Catching Up on Life in Scottsdale

Here in Scottsdale the time just flies by. Much of our time here this year was spent with doctors, tests, physical therapists, and Pilates instructors. We viewed it as a time to get things done but still relax before the big sightseeing started. In between all the appointments, we were able to spend time in the pool, eat great food, visit interesting sites, go to the movies, and see live music. What a difference a year makes.

Catching Up with Medical, Life and Massage

After spending 14 weeks in Scottsdale last summer, we have come to really like it in The Valley of The Sun. The area feels comfortable to us and we’d seriously consider moving here when our bootheels wander less. For now, it is the place that most seems like home to us.

We find it easy to take care of “chores” here. Things like medical check-ups, tests, refilling prescriptions, clothes shopping (what little we do), straightening out any hiccups in the finances… This time around, we picked up an inexpensive massage through Groupon. The massage was different in that the therapist never really touched my skin but he did manage to work out the kinks using pressure on the muscles. I’m pretty sure Diana liked it more than I did.

Back To The Movies

Diana loves checking out films on the big screen, but due to our travel and Covid restrictions, we hadn’t been to a movie theater in over 2 years. She was quite happy to find a local, high-end theater that was open and I got to pick the film! I chose “The Courier” with Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan. It’s a true story about a regular-guy salesman in England getting embroiled in a Cold War spy operation.

We were able to reserve good seats in advance and they were following distancing protocol, so we had plenty of room. They had very comfortable recliner love seats and in-seat food/beverage service, all for the low, low mid-week senior price of $4/ea. Score!

We liked the theatre and the reclining chairs so much we went to see a second movie for the much higher price of $9/ea. The second movie was “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard“, not great cinema but it was fun anyway. Diana says you can’t go wrong with Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek.

Dueling Pianos

I’ve always been intrigued by the dueling piano nights I see at some bars, but we never seemed to make it before our visit to Phoenix. We wound up going to a show at CB Live in The District, a shopping and entertainment development in Desert Ridge. Because it was a Wednesday night and summer, the crowd was sparse, but it was still a lot of fun. I can imagine coming back in-season and having the place really rock with audience participation.

Old Town Scottsdale

Once again, I walked around Old Town. Diana was able to join me this time because her legs were in much better shape than last year. What hadn’t changed was that I just wasn’t that interested in what Old Town had to offer. There are a handful of streets with shops selling tchotchkes and pieces from regional artists. Lacking any place to put the art, since I have no home, I just didn’t find the stores that compelling. There were a number of interesting bars and restaurants, but not enough to entice us for some midday food and drinks. Perhaps another time.

Tonto National Monument

I’m always a little surprised by the lesser-known National Parks and Monuments. Even though I’ve spent a lot of time in the Valley of The Sun, I only recently learned of the Tonto National Monument, which is within 90 minutes of Phoenix. Established in 1907, the monument was basically put in place to preserve a couple of 700-year-old Salado Indian cliff dwellings, which were declining from abusive tourism.

The Upper Cliff dwelling can only be visited by guided tour and only from November to April. This is because the 600 foot vertical, 3-mile roundtrip route becomes dangerously strenuous in the summer heat. We chose the more benign 350 foot vertical, 1-mile roundtrip to the Lower Cliff dwelling. Even so, I underestimated the effort and was underhydrated for the hike, and had to stop a couple of times. I certainly enjoyed being there, but I think winter/spring would have been much more enjoyable.

The day was topped off with a picnic by Lake Roosevelt (named after Teddy). We managed to find a table in the shade with a view of the lake. A nice way to spend time before the two-hour drive back to Scottsdale.

Which of these things do want to do?

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  1. Nope. But it seemed they were inviting trouble by leaving the middle seat open.

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