You know how you look forward to something but dread it all the same? That's what this weekend was for me. It was a Girl Scout weekend. Our troop has been working towards earning their Arizona Badge. Over time we'd completed all the required activities but one, visiting a farm, a mine or a hotel to understand one our state's top industries.
We arranged for a visit to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. Mrs. B, Public Relations/Marketing Manager/Historian, for the hotel arranged an extra special tour for our troop. Customer service is their business but it was still pretty amazing.After being greeted by the gentleman at the Concierge desk with cold, bottled water, the girls were taken to the registration desk to learn about getting checked in.We visited a room full of historical photographes from the hotel's history. At one time, being 8 miles from downtown was considered being out in the sticks. Now it's pretty much, right in the center of everything.We moved on to the Golden Ballroom. I took pictures of the gold leafed ceiling and the Maynard Dixon hand painted tapestries. I think the art and design of the hotel will get it's own blog post.
We made our way to Part 1 of the kitchen tour where we met Head Chef, Todd. It was incredible how big the kitchen was and how the space is divided up into a fruit and vegetable area, a sweets area. They even have a "Chocolate" Room. Here Chef Todd is showing the girls how they manage to cook large amounts of food for their big banquets in these super big ovens.Next stop was housekeeping. Each of our Girl Scouts should be able to name how many rooms are in the hotel, (740). It's an amazing process. A real eye opener.Back to the kitchen where we met Sous Chef, Shane. It was time to put the girls to work making chocolate covered strawberries.We had a science/culinary expereience with liquid nitrogen???? Chef Shane showed the girls how using the liquid gas could flash freeze the strawberries. The enthusiasm of all the hotel employees we encountered was amazing. All of us had a blast.Of course, we had these yummies to bring home with us!The Chicklet couldn't wait to try one out. I did make her eat lunch first.The crazy thing is that as we stood out front taking pictures is, it was sprinkling. Then it really started to rain and we either ran for our cars or took cover. A cooling trend and rain in mid-June? Quite unusual but a pleasant surprise for Phoenix. Our tour of the the Biltmore received 5 stars from our troop! A big "Thank You" to Mrs. B and the rest of the staff at the hotel.
That took car of the morning! The Purple Palace was next. We met at the US Airways Arena for the Girl Scouts Phoenix Mercury Lock-In in the afternoon. We gathered before the game for a career fair where we were greeted by the President of the Phoenix Mercury organization. The panel consisted of women who work for the Mercury/Suns organization in marketing, communications, graphic communications, promotional sales, the dance squad, coaching... Quite an impressive group of women. I was personally a bit star struck by meeting Ann Meyers, a (women's) basketball legend.Game time! Phoenix Mercury vs. the Tulsa Shock. Good game-we won by approx. 30 points, yeah!There was some major twisting going on to the music of our old fave, Chubby Checker. That's our Troop Leader, Ms. Anna, in purple, twisting away. Is it a wonder that we have so much fun?
That brought my picture taking to an end. My camera started to act up. It sounds like the focus mechanism for my lens is jammed. Going to have to get the checked out. The girls survived all the activities for the rest of the evening. A late dinner of pizza and pop, group games on the main court, board games, makeovers, the arcade... I was the pooper that climbed into my sleeping bag shortly after 1am.
We made sure to take the "after" picture outside the arena this morning. Can't wait to see it. The remainder of the day was spent getting caught up on sleep and taking it easy. It was a great weekend! I think I can wait another year for the next one, ha, ha...