Saturday, June 30, 2007

List of Things to Do in or near Tucson

In or near Tucson:
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (and zoo):
$9 adults
$2 kids 6+
2021 North Kinney Road
7:30 am - 5:00 pm daily
7:30 am - 10:00 pm Saturdays
special events

Arizona State Historical Museum
June 23: Celebrate the Solstice
$3 donation
1013 E. University Boulevard (U of A campus)
10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Saturday

Arizona Historical Society Main Museum
$5 adults
free on 1st Saturday
249 E. 2nd St.
10:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday-Saturday

Fort Lowell
$3 adults
free on 1st Saturday
2900 N. Craycroft Rd
10:00 am-4:00 pm Wednesday-Saturday

Arizona Historical Society Downtown Museum at Wells Fargo
$3 adults
free on 1st Friday
140 N Stone Ave
10:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Friday

Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House
$3 adults
free on 1st Saturday
151 S. Granada Ave.
10:00 am-4:00 pm Wednesday-Saturday

Catalina State Park
$6 per vehicle
$12 camping

Colossal Cave Mountain Park
July 7: Ha:san Bak
$5 per vehicle
$8.50 adult cave tour
$5 child 6+ cave tour
8:00 am-6:00 pm Monday-Saturday
16721 E. Old Spanish Trail

Reid Park Zoo
$6 adults
$2 children 2+
9:00 am-4:00 pm
1030 South Randolph Way

International Wildlife Museum
$7 adults
$2.50 children 4+
Monday thru Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pmSaturday and Sunday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
4800 W Gates Pass Rd

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Pima Air and Space Museum
$11.75 adults
$8 children 7+
$5 tram tour
9:00 am-5:00 pm daily
6000 E. Valencia Rd

Sabino Canyon
$5 per vehicle
$7.50 adults tram
$3 children tram 3+
9:00 am-4:30 pm
5900 N. Sabino Canyon Road

Sentinel Peak (“A” Mountain)

Tohono Chul Park
$5 adults
$2 children 5+
8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
7366 N. Paseo del Norte

Tucson Botanical Gardens
$5 adults
$2.50 children 6+
2150 N. Alvernon Way

Tucson Children’s Museum
$5.50 adults
$3.50 children 2+
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
200 S. 6th Avenue

Tucson Mountain Park
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Saguaro National Park (east and west)
$10 per vehicle

Mt. Lemmon/Santa Catalina Mts.
$5 per vehicle

Surrounding area:
Kartchner Caverns State Park

Titan Missile
$8.50 adults
$5 children 7+
9:00 am-5:00 pm daily
1580 W. Duval Mine Rd., Sahuarita

Madera Canyon/Mt. Wrightson
$5 per vehicle

South Fork of Cave Creek (Chiricahuas)
$5 per vehicle

Rucker Canyon

Ramsey Canyon

Chiricahua National Monument

Tubac Presidio

Tumacacori National Historic Site


Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Swift Trail

Ruby Road

Couts Trail

Cochise Stronghold

Wilcox Playa

Picacho Peak

Puerto Penasco

Monday, June 25, 2007


Not a lot of blogging going on here. We will be posting about FINALLY making it up Mt. Lemmon.
Jesse was running a 103 fever Fri night, but it came down quickly. I had been scouting out where to take him here in Tucson. He was tired and ill Saturday but had no fever by Sunday. We prayed over him and I gave him some homeopathic medicine. I brought a little stash from Jackson. Belladonna is great.
John woke is up screaming last night around 11:00, he was running about 101, we had to fight the medicine into him and he slept fitfully the rest of the night. He's not himself today and we are praying for a better night. Poor Loren got to bed about 3:00am, I am under the weather myself. This virus packs a mighty headache too.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hot or Hotter

Hot or Hotter! Those are my water temperature choices these days. I've made the discovery that when running children's bath water to only turn on the 'cold' water tap and even then I have to let it cool down before bathing the baby. The thermometer on the back window was reading 112 yesterday afternoon, I haven't checked it today but I can feel the heat invading the living room as the older children are playing in the front yard and have left the door ajar.
It is 1:00pm and we've had a fun day so far. We left the house at 8:30am to find the map store before Loren went to the office. It was funny to discover we were looking for it on Oracle, and it was over on 1st Ave. At the map store Loren had a tough decision between all the AZ National Forest Maps, he finally decided on 2 of them. They weren't cheap that's for sure, but he got a bonus in the bargain bin, finding a map for a National Forest in Mississippi for only $1.00. I bought a Canadian Flag decal, I've been wanting one for awhile, it can go on the back of the van beside my La Leche League logo magnet.
Speaking of the van... we discovered a badly leaking tire at the map store so we headed off to get that repaired. We were over due for an oil change by 1000 miles and had also been noticing the alignment was out. God provides for even the little things! The firestone tire shop was right outside Tucson Mall and when we picked up the discounts at Customer Service from the Attractions Passport, there was a coupon for an oil change from the Firestone store.
We wandered around the mall and used another coupon at the shoe store for new shoes for the children. They've had growth spurts and have been complaining about scrunched toes. Jesse was wearing a size 10 and his feet measured 11 1/2, Cynthia was needing a size 13 1/2 and was wearing a 12. John's boots were size 7 and he needed a 8 1/2. Their feet should be much happier now!
Cynthia has been wiggling her bottom tooth and it came out this morning at the mall. I really hope the adult tooth comes in properly, she looks like she has shark's teeth right now. The bottom 2 front teeth have come up behind her baby teeth. Cynthia is talking about the tooth fairy and leaving her tooth under the pillow, but just now she wants to keep it "for a special memory".
My baby girl is 2 months old, thankfully no teeth in sight for her ;-) She is almost rolling over onto her stomach! She's so cute with her little fat rolls.
Technology is going to give me high blood pressure, I still haven't got my printer working and now Loren's work laptop has bit the dust. He just got his files retrieved from his USB drive that crashed ($100.00 later) and was going to backup his research files on the laptop with the new USB drive we just purchased, but it wouldn't boot up. Hopefully the computer guru at the University will be able to get the files back. Will the fun never end?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

There has to be an easier way

Loren has written about our Saturday trip and included lots of neat photos that we took, unforunately I've not been able to get all the pictures added to blogger yet. There really has to be an easier way. The post will hopefully be up later today. Technology is not being kind to me. We bought a new printer on Friday because the one we brought with us from Mississippi died after printing 5 pages in Arizona. The computer will not recognize the new printer and I'm fed up with fooling with it, it's now Loren's turn to have his blood pressure raised. Also, my Skype phone is being quirky, it will ring but won't let me answer the call, but thankfully I can call the person back because of the caller id. I guess I shouldn't complain with an almost free service.
The children and I went to the Botanical Garden's this morning but alas I forgot the camera. Today is hot, my thermometer on the back window is reading 113 F.
Little Rebecca is 2 months old today, can you believe it! We are having company over for Dinner and of course it seems like Rebecca wants all my attention today. She is so cute though. Se's smiling and cooing at us now.
I really hope the Dinner turns out, I'm always nervous when cooking for company, guess that explains why we entertain so infrequently.
Well, off to upload a few more pictures and you should read Loren's trip update.

Chiricahua trip

Chiricahua trip (6/16/07)
Although we left Tucson a bit later than intended at 8:30, it was nice to know that I’d gotten gas at a relatively reasonable price, even though I hadn’t managed to get the National Forest maps that I wanted. On the way out of town, Nancy managed to snap a quick shot of “A Mountain”.

We managed to make it to the Little Dragoon Mountains area before an impending diaper emergency compelled us to look for a good place to get off the highway. The first inclination was to stop at the interstate rest area, until we noticed that the Amerind Foundation museum was included in our Tucson area “Attractions Passport”. We didn’t realize until already off the highway that the museum wasn’t scheduled to open for another 20 minutes or so. Anyhow, it turned out that they had a neat picnic area in the rocks (with shade!) that we could get in to while waiting for the museum opening. That was good for some kids that like climbing on rocks.

A few minutes after 10:00 we pulled into the museum parking lot to be their first visitors of the day. Although the amount of Indian artifacts that they had on display was not quite as much as I expected, there was a good variety from various regions and of impressive quality. No pictures allowed, but they did allow us to ransack, I mean browse, the souvenir shop.

Getting back on I-10, we made a stop in Wilcox for fast food before heading southeast toward the Chiricahua Mountains. Generally the area high desert ranchland with distant views of the mountains. A train crossing the Wilcox Playa about 20 miles away seemed kind of strange looking through the heat and mirages. Finally we got to Chiricahua National Monument. Nobody was waiting at the gate to look at our pass, and the views of the mountains gave little hint of the rock formations hidden within them. Our first glimpses up Bonita Canyon were near the Visitor Center, where me and the older kids went in for a quick look at all the stuff for sale (and a couple displays) and picked up a map. Driving up the canyon, it quickly started getting more interesting but there weren’t a lot of good views where we could get decent pictures. As we neared the top of the mountains we managed to get some quick shots from the road and then spent some time around Massai Point. (Surprisingly the overlook is actually named for a Chiricahua Apache leader rather than for the tribe in Africa.)

After some snacks and so forth, we walked around up to the exhibit and along part of the nature trail to get a glimpse of the rock formations. John was happy to be riding in the kid pack while the rest of us had to walk (except Rebecca of course).

Finally we drove over to the Sugarloaf lookout for a quick look so that I could drool over the trail that we didn’t have time for.

By now it was past 2:00 and we needed to get moving if we were gonna have time to go up and over the top of the Chiricahuas on the forest road. But we did manage to get some pictures coming back down through Bonita Canyon of one of the peaks and of the Organ Pipe rock formation.

We also came across some deer before leaving the park.

Going up the west side of the mountains on the forest road turned out to be pretty slow going, especially since I was conscious of bouncing around our damaged bumper (and Rebecca’s head). Most parts were decently graded, though washboarded, but there were also some steep spots and really sharp curves. Most of the way there wasn’t much opportunity for photographs and I passed up the better views in the interest of staying on the road. Finally after a long 45 minutes or so of bouncing along at about 10 mph, we reached Onion Saddle and the turnoff to continue climbing up to Rucker Park. The views to the east now were dramatic and we even managed to get some pictures through the trees. It was about 4:00 when we got to the day use area at the end of the road around 8400’ elevation. There were any distant views from right there, just nice cool air in the ponderosa pine/Douglas fir forest, and picnic tables. And of course there was a trail. If we’d had time and a map, it would have been nice to make the hike up to Frys Peak at about 9400’. But we did stretch our legs for a short distance on the trail.

After about an hour or so, it was time to head back down the mountain. I definitely wanted to make sure we got down before sunset, and gas was getting to be a concern (since somehow I failed to fill up the tank all the way before leaving Tucson). Of course, I probably got a lot better gas mileage going down since I practically never had to actually use the accelerator. Gravity took care of that. We also made a lot better time, partly because the road seemed smoother on the east side of the mountains. Along the way, we had great views, a close encounter with a bull, and saw running water in a creek for the first time since coming to Arizona.

Here’s a view looking back up to the mountain crest that we had been on top of.

Besides the occasional presence of running water, the east side of the mountains also turned out to have a very dramatic canyon that the road (now paved) follows along Cave Creek. Looking back at this eastern entrance to the area, it was easy to understand why the town just east of the National Forest boundary is called Portal. A diaper stop here proved to be a perfect photo stop.

After another half hour or so of cruising along at a quick 60 mph, we made it back to interstate at Road Forks, New Mexico. There didn’t really seem to be a town, but there was a truck stop with gas at the amazing price of $2.839 per gallon, in the middle of nowhere. God is good! By now the sun was going down and we had a solid two hours of driving back to our home in Tucson, plus a couple of stops along the way.
Although the trip wasn’t exactly what I expected, it was a good all-day adventure that was mostly enjoyed by everyone, even if they didn’t always understand why they were getting bounced around out in the middle of nowhere. Not a bad little Father’s Day weekend trip. And there seemed to be a consensus that next time we need to go camping…

Friday, June 15, 2007

International Wildlife Museum

We drove out to the International Wildlife Museum today, it is about 7 miles from the house and was easy to find, thankfully.
The children really enjoyed it; Cynthia's favorite exhibit was the 'Insect room' with all the butterflies, Jesse's favorite room was 'Sheep Mountain' but he enjoyed the buffalo and penguins too. Another favorite room was the 'Trophy room' they had a lion you could touch gently and a girafe you could walk underneath. I believe this was John's favorite room too, he kept running back and forth saying, "Oh, wow!" Another room they liked was the "Hands On Exhibit" were they could touch all the antlers and skulls. The least favorite of was 'Arizona at night', it was too dark for the boys.
They had a lot of exhibits involving predators and prey so I had to do a lot of explaining that the predators had to eat too.
I'm going to try and upload some pictures but the camera decided to be misbehave and the battery was low so we'll see what comes out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I did it!

Today has definitely been a day for firsts. I decided today would be different since I was really bored and blah yesterday, especially in the evening when Loren had a meeting. I really hadn't realized especially lately how much I depended on IMing with friends or phone calls as my outside connection. It is different now that there is a two hour time difference back to Mississippi and four hours to my family in Canada.
We drove Loren to work, and went by the Visitors Center to get a Tourist Attractions Passport, it has some great deals on museum entrances. We'll be going to some museums and other attractions in the next few days and weeks.
After dropping Loren off we headed for a nearby park, of course I missed the turn, realized too late and couldn't get over to the turning lane. We turned around and got to the park, the children played for half an hour then we went to a grocery store. My first time shopping alone with the 4 children. They have a neat little car shopping cart, the seats are in the front of the wagon and thankfully it is MUCH easier to turn than the ones with the seats at the back of the cart.
We had a lot of comments from other grocery shoppers about the number of children and Rebecca sleeping in her sling. One woman said she had 6 children in 7 years.
Another first was parking the van IN the garage. When I've backed out I had to close the side mirrors to get out so I was a bit nervous going in but I did it.
We're picking Loren up in 30 minutes, to go to church, so I'd better start rounding things up now, it takes a good 10 minutes to get everyone out to the garage and buckled up.
I'm not feeling blah or bored, just hot! My thermometer on the window is reading 110 F.
I just need to get out and explore. Tucson really is a nice city. It does not feel like a city of a million people.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yummy Sopapillas

Last evening we went to a Mexican restaurant. Loren had a green chili burrito was looked and smelled amazing. I had a sampler plate which was pretty good, one of the dishes was loaded with jalapenos. Loren could smell them across the table, I wasn't able to finish that 'sample'. John tried some mini chicken enchiladas, I had some on my sampler plate and they were really good. Cynthia tried a taco with a salad which she said was good, but she only was able to eat half. Jesse is the only one who had a good ole American hamburger and french fries which was shared with John. Of course they all ate the chips, and I was amazed that they tried the salsa, even the spicy one.
Loren ordered sopapillas (sopaipillas) which were sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and you could pour honey on/in them. Everyone tried them with varying degrees of approval. Loren said that his mom used to make them at home, I went searching for a recipe and we're going to attempt them at home. Whenever we do, I'll try to remember to post a picture of my attempts.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Driving to Mt. Lemmon

We visited First Southern Baptist Church on Wednesday night and then again on Sunday. One of the first people I met there has the same name as a good friend in Mississippi.

The children really love their classes, I had been a bit nervous how they would react, but they seem to love all the new things we are doing. Even John keeps talking about his class and wants to go back. I know that I loved the class Loren and I visited, it felt like home. There were about 20 others in class, most are stay at home moms with young children and the one mom with school age children is a home schooler. Yeah home schooling. One of the Dads noticed my Black "Breastfeeding The Gold Standard" bag and said his wife had one in blue, yeah breastfeeding. One of the mom's had a cape she used to breastfeed her 5 month old in the class. I had Rebecca in my sling and wouldn't you know my child who rarely spits up drenched me!

Sunday afternoon we decided to take a drive up the mountain. Loren had wanted to go on Saturday, but the children were quite fussy after the morning exploring Saguaro National Park and the Indian Mission. Loren, Cynthia and Jesse stopped and did a little hike while I stayed in the van with the other two who were sleeping. At the next stop we pulled into a parking place and heard a weird noise. Loren had pulled too far forward and had gone over the cement curb so he put the van in reverse and we heard this horrible noise. He stops, gets out and this look of horror comes over his face. He comes back to tell me the bumper of our van is pulled off. Oh NO. I'm trying hard not to over react, there is nothing I can do to fix this problem. I get out of the van to see and the bottom of the bumper is caught on a 4 inch high piece of re bar that is sticking out of the cement. I want to scream, but I don't. Loren pulls the van forward and I try to get the bumper up and over the piece of re bar, finally we are loose. Loren takes a couple of pictures and we are able to put it back in place, sort of. Cynthia picks up all the fasteners that have pulled loose. We have a little snack and juice while we wait for the van to cool down so we can head back down the mountain. We're not comfortable going any higher on this trip.

We got an estimate today and it is 850.00 to repair the bumper, great, just great. I'm having to put the Pastor's sermon to use early in the week. Thank God in All Circumstances, It's not easy.

Here's a picture of the sort of 'fixed' bumper.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Saguaro National Park

Saturday we drove through the Saguaro National Park and then down to Xavier Indian Mission for some Fry Bread, I wanted the green chili fry bread but everyone was sold out. We ate that when we stopped at the Mission in 2001 coming back from Christmas in Flagstaff with Loren's grandparents.

The Saguaro National Forest was amazing, I'm downloading pictures as I type and will try to get them posted tomorrow. Cynthia and Loren hiked up onto the Javelina rocks, Jesse started up but said it was too scary. He said all the sticks looked like snacks so he came back down. I stayed in the van with John, who was sleeping, Rebecca who's nursing and Jesse. We had the van doors open and the breeze felt nice. The thermometer on the van started climbing, then a wasp decided to investigate the interior, oh boy. Some of you may know that I hate wasps, actually I am so scared of them and have been since high school when they got in my hair and kept stinging. Anyway, this one lands on my leg!! I am nursing Rebecca and I just freeze, I'm trying hard not to hyperventilate. I'm also trying to keep Jesse calm in the backseat who is yelling for Loren. I don't know how much time passes, maybe between 5 and 10 minutes, I just know that the temperature in the van went from below 104 F to above 107 F. Finally the winged beast tires of my leg and flies out of the van. I immediately close the doors, reach forward turn the ignition on and put the windows up. It's too hot now for me anyway, need a bit of AC. Loren and Cynthia arrive back in a few minutes. Cynthia definitely has Loren's love for hiking and adventures outdoors.

If you are interested in more pictures, here's the link

Adventure finding a park

Friday morning we decided to get out of the house and find a nearby park. The Tucson Parks and Recreation website listed 2 that were close, One was 0.5 blocks and looked to be 8 blocks straight up from our house, the other was listed as 0.6 miles away and was a few blocks further and off the main street from us.
We gathered snacks, water, juice, applied sunscreen and decided to 'walk' (am I crazy? yes for sure). It was interesting seeing cactus up close and the cute adobe homes. The kids were counting the blocks and when we reached number 8 and then 9 with no park in sight, I got nervous pulled out my cell phone and called Loren at work. He pulled up the site and then Mapquest. The website was WRONG, the park they listed as 0.5 miles from us was really 3 miles away according to Mapquest. Oh boy, mutiny was starting among the natives! We decide to head toward the other park which meant heading further east and backtracking a couple blocks. Loren suggested heading to a further park which was another 4 blocks away and crossing a major road, NO WAY with 4 kids. I'm asking myself, Why in the world didn't I just get the van out of the garage, having to fold the mirrors in so the van doesn't scrape the door of the garage seems minor now.
We reached the other park which was at a school and guess what, there is a camp going on and every exit we find is locked. I have some very unhappy children. Rebecca, who's been happily sleeping in her sling, wakes up and is hungry, we finally find a shaded picnic table, we rest and have our snack and I nurse Rebecca. We continue around the school and the last exit is unlocked, I let the children play for 10-15 minutes, but it is now 11:00 and we have a long walk home. I promised Popsicles when we got home. It took 30 minutes to walk home, with lots of stops in the shade for water. Cynthia keeps reminding me that next time we go exploring we need to take the van. I agree.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

We've arrived in Arizona

Wow, it's been awhile since I've updated this, so much for good intentions of writing everyday.

We have embarked on a new adventure for the summer and are living in Arizona. It truly is a different heat than Mississippi. I couldn't believe we were outside at sunset and 92 felt like the 70's.

I'll be posting pictures or links to albums as we explore our new city and as our new addition grows. (Blogger image upload is not working for me right now.)

I can hardly believe Rebecca is 7 weeks today. She is grinning and responding in such cute ways right now. Rebecca was born April 19, 2007 and weighed 8 lb 10 oz and was 20 inches long. She was born at home, we had a birth pool and Loren was the one who caught her. The midwife was right there too of course. This home birth was the most amazing experience, I kept thinking this really isn't labor, it's too easy. There was a time at the end that I wanted to go to the hospital but my support group talked me through it and then I called my mom. Rebecca was born with the next set of contractions. Afterwards I told Loren it felt like I was Goldilocks trying out different positions and rooms trying to find the just right spot.

Try this link to see pictures or email me.