Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Windy Day in Fountain Hills

One day I wanted to take my sisters to the nearby town of Fountain Hills. It is famous for it's huge man-made fountain. We decided that we would go out to breakfast, see the fountain and walk around, then make it back in time to grab some rays by the pool.

I searched on the internet for restaurants in Fountain Hills, and found one with great reviews, including breakfast. I wrote down the directions to the restaurant and then drove to pick up my sisters. They were staying just a few blocks from me.

It was cool that morning, maybe in the high 60's, and very, very WINDY (forecast of gusts of wind up to 28 mph), but the sun was shining and I was spending time with my sisters, so all was good.

We got to the town of Fountain Hills, no problem. I was following my written directions to the restaurant, but I thought maybe I had passed the street I was supposed to turn on because we were talking. I felt I had driven too far, so I made a U-turn with Big Blue into a side street (not an easy feat in itself), and my sister, Linda, whipped out her i-Phone, got up the GPS, and reassured me that I really didn't pass up the street. In fact, it was only a couple blocks away! I headed back in the same direction I was originally going and we found the restaurant right away.

Only one problem.

It was closed.

Yep. I made sure that the restaurant served breakfast, but I didn't make sure they were OPEN. It was a MONDAY and they were closed. Say what?

Back to square one.

Linda again searched on her phone and found another restaurant. She guided me there. It was located in a shopping center. I pulled into the lot and parked. We walked up to the restaurant and was CLOSED. ON MONDAYS. Agrrrr!

Was Fountain Hills closed on Mondays?

Linda called two other restaurants and it sounded like their phones were out of service.

We were really getting discouraged. We KNEW there was a Denny's Restaurant in town, but we were hoping to try something different.

I saw a man walking across the parking lot so I quick jumped out of the truck and approached him. I asked him if he was from the area (eyebrows wiggling!) and he assured me he was (although he spoke in a heavy Scottish brogue!). I told him our dilemma of finding a restaurant for breakfast and he pointed to one just down the road called Phil's Filling Station. I thanked him and climbed back in the truck.

We found Phil's AND IT WAS OPEN!


The food was delicious and the coffee mugs were large. Our waitress was sweet, efficient and I loved her New York accent!

She told us, though, that if the wind was more that 10 mph that the fountain would NOT be turned on.

It just didn't seem to be our day!

We went to Fountain Park, anyway. I parked the truck on the street, grabbed my camera and the bread for the ducks and we got out and battled the wind.

Fountain Park was built in 1970 and includes 35 acres of turf, 33 acres and 1 million gallon lake, a world famous fountain, 18 hole Frisbee golf course, children's playground, restrooms, and picnic area with tables.

The fountain usually runs every hour on the hour for 15 minutes and shoots 330 feet in the air with only two pumps working. On special occasions with all three pumps running, the fountain can reach the height of 560 feet!

Despite the winds, my sisters and I decided to walk the path that circled the lake. There are many sculptures around. This one is called "An All Day Job".

Here is that same sculpture, but with my sister, Ann, attached. I didn't realize when I took the picture that it actually was the back of the statue. I just knew it was better light. Look at Ann's hair standing straight up - that's how windy it was!

We fed some of the ducks. There seemed to be an abundance of American Coots. Talk about an "odd duck"! These little guys have white bills, red eyes, and very weird feet. Not webbed like most ducks, but "scalloped", looked like they were made from scales or shells.

Some other ducks got mixed into the group

What kind of ducks are these?

Some more sculptures around the lake:


I love this one of a little boy feeding crackers to the ducks, with one hand in front and one hand in back. This one is called, "Quackers".

Various views of the park:

The mountain with the "square" rock on top is called Red Mountain.

McDowell Mountains in background

Along the path were these two metal columns. You must be able to purchase a "leaf" and have it engraved.



Anonymous said...

Ya know, for a guy who spends most days in his office, I sure get to travel to great places thanx to you.

Thanx friend;)

Eva Gallant said...

I've been there, on a day the fountain was spurting and it was impressive.

Brian Miller said...

despite the early issues of finding a place to eat and the fountain it sounds like a great day between the sculpture (which are really cool) and feeding the ducks...

Sunny said...

What a wonderful spot. I hope you get a chance to see the fountain in action, it sounds pretty impressive!
I never paid much attention to Coots before, they are quite comical, love their feet!
☼ Sunny


Wish my sisters could come to town. Wish they were healthy enough to visit. Enjoy your sisters every time you get a chance. Beautiful photos.

You sound like you'd make a great sister, Pat.

God bless. Enjoy that lovely place in which you live.
Blessings. Barb

Bossy Betty said...

Despite a rough start to the day, it looks like you had a good time!

Lynda said...

Pat - - You find the best places to visit! I love that you don't just sit around in retirement but you make the most of each day.

Valerie said...

Cracking good pictures, Pat. Love the one of your sister hanging on to the statue, oh and the statue of the little boy feeding the ducks is so cute.

Betty Manousos@ CUT AND DRY said...

Lovely photos, especially i love the one of you feeding the ducks.

Wonderful pictorial tour!

Happy Thursday, Pat!
B xx

labbie1 said...

Oh lovely! You have a great eye too!

labbie1 said...

PS--the frog looks a little scary!!!! :)

SquirrelQueen said...

Glad you finally found a restaurant that was open on Mondays, it sounds like a good one. The park is gorgeous and you know I love the ducks. I think the mystery duck might be an American Widgeon.

Carletta said...

I guess part two will tell us if you got to see the fountain. Even if you didn't this time the sculptures and the ducks made for a wonderful day out together.
I love that frog!

becky said...

Love all the sculpture. Looks like you had a fun day!

Gail said...

What wonderful art and beautiful scenery.