Yes, Wende and I got out of town yesterday.
Check out pictures of Miami and Globe here. I know they don't look like much but it was a surprising trip (even before Wende bought the dollhouse).
To get there you drive east on US 60 up to the mountains, up the elevation of high cheekbones with a 3 day stubble. It's so beautiful. Back east, they are sensible and put the road through the mountain so it doesn't touch the town. Unless you're really itching to go visiting there, you just pass by and they prefer it like that. Here you just drive and it feels like you wind up at the end of the world.
We hit Globe at 10am. Globe is the hometown of Satanist Anton LaVey, who they don't mention, and a really neat arts center housed in the old courthouse and a dozen antique joints. They had the county fair's winning quilts on display, and the work of local painters and photographers, along with costumes from a recent production of The Jungle Book for sale. The volunteer at the desk told us all about the history and evolution of the arts center--the courthouse closed in '76 and about '84 they started on the rehab, pulling up lino and painting and turning the main courtroom into a theater. It was amazing that they had this idea 25+ years ago and have made such a success of it. They are stymied on some of the mechanicals since the building is on the National Register, particularly with the a/c and an elevator. I was talking to people all day and Wende didn't find it irritating at all as I used my super friendly face to pump for information.
It was about 10:30 and downtown was pretty quiet as Wende and I set off to see what we could see in that 2 square blocks. We were fascinated because we both agreed that even on a Sunday morning with no one else around there was an energy to the place. We finally figured out what it must be--Globe is still a town where all the businesses on the Main Street are services and goods people in the town actually need, in contrast to a place like Flagstaff, where the businesses were all tourist crap and outdoor stores and Thai restaurants and coffeehouses. Not that we despise those places, but there did seem to be an abnormally large proportion of them in the Flagstaff downtown. But Globe has a clothing store, and beauty parlors and a diner and a flooring store, along with a lawyer and a guy who fixes computers and a health food store. IT was shabby and charming and it seemed like it was still working for the people. This was confirmed when we realized someone was doing work in a building on the corner and peeked in and got to talking with the couple who were working on fixing it up to be a movie theater! They said the town had suffered since the movie theater had had a fire and shut a few years back, and this would be good for the town. They thought that if there were movies, then the diner would stay open later and it would give the town a little jolt. It would also give folks who come down to stay at the B&Bs something to do if they didn't want to stargaze or whatever. They open in November!
We hit some more antiques places and then went to lunch at Judy's Cook House out on the highway where a charming old guy dropped by our table after he struggled to put his wife's wheelchair away at the waitress station. I didn't understand a word he said. Super powers went wrong there, I guess. But my cheeseburger was good and Wende had an enormous omelet. Then we went down to Miami where we found the bookstore/coffeehouse with cats that she promised me was CLOSED! Grrr, but sadly predictable--whenever Wende and I try to go somewhere, there's a good shot it is closed, not where we thought it was, or a figment of our mutually imagined reality. So we walked the dusty streets of Miami, the runty sibling of Globe with equally good architectural bones and genetics who is just a little off. Slow, maybe, but means well. Again, filled with antiques stores and I want to win the Powerball so I can get the real estate agent to show me the inside of the YMCA--it looks to be a honey of a building.
And then we went back down to the copper swelter of Phoenix.