I'm sitting at the house on a Monday afternoon, lazily listening to music and enjoying the AC. It's so hot outside...
The weekends here are so great. I mean, there's just so much to see and do around here that gets me outside, and that's such a nice change from Tulsa (especially since I hear all of you have been dealing with some nasty spring storms over the last 2 weeks).
Saturday morning we slept in, then got up around 11AM and hit a bagel place downtown for a quick breakfast. We then drove out to the western side of town to the desert museum. Really, it was more like a zoo than a museum, and there wasn't much in the way of indoor attractions (so we loaded up on sunscreen and water). The entrance fee was $13, which I thought was a little steep until I got into the park and realized that this was so going to be worth my entire Saturday afternoon and my cash. We got to the museum at just the right time, because a live show was starting where some of the "zookeepers" showed off a couple of the poisonous reptiles that could be found in this part of Arizona. We were front and center to see a Gila Monster and a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (at least I think that's what it was). The snake was a bit freaky, but it certainly posed well for pictures.
I'm not sure when I'm going to get another opportunity to hear a snake rattle unless I'm out in the wild and I happen to get too close to one, and honestly, I'm OK with the latter never happening. Ever. Apparently, one vial of anti-venom costs something like $3000, and you need quite a few of those vials to be injected into your bloodstream if you're ever bitten. Gross.
Anyway, we walked around the park and saw all kinds of cool cacti, plants, animals and scenery. They had lots of big cats there, but since we arrived in the middle of the afternoon, they were snoozing in a shady spot where we couldn't see them too well. The mountain lions were the only ones who were really up and about, so I did get some good shots of them.
We left the desert museum around dinnertime, and since we hadn't gone grocery shopping in a few days ( he has a tiny fridge, and therefore we can't really stock up on a lot of groceries all at once), Garrett took us out to a really nice Greek restaurant on 4th avenue. Amazing food. Wonderful. I can't wait to go to Greece. There seems to be a food picture theme going on here...
After dinner we came home and watched a movie called "Sunshine." It's one of Garrett's faves, and honestly, I'm surprised I hadn't seen it until now. It was directed by Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire", "Trainspotting"), and it was a lot better than I would have expected. So, if you're a Danny Boyle fan, go check it out.
Sunday was a sleeping in day too (I'm getting so good at this!). We woke up around noon, had lunch, and drove about 10 miles south of Garrett's place to the San Xavier del Bac Mission. It's supposed to be the "Sistine Chapel" of the United States, and one of the best examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the US. It was pretty amazing, to be completely honest. Garrett couldn't believe he had never seen or heard of the place before. I only learned about it because I had gone to a museum exhibit on campus earlier that week and seen an old picture of it. I thought, "Hey, that looks like a pretty cool place to take pictures at", and off we went.
http://www.sanxaviermission.org/ , Dallas news story covering the mission's restoration
We got to the mission during the end of Sunday Mass, watched a short PBS special on the place, walked around and took pictures, then had some fry bread with honey that some of the local people were selling. Super yummy (and cheap).
After that, we drove a little further to the Saguaro National Park and went around an 8-mile paved loop in the truck. I think the plan is to go back there sometime this week and bike it. I need the exercise, and some of those hills will be good for me. :)
We went to Trader Joe's for groceries on the way home, made burritos for dinner, watched a couple episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "30 Rock", then sat outside talking for the rest of the evening. Overall, it was a great weekend.
Enjoy your rain, Tulsa. I've got Tucson sunshine until the end of May. ;)