Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Brenda and I are enjoying the holiday season with friends at the Saguaro SKP Park in Benson, AZ.  We’ve finished our shopping, mailed the cards and presents, and put up the tree and decorations.  Now it’s time to sit back, enjoy the season, and catch up with friends and family. 
Most RVers have a small tree – not Brenda!  Christmas is her time, and so we haul out the tubs of decorations and lights, put up the 6’ tree, and decorate to Johnny Mathis Christmas songs!Tree 2014
One member of our household doesn’t seem impressed by all the decorations.  Her look is cat language for “these changes to my house better stop pretty damn soon!”Xmas Pookie
Of course, nothing says “Festive Holiday Season!” like a well-decorated Leg Lamp, placed in the window where our fellow RVers can bask in the glow that only a Major Award can bring:Leg Lamp2
Leg Lamp1
On a serious note – may all your hopes and dreams come true this Christmas season!  We hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy being with family and friends, and may you wake up Christmas morning to find everything on your list under the tree!
We both wish you a Merry, Merry, Christmas!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Dryin’ Out in Tucson

We’ve made quite a transition – from the wet Pacific Northwest to the arid Southwest.  We’ve settled in Tucson for a month while our sinuses dry up and our cabinet doors shrink back to where they close easily.  We’re at Desert Trails RV Park and are enjoying our stay.  The park is located on the west edge of town near Saguaro National Monument and has a nice network of trails that wander through the desert. Desert View Due to late summer rains, Palo Verde and Mesquite are still green and the area looks more like springtime than winter.
The area is covered with Saguaro, Prickly Pear, and many varieties of Cholla, so it’s wise to watch where you walk if you’re off the trails.  I had an unplanned encounter with those fuzzy looking buds on a prickly pear and I am still pulling out those almost invisible, put painful, spines.  Sahuaro and Cholla
Park residents have place helpful little signs along the trail that identify the different types of cactus.  I came across this barrel cactus, as always leaning toward the south, and learned that barrel cactus signs apparently lean in the same direction:Leaning Barrel Cactus
Southern Arizona, like the San Antonio area, has a long history of missionary activity beginning in the 1600s.  One of the oldest missions, Tumacocori (Too-muh-kä'-ko-ree), was having their annual festival and so we headed down I-19  with our friends Kirk and Sue to take a look.  Originally founded in 1691, the current mission’s construction was started in 1800, but was never completed.  Today, you can view the  mission restored to the condition it was when abandoned.  Left unfinished to reflect the original condition, the exterior still has the holes required by the construction scaffolding.  It’s a beautiful mission – some images:
Tumacocori Mission2

Tumacocori Mission5

Tumacocori Mission

Tumacocori Mission6
Fiesta Dancer2

The festival, or fiesta, was in full swing when we arrived.  Lots of vendors, but unlike others we’ve visited, this event focused on wildlife, nature, and children.  There were free hummingbird feeders, information booths on the area’s national monuments and state parks, and many activities for children.  State and Federal park volunteers showed kids how to make adobe bricks, tortillas, and baskets, and best of all, let them take turns at hitting a giant Piñata filled with candy.  We especially enjoyed the music and young dancers in their colorful dresses:

Fiesta Dancer5

Fiesta Dancer3
Fiesta Dancer6
There were also Yaqui Indian dancers in beautifully made traditional dress:
Fiesta Dancer7
After an enjoyable afternoon here, we drove a few miles north to Tubac, originally a presidio, or fort, with a state historic site.  Today the history of the presidio is overshadowed by the over 80 galleries and shops that lure snowbirds to buy high-priced arts and crafts.  We wandered around looking, but aside from a bottle of gourmet olive oil didn’t find anything to interest us.  I was impressed, though, by the colorful pottery setting next to this Arizona Sycamore tree:Tubac Pottery
We’re happy to be back in Southern Arizona after five winters in Texas.  Tucson was our first home as husband and wife, and being back here brings back so many great memories.  We’ll be visiting more places, so check back and see what we’ve been up to!