26 April 2010

The Urban Wine Walk...

I spent the last weekend down in The Valley.

I was celebrating my Birthday with Claudine and Amy.

I know.

It's been about two weeks worth of celebrating, but to be totally and completely fair...since I really wanted to go camping for the day, these ladies couldn't make it...so I went down to them instead.  This way I could totally tap into my love of camping and nature and my love of cities, shopping and urban sprawl.

Claudine put herself in charge of festivities...as you'll remember, she was the one who came up with The Willo District Home Tour in downtown Phoenix that I had the pleasure of attending not too long ago.

She did not disappoint this time either.  When I started getting texts with the words, "Do you like wine?" I knew I was in for some fun.

This year was the start of what looks to be an Annual event, in the form of an Urban Wine Walk.

Which consisted of printing out a map and taking yourself a self-guided walking tour to different restaurants around the down town for $1-$2 tastes of various wines and some light snacks.  It didn't look as though there were a lot of places participating, but in between walking it and drinking it...and the heat.  I'd have to say that it was the perfect amount.

Plus?  It's been so chilly up here in Prescott it was like heaven wandering around in the sun.

We started the day off by boarding The Light Rail system and taking it to various locations around Phoenix and the outlying areas.  I can never figure out what those are, because it's all kind of down South that way to me, and it's  a city, so you drive.  This was my very first time on the Light Rail...

It was awesome.

I love mass transportation.

This is Amy crossing where it says "Do Not Cross Tracks".

This was extremely hilarious to us for some reason.

It could be that we were quite advanced at our wine tour at that point (1-2oz of wine doesn't seem like a lot.  But, it kind of makes you start smiling a bit after a while)

It could also be that The Light Rail doesn't move all that fast and you could probably jump out of its way and spare your life....that and there's no electricity on the ground for it, just tracks...so there's no danger of touching The Third Rail and becoming electrocuted and whatnot.

You really know who your true friends are when you can laugh uproariously at breaking what seems to be silly rules...

Of course, I think we could have almost predicted such a thing as we were just fresh from the lobby of a very swank hotel (where I know I saw handfuls of famous people.  If only I would have known who they were.  Honestly, out of everyone in my family I'm the worst when it comes to celebritydom...honestly?  It probably stems from the fact that I can't wrap my mind around the fact that I am not famous, so really?  Why keep track of anyone else?)

So, at this particular swanky place, we sat at marble tables...that according to Claudine were a bit on the tippy side, so she immediately dug into her bag of holding grocery bag purse and grabbed a Sucrets tin...which almost helped. 

But not as good as her checkbook.
(The Sucrets tin got all bendy)

Which made Amy cringe because she was sure we'd forget it.

So, Claudine did what any sane American woman would do.  She rooted around in her purse for something we could put on the table so there was no way we would forget her checkbook.

Her box of homeopathic eye drops.


(did I mention that the goal at one point was to drink 40oz of wine?  One for each year of my life)

(I wonder if that was individually or together?)
(That may have been helpful to know before we started in on that goal)

So, we did not forget the eye drops...or the checkbook for that matter.

In fact, the only casualties of the day was one bottle of water...which we set down somewhere.  Actually I think it was at that Swanky hotel lobby, and I think it was Amy's...Oh, and Amy's phone...but that was later found in her couch cushions, so we hadn't had it with us in the first place.

I think Amy needs a box of homeopathic eye drops so she will remember all of the things she keeps replacing.

At the very beginning of the day we started at a little organic market where we ran into Damien...a freelance photographer for azcentral.com who asked if he could follow us and photograph us.

Weird things like this happen to me all the time...
I still can't figure out why I'm not famous and being followed by photographers all the time...at least I was for most of the day...

Damien posted some good pictures...I especially like the one of me inspecting my glass for what he called, "visible solids"  which makes me sound all sorts of knowledgeable...when, if you cared to check the notations I made about the wines we tasted, I said things like:

:) --> :(
(started out good...then got icky)

Bitter and Angry...Perfect wine for a divorce

Fruity and Juicy
and other priceless gems...
When really, I was checking my wine glass for floaties, because there was a lot of things floating around in my wine.  Which either means, it was a first pour, a last pour, or a poor dishwasher.


I tell you.

It was a pleasure to attend this event, not only because I was with Claudine and Amy...who know their way around well, so really I totally would have been wandering around for heaven knows how long if they hadn't been there...but also because I can't ever remember a time when I walked around downtown Phoenix.  Which happens to be enjoying a kind of resurgence and renewal, as Urban cities are kind of the new it places to live.

There are not a lot of retail stores downtown yet, but there are a lot of restaurants and whoever is in charge of the building and planning is doing a great job.  There are still a ton of historic and cute buildings mixed in with the large high-rises.  I don't know if it will stay like this forever, but it's just wonderful right now...so much sweet history and design side by side.  Including a very weird Gothic style building that we decided was Bruce Banner's winter home (Phoenix is much too hot for black latex Bat-suits during the summer) The whole area has a great feel to it...and the Willo Home District and Encanto is right next door.


That's that.

Oh, and as to not forget our wonderful giveaway from Friday for the winner of the calendar:

I put all the numbers together in a big ole' random number generator and came up with:

#6:  Rhonda Roo said...ohhh if only i could get my peeps to play like this. they all adamantly refuse to be seen on film. something about the FBI or fuzz. grr..
so thanks for showing us the linky!


I will be contacting Ms. Roo toot-sweet to get this right out!
Thank you all for playing along...


Anonymous said...

So what were the good wines? I love the wine walk idea, btw... too fun!

Anonymous said...

It was really great seeing you and I had a blast hanging out downtown with you two! I do need some homeopathic eye drops or something to give my memory a boost - ha!

:) Amy

quilteddogs said...

Very cool to be followed around by a photographer!. Thanks for highlighting my city. Yeah, downtown is coming along.


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