Home Sweet Home

I’m home! I’m safely tucked into bed and couldn’t be happier.

The flight from Houston to Little Rock was rough due to the bad weather, however, the drive to Stuttgart was worse. Yes, I was that driver going 35- to 40-mph even on the Interstate. I freak out driving in the rain so driving very slow helped calm me down as well as the steady stream of Guardian Angel, Hail Marys, Our Fathers and Blessed Be prayers that I said. I didn’t realize how bad my fear was until I started messing up the words to prayers I’ve said my whole life.

But all’s well now that I’m home. I had trouble downloading my Tucson pictures onto my IPad this weekend so I can’t wait to download and go through them tomorrow. I’m hoping to add pictures to my Arizona blog posts soon!


We ended up spending more time then we meant to at The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and I just wish I had more time to look about!

It’s a combined zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden that has living animals and plants native to the Sonoran Desert region. I didn’t have much time before I needed to be at the airport so we did a quick tour.

The best part of the trip for me was the hummingbird aviary, the cat area and seeing the javelinas (related to feral pigs). The hummingbirds were my favorite though. There were several species in the exhibit and the birds were obviously used to humans. They just flirted with the camera, played with each other and had us dodging so we wouldn’t hurt them if they ran into us. It was a blast. We even got to see a hummingbird nest!

Unfortunately I did have a flight to catch so we had to hightail it out of there. My last trip in Arizona was also the shortest. We stopped at El Tiradito, a Tucson historical landmark where visitors write wishes on a piece of paper that they then stuff into little crevices in a wall. I’m hoping my wish comes true-I’ll let you know when (hopefully) it does but not a minute before.

The flight from Tucson went well (although perhaps not for the toddler riding with me). I’m now at the Houston airport waiting to board the plane to Little Rock. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed an hour. Still, I have the latest book in the Stephanie Plum series so I’m set for the wait.

Sunrise time

Fog kisses the top of mountains. Coyotes howl in the distance as nearby a woodpecker chirps nearby flirting with us as it flints from one tree to another.

This morning, we went to the campgrounds of the Saguaro National Park before hiking it’s nature trail. It was incredibly peaceful and the cactus looked mysterious through the fog. we even saw a rabbit. We’re now making our way back into the city with a pit stop stop at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I just bought two cool, colorful necklaces made out of corn kernels and took pictures of a male and female tarantulas.

Locked out

So, we were locked out of our hotel room when we got back to Hotel Tucson tonight. Our keys refused to work, and finally maintenance had to come help us out. The guy ended up visiting us a second time after we learned the hotel staff had failed to replace our non working hair dryer that actually would smoke if turned on. Needless to say we know have a working hairdryer. Yay!

We headed to Saguaro National Park once we got back to Tucson. It was still raining but the sights were amazing! I’m used to parks with hundreds of trees as far as the eye can see. If you replace the forests with cactus, then you have this park. It was neat, but different.

Catus as far as the eye could see.

I knew there were different types of cactus and that they grew pretty high, however, it really never registered until this trip. By the way, I have never traveled this far to the west before.

We found the perfect for sunrise tomorrow while leaving the park. Our waitress on Friday night had told us to get on Speedway and follow it on out, and we should have taken her advise. We left the park and followed Speedway roughly 15 miles into town and we plan to go back in the morning to watch the sun come up.

Today wore us out. We ended up eating left overs along with deserts from Whole Foods. I ended the day packing, during which I fell asleep. My aunt had to wake me up to finish clearing off my bed. I can say I was able to pack my all my new items into the already full luggage. I am only leaving behind a post card for my aunt to mail to me (a tradition when I go someplace new) as well as some jelly and sauce that I bought as gifts since it was all made in Arizona. Not bad at all.

Checking out Tucson

A marriage proposal marked the entrance of our arrival in Tucson. The flight from Houston was slightly uncomfortable with the plane being hot and stinky. We were also bounced out of our seats during bad weather. Still, we made it.

Last night we went to Casa Molina for dinner. It was a Mexican restaurant that was adorable and easily had some of the best food ever. The only problem was that the portions were huge. I had to take two thirds back to the hotel for dinner tonight.

Today, we went driving to watch the sunrise at A Mountain, however, it hadn’t opened yet so we went driving around instead. Lol, I got so excited about the sights that I forgot I was next to a cactus. I ended up with a couple of needles in the bottom of my jeans. Ouch!

Saturday's sunrise.

We then headed to see 4-month old lion cubs at Reid Park Zoo. The three cubs are being introduced to their dad. It was cool to see the playful lion cubs in person and the male lion kept walking right in front of us – I could have touches him if there was not glass separating us- as if we were lunch. It was also cute seeing three giraffes who were quite hungry.

One of the three lion cubs.
This child got so excited when the lion would pace right in front of us. I was excited too, but that lion wanted us for lunch — thank goodness for the glass separating us only by inches.
They were hungry guys!

We headed an hour away to Tumacacori National Park next for a local Hispanic festival and to shop at Santa Cruz Gift Shop, Chili Products, Spices and Everything Nice. We took advantage of it to buy ornaments made out of cactus for gifts, watch folkloric dances and singing, as well as try the local cuisine. I had a chili taco, which was a little too hot for me. It was good though and my Dr. Pepper helped take off the heat. We had a churro- I think I might be getting the name wrong-for desert. It was like a cinnamon twist with Carmel in the middle.

One of the many dancers at the festival.


chili taco

It’s now 3:55 p.m. and we are headed back to Tucson. The rain has finally caught up to us, but we’re determined to go see Saguaro National Park, the west district, next. Hopefully the rain will end by the time we get there.

I haven’t been able to upload pictures yet, but I will soon!

Taking off

A forgotten water bottle led to my purse being searched today as I begin my trip to Tucson, Az. It was a series of mishaps from my boarding pass on my cell not working to nearly missing the flight from Little Rock.

It got better. My “A” seat meant I was seated alone on my side of the aisle, and the view was gorgeous as we flew to Houston. I also had a delicious Mexican meal for lunch.

My aunt and I are now sitting on the next plane – once again I have an awesome “A” seat as we prepare for the plane to leave Houston for Tucson.

It’s packing time…

It’s final: I’m visiting Tuscan, Arizona!

The United States with pins marking where I have been.

I’m super excited about my upcoming trip, which will be just a weekend visit as I check out the community and its awe-inspiring sights. Even better news is that it is not my only trip planned — my family is part of a group heading to Covington, La., for an annual cook out for the seminarians. My cousin Stephen is the student body president and has asked the Knights of Columbus in our hometown (who help sponsors him as a seminarian) to cook for the event. Of course, my dad and grandpa are cooking and my mom, grandma and I are showing support (plus it sounds fun). 😀

It will be a great distraction as everything starts to slow down as the holidays approach. Duck season has finally arrived as well as the cold meaning that its almost time for Stuttgart’s annual Wings Over the Prairie festival. It kicks off this Saturday with a pageant and goes throughout the Thanksgiving week. The big events are on next Friday and Saturday — the duck calling contests and, of course, gumbo.