Monday, October 20, 2014

Photo: NFL Fan Experience at Super Bowl

Here is another photo of the NFL Fan Experience from the last time the Super Bowl was in Phoenix.  Next year the NFL Fan Experience will be in downtown Phoenix, so I assume that they will use the large Phoenix Convention Center, rather than having ti set up several large tents.

The downtown location will also make it possible for some people to reach the event by light rail, as the drive to the stadium in Glendale is quite a distance for most people.  Bringing people downtown is always good for the restaurants and other businesses downtown.

This week we are showing photos of Gudapest, Hungary on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Photo: Dateland, Arizona

As this t-shirt shows, about halfway between Yuma and Gila Bend is Dateland, Arizona.  It is about the only place on that lonely stretch of desert highway to get gasoline or a snack.

As its name implies, there are date palms there, and /the one store along the interstate highway sells date-themed items, including this t-shirt that seems to celebrate the remoteness of Dateland.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing some photos of Budapest, Hungary.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Photo: Large Cacti for Sale at Desert Botanical Garden

This is a portion of the sale area for large cacti at the Desert Botanical Garden's semi-annual plant sale last weekend.

These large cacti require framing and bracing to move and transplant.  The prices start at about $600 and range up to about $1,500 for the large cacti.

This week we are showing some of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Photo: Darioush Wines

Last evening we enjoyed a wine maker's dinner with Darioush Khaledi at Central Bistro.  We have visited the Darioush Winery on Silverado Trail in Napa twice, so we naturally joined some friends in making reservations for the wine maker's dinner when we received word that Darioush Khaledi was coming to Phoenix.

Mr. Khaledi is originally from Iran, and his winery is magnificent and incorporates many Persian themes in its architecture.  His wines are outstanding, as was the dinner.

Mr. Khaledi took the seat next to my husband for dinner, and he was a gracious host.  To illustrate the dinner, above is a cell phone photo of a portion of the wine room at Central Bistro, with several bottles of Darioush wines on the right.

 This week we are showing some of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Photo: Saguaros for sale at the Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden plant sale is an excellent opportunity to buy a saguaro cactus.  This is the area of the plant sale that features small saguaros.  The small saguaro pictured here ranged in price from about $180 to about triple that amount, depending on the size.

These are rather small saguaros, of course.  All someone would have to do is dig a small hole, plant the cactus, water it occasionally, and wait until the saguaro is about 80 years old, and the saguaro will grow to about 12 tall and sprout its first arm.

The slow growth and expensive price are why it is so sad when a storm like the two recent  heavy wind and rain storms we have recently had causes saguaros to topple over, as I have shown in some photos recently.

Today is the last day of the DBG's semi-annual plant sale, but I am sure that all of the saguaros are sold by now.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing some of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Photo: Desert Botanical Garden Plant Sale

This weekend is the Desert Botanical Garden's semi-annual plant sale.  Thousands of plants are displayed in the DBG parking lot.

Yesterday the sale was reserved for members of the Garden, and today and tomorrow it is open for everyone.  It is a great opportunity to buy cacti, succulents, and other plants native to the desert.   It is also an excellent way to support a superb community asset.

This week we have photos of the people of the people of Bhutan posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Photo: NFL Fan Experience at the Super Bowl

The last time the Super Bowl was in Arizona, the exhibits included this giant replica of the Super Bowl Championship Trophy.  This giant replica looks like it is designed to be something that football fans would kneel down before and worship.  Perhaps some of them would.

 I once went to a lecture at the Phoenix Art Museum on the history of Tiffany Silver.  It included a discussion of the Tiffany's design of the Super Bowl Trophy.

Here is a tangent.  My favorite part of the lecture was a story the Tiffany curator told about about a famous pair of silver vases that TIffany made.  They knew where one of the two vases was, but the second was lost and unknown despite the efforts to track it down.  It was later discovered in a location where thousands of people had seen it.  William Randolph Hearst's mother had the silver vase made into a lamp and it was in the front room of the Hearst Castle.

This week we have photos of the people of the people of Bhutan posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Photo: Yesterday's Double Rainbow in Central Phoenix.

This is an iPhone photo of yesterday's double rainbow in central Phoenix, taken from my office window.

The remnants of yet another Pacific hurricane drifted into the Valley of the Sun.  We received only a little rain, but this double rainbow was a treat.

This week we have photos of the people of the people of Bhutan posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Photo: NFL Fan Experience at the Super Bowl

This photo by Stuart gives a flavor of the NFL Fan Experience in the stadium parking lot during the days leading up to the Super Bowl when it was held in Arizona the last time, which was 2008.

For the 2015 Super Bowl in a few months, the NFL Fan Experience will be set up in downtown Phoenix, which should make it more accessible to more people, and bring additional benefits to the community.

It looks like a county fair or carnival, with a football theme.  For ordinary people who cannot afford or get a ticket, which is most of us, the NFL Fan Experience is a way to enjoy something connected to the Super Bowl.

And of course it costs money to attend, so it brings extra revenue to the NFL in addition to the game itself.

This week we have photos of the people of the people of Bhutan posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Photo: Cardinals' Stadium

This is a photo from the car approaching the stadium where the Super Bowl was played in 2008, and where it will be played again in early 2015.

It is officially called University of Phoenix Stadium, but most people refer to it as the Cardinals' Stadium.  That is shorter, the Arizona Cardinals are responsible for getting the stadium built and play there during the season, and the University of Phoenix does not have a football team.  It just paid for the rights to put their name on the stadium.

The stadium is located in Glendale, about 15 miles west of Phoenix.  Scottsdale, where most of the resorts are located where people stay when coming for the Super Bowl, is about 15 miles east of Phoenix.  That makes the stadium a rather long drive.

The tents in the foreground are the location of the NFL Fan Experience, which Stuart attended and took some photos, including this one.

This week we have photos of the people of the people of Bhutan posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Photo: The Super Bowl Is Coming to Town

Football started about a month ago.  I can tell because my husband every once in a while will tell me something about a game that he thinks will be of interest to me, or that he thinks I need to know about to understand what others might be talking about.

The culmination of the football season will be the Super Bowl, and it will again be held in Arizona.  This is a photo from the last time the Super bowl was held in Arizona.

Of course it is not a photo from the game itself.  Those tickets are very expensive and hard to get.  It is a photo from the entrance to the "NFL Experience," with the stadium in the distance.  This is another photo I am showing courtesy of my step son, Stuart.

The NFL Experience is like a County Fair but with a football theme.  I enables regular people to experience an event related to the Super Bowl without having to pay for tickets.

Hosting the Super Bowl is a big deal.  It adds money to the local economy and makes the Phoenix area the focus of a lot of publicity.  Just this past week it was announced that Jimmy Fallon will televise the Tonight Show from the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix.

This week we have photos of the people of the people of Bhutan posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Photo: The Loss of a Saguaro Cactus

This is an iPhone photo of an uprooted saguaro being removed from a yard by crane.  This saguaro is at least 80 years old because it has sprouted an arm.

Last weekend we had a huge rain and windstorm.  Wind blew over tree limbs and uprooted trees throughout the Valley.

Sadly, the house across the street from our new house lost several trees.  They had a tree removal service with a large crane lift the trees out of their yard and into the street for disposal.  Saguaros have a very shallow root structure and weigh about 100 pounds per foot (45 kg per .3 meters).

Our landscaper said that on Monday morning there was a line of vehicles waiting several hours at the landfill to dispose of trees, branches and other debris from the storm.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are again showing photos from Bhutan, focusing on the people.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Photo: Sunset over Praying Monk on Camelback Mountain

This is a cell phone photo of yesterday's sunset, showing "Praying Monk" on the north side of Camelback Mountain.  The neck of the camel is on the right.  The sun has now moved south at sunset.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Photo: Camelback Mountain, from the McDowell Mountains

Camelback Mountain is the most prominent landmark in Phoenix/Scottsdale.  This is  view from the McDowell Mountains across North Scottsdale to Camelback.

The preservation of the McDowell Mountain Preserve is a major issue for Scottsdale, as it is also prime real estate for residential construction, and much of the land is State Trust Land.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Photo: Storm-Blown Bougainvillea Flower Petal

This is an odd shot in the aftermath of last Saturday's severe wind and rain storm.  The storm did a lot of damage, tearing off tree limbs and uprooting trees in Phoenix/Scottsdale.

The storm also blew a cluster of bougainvillea flower petals up onto a glass window where the horizontal driving rain plastered the flowers onto the glass.  This is just an iPhone photo of this unusual, delicate remnant of the storm.

That is Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley in the background.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photo: Theme Day -- Movement; a Rugged Arizona Jeep Trail

Today's theme for Daily Photo bloggers is "Movement."  For an Arizona interpretation of this theme, I am using another of Stuart's photos from one of his off-road Jeep trail trips.

I would never think of driving on territory like this.  Stuart is masterful at negotiating challenging terrain.

I mentioned on my post a few days ago that he carries a winch on his Jeep to help others.  Last Sunday is the latest example, as he pulled out a truck that was stuck in the mud.  Stuart explains why he is so helpful by saying that there are a lot of people out there who lack the proper equipment and skill and are influenced by having watched too many truck commercials on TV.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

To see how other Daily Photo bloggers interpreted the theme of "Movement," please use this link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Photo: Scottsdale Fire Department Crew

This is the crew from the Scottsdale Fire Department that responded to a problem at our house last evening.  I appreciate their help immensely, and they obliged me by posing for a quick photo as the crew picked up their gear before leaving.

The smoke detectors went off in our new house and set off the alarm.  I apologize to all of our new neighbors, as I could not get the alarm off.

The Fire Department responded and checked out the house.  There was no fire.  They determined that the alarm was set off by the dust and fumes from the construction activity from remodeling work that we are doing and they set up a giant fan to blow out the air in the house.  The problem did not occur while the construction crews were there because the windows were open, but when the house was closed up at night the lack of ventilation caused the problem.

This is just a quick cell phone photo in the dark, but I post it as an expression of appreciation to a wonderful crew.  It is so reassuring that such dedicated, trained, skillful and helpful professionals respond to people in need.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Photo: The Jeep

The photos that I have shown during the past couple of weeks were made possible by my step son, Stuart, being able to reach White Pocket in his Jeep.  Here is a photo of his Jeep.

For his recent birthday, his wife gave him the contraption on the front.  He can mount a winch on it to pull other people out of trouble, which he does regularly.

This we have posted photos of some of the mountain temples of Bhutan on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Photo: Haboob moving across the Valley of the Sun

Here are two more photos of the haboob that moved across the Valley of the Sun on Friday.

The first photo shows the haboob as it arrived, with clear skies about to be engulfed in a wall of dust.

The second photo shows the worst density of the dust storm about 5 minutes later.  In another 5 minutes or so, it had blown through and was over.

(Like yesterday, please excuse the quality of the iPhone photos with reflections through my office window.)

Perhaps this dust storm activity on Friday as a warning about yesterday, as we had amazingly strong winds and rain that blew down trees and tree limbs all over town.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of Bhutan, featuring its mountain temples.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Photo: Before and after the Haboob

Yesterday we had a haboob move through the Phoenix area in late afternoon for about 10 minutes.  This is a photo that shows the dust storm that moved across the valley, and the clear sky above it.  For contrast, below is a photo of the same scene on a normal day.

(Please excuse the quality of the photos.  They are iPhone photos from my office window, and there is some reflection in the glass.)
We used to just call these dust storms, but a couple of years ago we had a couple of big dust storms, and now they are called haboobs.  It is one of the many words that we have now imported into English from Arabic, which is a good thing to increase our cultural diversity.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Photo: A painted desert

The cliffs and exposed rock faces in White Pocket look like a supernatural force took a paint brush to the rocks.

While this is a painted desert, it is not
The Painted Desert.  The Painted Desert is located very close to the highway not far from Flagstaff.  White Pocket is reachable only by off road vehicles.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Photo: The Costa Rican and Mexican Former Presidents Visit Arizona

Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and former Mexican President Vicente Fox visited Arizona on Tuesday to promote trade  and investment in their countries.

They met with members of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  My husband is a Board member and took this photo during the meeting.

He was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Presidents Chinchilla and Fox and they both spoke eloquently and forcefully about the progress and opportunities of their countries.

With this connection between Arizona and Costa Rica, Dave and I are for the first time using the same photo for his Costa Rica Daily Photo website and my Scottsdale Daily Photo website.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Photo: White Pocket Checkerboard Pattern

This mountainside at White Pocket has a strange geometrical pattern.  The same pattern seems to have repeated itself on both large and small segments.

Tomorrow my husband and I will do something we have never done before.  We will be able to post the same photo on this Scottsdale Daily Photo site and his Costa Rica Daily Photo site because of something that happened in Arizona yesterday that has a Costa Rican connection.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Photo: Scale in Landscape Photography

I have become more tolerant of people in my landscape photography.  (I love to take people pictures in other settings.)  In some landscape photos, a person adds perspective to the scene.  This photo is a good example.

The massive scale of the rock formations in White Pocket would not be as apparent if it were not for the person in the center of this photo that Stuart took.

 And of course it is not bothersome when the person in the photo is a relative.

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Photo: Magical Shapes and Colors of White Pocket

This is another photo that illustrates the magical shapes and colors of White Pocket.  The shapes of the rocks

This week we have photos of Antigua, Guatemala, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Photo: Rock formations in White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

Stuart said that when the visited White Pocket during Labor day weekend, they spent 3 or 4 hours there exploring it, and they were the only ones there.

The shapes of this rock formation look like layers of icing on a cake.

The reason they could have such a scenic place all to themselves is that it is reachable only by a four wheel drive vehicle that can handle the rocky road.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Photo: It's "Tito Time" at the Phoenix Symphony

Last night was a special night in the Valley of the Sun.  The Phoenix Symphony opened its season and began a new era, as it was the first night of its new Virginia G. Piper Music Director -- Tito Munoz.

Maestro Munoz has been acclaimed as a rising star in the classical music world.  He is the 11th Music Director  in the 67 year history of the Phoenix Symphony.

Maestro Munoz is a native of New York City.  He interest in music was nurtured by his selection to participate in Julliard School's Music Advancement Program, and he then went on to attend the Fiorello LaGuardia School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, and then the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College.

This is a quick iPhone photo of one of the 4 curtain calls after a rousing performance of Carmina Burana.  The enthusiasm of the crowd and its appreciation for musical excellence is also reflected by the fact that they gave the Maestro and the orchestra a standing ovation not just at the end of the concert, but just before intermission, after the performance of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.

My husband is the longest serving Board member of the Phoenix Symphony, and we are the sponsors of next Friday evening's concert.  I encourage everyone in the area to come out and enjoy, and support, the Symphony.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Photo: Close view of sandstone in White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

This close view of one of the rock formations in the White Pocket area of the Vermillion Cliffs.  It has a crystaline-type of sparkle to it, and a grainy, sandy texture.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Photo: Striped Rocks at White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

White Pocket has geologic formations and colors that seem to be crafted and painted by creative artists, rather than natural elements.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photo: Closer View of White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs

This is a closer view of the scene that I showed yesterday.  The swirling shapes, lines and colors of the rock are mesmerizing.  Stuart spent about 3 hours there, but said that he could have spent all day photographing the amazing scenes.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Patagonia region of Argentina.
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