Friday, January 11, 2013

Matador Coffee Roasting review

Here's an interesting place to stop by if you are in need of a coffee fix or a snack.  I've been going here for about six months and I find the place really nice.  The food is good and there is a pretty good selection of things to eat.  The breakfast burros are really large and quite tasty.  If you want ground coffee or coffee beans they have them there as well.

I discovered this place through my camera club.  We hold a photo event there every second Saturday of the month.  The events are themed and if you get your photo taken there it will typically be sent to you before you can make it home.

If you want to have a place to have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper then this is the place for you.  The people that are there are very friendly and really great to hang around.  They make you feel right at home there.  There are some very nice chairs and even a few couches if you want to get really comfortable.

If you want to check out some local music they have bands there in the evenings and also offer something stronger than coffee if you like.  I've not tried any of the evening events yet but that may change soon.

The artwork on the walls is for sale if you are interested.  The camera club has people displaying their work on the Second Saturday of each month which is also for sale.  I find it interesting to see what is being displayed by my fellow photographers.  The people that display change from month to month so it is constantly changing.

Need a caffeine fix and sit around for a while.  The this is the place to visit if you are around 32nd St and Union Hills.

Travel smart Travel safe

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wild Life Zoo Litchfield Park AZ a review

I had the pleasure of going to the Wild Life Zoo in Litchfield Park, AZ for the first time last week.  I'd suggest you see if you can find coupons before going as the entrance price is $16.99 per adult.  Tuesdays senior citizens get $2 off the entrance price.

Like most Zoo's this place is pretty large.  It now houses an Aquarium though I went into the building I didn't stay in that part of the park.  I was there to take some photos of the animals and the Aquarium was a little dark for taking photos with the equipment I brought.  As this was the first time for me at this zoo I was more or less scouting it out.  My first impression of what I saw were pretty good.  It was clean and the paths and walkways were pretty nice.  The Giraffe tower steps were made for little kids so they were pretty close together.  I wear bi-focal glasses so it was a bit awkward going down the steps.

I did like the Kangaroo area as you pretty much walk among the animals.  There are lots of opportunities to buy feed to give to the animals.  You'll need lots of quarters as the feed is dispensed in gumball like machines.

I did like the Kangaroo area as you pretty much walk among the animals.  There are lots of opportunities to buy feed to give to the animals.  You'll need lots of quarters as the feed is dispensed in gumball like machines.

As a photographer what I liked most about the part there were opportunities to get photos of the animals that didn't seem like they were in a zoo at all.

The zoo keeps the smaller new born animals in a special house with large glass windows.  Most of the hand prints are at the lower levels so getting a good photo isn't really that hard.  The baby giraffe was a bit shy and hard to get a good photo as it was really pretty far away.

While we were there only a few hours it was easy to navigate through the entire zoo.  I believe that we walked to every part that was accessible to visitors.  Also as this was a week day there weren't as many people there as perhaps on a week end.  There were still quite a few people there with their children as it was the last week of school break for many of the kids.

Dillon's Restaurant.
The restaurant is technically outside of the Zoo.  However the waitstaff will ask you if you would like your hand stamped when you enter from the zoo side.  So that was pretty easy and you didn't have to ask how that worked. You can also sit inside or on the patio next to the Flamingo's.  A sheet of plastic separates you from the bird.  They can be a little noisy.

The menu has a pretty varied selection of food and the price was reasonable.  The club sandwich I had there was pretty good.  Our waitress was efficient and friendly.

Overall impression;
I enjoyed myself at this zoo.  While it doesn't have many of the bigger mammals as the Phoenix Zoo it does offer some very nice opportunities to view animals, in some cases, close up without glass.  There are partition ropes that define the walking path.  The walking areas were nice and several elevated platforms put you in a position to view animals without trying to see over a fence.  More kid friendly.

Yes I'll go back.  I had a good time.

Travel smart Travel safe.