Travel Date: Saturday, Oct 18 2014
Got up in the morning, got some coffee for Erika and I. Drove her to pick up her car and then I rode off to Glendale to meet up with Matt. 
Matt was a former Sigma Nu Volunteer who moved to Arizona form the New York area and first introduced me to sushi. We kept in touch via facebook over the years and since I was in the area I wanted to see him.
I drove over to his home and after some hugs we headed out over to South Mountain. It was going to be a long drive so we caught up on each others lives along the way.

There it is in the distance.

We pass by the entrance and after circling for a while we discover that it is closed due to rain from the storm a couple of days before I arrive. Bummer!

So we ended up driving back to Glendale and going to a bunch of restaurants and shops at the Westgate area. We decided to eat lunch at Gordon Biersch.

Time for the post Octoberfest beer and great conversation.

And some lunch.

After a great conversation with Matt we head back to his home, and I say goodbye to him and drive back to Scottsdale. I plan to join Erika and her friends at the Arizona Taco Festival at Salt River Fields.

Long line for parking.

An even longer line for ticket purchase and entry

But eventually I get to the entrance.

And then meet up Erika her friends.

The festival is large and populated. The weather is dry and sunny. Everyone thinks it is really really hot but it is just fine.

We decide to walk over to some of the tents.

Erika and I.

Erika decides to arm wrestle one of her friends.

They switch arms are Erika wins on both counts. She is a bad ass. 🙂

Time for some tacos after all it is a taco festival.

The tacos I get are alright. Nothing fancy smancy. I still think the tacos of San Diego are the best I’ve had.

And now time for from WWE – the amateur version.

There are a lot of people watching this endless entertainment.

And then I get watch some personalized entertainment with Erika dancing.

Things start to wind down we drive to some a local restaurant and get some takeout. Drive home, eat out takeout and watch some TV.

And then it is bed time. Tomorrow I have a long drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico another state I’ve never been to. 

Reflections:
It was great to see Matt after such a long time. He was one of the first volunteers that I hung out often with during my time at Sigma Nu HQ. Enjoyed my time with him in New York City where he took me out for sushi for the first time and reconnecting with him in Arizona. Thank you for lunch brother and the drive out to South Mountain even though it was in vain.

The Arizona Taco Festival was enormous and big. I enjoyed meeting more of Erika’s friends and running into Jay again. Also enjoyed a wonderful random conversation with Dana. Good time there.

Thank you again Erika for the wonderful hospitality during my time in Scottsdale. Looking back at the night out at the bars and clubs and the next day at the Taco Festival I can definitely say I would enjoy the social atmosphere of Scottsdale and the Phoenix area if I moved here.

Expenses: $51.42
Coffee: $10.92 (Starbucks)
Arizona Taco Festival: $20 ($12 Entry: $8 for tokens)
Dinner: $20.50 (The Lodge)