Catalina state park, Arizona Inn, 4th Avenue- Tucson

 Almost 30 years ago, I visited Tucson for the first time to attend the wedding of my friend Mary at the lovely old world Arizona Inn. Today, Mary and I met again at the Arizona Inn, this time for lunch on the patio, overlooking a wide green lawn bordered by pink Adobe casitas and an impeccably landscaped desert garden. It may be the last time we meet there or anywhere else in Tucson, since my dad has put his house up for sale but we enjoyed our meal and the peaceful ladies-who-lunch setting (although neither of us fit that description…we are working gals out for lunch.)

I wandered around 4th Avenue south of Speedway, which had more strung out homeless people hanging around than I remembered but the head shops, vintage stores and Goodwill shop were Balanced by some more upmarket but still affordable youthful indie boutiques including Creations, where I bought some Airy made-in-India attire.Leaving that store I was approached by an attractive Israeli woman in her own airy India attire who convinced me to visit her “very nice” jewelry store, Evon Perez, which was very nice and I eventually succumbed to her relentless but not obnoxious sales pitch and bought some silver earrings from Mexico.

My visit began yesterday, as it always does, with a hike on the canyon loop trail at Catalina State Park, an easy and scenic loop with classic desert landscape – rugged mountains with a blue sky backdrop, gumby-esque saguaro cacti, all kinds of other cacti (barrel, paddle, purple paddle, agave) and spindly ocotillo and purple wildflowers. It always reminds me of my mother and how much she loved Tucson where she and my dad bought a house here 20 years ago. I didn’t make it to Catalina this morning for the 7:30 am Wednesday bird walk but dad and I spotted a dazzling red vermillion flycatcher off in the desert preserve beyond his patio (with help from binoculars.)

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