It was also so fake. The artists -- impersonators, of course -- are part of the Showstoppers Live performance at Casino Arizona. They play Sundays and Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Okay, so we didn't exactly collect autographs. But with just 250 seats in the cabaret, we felt almost like family.
Yet the most touching thing is the room dedicated to officers killed in action. And now, there's another monument -- a wall of fame for service dogs killed in action. After the events of last year, it makes for an especially poignant moment.
A year-round schedule of old-time events keeps the ranch a-rockin'. Next up: Sahuaro Ranch Days, November 9-10, followed by Christmas at the Ranch and the "Great Quilts of the West" exhibition opening in January. In February, the Antique Tractor and Engine Show rolls in, and spring brings May's Grand Canyon Sweet Onion Festival. Whether you come to admire the doilies or the antique tractors, fun doesn't get more down-home than this.
Granted, it's still got that inescapable strip mall setup, although the best one in town -- with sloped, tiled roofs, a moon-reflecting pond and giant lion-dog statues out front. At the center of it all is 99 Ranch Market, a sprawling supermarket where exotic Asian vegetables, boxes of salted duck eggs and bags of dried squid share shelf space with grocery basics like tea and cereal.
We like to grab a boba tea -- cold, sweet tea served Taiwanese style, with a generous helping of tapioca balls at the bottom -- at the in-store lunch counter, then stroll the aisles to load up on goodies. Neighboring businesses include a couple of great Chinese restaurants, an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet, and a gift store offering glorious kitsch, from kung fu shoes and tiny resin Buddha statues to calligraphy sets and paper lanterns.
A month later, over another lunch, we sat again, and this time noticed a new message: BE UNIQUE. That may be a bit tougher, Postino, but we'll give it a shot. And we can't wait to see what the next message will be.