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Monday, February 22, 2016

Tucson, AZ 2016

No recipes to review from this past week as I was on holiday!  Or vacation for us States folks.   My travels took me to the very sunny and warm desert Southwest to visit my Folks.  A very nice break from the cold and snow we are experiencing in Duluth.  We had a very fun filled long weekend ahead of us, as you will soon see.  My last visit here was February 2015, which I reviewed here

It was -16* when The Husband dropped me off at the airport 530a Thursday morning.  It was 82* when I landed in Tucson.  Apparently it hit 85* degrees, a record high by 1*, breaking the previous record set in 1951.   All flights were on time, in fact, flight into Tucson was 30 minutes early!  Yay!  

Phoneline trail, Sabino Canyon
Friday we were up early and hiked Sabino Canyon Trail: Telephone Line  a distance about 10 miles.  We were on the trail by 830a, in the shade of the mountain for most of the hike along the ridge, and in the sun for the trek back down, which is a paved road closed to all traffic but the trams.  We did visit here in 2015, but we took the tram to the end of the paved road, and walked the three miles back to the visitor center.  This time we hiked/walked the full circuit from Visitor's Center to the top and back down.  It got a bit toasty the last two miles.

Phoneline Trail, nearing the top of the trail and, looking back at Tucson

Saturday was the Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens and Bistro and the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun art museum.  The Gardens and the Gallery are about 15 minutes apart on the north eastern side of Tucson.  We started with a walk around the gardens, then lunch at the Bistro.  This was my one repeat from last year because Tohono Chul Gardens and Bistro are totally worth it.  Highly recommended.  This is a take your time place, meant for a leisurely morning (recommended) or afternoon (bring an umbrella and slap on that sunscreen!)

The Ted DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun was new to us.  He was a very influential and prominent artist in the Tucson area and I know I've seen his work without knowing exactly who he was.   The grounds, buildings and artwork are worth a visit and complement the leisurely pace set at Tohono Chul Gardens.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun entrance - National Historical Site now

Mural inside the Mission he built

Sunday was Kitt Peak Observatory. I had no idea how influential and important this site was!   First tour was of the 2.1m telescope.  Then time for a picnic lunch (bring your own because the facilities don't offer more than chips and cookies), a quick spin around the gift shop, then second tour was of the 4.0m telescope, which included a 360* observation deck.  Everything was very impressive - the number of scopes, how Kitt Peak Observatory came to be, the views,  I picked up a book on star gazing and a star map that I can use outside.

2.1m scope in foreground, 4.0m scope in background

4m scope on the right.  U of Az operates the scope on the left.

Monday we went to the Reid Park Zoo!  Last year we went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Zoo where I was able to see the rare Mexican Wolf.  This time I was able to see two jaguars!  Thrilling!  I was very impressed with the Reid zoo and the habitats/enclosures.  Very well done.   Lunch was at a highly recommended hamburger joint called Lindy's on 4th.  I had my one time a year burger and I can say that yes, Lindy's knows how to do burgers. And afterwards we walked up and down the street Lindy's was on just to take in the sites.


Return trip was on Tuesday, thereby leaving the 80* and returning to something much much cooler than that.  I continue to marvel at how much there is to do in the Tucson area.  This was my second visit and again, didn't even come close to doing "everything" despite four very full days.   I look forward to coming back. 


Karl A. said...

I've heard good things about Lindys. Where's the burger pic?

Kristin said...

I was hungry. Burger looked too good to waste time with pictures. :D I had the "Kush" - raspberry preserves, blue cheese crumbles and bacon. Yum!

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