A few weeks back I wrote about getting out of my comfort zone and exploring my city/area more…and in the process, practicing my photography. I posted to my Facebook page asking for those who live here in Arizona to give me some of their ideas…to see if I could get anything different from what I already had.
I have a lot of ideas and places and thought I would list out seven of them on today’s Sunday Seven. I have no idea when I will hit each of these places…but rest assured, when I do, I will be blogging about it.
Reid Park Zoo– Of course this was going to be on the list. Who doesn’t like going to the zoo? The best part about our zoo right now is our sweet baby elephant, Baby Nandi. She is such a treat to watch.
Degrazia Gallery – I have heard that this place is great. It is really just down the road from our home and I think I will be going here sooner rather than later.
Sweetwater Wetlands – this is a place that is also about 10 minutes from my house. I have heard several people, especially photographers, say this place is pretty. My concern is…the smell. After all, it is right next to the water treatment plant. When we drive by on the way to the airport – the smell can be…mind numbing – and not in a good way. However, I will not let that stop me from checking it out – I will never know until I go!
Agua Caliente Park – This is a bit of a drive for me. I’ve been a few times – most recently about a year ago to shoot a maternity session. The water level is dwindling; however we have had so much rain this winter perhaps the water level has risen.
Sabino Canyon – This is a staple for any of our visitors to see. Again, we have had so much rain I think the creek and surrounding area would be beautiful.
Sanctuary Cove – This is a pretty area just to the west of where I live. I’ve heard lots of great things about this refuge of solitude. I think maybe I just want to go out and have some quiet time and re-center and redirect my heart.
Tucson Botanical Gardens – I’ve seriously only been here once in all of the years I’ve lived here. I loved the Butterfly Experience and want to go back to see what I see now.
Honestly, this is just a small portion of the list I have. These are all local to Tucson. I do have a list of places to visit that are a little bit of a drive – but still in the Southern Arizona region. Maybe this spring I will find my way to Tubac, Wilcox, Sonoita, Bisbee and a few more.
Next week I will have a list of culinary places I would like to visit. Nothing earth shattering, but places I want to go try…outside of the usual 2 square mile radius the Rocket Scientist and I seem to stay in when it comes to eating!
I am not certain why I have been sitting on this post for so long. I think I started writing it as soon as I returned from vacation last September. I thought it would be nice to share some of the things I think are cool about the place we live. I adore the desert. Even when it is as hot as blue blazes…I still love it. I actually am one of the nutty people who like the hot weather. I get a little frustrated when people who live here start complaining about how hot it is…as if they are shocked. Um…we live IN THE DESERT…it’s going to get hot.
All that to say – here are my Sunday Seven of a few things I like about Tucson, Arizona.
Eegees – Having grown up here, I remember when Eegees only had a few stores. The smell of a grinder can take me right back for being a child. Back in the day there wa only the lemon Eegee for a drink. When you are a citizen of Tucson and guests come from out of town – you take them here to enjoy a local treat. It is not your typical sandwich shop and frozen drink place…it is out of this world. Each month they have a flavor of the month Eegee – and this month has been Red Licorice. I will say that I was very leery of this flavor. It just sounds wrong. However, I will always try the FOM…and I’m so glad I did – it is delicious!
Dry Rivers – Out of Towners drive in and one of the first things they say after they have settled is, “We crossed a bridge over the Rillito (always pronounced incorrectly!) River, but there was no water in it. Why?” Well, most of the ‘rivers’ in Tucson are dry…until monsoon season hits in the summer. And then, in an instant, they become raging torrents of water. It is an amazing this o be on the edge of a dry river bed/wash one minute, and the next see that large tres are being swept away. When you see one of our signs that says “Do no enter when flooded” that’s not a joke…just a little ‘trickle’ can turn deadly in nano-seconds. We even have a Stupid Motorist Law because so many people drive around barricades as they think that there is only a little bit of water in the little creek. Not true.
Sunsets – Nothing compares to a Tucson sunset. There is just something about the way it hits the mountains. We have the best…especially during the summer months when the monsoon clouds roll in and storm, and then they move out, leaving just a few behind for some amazing masterpieces to be hanging in the sky.
The Catalinas – The Catalina Mountains are how our parents taught us the direction of the city. Since most streets in Tucson run North/South or East/West, it was easy to say the Catalinas (the tallest mountains around the city) are North, he Rincon Mountains to the East and the Tucson Mountains the to West. But those Catalinas…that was North. Know that piece of information and it was pretty easy to have a good sense of direction. Aside from navigation, they are just beautiful. Of note, Mt. Lemmon, at the top of the Catalina Mountains, is the Southernmost ski slope in the contiguous United States. It’s pretty cool up there – snow or no snow!
Flip Flops – Ok, I’m going to guess that I am going to share the shoe wardrobe of 90% of the women in Tucson…flip flops. Of all shapes and colors and styles. I may have many other shoes in my closet…but the 30+ pairs of flip flops in my flip flop bucket are what are on my feet most day of the year. They are just wonderful…not that any podiatrist would agree with me. I think we probably have more foot issues because we wear these adorable sandals – with no support! However, when the weather sits above 70 degrees most days, who wants to put those tootsies in closed shoes!?
University Of Arizona – Bear Down Cats! We love our University here. The rival between our Wildcats and the so-call school to the North of us (ASU or AS WHO?) is classic and legendary. On an academic level – it’s great to be in a city with a school that is on the cutting edge of education, discoveries and science.
Proximity to Skiing, Lakes, Beach – Location, Location, Location! Isn’t that what they say is the key to property? But seriously, we are an hour from skiing on Mt. Lemmon (3-5 hours to much larger slopes in Northern Arizona); less than an hour from several lakes to go boating or fishing; 3 hours from the beach in Mexico and 8 to the beach in San Diego. It is great to be so close to so many different outdoor activity places.
I’m seriously no joking when I say I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Tucson is not my hometown, but it has become the town of my home. It is a big city with a very small town feel. The level of connection is crazy – 6 Degrees of Separation is hard to find – usually it is 3 degrees! Someone always knows someone that you do. Its wild. I love my city.