Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

From a different place…far, far away, reminders of home and family are with us today. And while we enjoy a different Christmas experience in the Southwest pole of Tucson, it cannot compare with the warmth of family and friends back East. Missing you all, but not the snow, and with great thankfulness for your friendship and love, Donald & Ada wish you a very
Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year
Hugs all around!
Howdy from Tucson!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

At the Gelateria......."Frost" at the Casa Adobe Plaza

What's your gelato flavor?
You have about 50 choices here.

Translated from Italian, gelato (jeh-lot-o) literally means frozen. Although gelato is a frozen dessert, the word does not begin to describe its immense flavor and texture. And while gelato is often compared to ice cream because it is a frozen, creamy product, there are actually many healthier differences. Unlike American ice cream, which contains 10-20% butterfat, gelato contains only 3-8% butterfat, making the calorie count so much less. They say the you can have 5 of these for every 1 ice cream, so while Bunny, John and Ada banked their calorie savings for future indulgences by having only one scoop, Donald went for the guilt free double scoop.......

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tohono Chul Park

Where Nature, Art & Culture Connect!
Nestled between Oracle Road and La Cañada lies a 40 acre oasis. An outdoor museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the vegetation of the Sonoran Desert; a sanctuary for birds and other desert inhabitants in a more natural state. Bobcats, coyotes, javelina, rattlesnakes and more traverse the dry washes in this area and if you are lucky, you might just see one. No cages or pens, nature is free to roam anywhere with-in this Eco friendly environment....... so have your cameras ready. Unfortunately, we only saw bunny rabbits and birds this trip.
Donald with Raleigh, our docent today
By day this is a pretty quite place. Sounds of birds and rustling bushes are the basic sounds you will hear. If you are lucky to arrive in time for the docent tour, you will truly appreciate and learn about all the adapted plants that have survived and flourished in the desert.

As you arrive, and before your start on the walking paths, there is a Park Tea Room where they serve breakfast for the early explorers, and lunch for us later arrivals.With their focus on native plants, there are greenhouses where you can purchase plants for your own home garden and plenty of green thumbed experts that will gladly give advise on how to maintain what you have or suggest something you might add. Donald spends a lot of time talking with these folks while I take the pictures of the plants and try to remember all the names. Of course, buying a book in the gift shop helps too. a huge grove of Prickly Pear Cactus

Teddy Bear Cholla
One big Agave......
Throughout the park their are Ramadas to rest the weary soles (of your feet) and take shade. Did you ever guess where the "Ramada Inn" got their name? Well, in the Southwest it's an open or semi-enclosed shelter roofed with brush or branches, designed especially to provide shade. Throughout the park you can find these, mostly made out of the spines of fallen Saguaro cactus.
An Exhibit House showcases the art, reflecting the rich legacy of the Southwest Indian, Mexican and Cowboy traditions.(pottery, rugs and paintings.)The Desert Discovery Education Center hosts an ongoing schedule of lectures. classes and workshops for all ages. The Wells Fargo Foyer Gallery puts the spotlight on the park's permanent collections, and most important, restrooms........
Certainly, it's a place that will beckon you back many times to visit, so it's best if you become a member, and we did. Although we've been here a number of times, mostly for lunch with Lena & Steve over the years, we look forward to going back many times over the winter months, especially now that we are members, and we plan on sharing with visitors too. And, did I tell you, they have the best prickly pear lemonade in town. (A whole other blog.)
Hummingbirds are everywhere, but too fast to catch with my camera, so I settled for a few finches. (Ok Dawn, what is there Latin name?)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tucson's 4th Avenue Street Fair

This year's selected poster artist is Linda Pirri
expressionist prints on silk.....
The 4th Avenue Street Fair is held twice a year; once in the spring and once in December. For us snowbirds, it’s a chance to do some Christmas shopping in the sunny outdoors and from some really talented artisans that come to Tucson from all over the Southwest.
There is something for everyone at the 4th Avenue Street Fair. Come for the shopping: 400+ artist’s booths featuring arts and crafts that cover the spectrum from fine art to country crafts. Glass, clay, wood, clothing, metal, jewelry, pre-packaged foods. All handmade and offered for sale by their creators. Come for the food: 35+ food vendors selling an eclectic mix of good things to eat. Greek, Mexican, Thai, BBQ, fry bread, funnel cakes, chicken, and Ada’s favorite, Kettlecorn. Come for the music: Two complete stages featuring only original music and local community performances. It’s three days and two miles of entertainment and shopping, offering something for everyone!
Meet Amado M. Pena, Jr
from Santa Fe, NM.
Pascua Yaqui Tribal Artisan

Lunch !

southwest Christmas ornaments
Catching Donald's eye. Must be Trolley related.
character art

always plenty of Southwest jewelry


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our first Mexican food adventure since arriving in Tucson......

Teresa's Mosaic Cafe
Opened in 1984, the Matias family has been cooking up great Mexican food at Teresa's Mosaic Cafe. A place on the hill that has been around for as long as we have had the B&B. (We bought the B&B in 1984 too.)
Located a mile or so west of I-10, this casual Mexican restaurant, with colorful mosaic tile tables, mirror frames, and an exposed tortilla making counter, is on the corner of Grant and Silverbell and well worth finding for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Margarita’s, fresh lemonade and the best selection of Mexican fare and salsa, it’s the best place we’ve found to go for Mexican food this side of the boarder.
making tortillas to order...
We originally found out about this great place when our friend Lena was looking for a caterer for her daughter’s engagement Fiesta a few years ago. Since then, it has become a great spot for a meal if you're on your way home from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, or Saguaro National Park's west. A place we always take visitors and a great place to enjoy home style Mexican food in a family friendly atmosphere, Ada's slightly eaten enchilada....

The name of the restaurant is Teresa’s Mosaic Café and the decor is all about the crafted mosaic tiled tables and counters. Remodeled in 2001, each table is unique and was handmade. They rolled out the clay, cut it into shapes. (chilies, butterflies, flowers, saguaros’). Then they embossed, glazed and fired them. Also, the Chef’s table has all the family’s personal items inlaid. It was a way of incorporating jewelry, keys, antiques and other items that were special to the Matias family; truly making the restaurant feel like home for them. And certainly, anyone that owns a restaurant knows, you do tend to live there. (we can relate to that.)