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Friday, May 8, 2015

Tucson, Arizona 2011 - Part 2



After spending a day in Tombstone it’s time to see Tucson proper.  The weather that had been threatening finally called in its debt and rain started coming down as we got back into the city.




Seems that’s how it goes for us, plan on a sunny getaway and we’ll get cold and rain.  Plan a trip to the snow and we’ll get a heat wave.


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In the morning, we have a nice breakfast at the hotel…seriously, they have a great hot breakfast buffet…and make our way to downtown Tucson to see what we can find.  It is downright cold this morning.


Pulling into downtown, flakes start to fall.  That’s right…it is now snowing in downtown Tucson.  In the desert.  In Southern Arizona.  Just a few miles north of the border.  Where lawns don’t exist but Saguaro cacti do.

It looks like our bathing suits are just going to take up space in the luggage for this trip.

We find a spot to park on Congress Street on the east side of the city center.  It’s cold and snowy so we duck into the lobby of the beautifully restored Hotel Congress to get all our jackets, mittens, and hats on.  

The manager comes up to us.  He just wants to point out the accessible routes to all the areas of the lobby and invites us to come in and take as much time as we want to get warm.

That’s how hospitality is done, folks.

It is indeed an inviting place to sit for awhile, have a cup of coffee, and warm up in the tile walled room.

Out back, we cross the street to the old, restored Tucson train station.  Here you’ll find Maynard’s Restaurant and Maynard’s market.  We wander the aisles of the small store where you’ll find an upscale selection of food, wine, and beer plus some reasonably priced sandwiches and other prepared food to go.

Letty and I get a cup of weak coffee and it’s back out into the cold, cruel world.

Back on Congress Street, we stop at the Chicago Store.  It’s a large music store with just about any instrument you’d want to find.  It’s also like a musical pawn shop where local musicians can sell their instruments and budding musicians can buy them.  I get just a couple of items that I needed for our audio studio back home.

We continue to walk around in the light snow flurry but, although there seems to be a big surge towards restoration of the area, it’s still got a ways to go to be lively.


Back in the van, we head up First Avenue for lunch.  Today, it’s at BK Tacos.  You might have seen this place on the Food Network or the Travel Channel.  The specialty here is the Sonoran hot dog.  This starts with a bacon wrapped hot dog…a truly evil and delicious combination…and then piles on beans and salsa.  Most people also load up on the shredded cheese from the condiment bar.  It’s known as a chili dog on steroids…a pretty apt description.


The dogs are very good.  I also have a couple of their good al pastor tacos along with some creamy guacamole and hot sauce from the condiment bar.  It’s good enough to order seconds.

Tonight we’re going out on the town.  Specifically to a show at the restored Fox Theater on Congress Street back in downtown. 

When I was researching this trip, I saw that country singer Mark Chesnutt was going to be in town so we stopped in and bought tickets on arrival.  The wheelchair seating is in two boxes on either the left or right side of the orchestra and only 8 rows back from the stage.  Their actually very good seats.

At show time, the place is only about a third full so it was far from a sellout.  The first act, Mark Connors…a local singer, was not great.  The headlining Mark, Mr. Chesnutt, was great and...if you’ll pardon my French for a second...kicked ass.


The partially filled auditorium made up for the lack of bodies with the full-throated cheers and screams at Mr. Chesnutt’s act.  Security was tight, though, no pictures other that what we could grab with our phone or download a public domain copy could be had, so I apologize for the lack of photos.

The next day we wind down a bit, go shopping at some of Tucson’s many pawn and thrift shops, and spend the evening reminiscing at the hotel’s happy hour before settling in for one more night. 


We need to be well rested for that all day drive back to L.A.




Darryl
Copyright 2011
All Rights Reserved.

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