We went to Tucson for Veteran's Day. It's the furthest south I've been on this half of the country. Well, maybe San Diego's further south. I could check lattitudes (can't you just imagine a book of poems called Lattitudes?) but I'm not feeling researchy. Or googly (which are becoming simultaneous in my undergraduate mind).
Tucson was warm. Not warm enough to swim but warm enough to sit in skirt and shirt by the side of the pool. The first night our hosts made a delicious dinner of salmon and greenbeans and the best foil-wrapped, rosemary-attended, red potatoes I've ever had. Megan sliced them so thinly that they cooked in like ten minutes. Then we were off to the Day of the Dead parade. Spooky, both in the creatures parading--weird goldpaint-covered monkeys, a giant rabbit head, umbrellas divested of their fabric, the requistie ghoul faces, and some somber drum beats and the fact--I felt like I knew everyone in and watching the parade. The U of U and U of A had some strong connections while I was in grad school so that's part of the feeling of knowing everyone but everyone seemed very familiar--a westerly connection? A parade effect? At the Pride parade in Salt Lake, I felt the same thing--but then, I did know a number of people parading and applauding.
The next day, certain people played disc golf for 7 hours! But who cares because Megan and I went to BevMo and bought one bottle of wine and the second was only five cents. Five cents! I came home with 6 bottles of wine for the price of three (plus $0.15). Then a delicious lunch of tacos at El Charros. Then, more sitting by the pool. With wine. When the guys came home from disc golfing, they jumped in the pool. They suffered for their machismo. Or at least shivered for it.
Dinner at Terra Cotta. Delcious poblanos stuffed with shrimp and rice in one and pork adobo and sweet potatoes in the other. I could live on stuffed poblanos. If they came with avocado. After, we played Ticket to Ride--a train game that I almost won and then someone (one of the hosts no less!) tricked me and scored 20 extra points. I think I'll stick with Cranium.
The hightlight of the trip was the desert museum and were I less lazy, I would upload pictures, but I am not less lazy (see above, reluctance to even Google). Mountain lions and barrel cactus, otters and agave. Wolves and ocatillo. We left from there the back way and made it back in four short hours. Edited to add--Also! Raptors: Harris Hawk, Barn Owl, American Kestrel.)
Z was a great traveling companion--she watched Shrek 3 and Tinkerbell on the way down (and the way back), stirred sticks in the pool, played train game with us, stared at the otter as long as I did, and appreciated the salmon and greenbean dinner (her favorite. Which our hosts knew.)
All in all, the whole moving to AZ project makes a lot more sense now that the drive between here and Tucson seems short for the payoff.