Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tucson with Friends!

Desert Cactus at Saguaro National Park East

Roger here...  As I mentioned in the previous post, we had a five-day travel delay in Tucson, Arizona.  Actually, it was a little more than a delay.  We reconnected with former Retama Village friends, Jim and Sue, who sold their house at Retama in order to buy another house in Duluth, Minnesota near their family (including grandkids).  Since it is probably 20 below zero in Duluth right now :-), they are wintering at the Rincon Country East RV Park.  We managed, with Sue's help, to get a spot right next to them for five days.  

Reunion Time (the walks) ....  The nice thing about reconnecting with old friends is that it is simple to renew old activities right away.  Jim and Sue, mainly Sue, have always forced us away from our computers in the morning for marathon 4 mile+ walks with the dogs.  The pack is back!

Bandido, Dianne, Klick, Jim, Tequila, Sue, Gabe

Every morning, except the last (which was a travel day), we plunged into the desert washes with our dogs for long and invigorating hikes.  Dianne and I miss this.

The desert hikes were accessible from the campground.  We were actually surrounded by the city; HOWEVER, as you can see below, we were in the desert.  Nice!

Rollin' (walking), rollin' (walking), rollin' (walking)..... Keep those dogies (doggies) rollin' (walking).

We really were in an isolated area (in the city).  We walked to the top of these interesting cliffs... 

... But, before doing so we observed an oval ATV path (note the tracks in the picture above).

This picture below shows the other side of the oval.

It was rainy on one morning, so we postponed our walk until the afternoon.  That was the day that we saw several hawks.  This is a Harris Hawk, or so I've been told :-).

The Diner...  One evening for dinner a local diner was recommended.  Wowsa!  Little Anthony's Diner was so-o-o good.  A blast from the past.  

You could get vertigo going in at the entrance.  My burger and fries was so good (and unhealthy).  I need to get back to home where I can re-establish discipline.  My old-fashioned chocolate soda was good, too --- not the best we've ever had, but good.
(Dianne here:  The best chocolate soda award is still held by Iowana Ice Cream shop in Bettendorf, Iowa.  This was in 1973, so it's probably no longer there.)

Happy Hour...   Former :-) Retama Village residents and wonderful friends, Barb and Greg drove down from Oro Valley to join us for a happy hour and a grilled chicken dinner.  It was so much fun for the six of us to reconnect.  

Izzy, Barb, Roger, Bandido, Sue, Greg, Tequila, Jim
Barb, inattentive Roger. Greg, Bandido Dianne, Sue

Sonoita Winery...  Jim and Sue know us pretty well.  On one of the days of our visit, we took a road trip to Sonoita (south of Tucson), for a wine-tasting.  Oh boy!

The Lane from the Roadway to the Winery

What a gobsmacking view this was (private joke).

This is the family-owned  (Sonoita) winery that awaited us at the top of the lane.  We all did a wine-tasting, orchestrated by the granddaughter of the winery's founder.  The wines were good.  We bought three bottles.  We also bought two hooded sweatshirts.  The owners were fun and genuine.  This was a good experience.  

Rare photo of the four of us without a single dog! -- D.
After the tasting we enjoyed a pre-packed picnic outside.  One of the owners took the photo.

This is a better picture that Dianne took, without the shadows.  

Patagonia... Ice Cream!

From the Sonoita Winery, Jim drove us to the nearby small town of Patagonia for ice cream.  This interesting and authentic little town near the Mexican border was tranquil.  

These shots are from what we think was at one time a church.  Church or not, this totem was both beautiful and interesting.  

My ice cream, btw, from the local store was coffee mocha.

We still have another day in Tucson, before we pick up stakes and head for home.  Stay tuned for Saguaro National Park and points east.

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