scottsdale june days summer solstice celebration sign

We decided to brave the triple-digit weather to visit Solstice Park in Scottsdale, Arizona to celebrate Scottsdale's June Days and to welcome the summer solstice.  It was held on Sunday, June 20th, in Solstice Park (previously named Solari Plaza), which is near Oldtown Scottsdale and at the Solari Bridge by the canal, or Scottsdale waterfront.

As we drove into Oldtown Scottsdale and the Fifth Avenue Shops area, we were surprised to see most, if not all, of the parking spots taken.  It was hot out!  But I guess that didn't stop tourists and area residents from visiting Old Town.

The day before we went I wondered how many other brave souls would attend the Summer Solstice Celebration.  Even with free snow cones, ice cream, water,…

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welcome banner for the southwest wildlife conservation center in north scottsdale arizona

We visited the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, AZ, for the 2nd time.  A woman that was there said she's lived in Arizona for 42 years and this was her first visit because she didn't know it existed.  We'd love to spread the word.

The first time we went, it was just Jimmy and me.  This time we took our son and our granddaughter.  I missed the available reservation for 2:00 on Christmas Eve so we went the day after Christmas at 10:00.

You have to set an appointment as you are taken into groups with a guide.  Although she had a mask on this time because of the pandemic, I think it was the same guide that took us through the first time a few years ago.

This is a true animal conservation center and sanctuary

Although I…

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scottsdale black bear diner restaurant plaque

We were introduced to the Black Bear Diner in Gilroy, CA, where my Mom lived until her passing last year. My brothers and their families weren't as enamored with it as Mom was, and we also became fans.

This is not fine dining. It is an affordable family restaurant that prides itself on homemade food. I didn't think of taking a picture of Jimmy's chicken pot pie - it looked fantastic!

The menu is also a bit different than the Gilroy restaurant. The Arizona restaurant doesn't have the wonderful garlic fries that Gilroy has and it was one of the first things I checked. Gilroy is the Garlic Capital of the World so I can understand why they have them and Scottsdale doesn't. They also didn't have my favorite turkey sandwich with cranberries.

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mountain at tortilla flat arizona

My parents had been living in Mesa, Az. for many years (10-15) before I finally visited them. When my boyfriend Jimmy (now my husband) heard I had never been there he insisted on taking me. My parents were very excited to finally be able to show me their home and their new state of residence.  This would have been around 1999-2000.

I was finally excited to be going.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, Arizona was not calling my name.

After departing the airplane I noticed that the Phoenix Airport seemed small and more congested than our two Illinois airports. Not impressed yet.

Driving from the airport to my parent’s house didn’t instill much excitement in me, either. I did notice that things seemed cleaner from my highway view. I enjoyed…

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