AZ Tiki Oasis 2023

Normally we would have been heading for home this weekend, but we have been waiting for doctor's appointments for both Mother and Kuochun. Unfortunately we missed Mother's appointment with the new primary care doctor and did not reschedule because the next opening was not until June. However, it looks like now we will be staying at least through the month of May.

On Tuesday, Mother's long-awaited visit with a new pulmonologist took place. We were so impressed by the doctor - she is young, beautiful and brilliant. Of course brilliant is most important! Her name is Bridgett, spelled differently than me but Mother felt it was sort of a connection. She said she is the sixth of eight children and her parents ran out of names by the time they got to her. Her sister named her and came up with the spelling. We never felt rushed and were given all the time in the world. We came away feeling so encouraged because there may be hope to improve Mother's condition. It has been very difficult watching her condition deterioriate to the point where she cannot even walk a few steps without going totally out of breath, even when wearing her oxygen. When we arrived here last October, she was able to walk around a store with her portable machine but no more. When she rides in the wheelchair she does not need the oxygen.

First steps are to do blood work and a bunch of testing, and then the doctor will be able to come up with a plan of attack. She said she has lots of ideas. The first test was to measure Mother's breathing, so it was back to the office on Thursday. I was not able to go back for the test because the room was too small but Mother was telling the technician how we found the doctor on a list in Phoenix Magazine in the middle of the night one night by fate and the technician said the doctor has helped so many people. She asked Mother if she believed in serendipity. I do not think she really does but faked it. The technician then told her "my name is Annamarie." Mother could not believe it! Next steps are to complete the testing, then back to the lung doctor on May 24 to make a plan.

Kuochun has an appointment with a new cardiologist to follow up after his hospital stay next week so the hope is all is clear with him so he will be good to go back home when Mother is ready. Not that this coincides well with seeing a cardiologist, but he and I made a few restaurant outings this week. On Wednesday we went to Lolo's Chicken & Waffles, which I keep hearing is good but we had not been there yet. Kuochun loves soul food. I like fried chicken although I do not crave it and love waffles but never had them together. There are four locations of this restaurant around the Phoenix area (one is at the airport) and one happens to be 6 minutes away. However it was not at all what I expected. I thought it was a fast food place but it was actually a really nice sit-down restaurant. I was torn between the grilled shrimp mac and cheese and the chicken breast with waffle but decided to go with the house specialty and have a side order of mac and cheese as well.

Kuochun ordered a grilled catfish dinner with dirty rice and collard greens as his sides. His dinner was $26 but he knows good seafood does not come cheap. He really loved his meal! I thought the chicken was really good and the waffle fantastic. For me Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket is hard to beat but this one was fairly close. I was glad I did not order the mac and cheese as a main entree because it was very rich. However I did see the grilled shrimp mac and cheese go past us to another table and the shrimp looked amazing. Kuochun ate everything except the cornbread muffin. We took it home but I forgot to eat it. We would definitely go there again. The chicken and waffle was not bad at $14 and the mac and cheese side was $8. It did not look large but was plenty. They serve breakfast all day so I would be perfectly happy with a waffle breakfast next time.

We made a trip to Chipotle on Thursday and the kid behind the counter could not hear a thing I was saying as far as what to put in my chicken and rice bowl. After everything I said, he replied "HUH???" It was so frustrating. I asked him to add sour cream, and then corn. He thought I said more so he dumped a ton of sour cream in my bowl. I said "NO, CORN!" I like sour cream and he did not offer to redo my bowl so I just took it. However it was way too much and not enjoyable to eat.

Kuochun and I were able to get out and do something on Friday. One perk of being here longer than usual is we were here for the annual AZ Tiki Oasis at the iconic Hotel Valley Ho. Built in 1956, the hotel is only 5 minutes from home and is a fabulous mid-century modern structure which was extensively remodeled a few years ago. It has a very interesting history and was quite the hotspot for celebrities back in the day. Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had their wedding reception there. My parents were fortunate enough to stay at the hotel during a business trip. I have been following the monthly Showstopper Milkshakes ever since I arrived and little did I know I should have gone last fall as I have not been crazy about the offerings since. The May flavor just came out which is Tres Leches which I have never had but does not sound appealing to me. We will see what June brings!

On Friday afternoon we ventured over to AZ Tiki Oasis. It was very hot so we opted for valet parking which was $12 plus a $3 tip. According to the website, in addition to the pool / cabana and seminar activities which cost $$$ to participate in, there was to be an art show with 60 vendors free to the public. However we learned at the end of our time there that the art show was Saturday and Sunday. There were a row of vendors set up in advance, they had taken hotel rooms and were selling on their patios as well as in some of the hotel rooms. It was cool to be able to walk through some of the rooms to see what they were like. The folks open Friday were mostly selling new Hawaiian shirts. There was one vendor with sterling silver Hawaiian jewelry which was beautiful and another vendor with some vintage sterling modernist pieces mixed in with other vintage items for sale. We did not buy anything because Kuochun already has a bunch of vintage Hawaiian shirts. I did suggest he wear one which he did and I had a tropical print top to wear.

In the front lobby, a booth was set up with swag for sale from AZ Tiki Oasis including the 2023 tiki mug along with a few mugs from past years. I thought the 2023 mug was a very cool design. We were there in the afternoon and it was not going up for sale until 5:30 PM. There were great deals on the swag - as low as $5 for quirky fabric pouches. It was too long to wait for the mug to go for sale so we headed out.

I sent Adam and Mark the photos of available mugs as they are both tiki fans, especially Adam. I let Adam know the 2023 mug was going to be $150. At first he thought it was the one in the last photo which he did not care for because the colors were not bold enough. When I pointed out that it was the cactus mug, he wanted to get one. Kuochun was not wanting to go back the next day, he was not convinced that there was going to be more to see but when I told him Adam wanted the mug he agreed to go.

This time even though it was so hot, we elected not to pay for parking again and park across the main road near where Mother and I have our hair done. Because there are not a lot of shops there along this stretch of Old Town, there is usually available parking and we found a good spot.

The bad news was that when we arrived at the swag booth which was about an hour after opening, the 2023 tiki mugs were all gone. I imagine they will show up on eBay at inflated prices soon enough. Just about all of the swag was gone. Next time I will go the first day and buy swag while it is still available.

The good news was the art show was in full swing! The artists were situated in a grassy area surrounded by the hotel. It was such a lovely setting - there were water stations which consisted of elegant glass water containers and cups. I also noticed quite a few Ryobi lizard green color fans which also misted water. What an awesome idea for especially hot days! The mist is wet but dries quickly. I had no trouble finding it on the Ryobi website for $99. It is battery operated and can either be attached to a garden hose or set on top of a 5-gallon bucket filled with water. They were on the buckets at the show.

We enjoyed looking at the art but my favorite booth was Mischief Motu, which was filled with this colorful wood art. I had such good luck taking jewelry photos with the painted wood heart I bought at Junk In The Trunk I decided to pick up a few of these cuties as well. The exception is this left and right facing set which I will hang up in my office area. The colors coordinate with a painting we already have.

I loved the one with the three faces as well but I had to put a cap on what I was spending. I was not going to ask but Kuochun asked for a quantity discount but was turned down. I did buy the flower at the lower left though as well as some others. Once I take some jewelry photos I will share them. The artists are a couple from Palm Springs but they have an Etsy shop where the pieces they do not sell go. No one was buying until I showed serious interest and then people came up and were buying. They are fun, happy and great quality work. I heard the artists say the best tool they ever bought was a router.

It was just so hot we had to head out after this purchase. I was worried about Kuochun getting sick but I felt like I was going to melt as well. It is a dry heat but 100 degrees is still hot in the sun. We thought about dining at ZuZu, the in-house restaurant but the line was about ten deep to put in a name and Kuochun did not want to wait. We made the walk back to the car, my purchases in tow. Kuochun is such a good sport. I offered to go get the car and pick him up but he wanted to walk with me. Looking back I should have insisted - he could have stayed inside the hotel with the purchases instead of us lugging them to the car. Overall I am really glad we went back because we were able to get the whole experience. It was so fun people watching - the men in their Hawaiian shirts and the women in their sundresses with floral collage headbands. I did notice a vendor from Chicago whose name I recognized from MCM Facebook groups. It would be a fun event to participate in but the only drawback (and it is a huge one) is I think it is a bit late in the year - a month earlier would make a big difference weather-wise.

Kuochun wanted to get something to eat but wanted to get out of Old Town so we ended up going to Babbo Italian Eatery which is about 15 minutes away from where we were. It was on my list of things to do to eat there one more time before we head for home. They have excellent foccacia bread and great pasta. It is out of my system now!

I posted this abbreviated lot on Sunday evening - mostly pieces with no stones paired with a few green pieces. The cuff bracelet at the upper left, the beaded necklace on the right, the hoop dangle earrings and one of the paper clip chain necklaces are all spoken for, the other items are available. I have never seen Native jewelry with a ruby in zoisite stone as its feature like the piece in the center. It is a real showstopper! Below is a close up:

On Saturday evening I cross posted about half of the unsold items from last week online. This activity triggered a bit of a flurry of sales on existing items which was very rewarding to see. I sold two items on eBay, one on Etsy, three on Poshmark and one on Facebook Marketplace. These sales combined with the Facebook group sales meant all of the marketplaces I regularly post to were represented! This encourages me to keep doing what I am doing.

Once the next round of estate sale paperwork is completed, I would like to get back to cross posting. I have another 125 listings to create by next Tuesday on Vendoo and it has been too many to handle right now. I will create a few more real listings and the rest as placeholders to work on in the near future. I downgraded my membership to the minimum which is 25 per month until I am able to catch up. So far it has been worth every penny to sign up for Vendoo.

Until next time!