Sat/Sun Nov. 7 – 8 Update – A Weekend With Family, Friends, and Phoenix

1.1447102602.sunset-sedona-azOutside Sedona AZ.

Three-day Side-trip, Williams to Phoenix to Sedona AZ.

I mentioned we would not be posting for a few days, as we were driving to the Phoenix area to see family and friends. Here is the weekend update. By the way, the weather was wonderful. We went from 18 degrees in Williams on Friday AM to the 70s in Scottsdale and Tempe on Saturday and Sunday. But hardly a cloud in the sky on any day.


Friday AM we left Route 66 to drive from Flagstaff down to Phoenix. As recommended, we stopped in Black Canyon City for pie at the Rock Springs Cafe. Great pie; beautiful outdoor patio with flowers still blooming. (Service could have been better.)

Gassing up at the station next door, Marian saw a “cutout” photo op that she insisted I do. Hence the photo.
New Chief in town!


(Note the sunglasses. This chief is cool!).

Afterwards, I expressed my dismay that there were no suitable photo ops for Marian when, lo and behold, we found one! Having just twisted my arm, Marian was in no position to protest a lovely photo of her. (I think I will put this one in my office.)

Lovely as ever. (And I did put this in my office.)


Sated by pie and photos, we went on to Scotts dale to dine and visit with dear friends, Clyde and Cathy Besson.  We’ve known the Bessons since before we were married.  In

1.1446885006.jim-marian-cathy-and-clyde-bessonfact, they are part of the reasons we’ve been married for over 30 years. Clyde is a Baptist minister and author, and he and Cathy have operated a single-adult workshop/counseling ministry for years. They’ve had a big impact on our lives.

Although Clyde and Cathy are in Arizona, and we met them in Texas, Clyde is originally from Louisiana. And he can cook! They made the best crawfish etoufee we’ve had in years. We then went to old Scottsdale to look around. But mostly, we just caught up on our lives and where we all are. It was a wonderful, quiet evening.


IMG_1563The next morning we met Jose and Nancy Mendez in Tempe for brunch. Jose and Marian were classmates at Burkburnett high school and UT. He is now a tenured economics professor at Arizona State, and his lovely wife Nancy is a dentist. We met at Postino’s Annex, a popular breakfast place near the AZ Sun Devil Stadium. The food and conversation were great. Afterwards we walked around part of the campus. ASU is huge! Jose said they currently have about 80,000 students on that campus.

IMG_1570We then drove out to Apache Junction (suburb) to visit with Marian’s dear aunt, Louise Lombard. Louise’s sister, Edith, joined us for dinner. Louise is 90; Edith is 95. They are a hoot! We told stories and talked about current events and old times. After dinner (comfort food cooked by Louise), she made me take her for for a spin in the convertible. We will be back!


Sunday AM we had breakfast, checked out of our hotel, and went to the outskirts of town to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s base in Arizona. We had a guided tour of the facilities and enjoyed seeing the buildings and learning more about the architect.

Taliesin West is still a school for architects, and they were up working during the tour. (Have to be very quiet for certain parts of the tour.)

Montezuma’s Castle, AZ

Then we drove north back toward Williams on I-17. Cathy had suggested we stop at Montezuma’s Castle on the way. It has nothing to do with Montezuma. But it’s a wonderful example of a Native American cliff dwelling and it’s just off the road. The National Parks people did a good job explaining what we were looking at.

We stopped in Sedona for the evening. I had heard there was a Best Western in Sedona that was a good as any of the resort hotels in the area (and also very reasonable). We were not disappointed.  The Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel and Creekside Villas was impeccable, quiet, and well maintained. Below is the sunrise view from our private balcony.  Because of the play of light against the rocks, during sunrise the view totally changes about every five minutes.
View from our balcony, Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel and Creekside Villas, Sedona Az.

I would come back here any time, and Marian assures me we will.

Quiet dinner at The Cowboy Club, a good steak place in Sedona. It was quiet and the food and wine were great. (Paul, we had another pinot noir. Your influence continues.) Then back to the hotel for rest and to get ready to hit Route 66 again.

PS., in the middle of the night Marian wakes me and we go out on the balcony. That side of the hotel is pretty dark and we saw the brightest stars! It looked like Orion’s Belt was just above us. So close it was breathtaking.

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