February 2006               


            We are enjoying our stay in Tucson.  The weather has been sunny; it has been over 100 days since they have had any rain here.  The only problem to us is that is tends to be very windy here. 

            The first Friday of the month, Millie went to lunch with the ladies from the needle working group.  She is really enjoying meeting the many ladies in this group.  Everyone here is very friendly.  Following lunch everyone came back to the park to work on their projects.  

            One thing we have discovered, folks here in Tucson all seem to eat out on Friday evening and there does not seem to be as many restaurants here as in Houston.  We have had waits of up to 90 minutes for a table.  We are going to have to go much earlier if we want a table without a long wait. 

            On the 10th we drove to Casa Grande for a lunch with the Travel Supreme owners who are in the area. Again, the weather was sunny and clear and the drive was uneventful.   The luncheon was held at BeDillions.  This restaurant was originally a home built in 1917 and is an interesting place to visit.  The present owners have turned the office building into a museum.  The food was excellent and we enjoyed meeting the members in attendance.  Ardis Schenk did a great job of coordinating the afternoon.

            A class on Beginning Genealogy was listed on the schedule for February and as Millie is interested in this, she signed up.  The class has been great and she has learned much to make her search for ancestors much easier.

            The 15th was a very windy day.  Here in Tucson winds gusted to about 35 mph and the air was full of dust.  There was a large pileup of vehicles west of here on I-8 and it included 2 RV’s, due to the blowing dust.  The 5th wheel involved was heavily damaged and we felt sorry for those folks involved. 

            We drove over to the baseball parks and bought tickets for some spring training games.  Three teams, The Arizona Diamondbacks, The Chicago White Sox and The Colorado Rockies train here.  We are looking forward to going to the games.

            That evening Millie attended a class on genealogy on the internet.  It was very helpful learning to navigate some of the sites available for research.

            Mescal is a movie set, built in 1955 and in use for many films since then.  One of the most recent is Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. It is a sister studio t o Old Tucson, but is remote and does not have the “theme park” atmosphere of Old Tucson.  We picked a sunny, calm day to drive out for a tour.  This place is not on the map, the directions are – go to the end of the paved road and turn left on the gravel road.  We found it with no problem.  We were the only ones there when we first arrived but were soon joined by 4 other folks.  Tours are given on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 10 and 2. 

            Our guide was a gentleman who is the only person living on the premises.  He does duty as security, tour guide and maintenance.  

            The original set was composed of false front buildings, but as the wind can get quite fierce here, they did not stand long and were replaced by 4 sided buildings.  Many of the buildings are used only for exterior shots, with interior shots done on a sound stage elsewhere.  Chick-fil-a had been there last week doing shots for a calendar.  Our guide was quite amused at the use of the cows in their ads.  He was not familiar with the company’s ad campaigns.

            The tour of the town and buildings was very interesting.  We are going to have to dig out the DVD’s of some of the films and watch again to see how the town site was used. It is always fun to watch a film and recognize sites where we have been.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a facility that contains all aspects of the Sonora Desert.  After driving through Tucson Mountain Park, enjoying the views of the great Saguaro cacti, we arrived at the museum.

            The museum is not a building, but a large outdoor area showcasing the many aspects of the desert.  An exhibit on minerals and caves includes a walk through a created cave and very realistic.  Other exhibits include reptiles, fish, a cactus garden, a desert walk (including a visit with a pack of Javelina), birds and geology of the area. 

            Animals of the desert are also included.  Live exhibits of Wolf, Big Horn Sheep, Coati, River Otters, Mountain Lions, Bob Cats and others are included.  Of particular interest to us was a Hummingbird Aviary with the birds in free flight.  The Hummingbirds are the one thing we miss about not having a “sticks and bricks” home.  We kept feeders out for the little fellows and always enjoyed their antics. 

            We had lunch at the Ironwood Terrace Restaurant in the museum and had a great day learning more about the desert and its inhabitants. 

            The rest of the month was spent just hanging out at home.  Dick did some work for Dualco and Millie started making a quilted wall hanging. 

            Next month – A cave, trains, and baseball.  Come join us then. 


(Lots of new photos in the gallery, take a look.  We couldn't link to all of them.)