Sunday, May 21, 2017

To Phoenix...and Beyond! Part Four

Okay, I'm finally blogging the last part of my trip to Phoenix...a month ago. What can I say? I'm a busy lady.

My last day in Phoenix was, of course, sunny and warm. I woke up early-ish (about 7:00), but got suck watching a live stream on Facebook of April the Giraffe. I was lucky enough to open up the video just in time to see the baby fall to the ground, and spent the next hour watching until he got up.

By the time I went downstairs, to sheepishly tell Summer and Ben why I was so late getting up (they totally understood), it was warm out, but I was determined to get a run in. I slathered on a ton of SPF 50 and went out for a 5K around the neighborhood.

After the run, I took some more cactus pictures.

The plan had always been to have a leisurely morning after our whirlwind Sedona-Flagstaff-Grand Canyon adventure, so after showers and breakfast, we figured we'd visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.


Seriously, the museum is amazing. I asked a docent if they'd mind transplanting it to Sacramento so I can take my students to it.

Just walking into the place, I was like, "HELL YES."

The museum has every possible world instrument you could dream of seeing, sorted by country and continent. There are great videos on loop at each exhibit, showing the instruments in authentic cultural use, as well as traditional dances, costumes, and other costumes. You are given a set of headphones when you pay your entrance fee, and as you approach each video, the sound comes to you...but they don't overlap, so you're not overwhelmed.

I took a ton of pictures to show my students.

The Octobasse was really that much taller than me.

Balofone, from Africa

Mbira (thumb piano). I was so excited to see these
instruments up close and personal.
 In addition to instruments, some displays had traditional costumes and other artifacts.

Turns out the bagpipe isn't just traditional to Ireland and
Scotland. This was from an Asian country.

Puppet Theater

Indian Sitar. I am going to look into the possibility of having
a local Indian musician come to my school next year. 

When I saw the full Balinese Gamelan set-up, I nearly swooned.

Part of the gamelan

Shadow puppets

Pan flutes from Peru.
 I was delighted to see the display of recycled instruments from the Landfillharmonic in Paraguay. It's important to recognize that music is often not made with sophisticated, expensive instruments, but with what is on hand--hence the hollowed reeds that make pan-pipes, or the many world percussion instruments made of dried-out, hollowed gourds.

So many drums.

Little bit o' Scottish pride going on.

I have a lot of students from Romania, Moldova, Russia, and
other Baltic countries.

We could have happily stayed at the museum for a whole day. There's so much to see that we were both overwhelmed--in a good way. Next time I visit Summer, I'm going to insist we go back. I barely touched on the North American and European rooms.

Summer and I have a tradition of having ice cream--good ice cream, and we had found Mary Coyle's on Google and decided to try it out. We were not disappointed. I had Cookies & Cream (a favorite) and Salted Caramel Pecan.

And then it was time to head towards Sky Harbor, where we got briefly lost before finding the drop-off for Southwest Airlines. I had the most expensive cheap dinner ever (something like six bucks for the "snack" below) and went on a long hike in search of a few more post cards for my brother.

Finally, it was time to board.

Sky Harbor has great carpet. 
I took two pictures out the window as we flew away from Phoenix, and two more as we flew in to Sacramento to a lovely California sunset. 

Home again, home again!
It was a great trip--Summer and I have great adventures, but this was definitely one of our best. We saw so many interesting places. I really appreciate the beauty of the Southwest--it's a beauty unlike anything I've experienced in California.

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