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A Semi-Regular Mix of Written and Video Documentation of My Travels

AZ Day 7 - A Short and Sweet Easter

Today was Easter Sunday, so the day started with lots of chocolate eggs and bunnies because that’s what Jesus was all about. My friend Kathryn’s mum wanted to try something new she’d seen online, so she made hard chocolate egg that was solid on the outside but hollow and filled with candy on the inside. Kathryn and I took turns trying to break open the egg by whacking it with spoons, and eventually we succeeded to gorgeous effect. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture of the egg before we cracked it, but just look at this beautiful mess and marvel at my friend’s impressive mom.

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The rest of the day was spent doing things I really loved, but don’t necessarily make for exciting reading. First, I went to get coffee and catch up with my friend at a hip coffeeshop called Sip Coffee and Beer Kitchen. The coffee was great, and the conversation was even better. Shockingly we were able to cover much more ground without jet lag and general tiredness. We stayed in the coffeeshop for about three hours, sharing adventure stories from our respective travels, we laughed, we cried (okay, I cried because I’ve become whatever the opposite of road hardened is), and I was constantly reminded how lucky I was to have friends like Kathryn in my life.

After coffee, I said goodbye and thank you to Kathryn and her family, and began the drive up to Utah. I was going to be staying at a cowboy themed hostel, because how could I possibly resist that? It was just about a six hour drive from Scottsdale to Kanab in Southern UT and I was going to be losing an hour due to that pesky daylight savings time that Arizona doesn’t believe in so I had to book it to make my cowboy curfew.

A six hour drive might not seem like everyone’s dream way of spending a holiday, but it helped that the views in Northern AZ were absolutely stunning, including the outer rim of the Grand Canyon itself. It was a bit of a bummer that I didn’t get to stop and really take it, but it was also one of the few national landmarks I’d actually seen already so I made the executive decision to the King of All Potholes from a distance. I did however stop in a town called Tuba City (which as you can tell from the photos, isn’t really much of a city and also has disappointingly few tubas), and I got a few shots of an incredible sunset.

I made it to the hostel just in time and got settled in my bunk bed to write and watch a very good comedy about nuns (seemed right for Easter) called The Little Hours which I highly recommend. The cast is stacked, and it’s got a really sweet core despite a whole lot of blasphemy. And that wraps it up for Arizona!

Favorite Random Sightings: Super Pumper (wildly named gas station); A black jeep with the license bumper sticker that said "Black Jeep of the Family”

Regional Observations: I know I skipped it on this trip, but I really can’t stress how incredible the Grand Canyon is. I was skeptical that it was just gonna be a big hole, but it is really one of the most incredible views I’ve ever had. So here’s a picture of me looking like an incredibly bitchy 14 year old there:

 Tilted for maximum angst

Tilted for maximum angst

Albums Listened To: (Today I hit the shockingly deep vein of Sesame Street Music I have on my iPod which also made about 2 of the six driving hours more interesting) Sesame Street Platinum: All Time Favorite by Various Artists; Sesame Street: My Name is Roosevelt Franklin by Various Artists (this was a showcase of an oft-forgotten 70s character, named Roosevelt Franklin, designed to give young Black pre-schoolers a muppet that spoke directly for and to them during the tumultuous civil rights struggles of the era. Some of the songs and sketches are certainly dated by today’s standards, but the core messages and relentlessly funky beats are shockingly relevant); Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles (a stone cold classic)

People’s Favorite Jokes:

Here’s Kathryn’s favorite joke that might not work too great in text.

I know a really good knock knock joke, but you have to start it (try it with a partner)

Arizona Superlatives:

Favorite Coffee: Black Crown Coffee Co. in Tucson

Favorite Beer: Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale Scottish Ale by Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe

Favorite Restaurant: The Thumb in Scottsdale (though El Guero Canelo in Tucson is a close second)

Favorite Open Mic: Devil’s Advocate in Tempe

Favorite Bar: Gracie’s Tax Bar in Phoenix

Favorite Attraction: Tie between: the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix and the Desert Museum in Tucson

General Impression of the Comedy Scene: Phoenix and Tucson both had really tight, strong scenes, and they seemed like they were actually pretty supportive of one another despite being a couple hours apart. They had I’d say a slightly higher tolerance for weirder, more experimental bits than a lot of scenes which I liked, and I really can’t stress enough how welcoming and friendly I found those two cities to be!

Songs of the Day:

The music on Sesame Street, largely composed by the brilliant Joe Raposo in the early days is so much better than it ever needed to be. The amount of love and creative skill that went into something geared at pre-schoolers never ceases to amaze me

without the monster voice, this song has solid pop hooks

Funky bass and it calls out Christopher Columbus for sucking, win-win 70s sesame street

It’s a bit corny, but it’s incredibly sweet when Ringo runs on stage

Bonus Video Because Kate Micucci is killer in The Little Hours but I don’t have any of her songs on my iPod:

Joseph PalanaComment