Monday, January 21, 2008

Beautiful Freeway




Seems like an oxymoron doesn't it? But truly, the freeways are beautiful here. I took some pictures so you can see.

Even though I'm too young to get into the 55 and older parks, I still need to take notes so that I can remember what I wanted to tell you. For one thing, I wanted to tell you that when Mike gets drowsy during a day of driving, he rolls down the window and barks like a dog to wake himself up. I'll leave it to you to decide what to make of this.
We found a camera shop today where I was able to get the things I wanted for my camera--a split neutral density filter (to darken the skies when they are too bright to shoot without blowing them out), and a new strap for my new camera. Mike also found a monopod (a tripod with only one leg) so that he can steady the camera when he makes video. I haven't yet figured out how I can post video.
While we were driving we remembered a time when we lived in Phoenix, the first year of our marriage, that we made a big vacation weekend to Flagstaff--several hours north of Phoenix. Before we drove out of town, we stopped by a second-hand store where I was selling some old clothes on consignment. Turns out I had sold $12 worth of clothes. It was all the money in the world to us at that time. Times have changed for sure.
But the most exciting thing we did today was to add Arizona to our United States sticker on the side of the RV. I suggested we add New Mexico at the same time, but Mike takes this whole thing very seriously. He said we actually have to BE in New Mexico before we can add the sticker.
Mike has found a place where he can get his shock absorber replaced, and so that's probably what will happen tomorrow. But we will be heading to the national park within the next couple of days. More to come.

Warm and Dry

The weather here in Tucson is absolutely perfect. It was 68 degrees yesterday. We went out in short sleeves, and no sweatshirts. (And just in case some smarty pants comes up with a smarty pants comment, we were also wearing our jeans.) I believe it might be the first time this trip. We ran a bunch of errands, mainly grocery shopping. We looked for a camera store, but the only ones that might have what I'm looking for were closed (Sunday). Today is Martin Luther King Day, but I think most everything will be open.

Mike wants to get something done to his shock absorbers. One of them failed while we were in Joshua Tree NP. He's done some checking and calling and it turns out they have a lifetime warranty. (Original owner, of course.) There are several distributors around here and so he's going to get it taken care of.

We drove around looking for a Mexican restaurant the other night. We should have noticed this when we drove into Tucson, but the freeway is all torn up here. After seeing how beautifully done the freeway was in Phoenix (and I'm talking about tile on the overpasses), we can only guess that all the highway funds have moved south to Tucson now. Anyway, you can get on and off the freeway at certain points. Problem is, there is a stretch of freeway at least 10 miles long (no exaggeration) that has no off ramps. So the navigation unit took us onto the freeway, which would ordinarily be the way to go, and we couldn't get off until we were way past where the restaurant was. When we were able to get off, we took city streets back to the place we wanted to be, only to find it was permanently closed (possibly because nobody can get there).

So we drove around until we found this little place called Las Cazuelitas of Tucson (translation: Little Bowls). One of the things we missed most when we left Phoenix and moved to Portland was the abundance of good Mexican restaurants. Portland is much better than it used to be, but the Mexican food here just a few miles from the border can't be beaten. Everyone was very pleasant, the service and the food were great. They even had a cart that came around and a woman made fresh guacamole right at the table. Yum! We enjoyed it very much, and we'll probably go back again before we leave here.

Okay, now here's something that really has us worried. There is a grocery store called "Fry's". And the logo printed on the receipt looks exactly like the logo for Fry's Electronics in Portland. We looked around for any pitifully ugly geeks working there, but we didn't see any. Something about buying our groceries at Fry's really bothers us. We will leave it to you techies to figure this one out. Does Fry's really sell groceries in addition to selling everything electronic?

So even though I'm blogging, it doesn't really mean I have anything to tell you. On these days when we're in town, I'm just documenting our comings and goings. Later, I will publish a picture of us sitting outside next to our lemon tree. And, Erik, please buckle your helmet.