Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Phoenix Memories

I worked in Phoenix about 17 years ago. When I returned back to the city last year, I did not remember it all. How could I not remember anything when I was here for about a year. I looked at maps to see if I would recognize streets and where I was 17 years ago. As I drove to Sedona last Saturday, I now know why. The area I'm in now, downtown Phoenix, I never saw 17 years ago because I would breeze right by it when traveling between the airport and my temporary lodging. You do not see very much at night coming in -- pick up car and get on the highway to get to your lodging.

As I was on this highway -- I-17 North to Sedona, memory after memory would surface up. I needed to see the exit signs and the various landmarks along the way to remember my time here long, long, long ago.

Crescent Hotel, now run by Sheraton, was one of the hotels I stayed at 17 years ago for my old company.

Fajitas -- one of many places my team ate at. I noticed that Rusty Pelican was no longer there; so sad. The Rusty Pelican had great desserts. We would order one of each. Each dessert was passed up and down the table for the whole group to partake. Hey, money was no object. Though I had the credit card, the company was paying it :D Each time we headed out to eat, we would choose someone as the birthday person.

The parking lot where a team member locked the keys in the rental car.

There was the housing complex that was our temporary lodging. Besides being the Project Manager, I was the "proprietor". We had 3 or 4 two bedroom apartments. I scheduled who was staying with whom as various members came in. I made sure the maid came in to clean and was paid. I even shopped at the wholesale club, my first introduction to one, BJ's, to stock the apartments.

Phoenix was why I finally had to learn to drive. On one of my earlier trips, I connected with a taxi driver who happen to be a snow bird from New York and volunteered to be my chauffeur for the trip. Once I discovered I would be spending more time in Phoenix and visiting other company sites, it was time to learn to drive so I could get around and save the company money.

The housing complex was the first place I had my first car accident -- one of two (I think) in my driving years. The foot thought it was hitting the brake, instead it was the gas, as I turned into the driveway. The tree was in my way. Of course, this happened on a weekend. Joe, one of my analysts, also happen to have stayed, too. He was great in helping me out. After filing with the rental agency, Joe took my mine off the accident. He and I went up to Sedona. He also introduced me to the Waffle House and a biker bar. I did not care for the biker bar.

Now I need to find time to locate the two office complexes that I worked in then. So many new buildings. Go visit the Phoenix Zoo again. Find a couple of other hotels I stayed at. Maybe a visit to Scottsdale where, at another team dinner, Joe asked for "placenta" (EWWWW) instead of "polenta". Don't think I'll hunt for Oaxaca which was in the middle of nowhere where I had my first taste of rattlesnake. Team pulled my leg in using my company card -- totally beyond our meal limit. They were fun times.

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