Apr 23, 2009

Tucson, AZ Places to eat, pictures and more!

La Placita Village...nearly abandon but still
beautifully colorful!
Downtown Tucson






The end of the season is here....so soon it seems. We came to Tucson almost 7 month ago and took a short break to be home for Christmas. Time flies so fast it seems.

Tuesday night we wandered downtown to take a few pictures at La Placita and then venture out for dinner on 4th Avenue near the University of Arizona campus. The neighborhood is so quirky and interesting.










Photo taken with camera pressed against the door of a furniture refurnishing shop...unique light!
4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ




Caruso's Italian Restaurant
434 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ

Caruso's is a Tucson landmark and has been in the same location forever. The food is good Italian and the restaurant is so family friendly. The waiter on the terrace gave us wonderful service and as the evening settled in the lighting was just perfect. 3 1/2 Stars






















Courtyard at Caruso's


I have a few last pictures from Tucson for you and then my next post will be from Las Vegas where we will be spending a couple of day in our World Mark timeshare. We will east at one of our favorites, Chicago Joe's the first night...more about that later I suppose.


Apr 15, 2009

South of Tucson Down Mexico Way

(I have inserted the logos for the places I am suggesting to you. Just a little free advertising for them! Go to the web sites to find more information.)


We had our first rattle snake sighting of the year on the golf course yesterday. Going up into the cactus requires some reconnoitering this time of year. We were playing down in Green Valley, AZ on the San Ignacio Golf Club. This course winds it's way among the housing built along the arroyos and cactus covered hillsides. Green Valley is a 55+ community and now boasts a population of over 17,000 with a median age of over 72 years of age.

We have stayed in Green Valley for one season and have friends that own property there. The population is very seasonal with a majority of the residents leaving during the hottest months of the year for other parts of the country.

The Elk's Club and the Senior Centers in the community are exceptionally active during high season. Even though the population is retirement age, the citizens manage to stay busy with golf, social activities, hiking and a multitude of other interests. The libraries, one in Green Valley and on in nearby Sahuarita, are wonderful and provide computers for travels without their own hook up.


After our golf round yesterday we drove on down to Tumarcacori for dinner at Wisdom's Cafe. The restaurant has been there for many years but has updated the decor and expanded the dining room. Tuesday night is two for one margaritas so the tables were all full and we had to wait for several minutes...not a bad place to spend a few minutes at the bar figuring out whats in that wonderful Margarita recipe that brings people back. I had their shrimp tacos for dinner. They were exceptionally good. I might also recommend their fruit burro...a delicious desert to follow your Mexican dinner.

Tumarcacori is located just south of the artisan community of Tubac, AZ, In fact the whole area is very interesting. Tumarcacori National Historic Site is worth taking time for and the Santa Cruz Chili Spice Factory nearby is always a good stop. We have also enjoyed meals in Amado at the Cow Palace where down home food rules. There are many places to eat in the area.

We sometimes forget about this area south of Tucson. I have only listed a very few things that you can see and do. Life is just a little slower down Mexico way. We love to drive out and just sight see. I think we might do it more often now that we have remembered the things we love about that part of Arizona.

Apr 10, 2009

Tucson AZ Update...the cactus are in bloom!

Flowers in Our Yard
April 10, 2009

Haven Golf Course
iphone photo
2009

GOLFING

The weather in Tucson is generally just gorgeous! Yesterday we played golf in Green Valley, AZ. It is located south of Tucson and is about 40 minutes away from where we live. While Green Valley has some very upscale courses that cost a great deal, they also have a municipal course called Haven that serves all of the area. It is well maintained and very, very busy. We booked our tee times on a discount web site (Golf Now or EZ Links , a bidding website) and were paired with a couple from Germany. Green fees run at about $43.00 for 18 holes with a cart if you book through the course. We payed $23.00 + Tax. It was a wonderful day at the right price.

CACTUS

This may be a Beavertail Cactus...I am not an expert. The blooms are yellow like a Prickly Pear but the thorns are very short like a Beavertail Cactus. It is blooming in front of our neighbor's park model. The plant is more than 6 feet tall.

Sony Cyber Shot

2009

WEATHER

The wind is howling here today and dust obscures the mountains. It is a good day to stay indoor and blog or clean drawers. It is like a snowy day in the north...you know how that is!

Have a nice day.

b

Apr 4, 2009

MOURNING DOVE AT THE DOOR...life in the desert, Tucson, Arizona

She or they built the nest high in the Palm tree. It was safe from those things living in the desert that would harm the egg or the chick. Wind blew and rain came but the nest remained safe from harm. No one even knew they were there while she watched players yell after perfect Pickle Ball shots or visited in the street. The soft coo of the Mourning Dove was just background music to their day.

The the bees came...a great horde of bees and workers in the park set about killing a hive on the move. Fear of Africanized bees in this part of the world guides this kind of thing. We do not know what kind of bees they were and the thinking was better safe than sorry. Life went on. We don't mess with these bees!

While the workers were hanging around they notices a few branches beginning to give away on the palm tree where the bees had gathered but no ladder was handy so it was left to hang. Then the winds came again, this time much harder and that branch fell down until it was caught in a branch growing very close to the ground. The mother Dove and her one chick stayed attached to the nest until it settled. She sat on the nest with a baby that was almost as big as she. The humans came to wonder at her treasure and pictures were taken of the pair.

Almost a week went by and the chick began standing on the edge of the nest. It could hear the mother calling from the neighboring roof...fly away my baby...but the nest was safe and very close to the ground. You could see the baby deciding...leaving jumping down or flying up.

A road runner had been watching from an Oleander that lined the property boundary. It hopped closer for a better look. The humans that lived across the road chased it back into the desert with rocks, running as fast as they could. The chick was safe for another day.

At the break of day the human man sat with his coffee and paper, the door open and only the screen keeping the outside out. The Dove sat on the top of the car and then on the railing looking in, cooing in that mournful way that they have. He talked to her and then walked to the nest to find the baby gone, remnants of a fight left behind. The human and the Dove mourned together for a loss in a world where safety is very rare.

From Tucson, Arizona

b

Apr 1, 2009

TUCSON, AZ Arizona National Golf and Simple Recipes...PERFECT!


GOLF

Arizona National Vista
2009
iphone photo


Yesterday we golfed at Arizona National Golf Club. There were six of us playing together. The women and men formed two threesomes. Two couples had Wildcat Trail Golf Rewards Cards so they used those for their rounds. We booked our rounds through Golf Now and paid $50 each. When we called to ask if we could play with our friends, even though we had not booked together, the golf pro was very accommodating.

The more we play golf in the area, the more we have come to realize that golfing can be very affordable. (It has taken us several years to learn the ropes.) If we take advantage of websites like GolfNow.com or EZlinks we can play for less than half the regular rack price. Wildcat Cards give you several rounds for free when you earn the points necessary. We could also purchase a residents card and use our resort address if we liked. This would allow us to belong to men/woman's clubs at any of the municipal courses. We could keep a local handicap and pay for less for club events.

NOTE:

My friend had a hole-in-one at Arizona National yesterday. That was just an added bonus. I really don't know if that is guaranteed but I am hoping I will be next!








RECIPES

I have decided that all recipes should have "Simple" in the titles. When we travel to the desert to live for many months we do not have all the gadgets, ingredients or even the stove we have at home. Here in east Tucson we are quite a distance from a grocery store so simple is the key word here.

I made some scones for a coffee gathering the other morning. They were absolutely sensational. When I typed "easy sour creme scones" in the google search, here is what I found:

SIMPLE SCONES
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
  4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

I have decided that Allrecipes.com will be my go to recipe box!

I love my Senior Life Style