Friday, May 2, 2014

Arizona vacation with Mom: Tucson and memories

Apr 3 2013 Tucson

Picked Mom up this morning from the friends she spent the night with and we headed on down to Tucson.

Our timing was good and the desert was blooming

When planning this trip Mom had a few items on her wish list. Visiting some old haunts, driving up a mountain and sitting beside a stream were some of the items on that list and we’d be able to do all three in and around Tucson.
as we drove the winding Kinney Road through Saguaro National monument,
making plenty of stops along the way

The first thing we did was drive Kinney road through the Tucson Mountain district of the Saguaro National park. Mom and Dad drove this twisting and scenic route many times and we took our time, stopping often as she went back through old memories and breathed in the air.

A peek of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum visitor center
from inside the vast grounds

From there we made a stop at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. This is a great place and big! A person could easily spend days exploring the many habitats here.

The obligatory photo
A well camouflaged resident 

But, not wanting to kill Mom our first day out, we did a slow and abbreviated tour of the museum grounds before heading a couple miles down the road to a campground within walking distance of Old Tucson that she and Dad spent quite a bit of time in over the years. Stopping at the headquarters to get permission, we slowly drove every loop and revived many memories.

The afternoon was getting on by now so we went exploring for a place to eat. It was a surprisingly difficult hunt which eventually took us down East Broadway in Tucson where we also made note of several hotel possibilities for Mom.

While eating we decided to get me set up in a campground I’d stayed at before when in town for my daughter’s graduation from the master’s program at the University of Arizona, then we’d work on finding a place for Mom to stay. That turned out to be a fortuitous decision.

The Far Horizons Tucson Village is a 55+, combination long-term/permanent park model community and campground. It’s right in town within walking distance of shopping (They even have a pedestrian gate in the southwest corner that goes to a Home Depot.) The park is extremely well kept, hosts tons of activities during the season, has a clubhouse that includes meeting rooms, library, laundry, mail room, showers and spa, pool, sewing room, art room, bocce ball court and just about anything else you can think of. There’s even a woodworking shop over in one corner of the park, and they have their own traffic light making getting out onto the street in either direction a breeze, yet the park is set back in behind some apartments so there’s no street noise.

While inside the gatehouse checking in I asked about local hotels. After I explained what we were doing the woman behind the desk said, “She can stay right here in one of our rentals if she’d like to.

Are your kidding me?!!

Turns out they have several rental units there in the park, bedding and utensils included, and will even rent them by the night! So tonight Mom, making an early night of it after an adventurous day, is just a few sites down from me in a 400 sq. ft. one bedroom park model that costs about the same as a decent hotel room. How great did that work out?!!

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