Monday, April 28, 2014

Road Trip Part 1: Arcosanti and Phoenix

Every year my company hosts a large conference for all of our retailer and product partners. For the first time, it was hosted in Phoenix this year. Since J and I had never been to Arizona, we decided to make a road trip out of my work trip to save on my airfare. 

J showed up on the last day of the conference and we immediately headed to In-N-Out for lunch before heading to Arcosanti. I was completely exhausted from all the early morning meetings and late nights during the conference so I was definitely a bit out of it for the first day and may have slept during the drives. Oops!
Arcosanti "is an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability. [Their] goal is to actively pursue lean alternatives to urban sprawl based on Paolo Soleri's theory of compact city design,Arcology (architecture + ecology)." We did the tour of the grounds and it was really fascinating to learn that most buildings are oriented southward to capture the Sun's light and heat (the roof designs admit the most amount of sunlight in the winter and minimal amounts during the summer).
People come from all over the world to gain hands-on experience in a variety of fields such as construction, agriculture, archives, architecture and planning, facilities maintenance, or landscaping. About 80 residents live at Arcosanti and the rest are workshop volunteers. Most of the financial support for the project comes from the production of the Soleri Windbells.  The ceramic and bronze bells are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also produce a beautiful sound as they blow in the wind. 
After leaving Arcosanti, we headed back to Phoenix to check into our Airbnb. The small guest house was in such a perfect location and Sky was such a great host. I'd definitely recommend his spot if you're ever in Phoenix. 
Based on Sky's suggestions, we headed to the Roosevelt Row arts district to walk around. We loved all of the street art and met the coolest lady ever, Cole, at her gallery and boutique, greenHAUS. We also grabbed some drinks at The Lost Leaf - super cool atmosphere and they have free, live music 365 days a year! 
Our last stop was Green Vegetarian which was right by our guest house. 
The food was amazing! If you are ever in Phoenix and you are vegetarian/ vegan, then you must eat here. Their spicy buffalo "wings" and vegan ranch sauce were some of the best I've ever had. We even went to their sister restaurant (directly next door), Nami, for breakfast and coffee the next morning. It was that good.
After a long day, I was ready for bed and an early morning drive. 
Next stop - Sedona!

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