You Are Invited!
Please join us between 1-5 PM this Saturday and Sunday (June 7th & 8th) for an open house at 8210 E. Del Claro Drive in McCormick Ranch.
Featuring 4 bedrooms (plus office), 3 baths, swimming pool, 3 car garage, and over 2600 sq ft of exquisite modern remodeling, this may be your one and only chance to see it before it’s gone!
Offered for sale at $699,500
When: June 7th & 8th, 1-5 PM
Where: 8210 E. Del Claro Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Who: Hosted by David Levy, Realty Executives
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Mighty. Mud. Mania.
Aside from We’re Going to Disneyland, All the Rock Candy You Can Eat and, possibly, No School Today, you won’t find too many phrases that resonate with the children of Scottsdale more than Mighty Mud Mania.
Held annually at Chaparral Park in central Scottsdale (just East of Hayden, between Chaparral and Jackrabbit Rds), Mighty Mud Mania was originally conceived as an advertising ploy by the good people at Johnson’s Wax for their “Shout” spray pre-wash product. Encouraging kids to navigate an appropriately mud-laden obstacle course, the idea was to demonstrate how the detergent could remove even the toughest stains from the 300 free white shirts that were provided to the pioneering entrants.
The kids and the Scottsdale mud proved more than a match for the product’s stain-fighting prowess. The idea stuck, however, as the city adopted the concept as a fun diversion from the dog days of summer, and now multiple sponsors help pull the event together every year.
Celebrating its 35th incarnation this year, Mighty Mud Mania has grown from its gimmicky origins to a spectacle that draws as many as 10,000 participants. Now including mud pits for children of all ages, shaded sand boxes, a stage with entertainment and participation performances, water slides, concessions and hose-down area (courtesy of a hose down from the local Fire Department) in addition to the ubiquitous obstacle course/steeplechase/sanctioned insanity that started it all, the fun has morphed from the means to the ends. Entrance and participation is free, though donations and canned food drop-offs (collected by the Vista Del Camino Food Bank) are encouraged. With the crowds that attend the event nowadays, parking has become a bit of a challenge. As such, overflow parking is provided at Mohave Middle School, with buses on hand to transport those in attendance. Admission to the public pool at Chaparral park is also reduced to $1 between 11 AM and 3 PM on the day of the event.
Of course, having a relative that lives half a block from the park is also a perk. We were fortunate to be able to park in the Crestwood subdivision (directly East of the pedestrian entrance to Chaparral Park on Vista Dr), and walk our boys over for this year’s fun. One day, and one day only, it took place this past Saturday, June 19th, between 8:30 AM and 2 PM. Here is a pictorial recap of the filthy carnage that ensued. (click images to enlarge)
Mighty Mud Mania: just one more thing that makes Scottsdale Scottsdale.
Look forward to seeing you there next year!
Search Home For Sale Near Chaparral Park!
Recognizing that one has a problem is the first step towards overcoming addiction. Recognizing that one harbors a chemical dependency on roasted caffeinated goodness … not so much. I am a full-blown, pull-my-hair-out-by-the-roots java junkie. I don’t need help, I just need a double espresso with a finish so smooth it could be mistaken for a shot of liquid chocolate pudding, with just the gentlest punch of bitterness to let me know it was there.
Navigating the streets of Scottsdale as I attend to the affairs of an artificially tireless Realtor, I often find my vehicle caught in the tractor beam of a certain coffee franchise. The telltale logo of the not to be mentioned chain exerting some jedi mind trick that compels me to add a cup of coffee to the itinerary, whether truly needed or not. We have all had our brains thoroughly washed. The convenience of a store on every corner and a known commodity effectively overriding the inherent appeal of a true coffee house: the attention to unique local roast, the vibe, a menu that goes beyond pre-packaged food choices.
We have willingly exchanged quality for convenience.
What if I were to tell locals to the South Scottsdale and North Tempe area that you can have both? Boasting a locale that has screamed for just such a new neighbor, recently opened Echo Coffee is the brainchild of Steve Belt, formerly of Realty Executives. Anyone who knows Steve will attest to the fact that he doesn’t do anything half-way. From the scrutiny of the individual beans to the roasting techniques utilized, he has managed to create several distinguishably unique brews (including the flagship “Titus” blend) that overwhelm any lingering desire of this self-professed coffee snob to return to the barren confines of the brand that rhymes with “Tarsucks.”
Echo Coffee is not my new favorite Scottsdale coffee shop for the product alone, but for the ultra modern atmosphere that buzzes with technology enthusiasts, professionals, students, etc. As techie as they come (hence the superb attention to minutia that makes the joint shine), Mr. Belt has crafted an environment that encourages a connoisseur to bring his/her laptop, tap into to the available Wi-Fi and comport the virtual dealings of the day.
While just about every confection you have been hooked on by the big guys is available at Echo Coffee, I am a black coffee kind of guy. I highly recommend chasing a shot of espresso with a cup of the Titus blend while nibbling on the absurdly delicious Mediterranean Tuna sandwich (an amazing tuna fish creation with cannellini beans, olive oil, vinegar and challots on foccia bread with no heart-attack inducing mayo). It’s an organic menu to boot, if you are into that sort of thing. Think locally and give an upstart a shot. My hunch is you won’t be tempted to return to the soulless purgatory of the coffee Borg anytime soon.
Echo Coffee is located at the NW corner of Thomas Rd and 68th St. in Scottsdale, AZ (85251). Let me know when you’re going and I’ll meet you for a cup!
Please visit Echo online for hours, directions and additional information.
One of the great things about the Phoenix metropolitan area is the abundance of unique weekend destinations for both food and fun. While I love all that my home city of Scottsdale has to offer during the week, I like to load the family into the car on the weekend and visit one of the many attractions that the rest of the Valley has to offer.
The Farm at South Mountain is one of my favorite spots to enjoy healthy breakfast fare which consists of fresh local produce, herbs, citrus and dairy. I wolf down the Southwestern breakfast burrito with a medley of fresh vegetables on most occasions. Located right next to the organic garden, the outdoor seating area commands instant relaxation. Even if your eldest child is actively trying to stab your youngest with a fork.
The 12 acre expanse of The Farm includes three separate restaurants. The Morning Glory is, predictably, a breakfast cafe. The Farm Kitchen is the original restaurant, and primarily serves lunch along with morning snacks. With park bench seating under the shady branches of a pecan tree grove, you’ll forget that you are in the desert while enjoying a made-from-scratch treat. The Quiessence Restaurant and Wine Bar is what you think it is: upscale dining. Phoenix Magazine tagged it as “the best restaurant in Phoenix” in January, 2007. Contemporary American farm cuisine is the moniker given to the menu. I don’t know what that means, but the organic, locally produced dishes are amazing.
Other attractions on The Farm include:
The Retreat: Straight from their website, The Retreat invites (by appointment) patrons to “Deeply relax and rejuvenate with massage. hot and cold stones, shiatsu, vibrational essences, facials, tea ceremonies, intuitive readings, healing sessions and more.”
The Artist Studio: Also according to their website, “The Artist Studio at The Farm is a new cultural/educational center working to promote creativity while connecting with deeper values in the natural environs of The Farm. Visit The Cottage, home to ever changing art mediums featuring the fine art of Artist’s in Residence. Relax and enjoy shopping for original gifts created by local artists. In The Studio we offer art classes, writing workshops, educational lectures, youth home school classes, field trips and staff retreats.”
The Doctor’s Office, likewise by appointment only, is home to a resident practitioner of naturopathic medicine.
Maya’s at The Farm is the organic garden which produces many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used by the three restaurants. Named for Maya Dailey, who tends the garden, Maya’s holds a farmer’s market every Saturday between 9 AM and 1 PM. In adjunct to the garden is a greenhouse and the chicken coup (my boys’ personal favorite). Watch those little fingers, though, as the chicken wire enclosure is electrified!
The Farm is a magical place to visit for special occasions as well as laconic Sunday mornings. I have been fortunate to enjoy birthdays, Easter brunch and just-because mornings within its friendly confines, and have never left in a bad mood.
Private parties and weddings are available for booking as well.
Whether you are new to the area, visiting for the season, or one who simply doesn’t often venture outside of your comfort zone in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley, I urge you to make a trip to this special place. The coffee is good, the mimosas are great, and the setting is out of this world!
For hours and upcoming events, please visit The Farm at South Mountain.
6106 S. 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042
Paul Slaybaugh with Realty Executives is your guide to Scottsdale Real Estate. A Scottsdale native, Paul has been selling homes in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Paradise Valley since 1999, and selling the virtues of Arizona living even longer. If you are looking to buy or sell in the greater Scottsdale area, or just wondering where to get a decent cup of coffee and an omelet, Paul’s your guy.
The Scottsdale Unified School District is one of the primary drivers for relocation to Scottsdale, Arizona. Consistently ranked at the top of school districts across the state, it is little wonder that many new Arizona residents with families opt to begin their searches for a new home here.
Saguaro High School Homes
With composite test scores that outpace state and national averages by a wide margin, the Scottsdale Unified School District consists of 5 high schools, 7 middle schools, 20 elementary schools and 1 alternative school (Notre Dame Prep is not considered part of the SUSD). Total student population is approximately 27,000.
The High Schools:
The Middle Schools:
Copper Ridge (K-8)
The Elementary Schools:
Sierra Vista Academy (Grades 6-12)
Concerns about Arizona’s poor overall national reputation for education? When it comes to Scottsdale, they are unfounded. Check out the latest test results (for individual schools as well as the district averages) as compared to state and national averages. The Scottsdale Unified School District surpasses both with regularity.
Scottsdale Unified School District Test Scores
To keep up with the rapidly expanding population of Scottsdale, new schools and major renovations to existing facilities have come on line in recent years. Three of the longer tenured high schools, Saguaro, Chaparral and Arcadia are not long removed from the throes of massive overhaul. To keep pace with some of the newer facilities in the district, and to match the combined performance of the faculty and student bodies, each school was virtually reconstructed from the ground up. Please visit each school through the individual links provided above to view additional project scheduling, curriculum, events calendar, mission statements, etc.
Click here to visit the Scottsdale Unified School District’s website to view the district calendar, school locator, information on open enrollment, faculty, and more.
Full Disclosure: Paul attended Cochise Elementary, Cocopah Middle and Chaparral High Schools. Don’t be deterred. The schools really are terrific despite the dubious distinction for the scholastic molding of yours truly.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park has been a staple of Scottsdale, AZ since opening to the public in 1975. The 30 acre park sits on land that was donated to the city in 1967 by the Fowler McCormick family. The jewel of the park is the 5/12 (5 inches equals 1 foot) standard Paradise & Pacific Railroad. The train runs year-round, with rides available to visitors every 30 minutes on weekdays, and continuously on weekends during park hours. With assistance from former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, the train was actually constructed by the United States Marine Corps as part of a training exercise.
In addition to the fully operational railroad, the park features a variety of additional attractions including a carousel, playground, Western Town play area, authentic railroad exhibits, ramadas for parties/picnics, designated birthday party train cars, stage for evening performances, xeroscape arboretum, railroad museum, eating areas, live steamers (miniature train for small children), model train clubs and more.
The park is not just a paradise for the kids, however. It is awash in history for the adults. Exhibits include the 1907 built Magma Arizona Railroad Engine No. 6, which hauled copper from Superior to Magma, AZ for 38 years.
The Roald Amundsen Pullman Car was built in 1928, and used for maximum security travel for every president from Herbert Hoover to Dwight Eisenhower. The Baggage Car which currently houses the Railroad Museum was built in 1914 as a sleeping car. It was converted to carry baggage during World War II. The Merci Train was France’s “thank you” to the goodwill of the American public. Following WWII, Americans donated goods and materials to fill 250 railroad cars, which were then delivered to war- ravaged France. France commissioned the Merci Train to return the favor. 49 so-called 40 & 8 boxcars (could hold 40 men or 8 horses) full of French treasures were delivered to America as a gesture of thanks. One of the boxcars is proudly on display.*
The Railroad Park hosts a series of events over the course of the year including Railfair, a free summer concert series, holiday lights, and more. Follow the link below for the full calendar of events.
Railroad Park Event Schedule
The park is also getting a facelift as construction is under way for a new home for the model train clubs that operate on its grounds. Completion is slated for the fall of 2010.
*All McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park facts courtesy of www.therailroadpark.com
Learn more about McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale AZ
Curious about Real Estate around the Railroad Park?
Paul Slaybaugh is a Realtor with Realty Executives in Scottsdale, Arizona. An Arizona native, Paul was raised in McCormick Ranch. He loved riding the Paradise and Pacific Railroad as a child, and he still visits the park every week. Only now he rides with his own little ones.