Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TuckSun AZ

When I made the flight reservations for my trip to Tucson AZ, the gal at the other end of the fone kept pronouncing it as "Tuck-Sun, Air-ee-zonia".  No matter, I got to where I need to go, and a rose by any other name and all that.
This trip came up a bit unexpectedly, and was not a vacation, nor a holiday. I have a wonderful cousin there, whose health is flagging, and so she decided to move back home to Michigan., and be closer to her family. So, after a one day layover at home (aye yup, just one day after returning from Charleston SC, really!) I was in the air and went Westward Ho!
So from a hot, wet climate, to a cool, comfy climate, to a warm, very dry climate, in the space of about three days. Yeah. Boy howdy did my body ever scream at me! I actually had laryngitis for the next four weeks! It was so dry in Tucson, that I drank over a gallon of water in two days, and hardly ever seemed to need to go to the bathroom. Every morning when I woke up, my throat was feeling burnt and parched!
Ah well, all in a week's worth of Life. My fave Aunt, Lynne had flown there separately, and she and I would pack up cousin Laurie's stuff into boxes. Then, Laurie's sis and hubby would fly out, we'd all pack up the rental truck, and Paul would drive that, as Laurie's sis , Kim, would drive Laurie and her car back.
So, you see, I don't have a lot of memories of wonderful touristy adventures during my time there. I do, however, have some fond memories of talking, and joking with Auntie Lynne, and Cousin Laurie. Laurie and I never really knew each other well at all, having only met one time prior. But hey, family is family, and you do what you can. Laurie is a woman of no indeterminate opinion, and has a very direct view of Life, and no problem sharing. So we all enjoyed the company quite well!
Nor was my trip all work and no play. for one lovely late afternoon, Auntie Lynne and I drove thru the Sagauro National Park. They have an amazing 7+ mile loop you can toddle thru, and get an idea of the landscape there. We were graced by not only a wild boar that walked across the road, but later a dramatic sunset over the mountains!
Tucson is on the floor of a valley, surrounded by five mountain ranges, at about 3,000 feet above sea level! This creates a rather unique environment, and a scene of stark beauty, and dramatic detail all around. One particular morning, as I was leaving my hotel, I saw, and HEARD two Stealth Fighters (from the nearby Air Force Base) scooting around the inside rim of the mountain ranges. It sounded like a rock concert when they make the sound go around in circles, and it was LOUD!!
I enjoyed the people of Tucson, everyone was quite friendly to me, and somehow could just tell that I was an "Out of Towner"? Especially in the Circkle K, where English was clearly not their Mother Tongue *chuckle* But I still received good, if a bit cool, service. Everyone at the hotel was very friendly and helpful, and also the restaurants seemed to have good help.
And speaking of eateries (you just knew I was gonna talk about food, didn't ya?) anytime you go to Tucson, I would highly recommend El Charro Cafe!  They have been awarded as "One of the Top 50 Plates in the Country", and I believe it! We were at the Broadway location, but heard many good things about the others, especially downtown. This, my friends is what authentic Mexican Cuisine (yes, you can put those two words together in the same sentence) is all about! Oh, and while you're either reading the link, or at the table, make sure to scan thru the history of the place! It's as amazing as the food. So our intrepid little party of Michiganders dined there on our last night together. A very enjoyable time with family that all got along (miracle) and a great eatery. The next day we all took off for the return to home trip. My aunt and I flew home to the arms of our waiting, and muchly missed spouses. And the rest of the gang toddled their way across the States, and also arrived safely.
Sometimes a trip is not really a holiday, but there's nothing that says you can't enjoy it anyways! We did some good for a family member, and in a real, physical way. Plus we all got to get to know each other a bit better, and enjoy the company as well. And so what if Tucson has no humidity? It's not like I'm ever gonna hafta live there *chuckle*

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