Thursday, June 29, 2017

April 12, 2017 - Tucson, AZ

It was very hazy that you almost cannot not see the mountains in the distance.  The sky was void of clouds!  

After breakfast we left to tour downtown Tucson and the neighboring areas.  There are lots of iconic downtown murals and we were on our mission to find some of them.

We checked out the historic Santa Cruz Catholic Church on S 6th Ave. It was designed by Bishop Henry Granjon of Tucson, and built between 1916 and 1918. The interior was not as fanciful or ceremonial as other churches, but was beautiful in its own right. Santa Cruz was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
Driving through downtown Tucson was not so bad, but I had to be careful not to get in the way of the electric streetcars.  I was able to find a parking space occasionally,  walked up to get pictures of murals.  Two of them were inside the fence and that gates were padlocked.  There is one large mural that is still a work in progress, and the artist was not there to work on it today. There is a lift in front of the mural. I was hoping to get pictures of the artist at work. 
After driving aimlessly I finally found a mural 'TUCSON'. It is on N. Arizona Ave in Warehouse Arts District area. 
Old Chevrolet pickup truck was parked near Crooked Tooth Brewery, not too far from the Bat mural.
We drove along 4th Street district, found one mural of famous/well known singers on the side of a brewery place.
There is an airplane wing with a door on the sidewalk next to Philabaum Glass Gallery & Studio.  We went inside the gallery, were wowed at the glass exhibits.  There is a studio where we can sit down and watch the glass blowers in action. It was fantastic to see the procedure of heating and shaping the glass piece.  Erika has been working 10 years, Alice one year and the seasoned glass blower is Dan, who has worked for 20 years. 
We had lunch at Gene C. Reid Park on S. Randolph Way. Then we stopped at Wells Fargo Bank to discuss about the strange iMessage that appeared on my iPhone yesterday. The message warned me that my bank debit card was locked and for me to call 213-xxx-xxx.  It turned out it was a scam and they were hoping that I would be dumb enough to give the debit card # along with pin #.  The manager checked my account and said that my debit card is still active.  Everything looked good.  She advised us that if we do get a strange message regarding the alert to call #800 toll number that is on the back of the card.  I left the bank feeling relieved and was glad I did the right thing.

We cut short our sightseeing because it started to get so hot. Erwin was sweating like a dog. 

After coming back “home” from sightseeing we put out camping chairs in the shade and did what each of us wanted to do.  It felt nice to feel the breeze.

Two roadrunners entertained us for a while. Nice to see the wild ones up close while we were eating supper. 
About half an hour after supper the security officer from Casino Del Sol was stopping at every RV. He stopped by to tell us that we had to move out of the parking lot due to upcoming events.  It was AFTER 6 pm when he handed the flyer to Erwin.  Why didnt the casino put out flyers early in the morning so we wont have to scramble quickly to get the rig ready and move out???   Poor planning!  
We managed to get the rig ready after 15 minutes of closing slideouts,etc.  However, before leaving the casino we discussed about where to go next and Erwin suggested to go to Bureau of Land Management, a dispersed campground with no hookups. It is off San Joaquin Road, not too far from the casino.
We were able to find a nice spot to park. There were few other RVs around.   There is a mountain in the back.  It is not too far from Saguaro National Park (the west).
Since there are no hookups it started to feel warm inside the Lil’ Home, so we opened all the windows to let the breeze in.

Not much stars out in the sky, and pretty soon the stars will not be visible because the moon will be up.


April 11, 2017 - Tucson, AZ

Yesterday the weather app called for cloudy day today, but it was very sunny when we were up.  I was hoping for a cloudy day, so we can go to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, since we will be outside checking out flowers and desert plants.  We will probably go there tomorrow or hold it off until we come back here for the winter.
Few RVs have left, but few more arrived last night.  it is nice to park here for free, and the security car drives around checking to be sure everything is alright. 

I listed 5 places to visit today.  Three of them are RV parks.  We wanted to visit and see what each RV campground is like.  We are thinking of camping in Tucson for our one month this coming winter.  

The first two places were RV campgrounds and we did not care so much for either one of them.  

We visited St Augustine Cathedral in downtown Tucson. The interior was very beautiful. We did not stay very long because we forgot to bring coins to pay for parking.  We will definitely bring lots of coins tomorrow.

While driving through downtown Tucson we checked out a couple murals. Some so colorful, some so quirky. 
St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church on Campbell Ave was the next place to visit.  It was built in 1940 and most of the craftsmanship was done in Mexico.  This was the first church that we ever see with a glass window behind the altar with a great view of the desert, cacti and the mountains.  
 Across the church is a labyrinth. Erwin went first and I followed, but I stopped after feeling so hot. Erwin continued until he finished.

We checked out one more RV campground on the east side of Tucson.  We liked this one better, talked to the receptionist about reservations, cancellation fees, etc.  We found three spots we liked, but don’t know when we will be back here in the winter.  We may know for sure after we spend time in Phoenix next week.

Since Saguaro National Park (Rincon) is not so far from the RV campground I suggested to Erwin that we go check it out.  I told him we did not have to hike, just stay in the car and drive on the 8-mile loop.  It was a nice drive, but we realized that there is not as many Saguaros here as they are in the other park (Tucson Mountains - west side).
Catcus Skeleton
Close-up shot
We stopped at Eegees to get their fruit slush. I had pina colada and Erwin wanted lemon/strawberry.  Both of us got small sized drinks.  My pina colada was very delicious.  Erwin was not too happy with his :-(
After supper (thank goodness for leftovers) I went off to do sunset and pink moon rise photo shooting from the top of the parking garage behind Casino del Sol.  

Pink Moon rising