Week 4: Fine Phoenix Finale

It’s our final week in Phoenix, at least for now, and all is well.  The sun is shining once again, the temperature is rising, our friends Steve and Marlene are visiting, and that pesky leaky pipe at home has been repaired.

Coronado Home Tour and Street Fair

My friend Rhonnie invited Marlene and me to spend a delightful afternoon touring homes in the historic Phoenix neighborhood of Coronado.  The main event is a leisurely, self-guided tour of 10 houses, accompanied of course by lively conversations among the five of us as we stroll from house to house on a (somewhat) warm and lovely day.  What’s not to like about that?  Bill and Steve are on their own for the afternoon.

Spring Training

Fifteen major league baseball teams convene in the Phoenix metro area each year for spring training, including two of our favorites – the Colorado Rockies and the Kansas City Royals.  So we were excited at Christmastime when Philip and Kim (son and daughter-in-law) presented us with tickets for a late February early season game between the two teams.

Rockies and Royals

The Rockies and Royals matchup on this fine Monday afternoon takes place in Surprise, at the Royals home stadium they share with the Texas Rangers.  Steve and Marlene join us for the game, as well as their friend Sharon, who lives just a few miles away in Sun City.

Two highlights: 1) the Rockies win BIG (12-5), and 2) we have our picture taken with Willie Wilson, a former Royals player who was at the peak of his baseball career in the early to mid 1980s when we lived in Lawrence.  He greets us like we are old friends!

Cubs and Diamondbacks

The location of our Airbnb condo in Mesa is two blocks from Sloan Park, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.  Marlene and I opt out, but Bill and Steve attend a Tuesday afternoon game between the Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks.  No photo ops with famous players, but the game is well attended and they enjoy the outing.

Hiking in Papago Park

Meanwhile, Marlene and I head for the hills and hiking trails at Papago Park.  First we do the short and heavily trafficked “must do” walk up to the Hole in the Rock, where we snap a few photos.  Afterwards, we have plenty of time to hike the Double Butte Loop, which is a longer trail with a few gentle up’s and down’s that doesn’t leave us gasping for air.

Located within the city limits of Phoenix, Papago Park is a gem, home to interesting rock formations and easily accessible hiking trails as well as the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo.  Kudos to those who had the foresight to protect this beautiful area from commercial and residential development all those years ago.

Encore Visit to the Musical Instrument Museum

The final excursion during our month in Phoenix is a return visit to the Musical Instrument Museum, this time with Steve and Marlene.  It’s equally interesting the second time around, as we explore areas we didn’t see during our first visit.  A good time is had by all, which includes an après-museum celebration with margaritas and appetizers at the nearby Blue Agave Mexican cantina.

Steve and Marlene depart for Mexico the next day, and we pack up to leave the following day.  We’ve had a super fun visit to Phoenix, but now it’s time to head back to Colorado.  On the way, however, we have six days to explore Tucson and the surrounding area, so we’re not pulling out those down coats just yet!


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