Friday, November 12, 2010

Arizona beauty

Last winter, shortly after I retired, my husband and I enjoyed a month-long stay in Tucson. This was a generous retirement gift from our friends, the Pipers, who spend winters there.
It was their way of introducing us to the beauty of Arizona.

We spent the month in the Piper's casita, an adobe guesthouse, situated in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains.

We explored the wonders of the desert and learned a bit about the many varieties of cacti growing there. We hiked at Catalina State Park, Saguaro National Park, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert museum and botanical garden. We marveled at the majesty of it all.

The sunsets were indescribable. Our granddaughter, Heidi, captured this photo outside our casita.

She and husband, Chris, drove from their home in Las Vegas to spend a weekend with us. Heidi is an excellent photographer, evidenced by these photos:

Nearby was a wonderful Farmer's Market held every weekend at St. Philip's Plaza. We tried some interesting foods that were new to us: Jack in the Bean soup and Mill Creek Mexican lime olive oil.

We took a day trip to Tubac, about an hour south of Tucson. Tubac is an "artsy" community with many interesting shops and artisans at work. Lunch at the Old Tubac Inn is highly recommended if you visit. Their Center for the Arts was fabulous.

Being a former member of the U.S. Air Force, we had to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum with 80 acres of aviation history. George loved walking around the large field of old planes. (Me? I toured the gift shop, bought a book, The Fighter Pilot's Wife, sat on a wonderful stone bench outside in the sun and read.)

Our month went by too fast, and we were sad to be leaving the amazing beauty, and warmth of the sun, of Arizona.

But, while there, in our new retirement life, we vowed to return. Maybe even invest in a winter home there.

To be continued...