Rain, Snow, 30 degree Polar Bear Swims, and Stream Wading. This is what 2010 New Year’s Eve in the Arizona Desert means to me.
December 31, 2010 began with rain and turned to snow over the Scottdale desert. By afternoon the sun was out and the snow was a memory, but the temperatures never rose above 45 degrees.
Tim and I joined the Bournes and Ann and Scott for a New Year’s bash at home. We started with margaritas and beef tenderloin perfectly cooked by Jeff Bourne, our resident gourmet. We’d bought lottery tickets for everyone and dreams of millions kept the dinner conversation interesting. Later the champagne came out and we watched the ball drop across 3 time zones.
As the midnight hour approached Tim, Kyle and Jason made an insane pact. They decided that they’d start 2011 with a splash. It was 30 degrees outside but that didn’t scare them from taking a dive into Ann and Scott’s UNheated pool.
The next morning came too early. Tim and I woke up at the crack of 8:00 am, to begin brewing Huevos Rancheros for our group of 9. Thanks to an AMAZING recipe from our friend Lauryn, the brunch was a hit. A round of Mimosas didn’t hurt either.
Though the day was chilly, it didn’t stop us from exploring outside. Tim took a momentus 26 mile bike ride (see his post below) to brush off the New Year’s Day cobwebs. Kyle and Jason swung the club around 18 holes at Troon North golf course. There they ran into 2 jevalinas and a bobcat.
Jeff, Mary Lou and I went to Cave Creek to hike the Jewel of the Creek trail. We explored the Saugaro covered back country and got our feet wet when we tromped across an unusually high Cave Creek. We never expected to have damp toes here in the desert. We kept our eyes peeled for animals but only glimpsed a coyote as we drove away. Apparently we needed to go golfing to see the local wildlife.
As we passed through the funky town of Cave Creek, we couldn’t resist checking out some of the more unusual watering holes. We stopped in for a beer at Harold’s, better known as Hines Field West – the largest Steelers bar west of the Mississippi. Across the street is the Hideaway, where throngs of bikers on enormous Harley Davidsons gather every weekend of the year. We ducked in for a t-shirt. Mary Lou and I didn’t exactly blend in wearing our fleece, compared to the black leather covered crowd.
Everybody got home at the same time and we quickly got ready for dinner. We had reservations at a cozy Restorante called Gianfranco. When we saw the chef wishing some friends “Buon Anno!” with a rich Italian accent, we knew it was as authentic as it gets. Mozzarella Caprese, Pasta e Fagioli, Ossobucco, Cotoletta di Vitello alla Valdostana, Gelato, Tiramisu, and Limoncello….umm, what a meal.
Stuffed, we got home and realized that in our day’s dining, we’d forgotten one key ingredient – black eyed peas. It was 11:00 pm on New Year’s Day. We still had time. Mary Lou created our nightcap that ensured we had all the good luck, wealth and health we need for 2011. Bottoms up!
Posted from Paradise Valley, Arizona, United States.