Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tucson--Day One

It took all day to get here, but we made it. My VP and I are here at a beautiful resort in Tucson for the next four days. We were supposed to arrive here at about 1 p.m., but we missed our connection in Dallas and then sat on the runway for nearly two hours while they fixed the engine before finally getting underway again. I passed the time reading and catching up on the sleep that was all to short, having to get up at 5 this morning.

Let me first say that I love flying. It's always so interesting to me. You meet interesting people, you see interesting things. It's all good, as far as I am concerned. My seat companion from Boston to Dallas was a young man from Portland, Maine who had just graduated from Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He was on his way to his first job and was so excited about it. To this long-time teacher, it was refreshing to talk with someone so eager, so idealistic. He's going to Phoenix for some summer training and then will be a 6th grade social studies teacher in Kansas City, MO. He has found an apartment that is right on the old Oregon Trail! How cool is that for a history teacher?!

I sat with my VP on the last leg of the trip...way, way in the back. I finished a book and then watched the topography change drastically. It was cool seeing the Mississippi River, the Red River, the amazing perfect crop circles, the empty desert, the rugged mountains...

The taxi driver who took us to our hotel was from El Salvador. He had written a book of poetry and stories about his family that he showed us. He was talkative and interesting. When I asked him about the animals there, he said they had rabbits, deer, and lions! We thought he was kidding, but he said at a school on the other side of the mountain they found a lion on their doorstep one morning! Imagine that! Imagine, further, our surprise when, while walking across an outdoor bridge between hotel buildings, we saw a bobcat not too far below us! A hotel employee was nonplussed, saying "oh yes, we see him all the time." We also saw a large deer on the other side of the pool, and numerous birds perching on top of the cactus!

Such an interesting place!'s 105 degrees! But since it's a dry heat, it doesn't feel that hot and I didn't break a sweat for all the walking around outside we did. Very interesting...

Two other interesting things happened in the hotel. We met a woman who is attending the same conference we are...who was born in the same hospital I was! That's not as strange as meeting a man who was from the same town we teach in, although he lives in LA now. We stopped by a huge screen TV to watch some of the Celtics game and struck up a conversation with a man in a Celtics T-Shirt. He knew exactly where we were from! Such a small world!!!

Photos: The Starr Pass Marriot in Tucson; some kind of dove on a cactus; the view across the pool towards the golf course where we saw a huge deer; the bobcat wandering through the grounds; just before sunset, looking towards the Catalina Mountains.


Inland Empire Girl said...

What a beautiful place. Enjoy your stay. Go Celtics!

Heidi said...

Your hotel looks awfully familiar. I don't remember the name, though, of the hotel where I stayed a year ago January. It was absolutely beautiful, though. Enjoy Arizona! If it's the same hotel, a few miles down the road is an awesome cafe with a great breakfast and lunch menu. Again, I forgot the name of the cafe. It's in a strip mall...yeah, that's helpful and descriptive!

I think I'll stop commenting for now.... :-)

Ruth said...

Missed connection in Dallas...sounds so familiar to me!. Glad you arrived safely. Sounds like a very interesting place to visit. My aunt wants me to visit her in Phoenix soon. But I think I would wait until winter.