Arizona – Taliesin West

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Taking a few weeks off to travel a bit in Arizona, I stopped by Taliesen West in Scottsdale. While Frank Lloyd Wright was alive, it was his winter residence. Some interesting stuff I learned from the tour:

  • While in Taliesen West, he cranked out the design for Falling Water in about 1.5 hours when his client called he was making a surprise visit and was two hours away. Can you say genius? He did it from his office and drafting table here (minus the current chairs of course).
  • In typical Wright fashion, the place leaked.
  • The roofing is simply canvas tarps. At the end of his stay, he would take down the roof and store it along with all the furniture and carpeting in local storage for the summer. The whole place is stone and mortar so any rain or elements didn’t impact the structure at all.
  • The current site houses a school of architecture. 1st year students live in a tent and for their second year, they need to design and build their own housing. Apparently, the program is ultra competitive. It takes about three years. Total student body is about 35.
  • An internal theater offers seating at an angle so that you can cross you leg to the right but still face the screen straight ahead. He also developed track lighting for the theater. Both concepts he could have patented but never did. He was not known as being a good business person.
  • When the federal government installed a bunch of power lines that ruined his view, he demanded a meeting with the President to air his grievances. Mr. Truman was apparently busy.
  • All photos.
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Airport puts flight information online

Airport puts flight information online: “In time for holiday travel, the Port of Seattle unveiled a new user-friendly Internet service Monday that will allow travelers — and those providing rides to and from the airport — to check real-time flight information.”

(Via PI: Local News.)


Walking tours

The New York Times travel section had a brief piece about hiking along part of Hadrian’s Wall. Looks like a fun way to hike through some of the English country side. The article mentioned walkingholidaysuk.com as one tour provider. Assuming there’s some nice villages/towns along the route, this could be a fun vacation outing.

Biking vacation possibility

Some time next year I’d like to take a longer vacation. Where to go? I’m not sure yet. But as I come across different travel locations, I decided to use my 43Places account to keep track of new interesting places.

Recently the New York Times had an interesting article about Girona, Spain. Apparently this is the cycling destination for the pros training for the various big European races. It’s close access to the Pyrenees is the obvious lure for the pros. Lance Armstrong has a sweet condo here. For the cycling vacation, this might be a cool stop.


On vacation

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On vacation

On vacation,
originally uploaded by
Andrej Gregov.

In Reno today. Caught some kayakers practicing in town. 90 degrees!

Sent from a Treo 650 cell phone.


Smiles of Rome

Caught this new book in the NYT this weekend. “A literary companion for readers and travelers.” I’ve been thinking that for my next tip I might like to do some historical research on my destination in addition to the standard touring background. This type of book seems a perfect combination of the two. Now to figure out where to go. 🙂