Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 35 - Flagstaff, AZ

Today was deemed "Let's check out Flagstaff day" but first it needed to be "Let's get Brett some new shoes day".  The soles on his shoes are so thin that he said he could step on a nickel and tell if it was heads or tails.  And his toe was breaking out through the end.  A small downside of being new to an area is that you don't readily know where to go get things like new shoes.  So we thought of Target and found one using the GPS.  The Target looked just like every  other Target store in the world and had all the same stuff.  All except anything resembling a pair of shoes that would fit Brett.  We put on our thinking caps and decided to try a sports store.  Out came the iPhone and we were headed for downtown Flagstaff to visit the Aspen Sports shop. 

I would like to report that we finally entered a city area, found a parking garage and found a place to park.  The people at Aspen Sports were very nice and we found just the right pair of shoes for Brett.  He has a new bounce in his step and the trash can at Aspen Sports has a grotty old pair of shoes.

Timing is everything some days isn't it?  Shoes purchased, it was conveniently lunch time and here we were in the middle of a downtown with lots of restaurants.  The folks at Aspen Sports recommended Criollo so we walked across the street to check it out. 

Flagstaff has a lot of old, brick buildings and they are well maintained.  This restaurant was in one of those buildings.  I love the dark wood floors and the dark color on the walls.  There were some pretty surreal paintings lining the walls.  It was such a nice day outside that we opted to sit at a table on the patio out back.

We go out to eat fairly often but I hadn't noticed until this trip that many restaurants are bringing water to the table in these liter sized bottles.  When did this start happening?  I think it must be more efficient for the wait staff as they've left enough for several servings in one trip.  

I ordered the pork belly tacos and Brett had a Cuban sandwich.  Both were very good.  I will confess that while the pork belly was delicious, it had more fat on it that I cared to eat.  Sort of like turbo charged bacon! 

We decided to explore by walking around one block and taking a good look at the things we found there.  This is the corner of San Francisco St and Rte. 66 right across from the train station.  That red building houses a Crystal Shop and I just had to go in.

Anybody who was older than 10 in the late sixties would remember shops like these the moment they opened the door.  Ah, the smell of incense and the tinkle of strings of bells.  These New Age shops sell various minerals, gemstones and crystals based upon the belief that they have helpful energies that will work for various things.

There were so many of these on display.  Each different kind had a little card on the display telling what the crystal was believed to help with.  I just thought they were pretty and was sorely tempted to buy a few but resisted the urge.  The shop also had a selection of books on such things as Wiccan and reading tarot cards.  

The block we chose was full of little businesses.  They were primarily native art, coffee shops and spiritualists of one form or another. 

The Hotel Monte Vista is the tallest building in the downtown.  It was opened in 1927 and is on the Registrar of Historic Places.  It was first called the Community Hotel but then renamed by a 12 year old school girl who won the renaming contest.

This is the county courthouse which was built in 1894.  There is a lot of this red sandstone used in buildings in Flagstaff.

It was lucky for The Sweet Shoppe & Nut House that Brett happened to be walking by.  Naturally, we had to go in for a look-see.  They had a beautiful assortment of hand made goodies.  Brett finally decided on pumpkin fudge.  It was delicious.

As we were ending our walk and about to re-enter the parking garage, we spotted a park area and had to go take a look at the art in the wild.  This guy is a puma (I think).  A lot of towns seem to pick something and have organizations and artists paint them up for charitable causes.  I think Portland did lighthouses, Beaufort, SC has mermaids, West Yellowstone has buffalo and Flagstaff has pumas.

And they also have these most excellent park benches made from train wheels and other pieces of metal with various designs on the back.  Brett thinks that this would make a good blacksmithing project.

And in the far corner was this wonderful mural.  It looks rather Tim Burtonesque to me.

We had intended to seek out another museum but it was getting late and we still had grocery shopping to do so our formal touring is at an end.  It was fun to get up close and personal with Flagstaff!

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