Tyler & I jumped over to Phoenix for a weekend to see my dear friend Ashley wed her wuvs.
We stayed at the Saguaro, which was a colorful, clean, bright delightful! We were put up there 2 years ago when SMOCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art) flew me out to tell a story at the Lit Lounge storytelling series but it was the briefest of stays. This time, we got to use the pool!
I got there a day before Tyler, so I had some nice time to ruminate on and drive amongst my ghosts. I went to college in Phoenix, and I was eager to go back and feel things alone in the city for a bit.
My first stop was breakfast at the place I used to work at in college, and it was utterly surreal to see the perky "Line Breakers" advising what to order and directing people in the crowded chaos of the store/restaurant/pizzeria/wine shop/cafe. I used to be one of those girls, up since 5:30am, perky by nature yet also by force of the culture of this place, overly enthusiastic about the oatmeal or the omelette, calling out names for orders, trying not to show my insane muscle fatigue from moving and lifting and carrying and shoving and running and cleaning for 6 hours straight.
For lunch, I went for tacos at Taco Guild, which serves up rather stellar tacos in an old church. Blue-cheese and cherry-marinated steak with fried coconut? YESSIREEBOB.
Then I took myself to the Desert Botanical Garden, where I spent several (sober) hours amongst the hundreds of species of cacti. I learned some neato stuff about nature (stuff I usually ignore), but best of all met a middle-aged woman who was positively shaky with excitement while she set up her tripod to photograph an owl she had spotted that morning at 10am, hoo (haha) she had been hopefully stalking all day and finally found again (she had been in the garden for 6 hours at this point). Her husband stood next to her, pretending to be beleaguered by the endeavor, but I could tell he loved it (he was wearing a fisherman's cap, she was flaunting shoulder-length cactus earrings and more cargo pockets than letters in the Cyrillic alphabet).
Later, I read what I wrote for Ashley and Nathan during the wedding ceremony, crying and shaking throughout because I am overly-emotional dope, and then we danced in merriment on a sugar-high from some seriously stellar stellar lavender cake. Tyler looked so cute underneath a pink-purple twilight:
After the wedding, we had plenty of steam left so we headed to the Bikini Lounge to drink a stiff cocktail for $3 each (insane) and dance along to some late 50s vinyls along with the fellow Tiki-Phoenicians, whose rockabillly-vintage style has not much changed since I lived there. Then I took Tyler to the Welcome Diner a perfect 1940s, 9-stool Valentine Diner (packaged diners made in the 40s to render the American Dream of being a business-owners to anyone with the desire!), boasting a twinkly-lit patio. We ordered shredded pork and jicama coleslaw atop french fries and it was JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED (I go to a super different kind of doctor than u guys)!!
Last but not least, we got some Tammie Coe cookies before I left, which is forever my bar of the best baked goods I've ever eaten/devoured/missed/dreamed about.