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Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

Louise Speaks:  You all know how I feel about museums, but this one earned its own special category and its own page in Patricia’s book, “1000 Places To See Before You Die”.  I remember coming to this museum as a kid, and the think I remember the most is no longer here.  They used to have miniature rooms, like in a doll house…a room full of these small rooms, and now all they have are Indian artifacts and paintings.

Heard MThe Heard Museum downtown was the only museum of its kind when I was in school.  Now there are three different locations, throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The downtown location is still the largest but now there is an annex in Scottsdale and on the west side in Surprise.  These two locations display rotating exhibits as they are much smaller than the main museum.  Today we visited the main downtown location.  It seems much bigger now than when I was younger and now has  many art structures outside as well as the exhibits inside.  A visit to the Heard Museum now includes 11 exhibition galleries, free guided tours, outdoor sculpture gardens, a renowned café, art gallery and trading-post style shopping.  There is also a nice gift shop that sells many unusual indian souvenirs.

KachinasThe Heard Museum is supposed to house the premier and largest collection of Native American art and culture in the country.  The museum has grown to 130,000 square feet of exhibit space and is able to house a Navajo hogan.  If you remember from previous posts, a hogan is an eight sided adobe structure used for ceremonies…although many Navajos lived in these hogans.  There is also a huge collection of pottery, paintings, rugs and a huge collection of Hopi kachina dolls.  These dolls are a true symbol of the Arizona tribes.  The dolls serve as a symbol of the Hopi and Zuni religion.

Since its founding by Dwight and Maie Bartlett Heard in 1929 as a small museum in a small Southwestern town, the Heard has grown in size and statute. Today it is recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, its educational programming and its festivals. Phoenix has grown along with it, hence why there are now three locations. The Heard is a living museum, giving voice to a uniquely American people. 

displayThe Heard Museum opened with little fanfare in June 1929, several months after Dwight Heard died of a heart attack. Maie Heard acted as museum director, curator, custodian, lecturer and guide for more than 20 years.  The Heard Museum underwent significant growth upon Maie Heard’s death in 1951.  In 1958, the volunteers launched two aggressive fundraising projects, a museum Shop and a Fair. Both activities continue with great success today, thanks to the continuing support of Guild members who work in the Shop and plan the Indian Fair & Market, which today draws nearly 20,000 people.  The Jacobson Gallery of Indian Art was added to the museum during the next big expansion in 1968 and ’69, which nearly doubled the original building.  The Heard Museum experienced another significant expansion in 1983, when it nearly doubled in size again to 78,000 square feet. In February 1999, the Heard Museum added 50,000 more square feet. This expansion added several new structures including an expanded Museum Shop & Bookstore, Steele Auditorium, Dorrance Education Center, The Café at the Heard Museum, an artist studio and the Nina Mason Pulliam Pavilion. Also added were the Library and Archives, administrative space, collections storage facilities and exhibit preparation areas. The expansion also added three exhibit galleries, bringing the number of galleries at the Heard to 11.

sculpturesToday being in the middle of summer and the middle of the week, there were still several visitors to the museum.  Many were Native Americans with young children, probably showing them some of their heritage roots.  I’m sure to them it was much more interesting than it was to me.  That being said, I would give the Heard Museum a C rating.  It’s great for a school field trip and maybe interesting to those studying Native American Cultures, but to this girl who just doesn’t like museums, I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to make the stop.

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Arizona Biltmore Hotel, Phoenix, Arizona

Louise Speaks:  It’s hard to imagine that after all the traveling we’ve done, that we still haven’t completed Arizona, the state we live in.  It’s not that we don’t drive through the state, but stopping at all these hotels and resorts takes a lot of time and energy. 

frontThe Arizona Biltmoreis probably one of the most famous hotel/resorts in Arizona.  Since 1929, The Arizona Biltmore has been a destination of inspiration. With 39 acres of gardens, swimming pools and iconic architecture it brings the resort to life. This resort has provided a safe haven to celebrities and presidents. There is also a championship golf course, a 22,000+ square foot spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants, and a variety of amenities to fit the entire family.

The Biltmore is one of the only existing luxury hotels in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design, The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since its opening on Feb. 23, 1929 when it Diverwas crowned “The Jewel of the Desert.” The resort was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a Harvard graduate, who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright from 1907 – 1909 in Chicago.Although the resort has many pools throughout the property, the original pool was first built by the Wrigleys in 1930 and has been host to diving competitions as well as fashion shows. Marilyn Monroe called this her favorite pool.  I bet you didn’t know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin wrote many tunes, including “White Christmas” while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore.  Harpo Marx and his bride honeymooned here as well as Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

In 1930, when the estimated $1 million construction cost doubled, Chicago chewing gum millionaire, William Wrigley, Jr., one of the original investors, became the sole owner of the property. Over the next 44 years, the Wrigley family owned and operated the Arizona Biltmore and it became world-renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers. The Wrigley Mansion can still be seen atop the mountain from the Arizona Biltmore.

poolIn May of 1973, the Wrigley family sold the Biltmore to Talley Industries, which closed the resort for renovations that summer.  The project was completed in a record 82 days and the result was a finer, more complete hotel than had previously existed.  In 1975, under Talley Industries’ ownership, the first major expansion took place with the opening of the 90-room Paradise Wing.  This expansion continued over the next seven years with the addition of the 120-room Valley Wing and a 39,000-square-foot Conference Center in 1979.  In 1982, the 109-room Terrace Court opened.  Another renovation was completed in 1987 which included the remodeling of 120 guest rooms throughout the main building in addition to the East and Garden Wings.   A year later, the historic cottages were also refurbished.   One of these cottages hosted President and Jacqueline Kennedy.   In January 1998, a 20,000 square-foot spa and fitness center as well as a  full-service beauty roomsalon opened.  The newest addition is the new Arizona Wing, which features 120 new guest rooms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and two new meeting rooms.  The Arizona Wing was completely renovated in March of 2009 to become Ocatilla at The Arizona Biltmore, a “hotel within the hotel”.  The Arizona Biltmore now boasts 740 guest rooms and 78 villa suites.  There is also 8 swimming pools, 7 tennis courts, and 5 exclusive dining options.  The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in the Phoenix area.  With all of this, The Arizona Biltmore is one of the largest hotels in Arizona.  Classic rooms at the Biltmore range from $227.00 to $527.00 per night, and a signature suite will cost between $567.00 to suite$587.00 per night.  Although the rooms are large in comparison to regular resort rooms, I’m not sure what the big deal is, other than the views are breathtaking, wake up calls are made by a real person, and room service is delivered by a smiling attendant riding a three-wheel bicycle.

Thanks to conscientious owners who have been committed to preserving the Biltmores architectural integrity, the resort is, in many ways, more “Wright like” now than when it was built. Throughout the years, the Arizona Biltmore has set the standard for elegance and style. It continues to attract celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.  I know this is an Arizona landmark.  I know famous people and ALL the presidents, except President Obama have stayed here, but I just don’t get all the hype.  It is in the middle of town so not very secluded and it is very very large so seems like a city all by itself so not very intimate.  That being said, it is a beautiful place but not sure it’s worth the prices they charge to stay here.  That being said The Biltmore gets a rating of a B…it’s worth stopping by and if you can afford it, I guess if you want bragging rights, go ahead and spend the night.

INT…Page 570

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Week 6 Summary…The end of the Road!

Louise Speaks:  Day 42:  We left the Arches and headed to Moab where we spent the night…our last night in a motel.  We have been on the road for 6 weeks…42 days.  It has been both a journey and an adventure.

Beings that I had never been to some of the states we’ve visited I must say we do live in a very diverse country.  Who would have thought that just a few states away things could be so different?  I’ve been teasing Thelma for the past 5 weeks, that she changed “DRASTICALLY” once we crossed into the state of Kansas.  Does the brain really react to climate, or air, or plant life?  As soon as we started seeing farms, and crops, I told Thelma that stupid set in.  Thelma no longer knew left from right, up from down, or in from out.  We had a GPS that showed a map, told us verbally where to go and even had arrows to indicate directions, but what ever the GPS said, Thelma went the opposite way…she totally forgot her directions.  It did get worse the further east we went.  By Wisconsin she was gone…I’m surprised we didn’t end up in Arkansas.  However, once we left Minnesota and were heading west, Thelma perked right up and we were on the right track once again.  All kidding aside, the mid-west is definitely different from the south-west, but sometimes change is good.

This was a long journey, but an effective one.  We saw most of the things we had on our list, and then added a few that we saw along the way that were not on our list.  I met so many of Thelmas friends and relatives and what a group they are,  I was treated so well, and was so welcomed into their homes and their hearts.  I so enjoyed meeting them all and hope that many of them come out to Arizona to visit us.  It would be an honor to repay the hospitality.

I don’t know how many of the folks I met, follow this blog, but I wanted to give awards as a show of thanks to all I met and for all you did,

Brian&Ann[1]Starting in Oklahoma, my little brother Brian and his wife Ann, get the award for “Spoiling us the Most”.  My brother is a great host and we had a great 3 days with him.  I felt like I was in a hotel.  We had our own room, we had home cooked meals, use of the internet, taking us to see things on our list, and having dinner (his treat) at one of the best steakhouses in Oklahoma.  Oh, and letting us do 3 loads of laundry.  Thanks little brother.

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100_7911Next we were off to Kansas to see Sandy and Dave.  Thelma used to teach with Sandy in Arizona.  They get the award for the “Best Bar-B-Que,”.  Thank you so much for the great steak, great conversation and the lower level of the house.

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100_8153Then it was off to Council Bluff, Iowa to see Gay.  Thelma taught with Gay in Iowa.  Gay thank you so much for all you did for us.  You get the award for “Most Etiquette”.  Every meal was just perfect, and with different dishes, with matching napkins, silverware, glasses, and the perfect well-balanced breakfast, I felt like I was in one of the top B & Bs in the country.  Oh and I can’t forget the great ice-cream place you took us to….yum yum.

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100_8203Next stop was Elk Horn, Iowa  to meet Kathy.  Thelma went to college with Kathy and I could tell what good friends they are.  Kathy gets the award,for “Most Relaxed:.  I felt like I had known her for years.  From the meals, to the conversation, to sitting all together with our lap tops on TV trays, it was a great time.  Oh and thanks for letting us do 6 loads of laundry…lol.  You are one who just has to make a trip to Arizona.

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100_8406Our next stop was one of Thelmas first relatives.  We were still in Iowa where we stayed with Thelma’s cousin Larry, his wife Kay and their daughter Julia.  My oh my what a great place to be.  We were actually on a farm where they had gardens and cows and a great view.  You guys get the award for “Most Hospitality” . Homemade breakfast rolls and things were always ready and waiting for us by the time we got up.  We had use of the internet, ironing board, TV, and a great bedroom right next to the bathroom.  Meeting your son-in-law and grand daughters was priceless.  Thelma hadn’t seen Larry in they think about 30 years, yet I thought they had seen each other last week.  Thelma says she thinks I was more a part of the family than she was…not true, but I did feel like one of the family.  Julia we have your room ready and waiting whenever you decide to take a trip to Arizona.

100_8403More relatives were waiting for Thelma in Iowa.  First was Des Moines where we went to dinner with Thelma’s second cousin Brian and his wife Chris.  I also met their son Kyle, who is thinking of coming to ASU and play golf.  It’s always great to get those from the mid-west to come to college in Arizona.  Brian and his family get the award of “Feeling Right at Home”.  We didn’t sleep here, but we got to visit, went out to dinner, and then came back and sat on the patio to catch up.  What a great time we had, and I invite all of you to Arizona, especially when you bring Kyle to tour the campus at ASU.

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100_8457We next went to see .Leann and  Bob.  What a great couple.  It was so much fun to hear everyone catch up on old times.  I would give them the award as “Most Laughable Time”.  We enjoyed some good conversation, many laughs and I got to hear some gossip about Thelma when she was younger…lol.

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 This next stop is one Thelma was really waiting for.  It is the cousin that she grew up with since she was a little girl.  Mary 41016_1494440248701_87325_nis more like a sister to Thelma than a cousin, and what a good time we had with Mary and Ron.  Our first meeting was at the 4th of July parade.  Well you all read about that earlier…but they sure made it fun, teasing me about not knowing anything about tractors.  And watching their grand-daughter play soft ball was a thrill.  What a player they have in the making.  Maybe she will want to come to ASU as well, since the girls softball team goes to the college world series almost every year.  Anyway, Mary and Ron, and the rest of their family get the award of “Most Entertaining”,  We had a tour, we had the parades, we had softball, it was just a lot of fun.  Thank you so much, and take a trip to see your other son in CA and we’ll drive over and see you.

100_8667We were finally out of Iowa and on to Wisconsin.  Our first stop was to see another of Thelmas cousins but more important her 93-year-old Aunt Suzie,  She is the reason why this trip ever came about, so I owe this trip and adventure to Aunt Suzie, who just happens to be the funniest person I’ve met in a long time.  John and Mary were the perfect hosts.  We had cookies, and tea and just a great visit.  We have to come back here as they have promised us a day out in their ‘huge” boat.  You see they live practically on Lake Michigan, just a few blocks away.,  That being said, John and Mary get the award for “Best Invitation”…cuz a day out on the lake sounds like heaven and too good to pass up.

100_8701We were then off to see Jan, another one of Thelma’s college room mates.  What a fun time.  Jan gave us a tour of the city of Racine, took us to the light house and to see another one of Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings.  She also took us to another Sweedish Bakery and bought some of the best pastries.  She also taught us a new game called Mexican Train, and we’ve already bought the game and have played it with several friends.  Jan you get the award of “Best Tour Guide” because you made me want to move to Racine.

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100_8915It was then off to Minnesota where I met Thelma’s oldest and dearest friends.  I think Thelma says they have been friends since Thelma was 3…that was ages ago…I wasn’t even born yet.  What fun we had with Sharon.  We played games, went out on the lake, visited her sister, daughter and grand children, and just had some good times talking, looking at pictures and just catching up.  Sharon you get the award of “Most Fun”.  I can’t wait to see you again.  You better be planning a trip out to Arizona and plan on staying awhile so we can make short trips to Vegas and California.

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Our last stop with old friends and family was back in Iowa as we were heading home.  We stopped to see Ann who Thelma also taught with in Oakland.  She was also a teacher with Gay.  Ann what a pleasure to meet you.  As frail as you are, you still managed to prepare some of the best salads I’ve ever tasted…yes I said saladS….she had three of them waiting for us when we arrived.  And breakfast was so special with home-made cinnamon rolls.  I don’t know how you managed to prepare so much food.  Ann you get the award of “Most Kind”.  I could tell how much it meant to you to see Thelma after all these years, and you made me feel like I was right at home.

So as you can see, I had a great time, met many new people, and feel like I could come back here any time and know someone.  Thelma would threaten to leave me someplace along the road, and I’d reply, “That’s okay, leave me…I know people here”….and I feel like I do.  Thank you to everyone for welcoming me into your homes and your hearts.  I will never forget any of you and your hospitality.

So today we arrive home.  It is the end of the road, and the end of our trip.  42 days together in a small car, packed to the brim, I think you must get the idea of how great friends Thelma and I are.  We didn’t attempt to kill each other even once.  We sure had many laughs along the way.  I need to thank Thelma here too, for introducing me and letting me share all her family and friends, and for taking me along on this journey.  I guess it’s my turn next and I need to bring her to Canada….see if my family and friends treat her the same way.

Now that it’s all over, we have, like I said, been gone 42 days, slept in 30 different places, been through 13 different states, made 230 stops, not counting where we have slept, and people’s homes and where they have taken us, driven 9,616 miles and had more fun than you can measure.  Can you imagine how many more stops and how many more miles we would have covered if we had not skipped the last 2 days from our itinerary?

Anyway, thanks for sharing our journey with us.  I hope you have enjoyed reading along.  Keep checking back, because Thelma and I still have plenty of places to go and plenty to see, because as you know we are “Traveling the World, One Page at a Time”!

This trip gets a rating of an A+++…..Thank You all!

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