Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Scottsdale, Arizona

On December 22nd, we made the drive from Lake Havasu City to Scottsdale, Arizona and FINALLY, we got to see some sunshine, flowers and plants with leaves on!  It was bliss to be able to walk around in short sleeves and feel the warmth of the sun with NO SNOW!

We sat outside, eating ice cream and watching the world go by in 5th Avenue, Scottsdale.

As well as cactus, palm trees are everywhere!

December 23rd - Scottsdale
It was another beautiful and sunny day, so we headed off to do some shopping in a large ourdoor outlet mall!  This mall boasts the nation's largest Christmas Tree and we have to say, it was pretty big!
Shopping done, we decided to take a drive into Phoenix.  As we were doing so, we spotted the Arizona State Capitol Building. 
Outside was this large piece of petrified wood, (fossilised wood), which makes it feel just like stone.
We didn't go inside this time, but as the weather was nice we did take a walk around the grounds which are known as Memorial Plaza.  A lot of the statues are military themed. 

It was really quite nice to stroll around.
This is a statue in recognition of the Navajo Code Talkers who developed the only unbreakable code in modern military history. They used the code during World War II.
This one symbolizes a fallen comrade in the battlefield
This is the Peace Officer Memorial, dedicated to all Arizona's Peace Officers.
This is the canine memorial for police dogs.
As we were walking through the park, we saw (heard, actually!), this Woodpecker on one of the palms.
 We also saw some dates growing on a palm tree.
Christmas Day and what better way to spend it but at a magical Gingerbread Village!  The base of the viallage is 20ft x 25ft and it weighs 1,250lbs.
It has 350lbs gingerbread cookie dough, 220lbs chocolate, 75lbs dried fruit & nuts and 475 lbs candies and gum drops! 
 And it was really just kidding!
After being used to snow and bare trees at this time of year, it was lovely to see lots of flowers and green everywhere.
After that, we had a little walk around the golf course, which was very peaceful and very well kept.
In the afternoon, just to work up an appetite for our Christmas dinner, we had a stroll around Old Town Scottsdale.  It is quite an arty area, so there are lots of sculptures dotted around.
 This one was quite good.  You could spin it around to make them dance!
Some of the old buildings.
Later that evening, we went to Fogo De Chao for our Christmas dinner.  It is a Brazilian Steakhouse.  There are quite a few locations and this You Tube Video explains the concept.  If you are in the US and you see one, it is delicious.

You come away completely stuffed! It was fabulous!

Next up was San Diego, but we'll get to that at some point in the days ahead.