A couple of weeks ago , Kate and I got lost on the way to the huge San Diego Comic-Con and ended up in Flagstaff, Arizona. Actually we've decided to sit out the huge pop culture extravaganza that is San Diego Comic-Con, not because it's not still fun, but rather we prefer San Francisco's Wonder Con (a little sister comic convention at the end of February) which, with its smaller size, is more relaxing and not as overwhelming. We'd been wanting to get out of the big city for a while and I'd read in NPR's Desert Companion that Flagstaff was a good shortish drive get-away destination place, so Kate did some research on the area and decided that there was enough things to do that would make it a nice place to visit.
We stayed at this really nice bread and breakfast in Flagstaff (we were there Saturday - Monday) called The Inn at 410 and it was a really nice place to hang our hats in between doing things in and around Flagstaff. One thing that the B & B owners of The Inn at 410 did that made me give them high points was making me a really good tofu scrambler for breakfast (with a great fruit side dish) which got my day started off on the right foot.
This is a shot of the neighborhood around The Inn at 410. Flagstaff is on a higher elevation of almost 7,000 feet so it was a lot cooler there than in Vegas (it was in the 80's!). Becasue of Flagstaff's higher elevation and the fact that it rains quite a bit, they have a lot of trees and greenery, which is a nice break from the desert landscape. I took several photos of these cool pillowy clouds and we were even there for a really nice afternoon thunderstorm (I miss the rain).
A short drive outside of Flagstaff there is a great Arboretum, which is basically a 200 acre mountain garden. They also had a Birds of Prey tour there featuring raptors (eagles, hawks, and owls), who hunt their prey. These birds, including this owl here in this photo, are uber impressive up close.
One of the many beautiful flowers within the Arboretum at Flagstaff, with a huge bumblebee doing what bumblebees do.
A nice, cool marshlike pond at the Arboretum, one of several different environments within this great sanctuary.
Flagstaff is a city of about 55,000 people and with its acclaimed University, is a city that to me has the character of a small Northwest or Northeast city. They have a couple of small local breweries, of which we went to the Flagstaff Brewing Co. twice for lunch and I had an awesome black bean burger (no meat they had the black beans form the patty) with pears (yum!) and Kate had a hummus dish that she also liked (the t-shirt worn by some of the staff said on the back: "beer as good as your mom used to make"). Flagstaff is very vegan friendly. I would move there if I could take my friends and comic shop and the wonderful customers I have with me.
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