Adventures in Arizona – Friday

[Background: I have traveled to Arizona for the forthcoming ConsimWorld Expo, a gathering of gamers. The plan is for me to blog about the games, of course, but also little snippets of my general experiences here. Well, that’s the plan.]

I spent Thursday travelling. I left the house at 5.00 AM and, subjectively, got to my hotel in Scottsdale Arizona about 4.00 AM Friday, having gone first to Heathrow, then Phoenix.

The flight was remarkably easy, and I managed a decent amount of sleep. The kosher food served was even edible, apart from the meat in the main course. (If the IDF is ever looking for a new supplier of boot leather, tell them to get in touch.)  There was so much food, however, I did not go hungry.

I had a very pleasant surprise during the stopover at Heathrow; after passport control and before security, in the transfer area, I bumped into Yan Tiefenbrun en route home from the Paris Air Show. I was in another world, trying to tune out the general hassle, and it was Yan who spotted me. It was so good to see him (and his colleague, Michael) and spend time before they caught the flight to Glasgow. (No, I was not tempted to join them.)

I had not been able to get a room at the convention hotel for Thursday night, so took the opportunity of booking a room in Scottsdale so as to do a bit of looking around at a different part of the Phoenix area. Old Scottsdale, in particular, is very touristy – in a nice sort of way.


  • I stayed in the Hyatt Place in Old Scottsdale. The room was big, clean, fresh, comfortable, and had all I needed. The staff were pleasant and helpful. ¬†(No, this is not a paid endorsement; it was a nice play to stay, and I wanted to give them a mention.)
  • Everything of interest was in walking distance. If you feel suicidal. It was so hot, that walking was not really practical.
  • I took a cab to Scottsdale Fashion Square, a huge modern mall with lots and lots of shops. To my inexperienced, 99% were chain stores of one type or another.
  • There’s a free bus service round the Scottsdale area, so I used that to head to my next stops which were within a short enough distance of each other so as to allow perambulation.
  • Guidon Books is a wonderful store specializing in American Civil War and Western history. I picked up David Powell’s book on the Chickamauga campaign.
  • Poisoned Pen is another wonderful store, this one specializing in crime. I had to hold back here, but did manage some purchases for reading over Shabbat.

Although I enjoy reading on my tablet, and love the convenience of being able to get books electronically, instantly, I still very much enjoy browsing and buying in real bookshops. And, of course, there is still nothing quite like reading a (physical) book.

I could have spent hours in these shops, but time was against me, as I needed to get to the convention hotel in time to get set for Shabbat.

I now realize I did not take a single picture; I was too busy trying to take in the sights and sounds, and clearly was not in camera mode. A shame, because there are parts of Scottsdale that I wish I had more time to explore and photograph. For example, there’s an interesting waterfront development. Next time! It is more important I get pictures of the games at ConsimWorld Expo.