Part of our journey is to find a place where we would like to permanently retire. We really don’t have a list of necessary amenities that we would like to find, but a climate with more seasons than one finds in Southern California is a must, access to outdoor activities is also high on our list, and access to culture such as the arts and music is also a necessary focus.
Williams fits that bill. It’s a little town with a permanent population of around 3000 people, and serves as the gateway to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and a launching point for over 250,000 visitors a year. It’s a laid back town, with lots of saloons and restaurants, most not particularly outstanding but offering a down-home atmosphere which is refreshing. Close to both Flagstaff and Sedona, larger towns offering more in the arts and those big box stores that we frequent infrequently, Williams is located at 7,000 feet and next to one of the largest Ponderosa Pine forests in the country; it is a mix of ranching lore and hippie lifestyle and located right on Historic Route 66. Kind of fits the requirements.
We did the Grand Canyon one day along with an air museum located not too far from the Canyon.
A couple of long gone airlines.
A Grumman F3F-2. The Navy’s last biplane fighter.
A 1949 T-28c North American Trojan Trainer with shortened propeller blade and tail hook for carrier landing training.
These were just a couple of the more interesting planes in the museum and nothing like what we saw in Tucson.
We spent one day in Flagstaff trying to get documents notarized for the sale of the condo and to pick up a few provisions. Another day we wandered through main street Williams and a vintage car show – kind of set me back a bit as most of these “vintage” cars were not as old as I am. I guess I fall into the “relic” stage.
A lot of bikers in town to check out the vintage cars and patronize a couple of the saloons.
We cook in most of the time, but we did have breakfast one day at Jessica’s Restaurant, which did not live up to its myriad descriptions – Greek, Italian, American Cuisine…Breakfast, lunch and dinner…steaks, chicken, chops, gyros, pasta and fish…original pancake house…we have something for everyone. Well, the Olympic flame and a picture of the Acropolis alluding to the Olympic games that were held in Athens did not help this place. But, we did have dinner one night at a place called Station 66 Italian Bistro where we had an amazing “flight” of bruschetta and some delicious local wine. If you are ever in Williams check this place out.
Just outside of town is Bearizona, a drive-through animal park with about ten stations of different animals. Signs every 20 feet tell you not to drive with the windows down and not to get out of the car. Okay, but most of the dangerous critters were behind a fence. We did see black bears playing with each other, with one of them scampering up a tree to escape the other. Whoa! I thought that was what a human should do if being chased – I guess you’re dead meat if cornered by a grizzlie. Or – don’t get out of the car in Bear country.
The RV park where we stayed was quaint and in addition to the motorhome sites they had some rental units available. And the skies were usually very nice. If you are in Williams definitely check out the Canyon Motel and RV Park!
I like just about every type of cuisine out there…asian, latin, european,, african, indian…I’ve eaten it all and subjected many a guest to my whimsical menus. This recipe however is a Chinese classic and I’ve never had a complaint from even the pickiest of eaters. Chinese BBQ Pork is easy to make, and like the recipe says, make extra marinade because the sauce is delicious. Enjoy!