Monday, February 09, 2009

Snowbird Sights in Tucson

Why do snowbirds come to southern Arizona or go to Florida or south Texas? We left barren trees and brown ground or extreme cold and snow drifts and headed where we can see green trees, grass turning green, and palm trees.

As we drive around during the first week in February, we marvel at these sights. As we walk around our RV park, we mainly see folks from Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Kansas. In all of these places it is still cold, barren and often snowy. After years of enjoying (or tolerating) such weather, we now enjoy the mild southern winters, then flee north when the 100 degree days of summer arrive.

As we made our way around Tucson Friday we saw acres and acres of really old airplanes. The map describes the area as an airplane bone yard. In this dry climate, aging planes can be stored. They don't deteriorate, so in the future they could be put back in service or raided for parts to repair other airplanes. They look a little like blind animals or machines with band aides over their boo-boos.

Saturday we made our first visit to Trader Joes. We have read about the grocery chain in RV blog and saw one in California last fall, but we had never shopped there. Were we impressed. We have been eating a yummy crusty whole wheat loaf of pain au levain (I wish I knew what that means). I bought an individual frozen quiche for Sunday breakfast, which I enjoyed, and we will definitely return for some great meat and frozen entrees for a good Sunday meal. If you live in the center of the country, you may not have heard of Trader Joes. But they have stores on both sides of the continent and we will visit them whenever we can.

Today we visited the Mission of San Francisco Xavier del Bac. We are staying at the Mission View RV Park, near this church. We have toured many old Spanish churches. This is perhaps the most impressive. Franciscan priest Fr. Kino established the San Xavier Mission in 1692. The church building was occupied in 1798 and has been in use since then. In the 20 years beginning in 1978, intense restoration of the structure and its many paintings, bultos and statues was carried out.

The exterior is now repaired with mortar made from a mixture of lime, sand and cactus mucilage after they discovered that modern cement actually hastens the deterioration.

Inside, the building is quite ornate.

A side chapel is beautiful and the many candles send up the prayers of faithful pilgrims who come and go all day long. We were amazed at how busy the church was.

1 comment:

  1. In southern CA Trader Joe's is known for carrying a very inexpensive but not bad wine--Two-buck Chuck. I once heard a man in a Colorado liquor store asking if they carried it but it seems to be a Trader Joe's exclusive.

    Keep enjoying your snowbird adventure!