Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tucson, AZ up to New Mexico 9/28 - 10/1/2013

We've had the most astounding time visiting our friends in Tucson.  We were welcomed warmly and with so much love and laughter.  I can't express how wonderful our time with the Heath family was.  We ate and ate, only the best of food.  Mike is charcoal BBQ king and made us ribs, tri-tip and London Broil.  Amazing, with corn, watermelon, etc.  Just a feast that was spent with their family.  Second night another BBQ, I made my Indonesian satay chicken and we had more family and fun.

Mike at his charcoal Weber
He says it is the only was to grill

Little Rosie, family dog
A real sweet little girl

Cheryl mashing potatoes and saying,
"I don't think my daughter returned my mixer"

Some of the Heath Clan

Our Cabin on Wheels
We had everything we needed.

We had so much fun meeting and seeing their kids and grand kids.  Such good folks and visiting was full of lots of laughter.  Cheryl and I got to know each other much better on this visit and had many good conversations.  We ate out at some of the best places -- these guys know food.  Mexican food that was out of this world at El Merendero.  I even got to try something new, meat called carne seca, which is a beef that is dried then shredded and cooked with onions, chili and tomatoes.

Our friends, Mike and Cheryl Heath
We met Mike on a wild weekend bike run in  Ensenada,
 Mexico in 1977

Saturday breakfast at Viv's -- a chicken fried steak that was the biggest one I've ever seen and it was delicious -- and it was about $6.45, eggs, home fries, toast.  Perfect small, local, non-chain restaurant. Then Mike and Cheryl took us out to Mission San Xavier del Bac - a beautiful mission .This place was magical and we enjoyed our time there.

Oldest intact European structure in Arizona
Founded 1692

Then we were taken for a drive in the Saguaro National Forest to see the magnificent protected cacti. Visitor center had a great slide show about the beginnings of the area that was owned by Mexico.  Showed the history and evolution.  It is truly amazing to see a saguaro cactus skeleton and to also realize the length of time it takes to grow.

Saguaro skeleton

Saguaro over 90 years old 

And what did we see......................

I did pet him - so cool

On our last day in Tucson, Mike took us on a drive up to Tucson Mountain District National Park, Mt. Lemmon.  The elevation changes from approx. 2,180 to over 8,000 feet.  The temperature when we left the desert floor was in the 90's and at the top we were in the 60's.  The geology changes dramatically and plants change from saguaro at the bottom to aspen and pine trees.  There is even a small ski area close to the top.

Desert environment below

Amazing stacked rocks that remind me
of Aztec/Mayan work

And so fast time to move on.  It was such a perfect visit.

Bye guys, come see us in Clearwater .... and
we still have Puerto Penasco.  Hugs.

We leave Tuesday, 10/1/13 for New Mexico and our two week pet/house sitting time.  More later.