|Adobe Rose – down town dreaming|
Where to stay in Tucson
For my first two nights in central Tucson I stayed at the beautiful home of Marion and Jim Hook at the Adobe Rose Inn Their traditional, award winning Bed and Breakfast, is stuffed with eclectic furniture and artifacts from the mix of cultures which typifies this part of South West Arizona.
American, Mexican and Native American. All are blended into a fascinating melting pot of style and design. This is one of the reasons why this part of the states is so interesting to visit. The bathroom was beautifully tiled and there is a pool if you need a dip for when things get a bit too hot to handle in the Arizona sun.
Originally built in 1933, the Adobe Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in the historic Sam Hughes neighbourhood in Central Tucson, just two blocks east of the University of Arizona (UA) and only four blocks from the new Sun Link Tucson Streetcar.
The most requested breakfast from returning guests to the Adobe Rose, is the steel cut oatmeal with maple cream and home made banana ice cream. It is absolutely delicious.
|Awaiting the oatmeal special|
Something for everyone in Tucson
Marion and Jim are a cultured and well travelled couple. They go out of their way to provide you with local tips to make the most of your stay. An absolute mine of information about the area, they welcome a lot of guests visiting the nearby University of Arizona. There were a couple of astronomers staying there when I was there. Star gazing is big in these parts.
|Sunny sea horse|
A trip across the Mexican border to the nearest Mexican town of Nogales is a lot of fun. There is no sales tax here. Buy gorgeous hand made Mexican glass, tiles and mirrors and Talavera ceramics. All for a fraction of what it would cost you in the US.
Tucson – the Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is also big here and you will see lots of skeleton related products, cool, if a little gruesome. Small shops suffered when visitors stopped coming for a while, when it became known as ‘No Go Nogales.’ They now become super cheap pharmacies and dentists undercutting the more pricey but identical American offering over the border..
|Drugs ‘r’ us!|
So, when you’ve done your shopping you can stock up on prescription drugs and get yourself a new set of porcelain veneers at the same time! What’s not to like? We had a lovely meal at La Roca which is quite a famous Mexican restaurant just across the railway line, serving speciality steak and prawn dishes, and of course when in Mexico, you have to have a Margarita. Or two. They taste so much better here than they do anywhere else for some reason.
|La Roca – neat Nogales eatery|
You just walk over the border into Mexico. No on even glances at your passport. Coming back, there is a more scrutiny.
The American Border Police can always be relied upon to treat you with a degree of suspicion, which makes you feel as if you’ve been up to no good even if you haven’t.
|It’s dead cool in Mexico|
Some Americans are reluctant to cross the border into Mexico, because of a perception that it isn’t safe. Nogales is a great town to visit and needs that perception to change if it is to survive economically.
|San Xavier – Mission quite possible|
Tucson – the Xavier Mission
The San Xavier Mission is the oldest active mission in the states. Founded in 1692, it is an interesting place to visit.
Set on the second largest Indian Reservation in the USA, it remains a thriving spiritual and educational centre. It reflects the Spanish history of this part of the US which was called New Spain at one time in its history.
|Making Mass fun!|
Cultural diversity is a real strength of this part of the world.
|Cheerful Carlos at La Roca|
Read about where to stay in the desert – Arizona