Left Tucson, AZ yesterday under warm weather and bright blue skies, and am now basking under hotter temperatures here in Scottsdale, along with worsening allergies. That's spring time in the Valley of the Sun.
After spending little over three weeks in Tucson, yesterday felt almost like leaving home. Not that Tucson ever was my home, but that I started to get used to the place.
I was finding some favorite watering holes that I revisited a couple of times, and I started to figure out my way around town. I had ventured out on some rides, and even got to meet some nice people. I suppose it means that I finally got to see The Old Pueblo, and can finally say that I know something about it.
Defining at what point one has visited a town, as opposed to just stopping over, is hard to figure out. I mean, I could ride down the Interstate, and then pull off the road in Tucson to fill up with gas, and then get back on the Interstate. To me, that short of time isn't enough to say that I visited. In fact, it seems like I'd have to stay longer than overnight.
But on the other hand, if it's possible to see some of Tucson's sights, eat at several of its restaurants, meet some of its people, and even get to know the layout of the city, all in one day, then I guess it's not necessary to stay more than a day.
I'm not, however, a busy tourist. I don't make a day-to-day plan of what I'm going to do. For the most part, I try to take care of business first, and then figure out what sounds good. And sometimes, the introvert in me wants to remain solitary, even if I'm just riding the bike, or sitting at the bar nursing a cold one. Either way, I don't like pushing myself to get to know a city better. I need to do it on "my" time.
If anything, the time I spent here in Arizona's second largest city has been rewarding. Getting to know Mike & Chris, a couple who rides Royal Enfields, has spread some new perspectives on me about the way I see life. Just being able to stay in a smaller town, smaller than San Diego that is, feels refreshing too.
I got to try out a few taco shops, a few coffee shops, a handful of craft breweries, and even some good burgers. I got my leather jacket repaired too; the zipper tore, and I found a tailor to sew on a new one.
Meanwhile, the drier air in Southern Arizona, combined with the Spring blooming season, has my allergies at peak flare. I'm gobbling down Zyrtec by the day, and Benadryl by the night, and still it makes things bearable at best. The watering eyes and sniffling nose, I think, is what caused me to abandon my exercise regimen, and now all the beer drinking and Mexican food is catching up to me. I have a few t-shirts that have now become too unflattering.
When we left Tucson yesterday, Stephanie rode with us. She was headed to Phoenix. We took AZ-79 into Florence for lunch, and then along AZ-87 into the Phoenix area. We split off from there. We hope to hook up with her perhaps this weekend before going opposite directions across the USA.
As I type this blog post, Sash is running around trying to cram several appointments and committments into today, tomorrow, and Saturday. She's really focused on building our marketing business while we're in town for AZ Bike Week. I've managed to pick up some work designing PowerPoint presentations for a healthcare company in San Diego, so I'll be busy too.
|Me drinking a brew at Barrio Brewing, in the|
downtown area of Tucson
|Sash posing for a shot inside Tucson Botanical|
|The Double Donkey Punch burger at Lindy's on 4th,|
probably the best burger in Tucson
|We visited Mission San Xavier Del Bac, a Jesuit|
Mission established in the late 1600's
|Me having coffee with Chris and Mike in|
|Sash and Chris at gas stop in Sonoita|
|Chris & Mike invited us to their house for some|
|We met Margaret, who restored this little|
|Me working at Crave Coffee Bar in Tucson||One of my favorite breweries in Tucson turned|
out to be 1055 Brewing.
|Sash enjoying tacos and a margarita at Calle Tepa|
Mexican Street & Grill and Bar
|Stephanie and Sash downing margaritas together|
|My office set up for the afternoon at Savaya Coffee |
|One night, we stayed in the hotel all day and night,|
and Sash made tacos
|Another favorite brewery of mine, Sentinel Peak|
Brewing, and their Overhaul Chili Beer.
|Sash seated at the bar of Tap & Bottle, in|
|Sash underwent a metamorphosis at Tucson|
|Our bikes parked in downtown Tucson.|
|The Tom Mix Monument, where the famous|
cowboy actor met his fate.
|Sash's helmet with a new Hello Kitty decal|
|Riding north along AZ-87 between Coolidge|
and Sacaton, Stephnie and Sash behind me.
|Stopped for lunch at LB Cantina in Florence, AZ|
|We passed by this older couple going it slow|
through the San Tan Valley
|We finally made it to Scottsdale in time for|
Arizona Bike Week