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Then dare to look beyond the obvious at Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a three-acre oasis of oddities near Cave Creek and Sweetwater roads, assembled by 77-year-old retiree Gus Brethauer. He has spent the past 25 years turning his property into a glorious pack rat paradise, and these days, he gladly gives tours in return for a voluntary donation.
The kids will enjoy highlights like a UFO landing pad, a prehistoric Temple of Doom, a grove of artificial Christmas trees (complete with plastic forest denizens), a "haunted" bungalow, and a mirror maze fashioned from discarded reflective surfaces. Older visitors will get a kick out of old Phoenix rubble -- decorative plastic "WP" trim from West Plaza Shopping Center and a stone gargoyle from the old Fox Theatre. Come prepared to walk (tours through the desert terrain take about two hours), and leave your disbelief at home.
Later in the same broadcast, Lin Sue Cooney offered an update on an effort to remove Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano from office: Among other charges, the openly gay politico was under fire for pulling city employees' support of the United Way, which funds the anti-gay Boy Scouts of America. Commenting on Giuliano's reaction to the recall movement, Cooney told viewers that the mayor "will not go down without a fight."
This place is enough to cure any new mother of the worst postpartum depression -- until she gets the Visa bill. That's why we recommend the baby gift registry, so others can do the buying for you.
The small store is packed with every infant (well, mommy) indulgence imaginable, from vintage fabrics to original artwork to hand-knit booties -- each item perfectly detailed, in impeccable taste. There are even sections devoted to stationery and gardening, for those moms who have everything else under control. Hard-to-find, top-of-the-line brands such as Amy Coe, Clacone and Steiff are featured.
Even Martha would approve.