Rodeo in Tucson, Family and Friends in Phoenix

After departing Kartchner Caverns State Park, we moved over to Green Valley (south of Tucson) for a few days of fun.  We arrived on Valentines Day and decided to go out for dinner at the Cow Palace (sounds romantic, right?)  Actually, it was quite fun.  They had a country band, dance floor and good food in a saloon-style setting.  I shot a picture of the full moon from the car as we were driving to dinner.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

01 Full moon over Amado AZ

We were near the charming little town of Tubac, where we could hike the De Anza Trail from Tubac to Tumacacori where we visited the old mission remains.

Hiking the De Anza Trail to Tumacacori
Hiking the De Anza Trail to Tumacacori
Mission Church San Jose de Tumacacori
Mission Church San Jose de Tumacacori
This is how it looked back then
This is how it looked originally
And sadly, this is all that remains.
This is all that remains.

I’m writing and posting this blog update at my sister-in-law’s house because I’ve got internet access from here.  However, I don’t have my informational brochures with me right now, so I can’t pick off the interesting historical information about the places we’ve been recently.  Now I COULD just look up some details on the internet, but I’m just trying to get this done fast so I can pour myself a glass of wine and sit down to watch the Academy Awards with Diane!  History, schmistory!  On with the show!

OK, so we toured the Titan Missile Silo and Museum.  It was quite fascinating to see .. and scary.  I remember those days.  The air raid exercises in school, everyone building bomb shelters, all that stuff that is more frightening to me now than it was then.

06 Titan Missile Museum

Down in the missile silo
Down in the missile silo
The last remaining missile - preserved as a museum
The last remaining missile – preserved as a museum

We had a really fun day at the Tucson Rodeo.  My girlfriend Jane joined us.  Mike and Jane bought cowboy hats and they both looked so cute.  Wish I’d taken a picture of them.  I was just trying my darnest to get some good shots of the Rodeo action.  Jane actually got better pictures than I did, so I used some of her pics below, as well as some of mine.

Lots of great action at the Tucson Rodeo
Lots of great action at the Tucson Rodeo
Good stuff, that is!
Get some air!

Rodeo5

Buckin Bronco
Buckin Bronco
Ladies Barrel Riding
Ladies Barrel Riding

Rodeo3

The kids are in there, too!  So cute!
The kids are in there, too! So cute!
More kid stuff
More kid stuff
I wonder if he knew this wasn't going to work out well?
I wonder if he knew this wasn’t going to work out well?
Owww
Owww
Lots of shopping at dozens of booths around the arena
Lots of shopping at dozens of booths around the arena

We departed Tucson and headed up to the Phoenix area next.  First stop was a return to Lost Dutchman State Park.  We loved it last year and wanted to try the Siphon Draw hike one more time.  Could we make it to the top if we started earlier?  Let’s try it!

Towards to top, it just got tooooo steep for me.  I started to feel panicky!
Towards the top, it just got tooooo steep for me. I started to feel panicky!

We couldn’t do it.  We started to worry about Lucy slipping (good excuse, right?)  But the views were fantastic from where we turned around.

View from Siphon Draw Trail in the Superstition Mountains
View from Siphon Draw Trail in the Superstition Mountains
Another nice view half way back down the mountain
Another nice view half way back down the mountain

Next stop was a little closer to Mike’s sister Diane in Cave Creek.  Would have loved to stay at Cave Creek Regional Park again, but they are booked solid at this time of the year. So we stayed at the Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  That was still a 30-40 minute drive to her house!  Yikes, we’re really ‘out there’!

Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant
Hiking around Lake Pleasant
Hiking around Lake Pleasant

We stayed at Lake Pleasant for 12 days and that gave us lots of time to visit with the family and to see a few friends that we’ve been wanting to catch up with.

Mike escorts his Mom to the table.  She is always so happy to see him!
Mike escorts his Mom to the table. She is always so happy to see him!
Mike, Mom, and Diane
Mike, Mom, and Diane
No guilt filling up on sushi at the Sushi Station
No guilt filling up on sushi at the very affordable Sushi Station
Mom was craving some real Maine lobsta' (at the Salt Cellar Restaurant)
Mom was craving some real Maine lobsta’ (at the Salt Cellar Restaurant)
Dog Show in Scottsdale with Jane
Dog Show in Scottsdale with Jane

My girlfriend, Jane, is a champion Westie dog breeder.  She came up to Scottsdale (from Green Valley) to check out a very special male Westie.  This was my first dog show and it was fun!  I’d definitely attend another, the next time I have a chance.  Jane explained so much of what was happening.  It really helped me understand what the heck they were doing!

Dinner at Debbie and Dan's BEAUTIFUL home
Dinner at Debbie and Dan’s BEAUTIFUL home

We loved seeing Debbie and meeting Dan for the first time (even though they have been together for years).  Debbie and I worked together years ago and it was so fun to get together again!  Their home is absolutely gorgeous on one acre in Paradise Valley.  We dined outside on a terraced patio next to a massive outdoor fireplace, listening to the sound of their rock waterfall, cascading into the beautifully curved swimming pool, while Lucy frolicked on about a quarter acre of the greenest grass I’ve ever seen gently sloping down a hill that is called their backyard!  So, so pretty.  Debbie just retired a week ago (freedom!), so we are hoping that Debbie and Dan meet us again while we are up in Cottonwood.  They have another home in Prescott, so, hopefully they’ll spend a weekend up there in the next couple of weeks.

I haven't seen John in over 40 years!
I haven’t seen John in over 40 years!

John Hellman’s parents were close friends with my parents.  They used to live across the street from us.  I was his babysitter when I was a teenager!!  We recently reconnected via Facebook.  So it was fun to see each other again and share the stories of our lives.  Hey, Valarie .. John told me that you were his first crush!

Walking the dogs at Diane's.  This is what the street normally looks like.
Walking the dogs at Diane’s. This is what the street normally looks like.

This weekend dumped some heavy rain on Phoenix.  Last night we got hit with a hail storm!

After the rain and hail finally stopped!
After the rain and hail finally stopped!

And, now I’m going to try to insert a 10 second video of the hail coming down.  It was amazing!  I hope this works.

OK, that’s it.  We did lots of fun stuff with great friends and family.  We’re hoping to meet up tomorrow night with some fellow bloggers, “LiveLaughRV“, for sunset drinks before we head out the following morning for Cottonwood.  We enjoy getting together with Ingrid and Al and look forward to seeing where our travel plans merge this Spring!

6 thoughts on “Rodeo in Tucson, Family and Friends in Phoenix

  1. WOW! You captured a lot of GREAT MOMENTS in your photos… !! Fabulous! I found you out there browsing wordpress… I am just North of Phoenix and we like to travel. Your blog gives me great ideas for more places to go! THANK YOU!

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