Take It Easy

“Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona; What a fine sight to see…”

But I get ahead of myself.

Sunday was a big travel day on our western trip, but we did manage to see some great historic sites and landscapes, eat a couple of nice meals, and recall a part of our youth.

Sunday morning we left the first of three hotels with a great history that we visited that day.  El Rancho in Gallup, New Mexico bills itself as the “Home of the Movie Stars” – as long as you mean movie stars of the 1930s-1950s.  We stayed in the Spencer Tracy Room and had fun walking through this funky western-style lobby (see photo below) looking at pictures of Errol Flynn, an early Fred McMurray, Katherine Hepburn, and the like. 

We left El Rancho and found a great local breakfast diner in Gallup – called My Sister’s Place – that reminded us of the Beverly Restaurant in Staunton and the City Cafe in Murfreesboro (two of our favorite family breakfast restaurants).  Suitably fortified we hit the road.

We made a stop at the historic Hubbell Trading Post and then took off for the Grand Canyon.  Along the way we stopped in Winslow, Arizona to have lunch at the historic La Posada Hotel, designed by the great Southwestern architect Mary Colter.  La Posada was one of her later designs and the building has been beautifully restored.  We ate lunch in the Turquoise Room and had the best meal of our trip to date.  Squash blossoms, trout, a black bean/cream corn soup…ummmmm….Highly recommended.  We then visited all the public spaces in the hotel to take pictures (see Claire’s offering below) and enjoy the space.  I was pleased to hear from the ladies in the gift shop that Arnold Berke’s biography of Mary Colter is a strong seller!  They celebrate Colter at La Posada, which is great. 

And since we were in Winslow, we had to go “Stand on the corner” so that girl in the “flatbed Ford” could slow down “and take a look at me.”  Our 15 year olds were just shaking their heads as we lined up with all the other baby boomers to have our picture taken on that famous corner (the opening shot of this post).  If you’re too old or too young to understand the reference (and to identify the band), just quote the first line to any baby boomer and you’ll get your answer.

Leaving Winslow, we drove through a torrential downpour to get to the Grand Canyon, where the sun broke through when we were about 20 miles away.  We are staying at the historic El Tovar Lodge – a National Historic Landmark and one of the historic Harvey Hotels of the Southwest (as was La Posada).  We’ve walked a bit and saw our first sunset at the Grand Canyon, but we’re here for a couple of nights so we’ll have more to post tomorrow and Tuesday.

Just remember to take it easy…

DJB

3 Responses

  1. Enjoy the canyon. If there’s a full moon, be sure to take the ranger led full moon tour. The condor talk is also great too. I think all their rangers there are frustrated actors — they’re teriffic performers. And from one acrophobe to another — stay away from the edge!

  2. Have a great vacation. I really enjoyed the Grand Canyon on my visit there.

    I write a blog for boomer consumers called The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at http://boomersurvive-thriveguide.typepad.com.

    Rita

  3. Funny, I just heard a piece about Winslow on NPR this morning and it quoted the mayor who rehabbed La Posada. It was an interesting story about towns that are thriving due to their proximity to prohibitively expensive resort towns like Flagstaff, AZ. You can read it here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93769999 . I didn’t make the connection to the Eagles song, probably because the reporter didn’t sound like Glenn Frey (classic rock is big in Maine).

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