Friday, December 20, 2013

raising arizona

The Eleven did the long weekend in Tucson for Sean and Sarah’s nuptials; a success all around. The wedding was outdoors at a small ranch with the reception following in a lodge-y/multi-purpose building mere steps from the scene of the “I do’s”. We flew down on Thursday, with a day to spare, so we could take the kids out for a nice dinner before the final onslaught of a rehearsal dinner on Friday, and the crazed actions of the Saturday marriage (by ‘crazed’ I mean busy, not the marriage part). They appreciated the time away, and meeting Sean for the first time was quite nice. Saturday went off without a hitch – lovely weather – and by 8pm everyone was happy and more relaxed with the open bar nearby. The happy couple headed to NYC on Monday for a weeklong (wintry) honeymoon.

I was worried about my tour planning abilities and Tucson: none of my research on places to eat and things to do seemed to completely pique my interest. I had my list in hand, but was quite tentative on success. The best of the best ended up being Café Poca Casa for dinner on Friday night with Anne and my hold high school pal, Todd (who drove down from Flagstaff for 24 hours of visiting). This place is amazing: Fantastic service, inspired food, and a perfect atmosphere for a celebratory-like dinner. (The picture on the Web site doesn’t do justice to the ambiance in the evening.) Easily one of the best meals ever. Afterwards, we wandered across the street to a speakeasy of sorts, Scott & Co.  where X, Anne, and Wags enjoyed some high-end fancy-pants cocktails (I was the adult!).

Good recommendations on breakfast/lunch/brunch at Blue Willow and Ghini’s French Café. The best breakfast we had (twice) was at the Café ala c’ART located behind the Tucson Museum of Art. Excellent fritattas and they make a nice, strong decaf Latte, and that’s no mean feat.

We stayed at the Wyndham Westward Look resort hotel in northwest Tucson. It was nice enough, and plenty roomy in our junior suite, but it has some issues: the furniture is aged, the clock couldn’t be set (?), the TV/cable was mediocre, and they charged $3.50 for a bottle of water (we used tap). The goods? The beds are new and very nice. The hot tub was a few steps from our room. The views and layout of resort are quite nice. For the money, I’d go back – there’s nothing that would lead me to give it a “do not go!” review.

Weather was lovely. The skies over Tucson are high, blue, and clear. About 65 during the days, down to the 40s at night. And, we had a convertible Mustang. Legend.

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