-foot-tall (18 m) gold-painted letter 'A' near the top. Another name for the area, used by the City of Tempe, is Hayden Butte.
*****

Vash01
05-22-2012, 06:44 PM
For all those from outside of Arizona-

Two hikers recently died in Arizona, of heat exhaustion. Please please please take good care of yourselves. Drink LOTS of water. Always carry a water bottle along. Wear sunscreen, loose & light color clothing that covers your bodies well, and don't stay outdoor for long. There are lots of ice skating rinks in the valley to cool off at :lol:

Seriously, avoid exposure to Sun as much as you can. This is a dry heat, so you may not feel uncomfortable the way humidity makes you feel, but it is dangerous because it takes fluids out of your body very quickly.

Be safe and have a good time.

AragornElessar
05-22-2012, 10:32 PM
About 11 years ago Mom won a trip anywhere Sunquest Vacations offered through the Kinsman house lottery they do in Sudbury and they decided since they aren't resort people, nor cruise people, to take the package to Las Vegas. Their flight and hotel was taken care of, but after that, the days of the week long trip was their own. They stayed at the Tresure Island hotel and Mom still talks about the battle on the ship they do every night.

Anyway...Thanks to good friends of ours, Dad was able to take an aerial trip to and over the Grand Canyon. It's not cheap obviously, but he said he probally saw more of the Grand Canyon that way than he ever would have in a bus tour. They did land for a couple of hours for pictures and what not, but the ones he took in the air are beyond spectaular.

They also spent a day at Lake Mead and were able to take a tour of Hoover Dam. Not sure if that tour's still running or not due to Security changes since September 11th, but even so Mom said just going there to get a look at the thing is impressive enough on it's own.

They also loved Freemont Street and the images that are played on the over head canopy. They also got to take a quick gondola ride at the hotel that's based on Italy, and my mind is blanking on the name of at the moment, it was still under construction, but that part of it was open for tourists. All of the marble and decorations along it just blew Mom's mind.

There's also the various attractions like the replicas of the Statue of Liberty at the NY casino and the Eiffel Tower at the other one. Which BTW is where my Nephew proposed to his now wife almost twelve years ago. :)

I'll talk to them later tonight after they unwind from today (Dad's Dialysis day and my cousin took Mom over to the nearest big town, an hour away from the hospital he goes to for his treatments, to get a new starter for our truck) to ask them for more details.

manhn
05-23-2012, 07:01 AM
I can't believe I am back from Phoenix and it is raining and cold here! I miss the 45 degree weather! Also, Arizona roads and freeways rock! Do people ever get into any traffic jams? Because I have never had a more pleasant driving experience. I mean, I was driving Camelback and Scottsdale quite extensively and despite the many intersections, I very rarely had to stop at a light. When I was driving home from the airport and I was met with a red light, I was like, "This wouldn't happen in Arizona!"

Before the airport, I did check out The Phoenician (as was stated up thread, they gladly let you by to check out the space), Echo Canyon Park (wonderful views and great real estate porn), Cartel Coffee in Old Town (so cute!), Biltmore Fashion Park, Royal Coffee (very elegant), and I saved the best for last, Last Chance Nordstrom! OMG, it was insane. So many customers on a Tuesday morning! I don't want to imagine what it'll be like this Memorial Day Weekend. Good thing I'm a guy because I didn't have to suffer through the ladies department. Some of those women are vicious!

While doing all of this, I had the song, "Soak Up the Song" by Sheryl Crow on my MP3 Player on repeat.

When/If Phoenix gets Skate America, I figure I will be able to explore Glendale more. Looking forward to coming back.

TheGirlCanSkate
05-23-2012, 05:00 PM
So glad you had a good time! Did you go to Sedona? We used to go every summer and stay at the Junipine Inn. You are on a creek and have a kitchen and there are BBQ's outside. I love Sedona and Jerome up north. Prescott used to be super cute when we would go to Young's Farm, but I've heard it's not the same.

Southern AZ is pretty too... Tucson is gorgeous - esp the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Going the back way there we were invited to a restored habitat that is closed to the public and it was the most beautiful place - a true riparian habitat.

I enjoyed horseback riding and desert jeep tours. The Thunderbird Classic used to take place in Scottsdale - most beautiful sight before dawn! I'm not sure if there are any other balloon festivals, but our neighbors had their own balloon.

If you go and have lots of time, tubing is fun and easy. http://www.saltrivertubing.com/ Spent many lazy summer (and school) days....

Vash01
05-23-2012, 05:08 PM
I can't believe I am back from Phoenix and it is raining and cold here! I miss the 45 degree weather! Also, Arizona roads and freeways rock! Do people ever get into any traffic jams? Because I have never had a more pleasant driving experience. I mean, I was driving Camelback and Scottsdale quite extensively and despite the many intersections, I very rarely had to stop at a light. When I was driving home from the airport and I was met with a red light, I was like, "This wouldn't happen in Arizona!"

Before the airport, I did check out The Phoenician (as was stated up thread, they gladly let you by to check out the space), Echo Canyon Park (wonderful views and great real estate porn), Cartel Coffee in Old Town (so cute!), Biltmore Fashion Park, Royal Coffee (very elegant), and I saved the best for last, Last Chance Nordstrom! OMG, it was insane. So many customers on a Tuesday morning! I don't want to imagine what it'll be like this Memorial Day Weekend. Good thing I'm a guy because I didn't have to suffer through the ladies department. Some of those women are vicious!

While doing all of this, I had the song, "Soak Up the Song" by Sheryl Crow on my MP3 Player on repeat.

When/If Phoenix gets Skate America, I figure I will be able to explore Glendale more. Looking forward to coming back.

I assume you meant 45 deg C (not F):)

I have not been to Echo Canyon, even though I have lived in Phoenix for 18 years. That should be on my list of places not yet seen.

Glad to hear you had a good time in Phoenix. I love it here, in spite of the hot summers.

barbk
05-23-2012, 07:30 PM
In Phoenix there is the Biltmore Fashion Park for upscale shopping, Metrocenter for regular mall shopping...
*****
Tempe Butte is the official name of an andesite butte of volcanic origin, located partially on Arizona State University's Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona. It is often referred to by locals as A Mountain, after the 60-foot-tall (18 m) gold-painted letter 'A' near the top. Another name for the area, used by the City of Tempe, is Hayden Butte.
*****

"A Mountain" is funny -- whoever named it must have been a real flatlander. It rises all of 300 feet from ground level, and is a fairly unprepossessing hill. Not quite push your grannie up in a wheelchair, but not much more challenging. :D