Saturday, August 24, 2013

To Flagstaff and Back!

We're back from a whirlwind trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, where we dropped off our son for his junior year at Northern Arizona University.

It's always a pleasure to spend time in Flagstaff, however short; I love the crisp air and the beautiful mountain environment.

Our usual hotels were booked at this busy time of year, so we stayed for the first time at a lovely resort, the Little America Hotel.

Our room was spotless, and the expansive grounds were lovely. Below, looking toward the pool area:

Apparently Little America has quite the shindig each Christmas; our son has attended their Christmas lighting ceremony.

We were interested to learn Little America plans a vast expansion including a planned living community.

Those who love "retro" style books and vintage graphics may be interested to know about a lovely book I saw in the hotel gift shop, THE SUN VALLEY STORY by Van Gordon Sauter. The book is filled with wonderful old photos, including some of classic film stars at play, and it also contains beautiful vintage posters and more. The author's name was familiar, and then I realized he is a former news executive who is married to the sister of California's current governor.

The book was quite pricey -- and unfortunately appears to be out of print, selling for even more on Amazon. Perhaps I'll save my pennies and see if it's still for sale at the hotel next spring...

We enjoyed a good dinner at Salsa Brava, which has been featured on the Food Network. It was a nice meal; not the best Mexican food I've ever eaten, but very good. I especially liked the fresh salsa and the rice. The service was friendly, and the restaurant was absolutely packed with many arriving college students and their parents. A good place to stop if you're in Flagstaff, located on Route 66.

This morning we enjoyed a rare breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a chain we like which has no locations in California, and being old pros at moving into the dorm, we were done and on the road back to California by 9:30 a.m.

It's usually a fairly simple drive, but today we had some strong thunderstorms in Arizona...

...with threatening skies in Kingman.

Then all was sunny as we crossed into California...

...but we ended up dealing with a sandstorm outside Ludlow. Many cars and trucks had pulled to the side of the road, and we were deciding whether to join them when thankfully the storm dissipated as quickly as it had come up. This photo was taken as the storm began to lift. Before that I was too busy helping my husband watch the road!

It was a good trip but we're thankful to be safely home again!

In less than three weeks our younger daughter heads for band camp at the University of Oregon! The Oregon football team starts the season ranked No. 3, incidentally. (Alas, our older daughter's alma mater, USC, is 24th! I'm kind of glad they're not playing one another this season...) It will be a little strange to only have one child at home this fall...perhaps the up side will be more movie time!

There are lots of posts in the works for the coming days, so please stay tuned for more!


Blogger Irene said...

Back in the 1970's my Mom and I took a tour that was called Southwest Indian Country and one of the places we stayed was Little America. I remember how impressed I was with that place, so much so that when we were married in 1980 that is one of the places I wanted to stay on our Honeymoon. My husband and I took a driving trip to see the Carlsbad Caverns and on the way back we made sure that was one of our stops. Love Cracker Barrel - wish we had some here!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Irene! That's such a great anecdote about Little America. I'd never heard of it before and think it's so neat it played a significant role in your life.

I agree re Cracker Barrel! Love those little glass bottles of pancake syrup. :)

Best wishes,

10:40 AM  

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