submitted by Jill Ward Bursch Travel St. Cloud
In early April we flew to sunny Phoenix for a few days of visiting friends! It was my father's first time in Arizona and he was shocked there were actually trees and vegetation in the desert!!
I have been to Arizona myself several times, but this time visited sites I had never seen before.
One of those sites was the Mystery Castle, located in the outskirts of Phoenix. Be sure to take your map, because the sign pointing to the castle was not very easy to spot!! This unique home was built during the Depression years out of whatever scraps and materials the man who built it could find. The layout and materials used are amazing. The builder's daughter still lives there and allows tours to go through her home.
We enjoyed a tea at the lovely Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. Teas are held in their Lobby Tea Court and are a true treat. Piano music is playing, you choose the type of tea you wish to drink, and you are served finger sandwiches, scones and desserts. You WILL get full!! (Many people think they won't get much food!). This tea was an absolute delight that even my father enjoyed.
Another fascinating attraction was the Desert Botanical Gardens. The amazing displays of various desert plants are great themselves, but through May 31st of this year, the gardens are featuring a fascinating display of Chihuly Glass. The glass pieces are amazing and add an interesting element to the gardens. I am told they are especially beautiful in the evenings before sunset. Another fascinating exhibit through the end of May is the Butterfly Garden.