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Monday, January 2, 2012

Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona

“I was standin’ on the corner in Winslow Arizona,…..”

Winslow, Arizona is familiar to everyone who has heard the Eagles’ 1970s hit song “Take it Easy.” The town should be better known, however, for its La Posada Hotel, where we stayed this past December.

 The last of the Harvey House hotels, La Posada was built in 1930 when Winslow was an important railway stop and the largest town in Northern Arizona. 

 Architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter designed the hotel, decorating with original Navajo rugs and Pueblo pottery. Now the lobby and hallways are filled with amazing paintings, photos, and sculpture created by local Southwestern artists.

It's like living in an art museum.

Many famous actors and celebrities stayed there because it was THE place to stop when traveling through Arizona on the Santa Fe RR back then. Closed in the late 50s as rail travel declined, it was turned into an office building.
La Posada was restored and reopened in 2006. Tom and I ate at their world class (well, that's what they say on the website and yes, the food is good) restaurant last year and this time decided to get a room.  

When we got there, our reserved room had been changed twice, and Tom was very disappointed to learn that one of those rooms had been the John Wayne room, named, as others were, after famous actors who had stayed there. He complained the whole night about being in the Lionel Barrymore room.     

 “Who the hell knows who Lionel Barrymore is anymore?” he whined and rhymed.
Our room was small but cozy, and everything had been updated, yet preserving the old-time pre-WWII feeling. We had dinner and breakfast (check out the Yelp reviews), and in between roamed the halls, fabulously decorated with original rugs and other art..
I had time after dinner to sit in what used to be the ballroom and drink a blue martini.

The Navajo rugs can be bought right off the wall for hundreds if not thousands of dollars, while more affordable ones from Oaxaca, Mexico, can be found in the hotel's gift shop.
We spent a comfortable night with heat that worked and even a flat screen TV. In contrast to one reviewer’s comments about the trains running by and disturbing their sleep, we slept fine. Winslow is, after all, still a functioning train depot. 

 We left regretfully early after breakfast, anxious to make it home in one day.     Tom, still disappointed about the John Wayne room, paused on our way out, noticing the names of the other rooms on our floor.
“The hell with John Wayne!” he said,  pausing at a room two doors down from ours. “Next time, I want to sleep in Jane Russell’s bed!”

The poor man is becoming more delusional every year.

On our way out of Winslow, we took the obligatory picture of Miss Pearl, not standing on the corner, but sitting. She is an anxious traveler, and I don’t think she was too interested in the Girl in the Flat-Bed Ford.

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