As soon as I got of the plane, Raeann and I went out for lunch at La Indita. We were not disappointed. I spoke to Salvador, the owner, and he said they have been in business since 1985, back when his hair was still black. Fine, fine establishment.
Besides the people, my favorite thing about Arizona was all the flowering cacti. The prickly pear blossom is incredible and came in so many colors.
On Saturday I visited my dad's parents, Margaret and Hu, at their home in Green Valley. I can't even describe how good it was to get some quality time with them. I haven't seen them since our wedding, but I was so distracted by getting married that it hardly counts, and before that it was years. I don't even remember how many, so in my adult life it's been pretty limited. Fortunately, my grandmother is a very skilled emailer and it has not been difficult staying in touch. I feel very lucky to have relationships with three of my grandparents. And these two are the best kind of people: spirited, generous, kind, hilarious, and wicked smart. My grandfather just returned home after spending six weeks in the hospital, and is understandably feeling a bit feeble. Although he sounded just like his normal self, which was enormously reassuring.
Their home is a museum. Note the two Marina paintings, and do you recognize the model in the painting on the right?
We had lunch at The Stables, a restaurant at the Tubac Country Club south of Green Valley, and the food, views, and company were terrific. I ordered fish tacos with mango salsa, and learned that my grandmother has never in her life eaten a fish taco. I learned a lot of things on my trip. The entire time I was there I felt so grateful for the opportunity. If there are people you need to visit, MAKE IT HAPPEN! It is so so worth it, and you'll only regret it if you don't.
I said my goodbyes (after a few more photos) and drove back to Tucson. Raeann took me to the top of "A" Mountain (or Sentinel Peak) for the view.
That evening we ventured out to Sabino Canyon for a sunset hike. Just like that it was my last night in Tucson and I tried to savor it.
Desert sunsets are pretty special.
In the morning, Raeann and I drove up Mount Lemmon.
We went for a hike up near 8,800 ft. The surrounding area was recovering from a fire, so all the trees were growing back really fluffy and dense and we hiked pretty high up but it never opened up enough to get a view. It was chilly up that high, but scorching by the time we got back down. We pulled over on the side of the road to photograph some cacti. The saguaro were in full bloom (they're the state flower of Arizona) but the blossoms are so high off the ground that it's a challenge to get a decent photograph.
Thank you Raeann, Margaret and Hu, for showing me such a WON-derful time (as my grandmother would say). Tucson, you're lovely!