Apr 12th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

A Senior Three-Day Trip to Tucson

jeb and I just returned from a most delightful three day senior citizen trip to Tucson and I casually threw out the suggestion that he write a travel blog on our trip.  My husband, aka jeb, equally casually, threw back the challenge, “Why don’t you write it!”  Before thinking it through, I accepted…hmmm…so, here’s my story on the past three days.

I loved every minute of it… he had carefully studied and planned those activities he knew he would enjoy and hoped I would as well.  I did. It was great in every way.  Our first stop was at San Xavier del Bac where we learned that this century’s old mission continues today to serve the  O’odham nation living near Tucson.  This gleaming white mission stands out in stark contrast to the desert surroundings.

We crossed to the other side of south Tucson to explore the Pima Air and Space Museum which has a fascinating collection of aircraft from the beginning of air travel to the present.  Yes, the actual planes are there, inside and out of hangers, hundreds of them!  We could have spent an entire day there… and some seniors would choose to give it more time than we did.  It was especially interesting hearing the stories of the senior guides who are available to chat with the visitors and give guided tours. However, jeb is an educator not a pilot, so our next stop would be the University of Arizona. But first, we found the Visitor’s Center located in a delightfully, colorful square and grabbed a late lunch at the Downtown Kitchen

These Seniors Enjoy History

We drove around the UA campus, found a place to park and learned about backend angle parking.  For the protection and safety of the many bicyclists on the streets, cars back into the angle parking spots and drive out. Both of these seniors are intrigued and enchanted with the history of Arizona and the Arizona State Museum thoroughly fed our interest and hunger. We really would like to have spent more time there.

My sister who once lived in Tucson encouraged us to check out the 4th Ave shopping district .  Having never heard of 4th Ave Tucson before, my imagination went to high class shops, when actually it is a uniquely, historic district, more interesting than high class, more tattoo shops than dress boutiques.  We meandered past interesting people gathered in front of even more interesting and artistic shops, and we eventually walked into Caruso’s Italian Restaurant and enjoyed our late evening meal on the colorful patio.

Jeb tried to get rooms for us in the historic Congress Hotel, a 1919 renovated hotel.  Fortunately for us, the person he talked with told him that it is not a quiet hotel at night.  It is busy, comes with loud music, alive, boisterous and noisy!!  Needless to say… The lobby is reminiscent of times past with old switchboards and phone booths (remember them!!) Both our grandmothers operated switchboards in the small towns we grew up in.

Our first night was in the Comfort Inn…quiet, quiet, nicely quiet.  We had a date the next morning with the folks at Kartchner Caverns one hour before our scheduled tour which meant we needed to leave our motel by 8:40 am.  I was impressed with Kartchner Caverns, with the underground beauty and serenity there.  And I was equally impressed with the discovery story and public development of the caverns.  It is called a ‘living cave’ because the formations continue to grow, up from the floor and down from the ceiling.  The two men who discovered these caverns in 1974 were deeply committed to preserving the integrity of the caverns for future generations, therefore, kept their discovery secret for 14 years until everything was in place for its preservation, including the purchase by the state from the Kartchner family. It is an Arizona State Park with a remarkable story.

To give justice to a really special weekend, I need more space than this allows… so you will get the rest of the story tomorrow:)  mrsjeb

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