Monday, November 5, 2012

DAY 75- Rossen House, Heard Museum, & Loneliness…

Shortly after 8AM I found myself in an elevator heading down for breakfast at the Fairfield Inn in Phoenix.  Laura was trying to convince an older man in the elevator that it wasn’t an LDS Women’s Group that was meeting in the hotel.  He pointed at my coffee cup and said obviously I wasn’t a part of it.  I chuckled and thought if you only knew.  The real irony was that Laura was the only one of the nun’s retreat that was from Salt Lake City.

We got down to the table and Laura introduces me as everyone this is Biker Chick and Biker Chick this is everyone.  Then, Laura went on to say what my actual name was and that Biker was a nickname.  We sat down and then quite a few of the nuns introduced themselves to me.  We also found out that one of the other nuns had started the rumor about there being an LDS Women’s group at the hotel.  She thought it was terribly funny; nuns and their sense of humor.
Photo- Rossen House in downtown Phoenix.

After breakfast, I was left to myself to fend as the nuns and my friend Laura went off to their retreat.  I decided to head downtown to the Historic Heritage Square where I purchased a tour ticket for the Rossen House.  It’s a house that was built in 1895 by a doctor and his wife.  Amazingly, the house was all built within a 6 month period and had all of the modern conveniences of the time like; electric lighting, phones, and hot & cold running water sinks in the upstairs bedrooms.  It was restored to its original beauty and had been quite thee place in its day.  The doctor had been the mayor of Phoenix at the time it was built but they shortly moved out because they had over spent most of their money.  They ended up renting it out to a newspaper man and later sold it. 

But walking through that front door of the Rossen House was really like taking a step back in time.  I was the only one on the tour and the lady was able to explain and answer questions for me specifically which was wonderful.  After the tour in the house she took me to another building where she enthusiastically showed me pictures of the house in the 1970’s before it had been restored.  She also showed me some pictures during the actual restoration project.  I found it all fascinating.  I thanked her for her time at the end of the tour.
Photo- A busy lunch spot in Phoenix is the Pizzeria Bianco.

Next, I decided to go have lunch at a place on the square called Pizzeria Bianco which was situated in an older 1929 building that had housed the Baird Machine Shop at one time.  This pizzeria is equipped with a large wood burning brick oven.  It was very busy but being one I was able to find a place at the bar area to sit and order.  I must have arrived close enough to the time that a gentleman that was next to me; because the next thing I know we are both getting menus and being asked what we want to drink.

I looked at the guy next to me and said I think he (our server) thinks we are here together.  We both tell the server that we are not together to which a couple of woman to my right quickly tell me I’m not playing it right and that I should’ve let the server assume and I could’ve gotten my lunch paid for.  We all laugh and I order my drink.  I ask the gals how large are their pizzas at the restaurant to which they reply that they are 12”.  Owf!  That’s a little much for one I think and I must have said too.  The guy next to me orders the Wise Guy Pizza which is wood roasted onion, smoked mozzarella, and fennel sausage which ends up being what I wanted to order too. 

I asked if he wants to share a pizza.  He said yes, and we introduced ourselves.  Trace is his name and he’s a freelance sports writer from Washington DC.  He’s covering some baseball in the area and once he says that the guy on his other side starts talking his ear off for a few minutes.  Trace eventually said he wanted to get back to talking with his “lunch date” (ha-ha) and after Mr. Baseball fanatic leaves I asked Trace if he felt like he’s having a working lunch.  He laughed and said he could’ve stayed at the ball park if he wanted to have that. 

I asked Trace some questions and he told me about his wife and his daughter who HATES baseball.  Then, I told him what I’m doing and told him a couple of quick stories.  He said that he would love to do something like what I was doing but it would probably be one of those things he talked about doing but never actual did.  The next thing I know he’s having me take the 2 extra pieces from the pizza and has paying for our lunch wishing me luck on my trip.  He also leans over and thanks the gals for teaming the two of us together which gets a laugh as he walks out the door.  One of those gals asked me a couple of questions and then I send off the parting shot that I DID end up with my lunch being paid for after all.  The gals laughed as I went out the door.

I took the pizza left overs back to my car in the parking garage and then walked over to the Arizona Science Center which looked very interesting but they are having a scavenger hunt with tons of kids and its terribly crowded and noisy.  Naw!  I thought to myself I really don’t want to do this.  I decided to take the pizza back to the hotel and figure out things from there.  On the way back I notice that there’s a Heard Museum just two blocks from the hotel.  I jumped on line and find out what it’s all about.

The Heard Museum is touted as being a masterpiece of blending the American Native story from the first person perspective with American Indian art.  The real bonus was that this gem was only a three block walking distance from the hotel.  I walked over and paid for my entrance.
Photo- An inside courtyard just before the museum's entrance at Heard Museum.

I just happened to time it that there was two docent American Indian Natives giving a tour right after I got there.  I followed through with their group.  It was a really wonderful tour because the two of them would blend in personal stories of personal experiences with their families into the tour as they talked about certain areas within the museum as they gave the tour together.  They took turns.  It was a young girl who was of Pueblo decent and a young man who I never did hear which tribe he was from.  They would interpose some humor here and there in their stories.  Also some of the other people asked some very good questions and I found it a very enlightening and educational experience.  After the tour, I walked through some of the other areas of the museum that were not covered in the tour.  I also watched a film about a girl’s coming of age ceremony.  All too soon it was closing time for the museum; 5pm had arrived.

I walked back to the hotel where I visited with Laura for a short bit before she was off for another segment of her retreat.  After she left, I ate left overs and then threw on my bikini and went down to the hot tub.  I was hoping that I might run into some people down there.  Nope!  There was no one down there but me.  I was feeling a bit lonely and was really hoping to have someone show up that I could just talk with.  It was really strange because it was like a rush of feeling lonely hit me; maybe it was a sense of being home sickness.  I don't know but it was like a wall hit me and I just felt terribly, terribly lonely. 
It was almost an hour and no one else had come down to the hot tub.  Still feeling lonely I tried calling my Aunt but got no answer.  Then, I tried a couple of other friend’s numbers but no answer.  I didn’t want to go back up into the hotel room change and go to a bar just so that I could have someone else to talk with.  It’s funny because this was the loneliest I have ever felt on this BIG Adventure so far.  I finally was feeling like a raisin from sitting in the hot tub for so long and went back upstairs to watch a bit of TV.

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