..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Arizona Move: Part 3 -- Being Here

It's been wonderful being back in Tucson though we are like kids waiting for Christmas until the house closes on May 15. There is so much to do at the new house and we are so geared up to do it, that it's difficult to stay in the moment. To make time fly, we're pretending we're on vacation and going about seeing and doing the things we won't have time for once we get into the house. 

There are many great shopping opportunities to check out not to mention the restaurants that beckon us from every corner of town from authentic Mexican to creative eclectic cuisine, the options are endless. Fortunately, one of the best Mexican restaurants we've come across is a stone's throw from our new house. Rigo's Mexican Restaurant on Oracle is spot-on authentic with an extensive menu as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. Plus a Friday night marirchi band... what's not to love? 

When we're not in the mood for Mexican food, we often eat at Whole Foods Market which has become one of our favorite places to shop and eat as the food is always good and you don’t need a reservation. Many of the wildly popular, chic restaurants are nearly impossible to get into especially on the weekends; we don’t have the patience to wait for a table so we haven’t gotten to some of the places that are still high on our list.

Another welcome diversion is just across the street from our rental house here on the east side of Tucson: Sabino Canyon National Park. There are great hiking trails here leading into lush desert canyons and peaks with views that take the breath away. The prickly pear cacti are blooming now as are the cholla and palo verde trees. The wildlife in this area include javelina, coyote, adorable ground squirrels, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and many kinds of lizards. Although we haven’t seen either rattlesnakes or mountain lions, there are warning signs posted the deeper and higher you hike into the park. So far we’ve only witnessed a few ground squirrels and lizards which also happens to be the extent of our curiosity on the topic of wildlife. Although one evening on the way to a local restaurant, we had the good fortune to see a herd of javelina crossing the road in front of us with their babies scampering along to keep up... wonderful to see the wildlife from the safety of our car.

Here are some photos I took on a recent hike in the canyon... this crested saguaro is just spectacular!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Arizona Move: Part 2 -- Getting There

We left Seward on March 27th with 4 cats and 2 vehicles. Jack drove the truck with Feather and Yuri while I drove the car with Peaches and Rocky. The vet had given us sedatives for the cats so they wouldn't be too upset in the car which helped a bit. Only Feather had the reverse reaction to the sedative; it made her even more hyper. After 2 nights and a 3rd full day of driving we arrived in beautiful, sunny Tucson. Here are some pics from along the way.

 It's Spring in Arizona and the wildflowers are blooming.

Arriving in Tucson to welcoming skies. A good omen.

The movers arrived the day after we checked into the rental house. We didn't realize that a lot of our stuff wouldn't fit into the 3rd bedroom so much of it was deposited on the patio. The next day we rented a storage unit. That is now full as well.

Now that we're settled into the house, we're becoming reacquainted with the city we left 8-1/2 years ago when we moved to Seward. It's grown, of course, but our favorite restaurants and stores are still here plus many more we'll be exploring in the future. The real estate market is just now beginning to recover from the housing bubble and resulting crash of 2008. So many bad loans were made based on inflated property values that sellers who bought back then are now taking tremendous losses; bankruptcies and short sales are common. It's definitely a buyers market here in Tucson!