I've been wanting to try OKRA in downtown Phoenix and our first Friday night had us seated with friends for a delicious dinner. The menu at OKRA (www.okraaz.com) was right up my alley ... think throwback southern-style cocktails to get your thirst quenched. Appetizers like cornmeal battered hush-puppies, spiced pork rinds, and fried dilly beans lined our table for snacking. For mains we ordered Pig-Cheek Pot Pie, Tennessee Hot Fried Chicken, and their Two-Wash Hen & Dumplings. Dessert couldn't have been tastier for their seasonal homemade pie. Ours was a chocolatey pecan.... I LOVE me some Southern food.
The Tempe Arts Festival just happened to be this weekend and we love wandering through the booths to pick up some last minute Christmas gifts and swoon over the artists designs. I'm always thinking I'll start painting or throwing the clay around, or even weld some magical sculpture after this fair. Alas, it's never happened. A girl can dream, right? BTW - They've got a website at www.tempefestivalofthearts.com.
The Cardinals were on with a win and we headed over to FATE Brewing Company in Scottsdale (www.fatebrewing.com) for a visit with our great friends the Ashtons, and their new puppy, Heidi. Wish I had a picture to show you this adorable lab furbaby. She was the best little pup in the bar and we were able to catch up on all the family shenanigans from one kid to the next.
Coffee with friends, dentist visits, yardwork, pool cleaning, etcetera... Jeff got a taste of a regular week around here. Can't wait for retirement!!!
We headed over to the Desert Botanical Garden mid-week (www.dbg.org) and it couldn't have been prettier. Well, it could have been prettier if the wildflowers were still blooming, but hey - it's a desert garden everybody!! Check out these cool pics of our day.
Chihully Glass in the Garden.
Sculpture of Mother Earth in the Garden.
Mr. Roadrunner all puffed up in the sunshine.
Mr. Smith - ready for retirement!!
A gorgeous view of Camelback Mountain.
This Crested Saguaro is a very rare specimen - fingers crossed that it makes it at the garden!!
We caught a great brunch at Snooze Tempe (www.snoozeeatery.com/tempe) afterwards - their Sweet Potato Pancakes with a side of bacon are just this side of heaven. Great service - gorgeous outdoor patio right in the heart of ASU. I love seeing students wandering to class, their backpacks full of nonsense and their brains full of ... yup.
We had the best service, a gorgeous lunch, lovely wines, and a brisk view of their vineyards.
I have never been to Cottonwood and had no idea it was so darling!!
We stopped into a few shops, had a glass or two of vino, bought tea at a fabulous tea house - The Wild Rose Tea House - PLEASE do yourself a favor and stop into this darling spot located under the gateway sign shown below. Or order something online at www.wildrosetea.net!! There are teas to calm the spirit, and soothe the soul. I'm not lying.
Walks in the park, dog-sitting our beloved granddogs, visiting with our Fantasy Football teammates, celebrating the holidays with friends, and enjoying the wonderful weather that Arizona is known for. I love this life of mine.