If you’re in the Phoenix area and want to get the Christmas spirit, go to the Arizona Biltmore, infused with all that Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired historical significance.
Wander around the beautiful outdoor gardens, sit outside on the adirondacks, relax in the elegant lobby and have a drink where countless Presidents and movie stars have done the same.
We have a lot of beautiful resorts in town but, to me, this is the best one any time of year. You can almost imagine that it’s the 1930s again. I wish I had taken more photos of the outside but since it’s 2 miles from where we live, maybe I’ll get back there this season.
You can see some photos I took of the gardens at the Arizona Biltmore, the Jewel of the Desert, in the springtime here.
Filed under: Arizona, Art, Blogging, Cats, Home, Phoenix, Photography | Tags: Arizona, Art, Blogging, Butterflies, Cats, Downtown Phoenix, Flora, Global Community, Holidays, Home, Hummingbirds, imagine, Lalo Cota, Learning, Murals, Phoenix, Photoblogging, Photography, Photoshop, Resorts, Sedona, Travels, vacation
Hope your shiny new year is off to a great start! I wasn’t planning to do a 2011 year review but it seems like a good idea to take stock now and then and look back but, mostly, it’s an excuse to use photos I already have since I’m running low right now. So, in no chronological order, here are some of the highlights of my blogging year (some coincide a little with my personal year).
In April, after 17 years together, Tony and I got married.
We had a little wedding but a big party.
I made the invitations for the party.
We went on a staycation at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley.
I did some “imaginary vacation” photos around town in the heat of summer when I couldn’t think of anything to photograph. The first place, El Maya, was torn down a couple of weeks after I photographed it. Oh, and I learned how to do rounded corners and played with textures a lot more in 2011.
A few weeks later I did another local imaginary vacation in the sweltering heat.
We did a day trip to Sedona, I took a lot of photos, and got 2 blog posts out of them. It’s really hard to take bad photos in Sedona. One of those posts was Freshly Pressed on WordPress!
2011 was the year that I FINALLY got some good butterfly shots! Some Giant Swallowtails:
And a Variegated Fritillary:
As if that weren’t enough, 2011 gave me some good hummingbird shots, on two different occasions, something I had also never gotten before.
I continued shooting murals in downtown Phoenix, something I’ve done for 2.5 years now.
I got all enthused about another downtown Phoenix project, the Valley of the Sunflowers, and will post some new shots in a few days.
I took a lot of photos of our 3 indoor cats as well as our numerous outdoor cats. Sadly, 3 of our outdoor cats died in 2011, including WB, our faithful friend for many years (as well as Snowy and Isabella).
My hibiscus plant was the subject of a few posts. It almost croaked last winter through a few frosts even though it was covered. It recovered and thrived through the spring and early summer. Again it got very sickly looking during the intense summer heat, and now it is once again thriving…
I learned how to do animated gifs, providing myself hours of fun!
I got hooked on my old 50mm f/1.8 lens from my old Nikon film camera and have to shoot manually when I use it on my DSLR which is fun. I like the looks of the photos with it, too.
We grew a giant basil plant from seed and it provided a lot of seasoning for us until quite recently when it died. We’ll be doing that again as soon as it gets warmer. They flourish in heat and sun, which we have plenty of here.
I took a zillion rose photos, some got texture added to them, some didn’t.
We took another train ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad with Tony’s sister and her husband when they were out visiting in November. The railroad asked for permission to use a couple of my photos, this one in particular, and in return sent us two first-class passes for another trip (and a photo credit, of course). Someone else has asked for permission to use another photo from that same train ride and it will also result in a photo credit and some goods that I may mention at a later date.
Some photos I liked, just because.
And a lot of my photos were just taken around my yard and neighborhood.
So that about sums it up for 2011 on this blog. Thank you to all of you who read it and I really enjoy reading yours, too, and seeing your photos of your lives. Photoblogging is one of my favorite pastimes as I’m sure it is for most of you, too. I hope we all have a fun, productive, creative 2012 blogging experience.
Filed under: Books, Phoenix | Tags: 1000 Gifts, Books, Flora, Phoenix, Resorts, Travels
Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.~Barbara Kingsolver
So, I’ve been working on my gratitude journal (in words and through the lens) that I mentioned in a previous post, based on One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp but things can get one down, as we all know, and it’s sometimes difficult to see the gifts. As I like to share inspirational quotes, I’ll share one (not quite so positive) by a friend of mine from the other day:
Not to rain on your parade, but I’ve done the grateful journaling thing and my life is still crappy.~Mary
Ugh, I hope that isn’t the conclusion I make…
Filed under: Arizona, Phoenix | Tags: Arizona, Flora, Phoenix, Resorts, Travels
We spent one night of the long (4 days for me!) Memorial Day weekend at the lovely Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley which is actually only about 4-5 miles from our house. It’s a beautiful, award-winning resort that bills itself as a “boutique hideaway.” It’s small, with only 34 casitas, and even though it isn’t far from the heart of metropolitan Phoenix, you would never know it when you’re there. It’s quiet, isolated, and surrounded by desert. The Hermosa Inn began as cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee’s home and studio in the 1930s and evolved through the years to a guest ranch, a resort, and now the Inn.
Weather-wise, this has been a gorgeous weekend in Phoenix with temperatures in the upper 80s the last 2 days. If you know Phoenix, you know that is a treat this time of year. So far, we have actually had a spring here. Today the high is going to be 86!!!!!
This was our patio where we had a private breakfast of mesquite pancakes (not so good) but, all in all, it was a lovely experience. And, I got enough photos for a couple posts so stay tuned for more flowers and desert plants!
Known throughout the world as the “Jewel of the Desert,” the Arizona Biltmore provides a restful oasis of 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming pools, and Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture. Set in the heart of Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore has been a favorite of celebrities and U.S. presidents throughout its colorful history since its completion in 1929.
The stylized bricks, which you see on all the buildings, were not designed by Frank Lloyd Wright but by the resort’s architect, Albert Chase McArthur, who has not received the credit due to him. FLW is often mistaken as the architect but he was just the inspiration. The brick design is based on the logarithm of a B-flat minor. Albert was a brilliant mathematician and believed in the correlation between light and sound (Wikipedia).
You also see a lot of these at the Arizona Biltmore…
White adirondacks which make you feel as though you could be back in 1929.
A stately, understated elegance prevails here, unlike some of the newer, flashy resorts.
Lush, manicured gardens and spraying fountains abound…
And it’s where I discovered I love poppies (see previous post). They’re freakin’ everywhere!