Always nice to have a hiking buddy and because my dad’s bum knee rules him out for this trip, I was especially pleased to hike with my neighbor Amahia from Des Moines who happens to be here on sabbatical. She hadn’t been to Catalina State Park about a mile from my dad’s house in Oro Valley so I showed her the Loop Trail, an easy and lovely scenic hike into the valley dotted with saguaros and bordered by high jagged mountains.
We had a really nice lunch outside in the garden at Tohono Chul, the lovely estate and desert garden nearby. For the first time ever, in my experience, we waltzed right in and were seated — perhaps a benefit of being here in January rather than our usual February or March. The weather was perfect, high 60s and low 70s, although quite cool at night.
Lunch yesterday with my old friend from London, Mary, who is a longtime U of Arizona professor, at a good Italian place called North in the ritzy Encantado shopping center. Excellent grilled artichoke, bruschetta with asparagus, cheese and proscuitto and even better company!
After finding a long wait for lunch at Tohono Chul, a lovely garden spot in Tucson, we ended up at another favorite, albeit less scenic, lunch spot nearby, Beyond Bread ( where’re I must remember in the future to get the tuna melt). It is hard to go to Beyond Bread without thinking about the horrific shooting that left several people dead and gravely injured then-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords a few years ago. The restaurant is right across from the Safeway market where the shooting occurred. As it turns out, several tv trucks were parked outside the Safeway as we were leaving the restaurant and we found out from this morning’s paper that Giffords yesterday returned for the first time to the site, where there is now a memorial outside the market. She and her husband Mark Kelly are working to drum up support for gun control measures. Here is hoping they succeed!
It is 8:25 am and we are waiting for the Arizona shuttle to take us to the Phoenix airport, the first leg of a daylong trek to get home to Iowa. Ridiculous to think we won’t be home until 7:30 pm Arizona time. And irritating that the shuttle folks insisted we be here by 8:15 so the shuttle can leave on the dot at 8:30. (which means of course that my dad got us here at 8:00). When we arrived, we were told the shuttle won’t even arrive until 8:30 – 8:40. So we have 40 minutes to enjoy the view and smell (not) …some sort of industrial site across the road. Grrrr…
Filed under Arizona, Tucson