Tucson, 2004

By Jack Welsch

Images © Copyright 2004, J. H. Welsch
Picture #   of  


This was another business trip where I decided to take Lin and tack on some vacation. We left on January 27th and returned on February 4th. Here again, I didn't bother with a diary but here are some ramblings...

The trip out sucked! I had a board meeting at work so we couldn't leave until mid-afternoon. Two winter storms were coming, one from the West and one from the South. To make a very long, horrible story a bit shorter, we ended up diverting through Las Vegas, then getting stuck there overnight. After getting 2-1/2 hours sleep in a lousy LV hotel, we got to Tucson about mid-day. Yuck!

The conference was somewhat disappointing; not bad but not what it could have been, at least from my perspective. Wednesday evening there was a cocktail party and I especially enjoyed that as it gave me an opportunity to introduce Linda to many friends I've had for years and in some cases decades. Afterwards we had dinner at the "Flying V" at the hotel, Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort. Thursday night's dinner was at Wildflowers and Friday's was with some very good friends at The Olive Tree. Sessions were over before noon on Saturday and we were officially on vacation.

Though we'd been there before, Lin suggested we drive down to Tombstone. It's a cute town and the drive is a pretty one. Clouds were mostly broken and it was a tad chilly but a sweater was more than enough. We had a nice lunch in Tombstone and did a bit of shopping. We had dinner at Soleil and it was great!

Sunday we decided we'd drive down to Tubac as someone had said it was worth doing. We also figured we might go on down to Nogales, MX. The drive down I-19 was beautiful; we both love the vistas in this part of the world. Tubac was absolutely GREAT. It's an artist community and the number of shops was mind-numbing! We had a map and worked diligently at it for hours but were still unable to see al the shops. We had a very pleasant lunch in the sunshine on the patio at Shelby's Bistro. We bought a few trinkets and had a nice visit to the Tubac Presideo. While there we met and spoke with a woman who'd moved from MN to Green Valley, AZ. She highly recommended it as a place to live. We stayed in Tubac until the shops closed and, it being too late in our mind to head for Nogales, we turned homeward. Though I knew the mission at San Xavier would be closed, I stopped for pictures since I couldn't be sure the next day would bring the same magnificent sunshine. We didn't feel like a big dinner so we ate at Hifalutin in Tucson. Hot fancy but just what we needed.

On Monday, we decided to have breakfast, visit Kitt Peak, stop at the Titan Missile Museum and have a look at Green Valley. A man in the restaurant told us to get to Kitt Peak by driving out Speedway Blvd and looking for the signs but that didn't pan out. We ended up going through the pass towards the Dessert Museum. I didn't really mind that as I'd been thinking of driving out that way anyway but we realized too late how far away Kitt Peak was and we figured that's blow the day. Having had a nice drive and gotten some nice pictures, we swung around into I-19 and stopped at the Titan Missile Museum. This is a fascinating but chilling place to visit as you get to enter the underground control chamber and even the silo itself. A disabled missile still stands there. The consoles in the control room are, of course, ancient by today's standards but it's chilling to imagine what could have happened there!

We continued south to Green Valley and stopped for lunch at the Grill at Quail Creek. Prompted by a flyer on the table we spend the next couple of hours looking at model homes there. This really looked nice and the prices were, I thought, quite reasonable. Definitely something to consider down the road...

On the way back, we stopped again at San Xavier del Bac but this time it was open. What a magnificent place! We'd done so much shopping that we had to stop at the Park Place Mall in Tucson to buy an extra suitcase to get everything home! While at the mall, we ate dinner at the Bamboo Club.

Tuesday, we left Tucson (sigh!) and headed up I-10 to Tempe where we spent the night before heading for home. After dropping the bags at the hotel, we went immediately to Old Scottsdale and our favorite jewelry store there, Sewell's. Lin bought some earrings to match a Kokopelli necklace I'd bought her a few years ago. After driving around a bit, we had dinner at the Quilted Bear.

Fortunately, the trip home was unremarkable but the fact that I had to leave the car on the street while I cleaned a foot of snow from my driveway was a cold (excuse the expression) dose of reality! I wanna go back!