Birds, Ghosts, Saints and Sunsets. How’s that for variety?
It never fails. Whenever we start a road trip, we can never get the inside temperature just right while we are sleeping. It takes us about three days to finally settle on a temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right. We sound like the Three Little Bears every morning. Once we all agreed that 65 degrees was just right, Yoda began being a bit happier. A bit like her old self. She even started bird watching outside of our bedroom window. She can now officially add the Gila Woodpecker to her Bird Life List. Whaaat? I’m not the bird dork. Yoda is!
Our first stop of the day was the historic Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson. The hotel is famous for its authentic 1920s beauty and for the fire which led to the capture of one of the country’s most notorious criminals — John Dillinger.
…and a man on the second floor that was killed in a gunfight over a card game gone wrong. I asked Ava if she saw a man in the hallway and she pointed to this male statue lamp. How could I not agree? She was obviously correct. Let’s try this again. We then walked the halls with her and I asked her if she saw a man. Her answer was “yes”. I then asked if he was wearing a hat. She answered “No yes”. And shoes? “No yes”. And then I heard someone say “You’re leading the witness.” And then I said ” Shut up Dan”.
We also couldn’t resist visiting San Xavier Del Bac Mission just a few miles from downtown Tucson. It is said to be the finest example of mission architecture in the entire U.S. of A. I’m no expert in mission architecture but it made a believer out of me.
The interior will take your breath away. As soon as you step past the massive wooden doors, you are struck by the graceful blend of Moorish, Byzantine and late Mexican Renaissance architecture. It’s truly amazing.
As soon as Ava walked into the mission, she got a twinkle in her eye. You know, the kind that will get her, and all of us, in big big trouble. She was a split second from screaming the word ECHO into the domes above with all of her might. I got down on my knees and
started praying for forgiveness told her that this was not the time for echoing but a time for whispering. And by golly, it worked. She spent her entire visit whispering and putting her finger over her nose. Hehe. She has yet to master the shhhh. But I find her version much cuter if I don’t say so myself.
We ended up dropping Carrie off back at Hotel Congress to meet a friend after our mission visit. The city of Tucson decided that it was a good idea to close all of the freeway ramps on Interstate 10 for a 20 miles stretch right next to downtown without any warnings on the freeway on-ramps. We drove over 10 miles each way up and down the freeway before we were able to find an exit near downtown!
Carrie and her friend from Tucson were going to pick up my brother David from the Greyhound station that night so he could join us for the second leg of our journey. So it was back to Catalina State Park for Dan, Ava and me. With all the wonderful site seeing we tried to cram in just a short few days, we really didn’t have a chance to enjoy the park’s surroundings as much as we would of liked. It was nice to have a free afternoon to do just that.
After dinner, we noticed that our gray water tank was almost filled to the brim… which meant that we no longer could wash dishes in the trailer. Damn! So it was off the the facilities to use their sink. On our dark and spooky walk to wash dishes, Ava decided that she didn’t want to walk close to us. I casually mentioned that she had to stay close because there might be coyotes lingering about. Oh man was that a bad idea. She bolted up into Dan’s arms before I could even recall if she even knew what a coyote was in the first place.
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