Desert Life in AZ and NM

Desert Life in AZ and NM

December 31st, 2023 to January 26th, 2024

We headed from the Phoenix area to a spot in the desert south of Tucson in Amado on the last day of the year. We hoped for a nice drive, nice campground, and a New Year's Eve party when we got there. It didn't go quite as planned.

The drive was nice and the views from the campground were phenomenal, but getting into our site proved to be a learning experience. It was a gravel site on the end of a row and it seemed like the best way in would be to come around from a side street so we would pull directly in. Margot had the coach up on the site, back tires on the road, with the trailer attached and going over the corner of an empty site. Then, all hell broke loose from the peanut gallery that had gathered, for some reason.

Apparently, they gathered because the sites were notoriously difficult for rigs like ours to get into. We didn't realize it at first, but the road headed downhill to our site, and the site headed up a short but fairly steep uphill grade to where it leveled off, for drainage. With the coach headed uphill and the trailer headed downhill, we dug the front of the trailer into the gravel pretty hard. But, backing up to try another line was the worst of it -- we peeled the bottom of the diamond plating away from the front of the trailer a bit as we maneuvered. Margot was able to get it back down and the trailer itself didn't have any damage, thankfully.

After much input from the peanut gallery and many discussions, we turned around and headed into the site over the corner where the difference between the site and the road was the least severe. That worked, and we were in! The site was fantastic after we got settled. Then we found out they sold all of the tickets to the NYE party, so we just hung out at home. We had to take naps at 11PM or so and then get up to celebrate. It was a long day.

Peak Finder is a great app for figuring out what you're looking at

We were south of Tucson where Monica's dad and his wife, Linda live. We were just south of where Sue and Toni spend their winters. We had lots of people to hang out with, which was so fun! We played lots of Swoop, watched TV, and had many dinners with family and friends.

Our first event was to the Tucson Botanical Gardens' holiday show, LightsUp! We went to Phoenix's show a couple weeks before, and it was a bit of a letdown. The Tucson show we saw two years' before was so fun, and this one was completely redone and so worth the trip. The trees were lit up with so many lights, and it was gorgeous. We went with dad, and then we went back to hang out with Linda (she made brownies!).

We watched "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment" on Netflix and it was the final straw. We both knew we wanted to cut back on eating meat, and the show really opened our eyes. We decided to try a Vegan diet on January 9th, and we haven't been off of it yet, nearly a month later. We both feel great, and it's been fairly easy. Our first restaurant we went to was The Cheesecake Factory with dad and Linda, and they had great options.

We were just north of Tumacácori National Historical Park so it was a quick trip to go see it. It had gone through many eras as a mission and presidio, and it was so old. We really enjoyed our stay there, especially walking the grounds. We even walked a bit on the Juan Batista de Anza National Historic Trail. The other end and the visitor center is in San Francisco! There is so much history there in the desert.

On our way back from Kitt Peak we stopped by the San Xavier del Bac Mission in south Tucson. We learned at the other mission that this one was larger when the other disbanded. San Xavier is definitely large, and full of people. We walked around a little and then headed for home.

That was a busy weekend -- we went to Tumacácori on Saturday and the Kitt Peak National Observatory on Sunday. We had to be at the visitor center at the top of the peak at 9:45AM for our first tour, so we were dropping Lacey off with Toni and Sue really early in the morning. Kitt Peak turned out to be pretty far from Amado.

We did two tours, one of the 2.1-meter telescope and the other of the 4-meter telescope. They were both awesome and fascinating. There was a bunch of walking between them, up and down steep hills, so we got our steps in. It was also chilly and windy, with snow on the ground in some spots. We thought we'd avoid the snow this year, but it wasn't to be. Just a little snow was actually pretty cool (pun intended).

We really love it in Arizona. Hanging out at Sue and Toni's house is like hanging out at a second home. We were so comfortable, and they are so warm and welcoming. We miss them when they aren't around.

The last night of fun with family and friends was supposed to be back at Wisdom's Cafe and some of the best Mexican food we've had. We tried to get a reservation for us, Toni, Sue, Linda, and dad but it wasn't to be (they are crazy busy). We found a different Mexican restaurant in Tubac, and then we headed to Toni and Sue's for a game of Swoop. The dogs got to play and we had a blast.

To get out of our crazy campsite, we ended up just backing out the way we went in, and that worked. We learned a lot in that campground.

We had a short trip in Las Cruces this time and didn't see any of the sights (though Margot played a lot of pickleball at one of her favorite spots). We did get to D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro twice, though! They were so accommodating, making us Vegan dishes. We love that place -- especially the pecans from the New Mexico Pecan Company!

After a brief stay, we cut things short to head to Texas. It was a great trip through Arizona and New Mexico.

Lacey had a great time, too!

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