Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Couple of Interesting Places

Thursday Feb 7

Before the talk last night, which was quite interesting, we stopped at Mariscos  Chihuahua. There are a number of these restaurants around Tucson and Nancy has been wanting to try one. From the outside they look kind of like a fast food place. We were surprised to find that they are very nice, sit down restaurants with a mainly seafood menu, full bar, etc. Dinner was excellent.

As I said, the talk at the U of A was quite interesting, even though he started out talking about molecules and cellular structures. His main theme about the sources and spread of various types of flu was extremely interesting. It was a full house in Centennial Hall as well, about evenly split between senior and students.  

Friday Feb 8 through Saturday Feb 9

OK, so I procrastinated in updating my blog notes and now neither of us can remebr what we did at all!

Sunday Feb 10

After our short morning hike and the Sunday Morning on CBS we went into town to The Loft, which is an art house on the east side to see 56 Up. A film maker in England began following a group of children when they were seven years old, following up with interviews and life updates every seven years. They are all now 56 years old, so it was a very interesting movie.

Monday Feb 11

Weather has turned a bit cold the last few days, lows in the 30’s and highs in the 50’s. Beautiful sunny days though, with the exception of today! After the Monday AM meeting I decided to take the truck up to Eloy to fill it up. I also planned on stopping at a CB radio shop there to have the radio checked out. Turned out the shop there has closed up - oh well, some other time.

After filling up at the Flying J (144 gallons) I decided to splurge and have the truck washed at the Blue Beacon Truck wash across the street. They did a great job and the truck has not looked better since the hand wash jobs I was getting in Florida in 2010. Of course on the way home it started to RAIN! Halfway home in the rain, I got off of I-10 at Marana  before the pavement really got wet to avoid the spray  and took Sandaro Rd, which runs straight North-South in the Arva Valley. Still got fairly dirty, but I was able to clean it off pretty well when I got home and it still looks a lot better.

Nancy ran a few errands while I was gone, grocery store etc. Then we settled in out of the rain, which kept up steady all afternoon. It turned to snow in quite a few towns around the area, but none here.

For dinner we decided to brave the elements and run over to Tiny’s Bar for hamburgers. Not much atmosphere, unless you consider "Saloon" to be atmosphere, but really good burgers and ribs.

Tuesday Feb 12

Back to a beautiful clear blue sky today, still a bit on the cool side. We took a nice hike in the desert later in the morning after it started to warm up. 

We went to the Cup Cafe in the Congress Hotel for lunch, Nancy had been there with her sisters and it was very good. Then we walked a few blocks west to the Federal Building to pick up income tax forms. Seriously over-the-top security in the lobby and then they were out of form 1040 instructions!

The downtown area is still seriously torn up from streetcar construction. They were supposed to have finished it before the Gem Show opened - that was a laugh, the whole place is a mess, streets closed off, intersection with no traffic lights, just stop signs and pedestrians are on their own. There have been letters to the editor in the local paper referring to Tucson as a “third world city” considering the condition of the streets and the convention center, not to mention the areas of empty open land right close to downtown as a result of the failed Rio Nuevo project. A lot of unhappy people around here, with a lot of the blame going to the Republican controlled administration in Phoenix which has been moving gas tax money to other areas to balance the state budget at the expense of infrastructure in Pima County (which, coincidentally, is Democratic!)

After that we stopped at the Philabaum Glass Gallery. We had been planning on checking this place out for a while and it was worth the effort. An amazing callection of beautiful art glass, pretty much seriously pricy pieces. We were also fortunate that they were blowing glass today, so we were able to step right into the workshop where could watch them working and actually feel the heat from the ovens where they heat the glass to 1,200 degrees in order to work it. Very interesting and worth a stop. 

Back home for dinner and a Blackhawks game. They lost in a shoot-out but they are still leading the league at 10-0-3, not a bad way to start the season.

Wednesday Feb 13

Still around 31 degrees in the morning, but warming up quickly. We took another nice hike and then decided to go to Beyond Bread for lunch (and the second half of our sandwiches for dinner). Then we stopped at the Franklin Museum. I had seen a reference to this place a couple of years ago, but had not been able to pin down it’s location other than “the Tucson area”. Then I found a flyer at the Desert Trails office this year and it turns out it is not far from the Trader Joes on Campbell where we stop regularly! Actually though it is a bit off the beaten path, on a dirt road in the middle of the city!

Turned out to be a very nice collection of Franklins, mostly from the classic era of the 20’s and early 30’s, a few from the teens. The cars were in three buildings and we were given a nice guided tour of the collection of about 30 cars, most of them beautifully restored or in very good original condition. 

Back home after a stop at Trader Joe’s and the second half of our sandwiches for dinner.

Thursday Feb 14

Off to our regular yoga class at Tucson Yoga this morning, then a stop at Food Conspiracy. For Valentines Day We went to Cushing Street Bar & Grille for a nice dinner - got dressed up and everything! - which was as good as our previous visits have been, Good food, good service and nice atmosphere. This place was a real discovery this year.

Friday Feb 15

Had not planned on doing a lot today, but we ended up running around most of the day. Our little travel humidifier (that we bought in November!) gave up the ghost last night. We called a couple of Ace Hardwares to see if we could find another, one over on the east side had a less expensive one so we drove over there. Turned out to be too small, only good for 4 hours - we sleep longer than that! Some may question the need for a humidifier in a fiver since humidity in cold weather is more often the issue. Well, we sleep with the window at the foot of our bed open no matter how cold it is and if it is above 40 we have the overhead vent open, over 50 the vent fan is running and over 60 the windows at the head of the bed are also open. So, here in the desert it gets dry at night.

As long as we were over there we stopped at Costco to stock up on meds. Then we stopped at BK Sonoran Hot Dogs for a late lunch.

Back home a neighbor mentioned to Nancy that Walgreens has small humidifier, so I called the closest one, They had one left, so I jumped in the car and went back and picked it up. 

Blackhawks won again tonight! 11-0-3 and closing in on the league record for the most games without a regulation loss to open the season. Can’t get to over confident though, last season they were leading the league at the halfway point and then slumped to where they barely made the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round.

Saturday Feb 16

Took a fairly short walk in the desert this morning as we wanted to get going as there was a movie we wanted to see - Quartet, which was excellent, if a little formulaic. But it was a nice “feel good” movie with a cast of excellent older actors. Very enjoyable.

After the movie we made a stop at See’s Candy since we were way over east at the El Con Theatre for the movie, then up to the Beyond Bread on Speedway for lunch. Back home in time to relax and catch A Prairie Home Companion. 

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