Monday, December 28, 2009

Tombstone........a town too tough to die!

Walking the streets that Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and rough and tumble cowboys walked over 130 years ago, Tombstone was founded as a mining boom-town in 1879. Landmarks and Historic attractions like the Crystal Palace Saloon, Big Nose Kate's, and Boothill Graveyard line the washboard streets where time stands still. And of course, days of lawlessness and violence climaxed with the infamous Earp-Clanton battle, fought near the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral, on October 26, 1881.

Take a ride.......

have a Sasparilla.......

meet the locals.....
make new friends.....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

She's loaded for some serious photography

Martin Scorsese, watch out. Ada's now in the movie business. So many bells and whistles on this new camera, it will probably take her all winter to figure it out. (The instruction booklet is about 150 pages.) Santa Donald found a new way to keep Ada busy while he reads his newspaper. Certainly, she will be immersed in learning all the great things she can do now, and no longer will her pictures be blurry or out of focus. You better be on your guard, she can take pictures from a mile away and catch all your freckles.... Lena & Steve will be my first victims tomorrow. We're off for a drive to Mescal Road. A 16 mile scenic byway that you pick up about 1 hour east of Tucson on I-10. From old movie sets to creek crossings, we'll take it as far as Happy Valley. (if the car holds up to the wash board road.....)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Tucson

Snow on the Catalina Mountains…..
Christmas in Tucson celebrates the holidays mostly in 70 degree sunshine, but every once in a while a dusting of snow graces the landscape of the Catalina Mountains. And with a view like this, it’s a wonder I ever get Donald to leave his patio. Blessed with the beauty of nature all around, Don and Ada wish family and friends, near and far, a wonderful Christmas and hope you too embrace the warmth of your surrounding nature….where ever you may be this season!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A new sandbox to play in..............

The neighborhood is all abuzz about the new Ritz Carlton Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort that is opening today and located within a stone’s throw from Ada & Donald’s casita. Touted as the largest Ritz Carlton Resort Community ever built, it is nestled in the high Sonoran Desert against the Tortolita Mountains. Marketed as a picturesque retreat northwest of downtown Tucson, in scenic Marana, this world-class luxury hotel includes a destination spa, (3) Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, limitless adventure programs to include fitness, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, along with relaxed dining and the serenity of an exclusive desert setting. Their guests will certainly enjoy a vast array of luxurious amenities, plus the added convenience of the city of Tucson less than thirty minutes away. While the hotel is just opening today, their Golf Course opened last year, just in time to host the Accenture Match Play Tournament; one of the tournaments Tiger will not be returning to play this year……… and unfortunately, ticket sales will take a hit for sure. What do you think they are talking about?
Oh, and if your in the market to buy some real estate, they are selling signatures houses all around the 850 acre golf community. Approximately 450 highly personalized homes and 50 custom estate homesites will comprise the Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, at Dove Mountain. All available for an easy 1.25 million to 3 million. Clearly, we Clampett's we got on the mountain before Mr. Carlton found gold in them thar hills......

Monday, December 14, 2009

Arizona Sky

You could tend to take the beautiful days and sunsets like this for granted after awhile, but not us. Every night the camera is ready to capture the most colorful end of a day. The best sunsets occur when there are at least a few high clouds. Higher clouds are hit by the sun's rays before they pass through the lower atmosphere, where the air has more particles. Sunlight is composed of a spectrum of colors that range from violet and blue at one end to orange and red on the other. At sunrise or sunset, sunlight takes a much longer path through the atmosphere than during the middle part of the day. Tonight we got the blue and violet end of the spectrum for sure......... And most likely, rain tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

4th Avenue Street Fair

Twice a year Tucson hosts a spring and winter street fair called the 4th Avenue Street Fair and for the last six years we have enjoyed attending and buying one of their artist commissioned posters that highlights the southwest landscape or the multi-cultural aspects of the region. This year, they have chosen the Tucson Trolley, which runs along Arizona University Blvd to 4th Avenue.

Riding the Streetcars in Tucson.
Electric streetcars began operating in Tucson in 1906 as a replacement of the horse and mule drawn streetcars already in service. By 1930 the growth of Tucson outpaced the ability of the streetcars to provide adequate service and in December of that year rail streetcar operation in Tucson was ended. Then, in 1983, a group was founded to bring back the trolley as part of the University of Arizona’s 1985 Centennial. Old Pueblo Trolley, a nonprofit, all volunteer museum was formed. Trolley restoration began in the spring of 1985 and track construction began in 1987. Major support has been received from all parts of the community (FAMA is a big contributor), including members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1116, who, with the support of Tucson Electric Power Company, built and continue to maintain the overhead power.Old Pueblo Trolley operates through some of the most historic and diverse areas of Tucson. Beginning in the heart of The Fourth Avenue Business District, the trolley passes the length of the Avenue, turns onto University Boulevard where it passes beautifully restored homes (and the Arizona Historical Society) and terminates near the main gate of the University of Arizona.

Southern Arizona’s Largest Festival
Free to the public, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair brings together 400+ arts and crafts booths, oodles of food vendors, 2 stages, street musicians, jugglers, street performers, the Free SPIKE kids hands-on-art Pavilion, face painting, balloons, and tons of other fun activities, and then packs them into a three day celebration.And when you no longer have a use for your saxaphone or trumpet, you can turn it into a lamp or end table. How clever!

Two delectable characters accompanying us to the fair; Lena & Steve

Friday, December 4, 2009

The one and only.......Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson and his
"Asleep at the Wheel" band

"Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks.
Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
They'll never stay home and they're always alone.
Even with someone they love".

With his signature red bandanna that surrounds his now silver braids, to his songs that speak of tough and rough Texas livin, Willie Nelson and the Asleep at the Wheel band rolled into Tucson this week for two sold out performances. Ada only had to mention to Donald that Willie Nelson was coming to town and he didn’t hesitate in saying “Can we go? Is it too late to get tickets?” And before he could say “how much”, Ada was online ordering the best seats she could get her internet hands on. A country legend at 76, Willie still attracts fans of all ages and from all music genre’s. Last night, Willie certainly excited the entire audience and had them dancing in the aisles with a formidable list of famous crowd pleasers that span six decades. "Mamma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," "Poncho and Lefty," "Always on My Mind," "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," and of course, "On the Road Again", were just a few of the 100 songs he performed non-stop. A must see concert when ever he’s in town and a truly great start to our southwest hiatus.
A early Christmas gift for my Cowboy……… wrapping required!