#6 Scottsdale, Arizona April 20 - April 24,1988
Wednesday, April 20: Southwestern-style casitas at Scottsdale's world-famous John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch on Camelback Mountain housed the attendees during the 6th mini which was hosted by Steve and Betty Zimmer-man. Our goody bag included a Tiger-patterned orange scarf to wear Saturday night. Committee member Jack Wilson hosted an early-bird cocktail party.
Thursday, April 21: A day to discover the amenities of The West's Most Western Town, although many stayed at the ranch to enjoy its tennis courts, three heated swimming pools, saunas and Jacuzzis. The "official" opening function — cocktails and dinner — took place on the terraces around the pool with magical vistas surrounding picturesque Paradise Valley.
Friday, April 22: Wind and rain negated the hot-air ballooning scheduled for today, so our host was busy rerouting his "charges." His suggestions included Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, which the architect described as "a look over the rim of the world"; Heard Museum, the best display of Indian artifacts in the world; Arizona State Capitol, whose copper dome is topped by a quarter-ton sculpture of Winged Victory; and Phoenix Art Museum, whose collections include works by many native artists. The weather cooperated, however, for a barbecued ribs and chicken dinner at exclusive Desert Highlands — Scottsdale's unparalleled golf club — situated in beautiful desert scenery at the foot of Pinnacle Peak. En route Steve related the history of the area — buildings, homes and complexes are all generally new. He pointed out the Central Arizona Project, still under construction, which will bring Colorado River water to metropolitan Phoenix.
Saturday, April 23: At breakfast some attendees read the Arizona Republic to catch up on the news before going out into the desert in open-air Big Red vehicles. We headed generally north through Carefree to an area two to three miles off the paved road. There our guide shared his extensive collection and knowledge of plants and seeds, explaining Pima Indians' use of more than 400 edible plants. A bumpy ride along the power lines, spotting red-tailed hawk and cardinals. Lunch at the hotel and an afternoon relaxing, playing tennis or just generally enjoying the lifestyle in the "Valley of the Sun." An optional beginner's country two-step dance lesson preceded a western steak fry at Camelback Inn's Mummy Mountain. Couples used their newfound skills dancing to the music of the Herndon Brothers, the hottest band in the valley.
Sunday, April 24: Those who had signed up for the optional hot-air balloon ride rode to the northern part of Scottsdale where the much anticipated event took place. Two generator-powered fans inflated Unicorn's colorful balloons with 211,000 cubic feet of air. Participants climbed into wickerlike baskets and soon were in "flight," floating along over the desert aided by hot blasts of propane heat. After an hour and a half enjoying the scenery below all made a perfect landing followed by a ceremony: French background history, Irish prayer, champagne in silver goblets, croissants, Unicorn balloon pin and a personalized certificate. A party for stragglers was held at the Zimmerman's home.
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