Well, it's Friday morning, rather early, and I managed to find an unsecured wireless connection in my mom's neighborhood. I feel a little bad, but I'm not a hacker and have no motives other than getting online for awhile, and I have to lay on the bed in the guest room with my head on the window sill to use it or the signal goes dead, so there ya go. Karma has been served!
So I didn't get into Tucson until about 9:30 Wednesday night, which was rough on me but also my poor mother, who's used to being asleep by 8:30 or so! (Thanks mom.) I've been away too long it seems, because only one of her dogs was happy to see me, and it wasn't my Max. I was strangely upset by this, though it's silly to be. Buster (the boxer) was deeply disturbed by my presence, though he always is so no shock there. Greta was her usual sweet self - toss (well, roll) her ball for her, and she'll be your buddy!
Buster eventually warmed up a bit, though I'm still a bit wary of going into the hallway at night. None of them would ever hurt a fly, of course, but there's nothing quite as startling (and humiliating - nothing like waking the whole house up because you need to pee at 1AM) as a very large dog barking deeply directly at YOU!
Veeeeery early Thursday morning, I was up and eating cereal with my mom. I figured since I was already up I'd walk her to work and see her new digs! It's a pretty fast walk, and truly Tucson's weather is gorgeous at that hour. It's just later that it heats up to...
Well the news folks said it hit 105, but the car thought it was 117 in the sun.
The morning, though, was truly lovely. Though it is a desert environment, Tucson is full of color and life - it just hides out in the hotter hours. First thing in the morning, however, I saw deep red flowers, delicately green mesquite and my favorite purple Prickly Pear cactus, not to mention tiny green lizards, birds everywhere and, of course, saguaros in every other yard.
Not sure what they are, besides hardy
Much purpler in real life
I ran for coffee next door to her office while my mom was getting her day started, a cute place called Rock N Java (they feature live music, thus the clever name). The nice lady who runs it in the morning, Heather, made me an iced coffee the way she likes it, and it's my new favorite. I'll be sorry to not be able to get it until next time I'm out here!
I hadn't had much caffeine (besides iced tea at J Alexanders last Sunday) in awhile, so I was extremely perky by the time I walked back to the house to get The Kid up and moving.
We both got dressed, and then it was off to the Pima Air Museum! I first went there a couple of years ago on a whim, since it wasn't far from my mom's work at the time (the acursed JB Steel, who can suck it).
I was amazed by their collection, but I only saw a fraction at the time! We saw a whole lot more this round.
Since it's cooler earlier in the day, one of the volunteers (a group of ex-Air Force fellas with a ridiculous amount of knowledge between them) suggested the tram tour that takes you around most of the 80 acres or so (!) of land to see almost all of what is outside. There's another tour that goes to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance Regeneration Group (the "Boneyard") on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base next door, but we didn't make that one since it didn't leave until 2. It was really hot and we knew we wouldn't make it until then. In the fall or winter I could definitely see spending a day or two really getting into the exhibits and walking around the property, but mid-June?
Not so much.
I've always had a fascination with WWII history. I'm guessing it started with early viewings of South Pacific and period movies and stars my mom loved (Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and the like), but later there was Empire of the Sun, Hope and Glory, and of course a deep fascination with aircraft - and the WWII planes were no doubt the prettiest. There's something so lush about their wide lines, riveted hulls, big props and straightforward machinery. There were computers after a fashion, but nothing so hands-off as we have now. Not that there isn't highly evolved skill required to fly today's planes, of course, but there seemed to be more of a partnership between man and machine then. They named their planes, gave them tattoos even!
The planes then weren't just tools, they were deeply loved, and that love lingers on in how they are still revered, restored and cared for.
Of course I've romanticized it. It's all about that first scene in South Pacific, and one of the best in Empire of the Sun.
Walking around the museums indoor exhibits, I was particularly fascinated by their newly restored P51 Mustang, and the B29 bomber taking up vast amounts of space in Hangar 4 (the Pacific Theatre display - shocking that I would aim there). That one ended up being The Kid's & my favorite, since one of the volunteers saw us drooling all over it (it really is glorious) and came over to give us a visual tour of the guts of the Sentimental Journey, as this one was dubbed.
Back home, we rested a little while, then got suited up and headed for the pool. It was the hottest point of the day, but we knew the cold water would feel fantastic! Of course the bonus of such a dry climate is that science works... when water evaporates from your skin that quickly, getting out of the pool means the sun and heat feel *good* rather than like punishment.
For a minute anyway.
I did sunblock the bejesus out of myself, I'll have you know, yet I still managed to get a bit pink around the edges.
And this is only June! I can't imagine August here. My mother is either very adaptable or totally bonkers. Probably both.
(Love you mom!)
The Kid and I headed back after a couple of hours and then it was Hungry Howie's for dinner than off to bed for us! It had been a long day.
Today's Friday, and on tap today is probably a little more time in the pool, and miniatures museum which promises to be amazing, plus sushi for dinner! Yum.