Tucson, January 2018

I seriously go to Tucson/Arizona enough at this point that I’m just titling these posts as to when I go. Which I’m pretty sure I’ve also intro’ed with before. *shrugs*

In any case … I had a serious, serious hankering for Mexican food. Not the green chile-based crap that you mostly find in Colorado. Oh no, I wanted the deliciousness I get in Tucson. As I don’t work … I felt like adventure. I was considering going on my own … but B wanted to come … so we went together.

We tried getting Hamilton tickets in the DCPA presale the morning of Monday, January 25th … but our random lottery numbers were way too far down. I also in theory had a Global Entry appointment that afternoon, but thanks to the government shutting down, that was also cancelled. So, we decided to get a bit more time in Tucson and bust out of town Monday.

Dinner was at K Bob’s in Las Vegas, N.M., and we stopped for the night in Albuquerque. Got up earlyish Tuesday morning and continued on driving. I mostly just snacked for lunch and dinner was at the glorious, wonderful Casa Molina. Cheese crisp, beer, bean burrito … and instead of a green corn tamale, I decided to try a chicken enchilada.

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It was pretty dang delicious.

After dinner, we met up with our friends Seton and Debbie for a drink at the Tucson Hop Shop … and to pick up Girl Scout cookies. Mmmm, Thin Mints.

We found out late Monday night that the government was reopening, so I called on Tuesday to try to reschedule my Global Entry appointment at DIA. Yeah, unless I wanted to walk in that day, they weren’t going to help. I got on the site to reschedule when we got to our hotel … and the next appointment in Denver? July. Not helpful. I checked Tucson … February 3. Also not particularly helpful. However, I saw a spot for Nogales (the border) … they had a ton of spots open. I picked an early spot for the next morning.

So, Wednesday morning, we woke up early, got breakfast at the hotel, stopped for coffee, and then took I-19 south out of Tucson to Nogales, Ariz., just at the border. 20 minutes later, Global Entry appointment was taken care of, easy peasy.

We stopped at Mission San Xavier del Bac on our drive back to Tucson. I’m pretty sure I’d been there before – I did have a great-aunt who was a nun, after all – but I definitely didn’t remember it. So, we stopped.

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The Mission is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona, which is pretty dang cool. It also still has Mass to this day, even as they continue to renovate it. Plus we saw a few crested saguaro on the drive, so that automatically made it worthwhile.

After, we drove back to Tucson to pick up a tote bag at a visitor’s center that I won off the @visittucson Instagram feed, Bookman’s to check out the used books, and then some In-n-Out Burger for lunch.

Afterward, we spent some relaxing time by the pool (even though Tucson was kind of cold … well … comparatively) before heading off to Saguaro National Park. We picked up a few items at the Visitor’s Center (because it’s been closed most every other time we’ve been), went for a short run, and then caught the sunset – something I’ve been trying to do for a while.

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B and saguaro.

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Crested!

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Sunset.

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Almost doesn’t look real.

Pics taken, we did our standard Tucson meal for dinner – Eegee’s (where I tried their flavor of the month – prickly pear – and it was weird), a stop at Wienerschnitzel for fries and good ketchup, and then Lucky Wishbone. I got my usual shrimp, but B actually decided to try their fried chicken:

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It was surprisingly good.

While tasty as always, I think I might actually be able to skip Lucky Wishbone next trip. And only mooch off of B’s eeg.

Headed out early the next morning and decided to do the whole drive in one day.

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New Mexico state monument as seen off a rest stop somewhere near Truth or Consequences. Have always wondered what it was for. Monument was closed. Remains a mystery.

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El Camino Family Restaurant, Socorro, N.M. (no web site). Lunch stop. Average BLT. Glad I got cheese on my fries.

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We get bored, we take selfies. Okay, I do.

Dinner to make it quick and easy was Golden Corral in Pueblo, Colo.

Short little jaunt, but always nice to head to Tucson for a visit.

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On Ultimate Dinosaurs at DMNS

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has an exhibit on Ultimate Dinosaurs (that is, newer dinosaurs unearthed in recent years) that’s actually ending in a few days – Monday is the final day – and we had been delaying forever on going. So, on January 4, we finally went.

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Entrance.

We all know the usual suspects – Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, our personal favorite T. rex – but this exhibit had other, lesser-known dinosaurs (as mentioned above, because they’re fairly new discoveries). Pretty cool to learn about.

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Three smaller new ones. They also had the fossils/casts of the fossils.

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Husband and dinosaur.

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Nigersaurus head. It has a funny mouth.

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Love the fin-type spines on this one.

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This leg bone is a lot taller than I.

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Our three dinosaurs got in on the diorama action.

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Gigantosaurus, a theropod relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

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SO COOL.

If you’re in Denver and like dinosaurs (and need something to do this weekend), check it out!

On 2018

While I may not always post them here, I am a bit of a New Year’s Resolutioner. Most of my goals this year have to do with my triathlon life (as they do,) but I have a few others that I’ll share here.

My main goal is to try to live with purpose. I’m not entirely sure as to what that means, exactly, but part of it is, I am fortunate enough not to work so I don’t want to waste my days.

(Read: I need to not mindlessly scroll the internets, particularly Facebook.)

I’ve really enjoyed chasing the sun, so I’d like to continue doing that. It will probably need to mostly occur when B is out of town (as he’s not quite as into it), but that’s okay.

I also have the goal of visiting all 43 (41 … whatever) state parks here in Colorado. I’ve got two so far, and I think about a quarter of that number will be easy to hit. The others will take some planning (and the summer), but it will be fun exploring different corners of the state.

In general, I’m also trying to work on my organization, both in the house and in life, and on my grace.

Obviously I’d like to continue creating, and I think (I hope) that will be a thing.

Here’s to a good year!

On 2017

You got to see most of the year unfold here, but all in all, it was a pretty good one.

– I saw two movies in the theaters, “Hidden Figures” and “Patriot’s Day.”

– I saw two shows – “The Secret Garden” here in Denver and “Le Reve” in Las Vegas.

– I traveled fairly extensively. Grand Forks, N.D., in February. Road-tripped to Albuquerque, N.M., in March. Road-tripped to Tucson, Ariz., in April. Boston, Mass., Los Angeles, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev. in May. Indianapolis, Ind., in July. Road-tripped to Tucson again in August, as well as flew to Minneapolis, Minn. Back to Minnesota in early September, only to get stuck and drive back home through the night. Road-tripped in September through Utah and Sacramento en route to Santa Cruz, Calif., coming back home through Las Vegas. Also went to Atlanta, Ga., that same month. Los Angeles again in October. Road-tripped to Tempe, Ariz., in November, driving back through Tucson. Las Vegas again in December, but driving there after flying to Los Angeles.

– I saw the last of B’s foursome of college friends get married (the Georgia trip).

– I saw my dad go through cancer.

– I quit my job in May.

– I gained some weight and lost a little.

– We picked up curling.

– I saw three concerts – Shinedown twice (both out of state) and Apocalyptica.

– I spent a lot of time in the mountains.

– I made a few new friends.

– I started to catch a lot of sunrises.

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Taken December 31st at Cherry Creek State Park.

All in all, once again, it was a good year with quite a bit of life changes. This next year will include a bit of the same (different travel, but probably still a lot of it, sunrises, mountains, friends), but with no more foreseeable huge life changes. Hopefully.

Fourth Quarter Style: 2017

I have five outfits for this post. That might be a new record.

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Worn to a pumpkin festival.

Hat: Skirt Sports
Sunglasses, Scarf: Target
Sweater: Aerie (by American Eagle)
Jeans: 7 For All Mankind
Boots: Lauren Ralph Lauren

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Worn out to date night dinner in Scottsdale.

Necklace, Earrings: Ann Taylor LOFT
Purse: People StyleWatch x JustFab Online
Tank: H&M
Skirt: Express
Sandals: Madden Girl

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Worn to see Le Reve at the Wynn.

Earrings, Dress: Express
Wristlet: Simply Vera Vera Wang
Tights: no clue
Shoes: JustFab Online

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Worn to date dinner at Prime Bellagio.

Top: Tahari
Purse: Longchamp
Pants: Candie’s
Shoes: Aerosoles

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Wore this twice, technically; to my niece’s Christmas recital and to a friend’s dinner.

Hat: Skirt Sports
Sweater: Old Navy
Jeans: 7 For All Mankind
Boots: UGG Australia