Posts Tagged ‘Scottsdale’

Desert Authors Lunch

November 15, 2013

Kathy Reichs at the podium

Every November, typically the first or second Saturday, some of your favorite authors can be found at the Arizona Biltmore in Scottsdale.  The Annual Authors Luncheon is now in its 23rd year raising money for kidney patient services ranging from transplants to medications or dialysis transportation.  The Arizona Women’s Board continues the tradition started by Erma Bombeck by inviting a handful of MAJOR authors to speak at the event.  A local bookstore sets up shop in the lobby so you can buy the latest book and the authors are available both before and after the luncheon to personalize and sign your books.  What great holiday gifts!


Wally Lamb signing books

This year’s all-star line up of authors included:  Delia Ephron, Linda Fairstein, Wally Lamb, Kathy Reichs (Bones TV show) and Lisa Scottoine.  Last year Brad Thor was a crowd favorite.  Past years have included some of my other favorites such as Susan Issacs, Anthony Horowitz, John Sandford, Gregory Maguire (Wicked author), Lee Child (Jack Reacher books)  and countless more.  With rare exception, the authors are gracious and happy to chat or even pose for photos while signing your books.


Brad Thor & Sunny Kobe Cook aka “Travel Queen”

If you spend some time in the Phoenix area to escape the weather where you live, why not sign up to be on the mailing list for this great event?  What better way to spend a Saturday in November than decked out with 1000 ladies (and a few men) in the ballroom of the Biltmore listening to some of your favorite authors talking about their new book, the writing process, how they got started writing and much more?!?  My sister and I go every year.   As we listen to the authors share their stories, we make a list of people on our holiday list who would enjoy each person’s book and a chunk of our holiday shopping is done by the end of the day. Even if you don’t see your favorite author on the list for next year, I guarantee you will have a NEW favorite by the end of the luncheon! 


Ladies at the luncheon

Hard to imagine having so much fun AND helping to support a great cause.  Hope to see you there next year.


Sunday in Scottsdale

May 24, 2013

Lots of Northwesterners head to the desert this time of year.  Sure, its starting to heat up but hey, its a dry heat and there are lots of golf courses.  Rates have dropped at many of the resorts so its perfect for a weekend – or longer getaway.


If you find yourself in Scottsdale on a Sunday, be sure to book a table at Davanti Enoteca on Scottsdale Road at Lincoln.  The “build your own” Bloody Mary (or Virgin Mary) is amazing!


They have all the usual items, Bloody Mary mix, limes, celery and olives.  But they also have a HUGE assortment of hot sauces and house-pickled items from cauliflower to actual pickle slices.


There are also hot, snap peas, prosciutto wrapped asparagas and bacon!  How can you NOT love a Bloddy Mary with a thick slice of bacon down the inside of the glass!?!


After a great brunch you can stroll next door and do some shopping at the Scottsdale Marketplace.


This unique collection of over 35 shops features new, vintage and antique treasure in all styles and price points.  You are sure to find an irresistible treasure to remind you of your great desert getaway.

Tovrea Castle

Looking for something else to fill your afternoon in the desert?  Why not visit Tovrea Castle?  This unique home and cactus garden are now part of the Parks Department and are open to the public for tours.

Sure, you can also catch some rays by the pool at your hotel or play some golf like most of the desert visitors do, but these “gems” will make your getaway something special and most important – memorable!


Art in Bloom

July 15, 2011

From Memorial Day through the end of September, communities all across the country put up tents in parks, turn thoroughfares into walking streets and encourage artists of all disciplines to show their work.  A summer day is perfect for strolling tent to tent appreciating the talents of artists from painters to sculptures to weavers to carvers to jewelers – and some things you probably never thought could be art.

Here are just a few links to some annual art festivals both around the Puget Sound and around the country.  This is by no means a complete list – locally or nationally!  Search the internet for an art fair near you or in a city were you will be visiting.  Admission is usually FREE.  Typically there is a stage for local musical artists and even if you don’t buy art for your home or office, there are always vendors selling cold drinks, ice cream and other tasty treats.

Around Seattle: (only a sampling – there are dozens)
Edmonds Arts Festival:  Mid-June (put on your calendar for next year)
Summer Art Festival:  Gig Harbor July 16 & 17
Alki Art Fair:  July 23 and 24
Bellevue Festival of the Arts:  July 29-31st
Anacortes Arts Festival:  August 5-7th

Other destinations:  (Just a taste – there are literally thousands!)
Park City, Utah:  August 5-7th on historic Main Street
Dallas, Texas:  Memorial Day weekend (plan for next year)
Aspen Arts Festival:  July 23 & 24
Atlanta Arts Festival:  September 17-18th
Steamboat Springs, CO Arts Festival:  August 18th-21st
San Diego – Art Walk on the Bay:  September 10th & 11th
Kansas City – Country Club Plaza Art Fair:  September 23, 24 & 25th

Rather than an annual event, some popular artist communities offer weekly events such as Santa Barbara, California.  Every Sunday and designated holidays you can stroll along the beach and enjoy the work of local artists, often meeting the artist themselves.

Warmer communities offer art fairs and festivals throughout the fall, winter and early spring so be sure to do an internet search if you will be visiting Palm Springs, Miami or Scottsdale from January through March.

In areas where there are clusters of art galleries, they often will hold art walk events.  The galleries are open special hours, usually have artists in house to meet visitors and offer snacks and wine as you stroll from gallery to gallery.  In Seattle, the galleries in Pioneer Square jointly participate in “First Thursday”.

Portland, Maine does theirs on “First Friday”, Portland, Oregon does one each “First Thursday”.  Again, do an internet search for your community or any place you are planning to visit using the name of the town + the words “art walk”.

Even if you aren’t the type to visit art museums as you travel, you will likely find these more casual, largely outdoor festivals fun and lively.  Try one in your own city and if you like it, you may want to try to catch ones in other cities you visit.

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