Happy New Year everyone! Hope your holidays were as crazy or as serene as you wanted. We had some tastes of both here at Chez Williams-Laboz : a cozy Christmas Eve BBQ, a very quiet and tender Christmas Day, then a raucous New Year’s Eve with a gaggle of friends in Bisbee. If you don’t know about Bisbee, it’s an amazing tucked away Swiss-cowboy village between here and Mexico. It’s only 90 minutes from Tucson and as Jamie and I wound our way down 80 East we were amazed at how much we’d forgotten we loved this drive. Once you veer south of I-10 – and in between the Wild West themed towns, including the small but infamous Tombstone – you can imagine you’re motoring through parts of Italy. Vast, rolling expanses of hills dotted with brush and scrub on all sides. And lots and lots of that big ol’ Arizona sky. I made some pathetic attempts at photography with my iPhone but it just doesn’t do it justice. But here you go anyway.
We met up with our friends Laura Kepner-Adney (Silver Thread Trio, The Cordials) and Tom Moore (The Possibles) to caravan out. This is Laura looking smashing, all color-coordinated with her truck. They didn’t take the truck, but the photo was too cute to not post!
These are views from 80 East, which runs south from I-10. I actually took way more photos – but I’m not a photographer and just couldn’t capture the almost dizzyingly expansive view and peaceful beauty. This is in winter, but I’d love to take a ride out in the spring when everything is blooming and green.
This is a peek at Tombstone – a very famous Old West town and site of the gunfight at the OK Corral with Wyatt Earp. It’s a bit touristy but in a way I love: cowboys walking right out of a sepia toned photo, horse-drawn carriages and a recreation of the gunfight every day.
Bisbee itself started its existence as a copper mining town and you can still tour the old mines. The topsoil around here is red, like Georgia clay. And with its much higher elevation, it’s a big change in temperature from Tucson. Except this year – the warm wave that’s been sweeping the nation’s Christmas season hit Bisbee during our visit and it was more like Spring Break. But we were grateful because we just do much better in warm weather vs cold. Cuz it can get coooold in Bisbee.
But the shops are absolutely charming and there are levels and angles everywhere, little mountain ruins tucked between brownstones, a hodgepodge of multi-colored homes nestled in the side of the mountain overlooking Brewery Gulch – where the local drinkin’ goes down.
Our own hotel (the highly recommended El Dorado Suites) had its own perch and it was a great vantage point from the balcony as people in various degrees of drunkenness flowed below us. Which was perfect for New Year’s Eve! All the people-watching, none of the being crushed against a bar.
And here was our view from the balcony. I guess I could have taken pictures of the hotel facade, the rooms, the scene later on that night, our friends…but, um, I forgot. So just imagine this darker, with lights, lots of staggering people wandering around and fireworks going off here and there.
We were here with many good friends and new friends – including lots of musicians from Silver Thread Trio, Seashell Radio and The Possibles, Leila Lopez and Courtney Robbins, The Cordials and The Cleavers – but instead of jamming, we turned ON the jams and karaoke’d and danced our way into the new year. There is a video somewhere of Jamie, Tom, and Fen Ikner (Seashell Radio) doing MC Hammer proud.
Oh wait, here it is (thanks, Kate!):
I’m sure they’ll be very happy I posted this.
We didn’t even really venture far from our rooms – we had food, drink and friends and lotsa moves to throw down (apparently) so we ended up on the downstairs balcony at that crucial moment.
And so here we are in 2012. Despite worries of the apocalypse, the economy, the climate, I feel hopeful and happy about this next trip around the sun. As always, there’s lots of musical dreams and plans in the works for our various projects. And this blog continues to draw words out of me that I never anticipated writing. Seriously, I have so many posts already written that I’ve been a bit timid about showing you. They’re just, I dunno – weird? A bit self-involved (though I do realize this *is* a blog)? But one of my resolutions is to edit myself a bit less on this website. It may not make much sense (ie, a philosophical/psychological blog about compost or a post about my brief stint as a Shangri-La). But I guess I’ll just gather my courage and keep revealing a bit more – for better or worse. Oh and maybe even post some music (soon, soon!)
Hope your next solar trip is a happy, fun and fulfilling one! Glad you’re along for the ride.