After we spent a relaxing day exploring Phoenix, we booked a tour of Taliesin West. This was where Frank Lloyd Wright spent the winter and was also the school for the architectural students he was training. Originally built as a camp with semi permanent structures it later became a winter residence for him, his wife and 35 students. Built in the 1930s and still in use today the site is a mandatory visit for architecture buffs and fans of Frank Lloyd Wright and his work.
We’re back in Phoenix. It was a long drive back to Arizona but we were not as tired this time. Probably because we were not just on an airplane for 5 hours. Tonight we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens. The DBG was amazing. There were desert cottontail rabbits, road runners, Gambles quail, cactus wrens and spiny lizards in abundance. The varieties of cactus and desert plants were surprising, because you think that there isn’t that much variety in the desert. The other thing of note was the noise, an almost constant cacophony of twitters, clicks and chirps can be heard throughout the gardens. We stayed until it was nearly dark and were treated to an amazing sunset and the opportunity to get some iconic desert photos of saguaro cactuses silhouetted against a red desert sunset. I wish we could go back and take pictures for another couple of days.
Today we went beach hopping in sunny SoCal. The first stop was Seal Beach just south of Los Angeles. We actually saw a seal swimming along the pier, so the beach is appropriately named. There were lots of people boogie boarding and body surfing in the swells along the pier. Our next stop was Sunset Beach. We parked and went for a walk along the beach so we could dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean. The water was freezing, but people were swimming anyway. Our last stop was at Huntington Beach where we just walked along the beach and people watched.
Years ago, before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I watched a TV movie called Glory Enough for All, and it introduced me to Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best. They are more commonly referred to as Banting & Best, the discoverers of Insulin.
This spring I had the opportunity to visit Banting House National Historic Site in London, Ontario. The house is where Dr Banting began his medical practice and had his first thoughts of inventing Insulin. The house is located on what would have been a quiet street in the city of London, in southwestern Ontario. So quiet was the street that he had to give up his medical practice after only 10 months due to a lack of patients. It is lucky for diabetics the world over that his practice never took off, or he might not have discovered insulin during the summer of 1921.
HIs house is now a museum managed by the Canadian Diabetes Association with exhibits about the discovery of insulin, what a young doctor’s medical practice would have been like in the 1920s, and the Nobel prize awarded to Dr. Banting for the discovery of Insulin.
I learned a lot about Dr Banting during my visit such as the fact that he was in many ways a contradiction. He pioneered the research into how to extract and use Insulin, a drug that would save millions of people, but he also was in favour of using chemical weapons for war. Truly an inspiring and thought provoking visit.
I highly recommend it to diabetics and non-diabetics alike.