Living in Tucson as wonderful as it is, sometimes I get a little antsy and feel the need to see something besides cactus, desert homes that are typically built low, and the color brown, meaning lots of dirt, clay whatever you want to call it. Phoenix is 100 miles away and whenever I go I am satisfied with “getting away”. This particular trip my husband and I enjoyed some of our favorite visits along with quite a few new ones too! Here are some hi-lites! We started out on Friday having lunch at Postino’s which is now a regular spot for us. It has a laid back vibe and great service. During lunch all wines and champagne are $5.00, great selections. I love the Bruschetta to accompany the wine and with so many choices for toppings such as burrata, bacon, arugula and tomatoes, or Warm Artichoke Spread you can’t go wrong. All are displayed on a plank board like little soldiers waiting to be devoured. Later on that day we went on the Westward Ho Hotel Historic Tour which is located downtown Phoenix. This was a famous hotel in the 30’s thru 60’s and the celebrities who visited included John F Kennedy, Del Webb, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on. The hotel currently is Senior Housing. Our tour guide was Chef Dennis who now lives at the Westward Ho, used to be a chef on the Super Chief Rail Way. He captivated us by telling us stories not only about the heyday of the Westward Ho along with Architecture but also his days on the Super Chief as a chef. He cooked for Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Betty Davis. Jimmy Carter was considered the kind one of the three. He repeatedly commented on the good ol days of quality, elegance and class on the railway. Another interesting story he told us about the Westward Ho was that during prohibition a tunnel was built in the basement that connected to the Judges house across the street, so booze was freely going to and fro and no one got caught. Speak Easy was running at full capacity underneath the Westward Ho and connected money was funding the hotel and it was the place to be! Chef Dennis gave us a private tour of his quarters at the end of the tour and to my delight he had the most charming well appointed small space with tons of memorabilia of the Westward Ho. He also had a green thumb with luscious plants scattered thru out his flat. When I revealed I was a Wardrobe Consultant he was proud to show me his Burberry Coat from 1970 that was in mint condition. I left the tour with a wealth of information and a respect for Chef Dennis with his rich well lived life. I think to myself it’s all what we make of our lives– we have the control. Before heading to bed, Steve and I shot a few games of pool in our lobby – we stayed at the Aloft hotel a sister hotel of the W- great location for downtown. The next day we headed off to the Phoenix Art Museum which never leaves me disappointed. I wore my Brocade skirt and my Prada Navy Patent Ankle Strap Shoes- I love dressing up when going to the museum. I was particularly excited to view the Modern Spirit Fashion of the 1920’s Exhibit which displayed early Coco Chanel designs, along with learning what the 1920’s fashion was all about: Raised Hemlines, Un- Corseted Silhouettes, Bobbed Hair, and lots of Skin showing. It was defined as the Modern Spirit! It was a wonderful day at the museum while we also viewed the Western Gallery and a new Japanese Exhibit. Famished and next on the list was a new restaurant to try – Dick’s Hideaway. We entered a cave like atmosphere, sat down at the 10 seat bar and watched the chefs prepare New Mexican fair that soon enough we were chowing down ourselves. It was a cool atmosphere, great food, good prices , I can’t wait to go back! With tummy’s full one of our intentions was to get Steve a new suit so we headed off to My Sister’s Closet Consignment Shop- a huge operation in Phoenix with many locations. he scored – that is an understatement. He walked out with 2 Designer Suits $40.00 each, 4 dress shirts- one french cuff, 2 Cashmere Sweaters and a new Watch . Men– this is a great place to shop with a limited budget for designer and quality items. Ladies there is a store for you too, I refrained myself this trip! Victory for Monica! Back to one of our favorites spots for dinner: the St Francis on Camelback We have always sat at the bar outside and enjoy conversing with the bartenders. The ambiance is warm and on a wall outside they play an old Julia Child Cooking Show in black and white. Classic! My meal was exceptional and I plan on re-creating it at home. I had Grilled Salmon over Quinoa with Avocado, French Radishes and Carrots. I highly recommend this restaurant- two thumbs up! Before heading back to Tucson we made our usual pilgrimage to Ikea stocking up on tea lites, pots for the garden, place mats and whatever strikes us at Ikea. Fortunately for Steve no major furniture, redesign projects in the near future. Until our next visit to Phoenix———– I am home with a Happy New Year ahead of me in Tucson.