New Year in Tucson

Driving south from Idaho to Arizona was a rolling trip from winter to summer. We left Camas County and the night time lows were about -10 degrees. When we got to Tucson it was sunny and 65 degrees. Nice.

We had little time unpack as we almost immediately checked into and Airbnb with Amanda, Brandon, Eleaner, Hendrik and Lennox. Or as we like to say, holidays with the God Children. It’s a pleasure for all of us to decompress from our family Christmas celebrations…which we love…by just hanging out, cooking, deciding not to cook and just hanging out doing fun things together. First order of business….cocktail!

During last year’s visit we found this old-time photo parlor, but never had a chance to go to it. We were not going to make that mistake twice.

We took multiple shots. Tried different props. Somehow one photo seemed to capture it the best…and we both now have it hanging on a wall.

Next up on the Tucson visitors parade was Bill and his wife Sarah, and our friend Sarah from Seattle whom we haven’t seen in years. We all decided it was time for a little winter rendezvous in the Sonoran Desert. Bill’s back limited him on a few days, but it was such fun to spend time with old friends in a new location.

We even got to take a Tucson Mural Bicycle Tour. If you’ve not been to Tucson, the city has raised the art of the mural to an amazing level. If you think your town has nice murals…that’s so sweet. I’m sure yours are nice. But they aren’t like the ones in Tucson. Almost any blank side of a building there is ripe for mural art. It started years ago with just a few murals sponsored by city grants. The city still leads, but the community has embraced the idea in a big way. Now businesses large and small, governments, non-profits, taco shops will commission new murals for what in most cities are just “the side of your building”. And yes, they cover them with graffiti protection, but tagging doesn’t seem such a big problem. The whole city is rightly proud of them and protects them.

As we rolled toward spring we focused a lot on the puppies. It was time for shots and first dog training classes. They both passed. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. We visited all the dog parks in Tucson to find our favorites. We went for bike rides on the trail with the dogs in the trailer. I think Stella liked it and Stewie just tolerated it for our sake.

The dogs also got to meet lots of other dogs at a place called Dogtopia, a day care. That gave Karin and Dan time to hike, bicycle, go to the Tucson Rodeo, and out on lunch dates of our own once a week. Maybe twice some weeks. And Karin finally got to several of the famed Tucson Gem and Jewelry shows. By the way, she now has her own jeweler and stone cutter in Tucson. Ask her about “Todd of Tucson.”

March came fast, and it was time to hit the road for Seattle to do Mom’s taxes, and also deliver her dogs.

Well, deliver one of them anyway. Mom was feeling overwhelmed at the idea of taking both. She took Stella and Stewie went to stay for a little bit with Dennis and Carol in Oregon. We knew we’d see them both again shortly.

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