Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bisbee, AZ

As most of you know, I love Arizona.  I should be a tour guide because I love to brag on pretty much everything about this state (well...except maybe our politics...but that's a story for a different day).  Eric and I have traveled over a LOT of this state in the past 7 years since I moved here from Indiana.  This weekend, however, I went to a "new" place and fell in love.  Thanks (once again) to Local First Arizona, who put together a wonderful weekend down south in Bisbee, Arizona.  Most Phoenicians have been to Jerome, but not as many have been to Bisbee.  They are similar in that they are both small mining towns full of artists and free spirits and said to be quite haunted.  But, Bisbee is huge in comparison with an estimated 5,575 people compared to Jerome's population of 444 people!

My friend and I decided to make it a girls weekend and we set out for the 3 hour drive Friday evening.  We drove down into the valley where Bisbee is nestled and went up the winding Main Street until we found our lovely B&B, The Copper City Inn.  What a quaint little home away from home!  We had a room on the 2nd floor called the Jane Colter room (a little Google search informed me that Jane was an architect in the 1930's who designed several structures around the Grand Canyon).  The room had so many special touches...one of the best being a bottle of wine after our long drive!  We stepped out on the balcony to view the streets of Bisbee and met our neighbors who were also on their balcony and were part of the Local First group.  We became fast friends by the end of the trip!

Our Bed and Breakfast, the Copper City Inn

Famished, we walked up the hill to a recommended pizza place called The Screaming Banshee.  Our server was the best, the pizza was the bomb, the wine selections were unique, it was a great start to our stay!  By the time we were finished eating it was quite dark but we decided to walk back toward the main part of town.  We ended up at a lively saloon in the Bisbee Grand Hotel. We sat for a bit and watched some live music and simply people-watched.  Then we headed back to our hotel.  There we found our neighbors and shared a bottle (or two) of wine before heading to bed.

Screaming Banshee Pizza - awesome pizza!!
The Bisbee Grand Hotel - great live music in the evening!

Saturday morning brought another beautiful day.  The weather in Bisbee is about 10 degrees cooler than in Phoenix and there was a slight breeze.  We walked down Main street again and went into nearly every shop.  The people of Bisbee were all so kind and welcoming!  Some of the shop owners knew about the Local First group and were offering discounts and we took full advantage!  A couple of my favorite shops included 55 Main Street Gallery, SamPoe Gallery, Panterra Gallery, and Art Home...just to name a few.  For lunch we stopped at The Table where we had taco's and crab cake sliders and shared a delicious bread pudding for dessert!

55 Main Street Gallery

SamPoe Gallery - my nickname for this awesome artist is "The Fly Guy"
Art Home

The Table - don't pass up the bread pudding!
After lunch we went to the Queen Mine and got dressed as miners and took a tour.  I have to admit, I was quite frightened of this tour, as I'm very claustrophobic!!  But, I put my big girl panties on and straddled the little train and in we went.  Our guide was a former employee of the mine so he had quite the plethora of knowledge and it was very interesting.  It was also a great way to cool off! We went from 98 degrees to about 56 degrees down in the mine!

Entrance to the Queen Mine

Miners (us included!) wore tags as they entered and then returned them upon exit to help keep track of people

Honey Pots...yep...it's what you think!

The ride out...I was glad to see the sunlight!
Following the tour we did a bit more sightseeing, saw some of the local hangouts, some graffiti'd walls, some cats, we did one set of the 1,000 Stairs of Bisbee and then we headed to the group dinner.

Stock Exchange Saloon

Mining and Historical Museum

Bisbee Graffiti

Bisbee Stairs

St. Elmo...the longest running bar in Arizona

Graffiti Art

Silver King Hotel

Yep...the smallest bar in Arizona!
Old Bisbee Brewing Company

Brew House of the Old Bisbee Brewing Company

OK Street Jail House

Bisbee Royale...fly by Poe Dismuke of SamPoe Gallery

Hummingbird, Audrey, and Kitty

Poser!  (photo by Karen Ansaldo)
Bisbee 1000 Great Stair Climb

The 127 steps that we did!

Bisbee Kitty

Dinner was upstairs of Cafe Roka.  The bartender also happened to be the owner of our wonderful B&B.  They accommodated all 48 members of our Local First group and they fed us well!!!  We had a gazpacho, a salad, a lemon sorbet, short rib with mashed potatoes and veggies, and a dessert of custard and chocolate brownie.  It was a fabulous meal!!

Inside the beautiful Cafe Roka

Roka wineglass

Appetizers before dinner

Local First members at dinner

The "cool" table (just kidding!)

Lemon Ice palate cleanser between courses
After dinner we met on the steps of the courthouse for a ghost tour!  What fun that was!  Renee, from Old Bisbee Ghost Tour, was our guide and she did a great job of leading 34 of us up and down and in and out of the dark, winding streets of Bisbee.  She had some bone-chilling stories of local hauntings.  One of the stories that most interested me involved a little girl who died in a fire and who now comes back to a particular art studio at night.  The current owner of the studio puts out the little girl's favorite toy, a bouncy ball, every night as she closes up the shop.  We walked back past it after the tour to see if the little girl had moved it. She hadn't...yet.

One of Renee's hearse's (yes...she has multiple)
Sweet Midnight - fun shop to buy t-shirts and such

This morning we ended our time in Bisbee only after dining outside at the High Desert Market and Cafe.  We enjoyed a breakfast burrito and a homemade quiche that were both delicious.  Again, the staff were so kind and welcoming.

High Desert Market and Cafe

Notice the Local First Arizona logo!!

On our drive back to Phoenix we decided to also check out the old historic town of Tombstone.  Yes, that Tombstone!  Where Kurt Russel, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton filmed the movie of the same name which tells the stories of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and the gunfight at the OK Corral.  Another small little mining town making their living by retelling these old cowboy stories.  We took a tour in a stagecoach that once carried Mark Twain from Tombstone to San Francisco.  Yep!  My butt sat right where Mark Twain's butt once sat!!

The streets of Tombstone
The stagecoach that Mark Twain and I rode in! 
Tombstone shops

After the tour we went to the Rose Tree Museum which has the world's largest rosebush.  While it was past it's blooming season it was still a sight to behold!  This massive rosebush covers 9000 square feet and has a twisted trunk that is over 12 feet around.

We ended our stop in Tombstone by bellying up to the bar of Big Nose Kate's Saloon.  The Sunday crowd was enjoying some live music as the movie Tombstone played in the background on the televisions.  The stained glass artwork around the saloon was beautiful.

 It was a great weekend exploring more of my wonderful state.  It's nice to support local business and learn more about where I live.  I hope to visit Bisbee again soon!

"A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't."
-Burt Bacharach 

Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.
- http://www.ilsr.org/why-support-locally-owned-businesses/

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Britt! Glad your internet decided to play along. Looks like you had a great weekend! You'll have to tell me more about Local First Arizona tomorrow. :)