We decided to take a mini vacation between Christmas and New Years since both of us were off work. We hadn't taken a vacation together in forever (or at least a couple of years)! Arizona is different enough that we felt like it really was a getaway, even though it was a short trip.
We (truthfully me) did not get off to a good start. We got a bit of a late start because I didn't get up early enough. Then, I managed to forget my wallet so I didn't have any ID or credit cards with me. Normally, A does all the driving, but still, I felt very insecure without my wallet. Later, I discovered I brought the wrong contact lens solution and I didn't bring any extra bras so I have no idea was I was (not) thinking when I packed.
Our first stop was Casa Grande. I recommend taking the guided tour. The volunteer docents are so enthusiastic about the site. One of my favorite stories is that for as long as Casa Grande stands or until the Hohokam return, a pair of Great Horned owls will remain at Casa Grande. We were told that the owls have been there from at least the 1920s. While I don't want Casa Grande to be destroyed, I also don't want the owls to leave. They were quite a sight to see.
Our next stop was the Tucson Botanical Gardens. They currently have a tropical butterfly exhibit. We just love seeing these.
This is probably the third or fourth butterfly exhibit we've seen. I never tire of them.
We had a mundane Japanese dinner the first night and a terrific Mexican meal the second night. The first was selected by the intriguing name from the GPS. The second was from the restaurant list the hotel gave us, plus, the parking was full when we drove by the night before which we took as a good sign. There were several cars in the parking lot even though it was early (before 5:00). At first, we were the only non-Spanish speaking customers. We were a little taken aback by the menu. We knew it was a Mexican seafood restaurant by the name, Mariscos Chihuahua. But I guess the picture of the shrimp on the restaurant sign should have been a strong indicator. There weren't any appetizers or entrees that didn't have seafood. Good thing we were in the mood for seafood, lol. I was a bit surprised by the assortment of hot sauces plus ketchup on the table. Why ketchup? And, were the dishes not hot enough on their own?
A ordered garlic shrimp and I ordered shrimp in chili sauce. I was assured it wasn't hot, just flavorful. Guess that was why all the sauces were on the table. Look at this plate: french fries, rice, and tortillas. I was in carb heaven! Oh yeah, and the shrimp, too many to count. Guess I shouldn't forget about the shrimp since they were supposed to be the stars on the dish. They were tasty, but a bit too spicy for my tastes. I still managed to finish off most of the dish.After Tucson, we headed north to visit a friend. On the way, we passed an outlet mall. Too bad I didn't spot it sooner because if I had, I would have made A stop. You know how I love outlet shopping. We had a nice visit with E and he choose a Chinese restaurant for dinner, which I smilingly agreed to with some trepidation. Hmmm, no Chinese descriptions on the menu and no chopsticks on the table. Not a good sign. Still, the food was hot and filling and tasty, though all the sauces were too sweet. There was enough food for us to stuff ourselves and for E to take leftovers home for another big meal. I'm not sure if it was the food or the temperature or what, but A and I suffered from some digestional distress the next day. Hmmm, reminds me of Thanksgiving, though this wasn't as bad.
Arizona was beautiful in a deserty sort of way, but the weather? Brrrrrrr!!! My poor skin was dying (and still is). I used up a whole (small hotel) bottle of lotion and it still wasn't enough. All in all, it was nice to get away, even if I do feel like a lizard at the moment.