Warning….SUPER-DUPER long post ahead…
We spent yesterday doing the last of the ‘touring’ we have planned for our visit to Phoenix. We both really enjoyed the day but were super tired when we finally got home about 8:30 pm.
Our first stop was to the very south side of Phoenix in the South Mountain foothills. We visited the Mystery Castle that was built from 1930 – 1945 by Boyce Gulley for his daughter Mary Lou. In 1927, Boyce found out that he had Tuberculosis and up and left his home, job, wife and daughter in Seattle. He ended up living longer than he expected and finally died of cancer in 1945. Mary Lou and her mother never heard from him again until a lawyer contacted them to tell them that he had died and left her a home in Phoenix. She and her mother moved into the home shortly after and she lived there until she died in 2010. She started giving tours of the home in 1948 and continued until she passed away.
Boyce was an artist and used any medium he could find…especially those that were free or cheap. He used concrete, sand, rocks, brick rejects, car parts and depression glass dishes and their lids. The place is what Michael and I described as ‘creepy cool’…and has a magnificent view of Phoenix. The cost per person to enter was $10 per person…perhaps a little on the steep end but one of the tour guides, a woman who’s been giving tours of the place for 30+ years, is full of information and stories about the place and Mary Lou…so that helped lessen the blow a little.
We drove a few miles north to downtown Phoenix to visit several sites. We parked on a side street and then walked to the remainder of our destinations. As we were walking we noticed a bunch of news vans parked outside the Maricopa County Superior Court. We got to thinking and realized that they were all there to cover the Jodi Arias Murder Trial. Sure would love to have listened to part of what was going on!
Our first stop in downtown Phoenix was at the Phoenix Police Museum…took us a while to locate it but when we did we found it in a small portion of the Old Courthouse, a very pretty building. The museum was small but interesting to see the old memorabilia.
From there we walked through a small courtyard and across Washington Street to the Wells Fargo History Museum…we both loved it here! Another small museum but full of ‘hands on’ activities…2 different photo opportunities where they email you the pic and also hand you a printed copy, a simulated stagecoach ride, an activity for you to fit 18 people and their luggage into a stagecoach, the opportunity to send telegraph messages between 2 terminals, a chance to talk on 2 old-fashioned phones connected to each other and you can even ‘pan for gold’ via a video game!
We walked several blocks east so that we could visit St. Mary’s Basilica, which was named a minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1985. Both the inside and outside of this church are very pretty….nothing ornate…just simplistic beauty. While inside we both lit candles in memory of our parents that are gone (my mom & dad and Michael’s dad).
While we were in this area there were 2 Munzee‘s to capture…which we did! We started our trek back to the truck…making sure to got past the Hard Rock Hotel to grab a virtual Munzee. Just across the street we found the Blue Moon Club which made us think of our son, Zack, so Michael deployed a Munzee there in his honor.
We got to the truck and before leaving downtown Phoenix for good we stopped at Wesley Bolin Memorial Park to see the Mast & Anchor of the USS Arizona that was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. We found this park to more than just a place that held relics from the USS Arizona but a memorial park honoring men & women of all services, nationalities, religions etc. It was AWESOME!
By the time we were done ‘touring’ we were hungry! We stopped at Red Lobster on the way home and found that they had new menu offerings…for $15.99 you get a 4 course meal (soup, salad, entrée & dessert). You have 9 entrees, 3 salads, 3 soups & 3 desserts to choose from. It was awesome, we were both stuffed and since we had a gift card our total meal cost was $16.00!!
Wow! I’m pooped…how about you??