Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wrapping Up Christmas in Chandler, Arizona

“That’s one of the ugliest Christmas trees I have ever seen.” From across the town square, it looked like a symmetric cone painted white. Wires strung the colored lights around its girth. And, a tinsel gold star sat at the tippy top. When I got closer for a look, I decided my remark to Ed had been too harsh. After all this was Arizona, not Indiana County in Pennsylvania, the acclaimed “Christmas Tree Capital of the World.”

The white Christmas tree towering above me was not a spruce. It was a mound of tumbleweeds stacked to resemble the traditional holiday symbol and painted white as if it were snow covered! Clever and artistic, probably economical too for the City of Chandler, this would be the Christmas tree Ed and I shared after traveling separately since early December. I’d gone off to be with my Mom, grown kids and grandchildren in Pennsylvania; Ed followed the trail of business leads from Boston to Tucson. Today would be Christmas and New Year’s Eve all in one day.

We were in Historic Downtown Chandler, a city where I’d managed a capital campaign for the regional hospital a few years ago. Chandler was my home five days each month, so I knew exactly where to go to select my Christmas present. Di Sciacca is a retail store featuring affordable and elegant mouth-blown glassware, goblets and vases, and home furnishings from China. I selected two Confetti Roly Poly 6 ounce glass tumblers, part of di Sciacco’s signature funware. They are mouth-blown clear glasses with rounded bottoms rolled in melted chips of colored glass to give a confetti look. What’s unusual is their round bottom base guarantees you cannot tip them over and spill your drink. What a perfect design for inside the coach. I could hardly wait to road test them. Merry Christmas!

For our New Year’s celebration, Ed and I occupied two bar stools at SanTan Brewing Company, Arizona’s newest brewery and restaurant located in Historic Downtown Chandler. At the end of the bar, we spied one customer’s order of the Chips & Dip Trio appetizer. It looked good so we requested a plateful of the homemade tortilla chips and accompanying three dips – guacamole, Brewhouse cheese and pico de gallo. We extinguished the hot dips with some chilled glasses of Big Red Ale, the brewery’s winter warmer. It was a pale ale, with a spicy/citrus hop flavor and clean barley sweetness. We sampled a second light ale the color of straw gold called Sunspot Gold. We enjoyed its delicate hop character. Had it truly been New Year’s Eve we might have sampled more of the brewery’s selection. Instead, we were just wrapping up the holiday season on a sunny January afternoon in Chandler. Happy New Year!

January 7, 2009

Di Sciacca

W. Boston Street

Chandler, AZ



SanTan Brewing Company

8 S. Marcos Plaza

Chandler, AZ



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