31 December 2013

Celebrate tonight!

Wishing you all a wonderful celebration tonight! I hope that 2014 will bring you much happiness. Thanks for your many comments and contributions to the site this year.
Photo courtesy AZ Daily Star

30 December 2013

Shrine in a Box ~

Tucson's Trail Dust Town has a fake hotel and some real storefronts. It also contains this unusual shrine to the Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas. As you can see, at night it is closed up with wooden doors.

29 December 2013

A Special Tree ~

I was lucky to photograph this beauty just before it was dismantled. My friend Claire has collected Lladro ornaments for years and decorates her entire tree with her beautiful treasure trove of bells, balls, angels, and a lovely nativity scene. She has 57 ornaments on this tree and she told me that she needs a bigger tree next year!

28 December 2013

That time of year ~

At this time of year many of us start thinking about the things we want to change/improve/correct in the New Year. Although this license plate is obviously an homage to the TV show, I thought that "Breaking Bad" was a good concept for this last week of December! Do you make resolutions? Do you have any bad habits you want to break?

27 December 2013

Vivid Directional ~


This bold red sculpture really captures my imagination. If it is meant to be a metaphorical directional arrow, it does certainly indicate that there are many dead ends and unexpected corners to block progress before seeing the final arrow pointing skyward. Sorry - no attribution of artist or title of the piece was displayed - so annoying!

26 December 2013

Got Snow? We don't!

It's nice to be able to dine outside on Christmas day! Sunny for the rest of the week and predictions of 70 degrees for New Year's Day. I hope that is a forecast for 2014 - sunny and warm!

25 December 2013

Quite a Night ~ Santa Kicks Back

Merry Christmas to all! On December 4th I posted a painting of the classic "Coca Cola Santa" painted by Haddon Sundblom. The artist spent a lot of time in Tucson and it is widely acknowledged that the iconic Santa image was created while Sundblom stayed at a Tucson resort. He often used the resort owner's daughters as the child models who appear in the paintings. To read more about this "Tucson Treasure," click here.

24 December 2013

Santa's Landing Instructions ~

The folks at Tucson's Trail Dust Town have rolled out the welcome mat for Santa! They have provided landing instructions for St Nick to touch down on the roof of the Hotel: "Welcome Santa! Land here!" And to all a good night....

23 December 2013

22 December 2013

"Neither snow nor rain nor ~

...heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Taking a cue from the postman's motto, this pup does not care one bit that it was pouring rain! He wanted to hang his head out that window!

21 December 2013

Tucson's Amazing Birdland (3 photos) ~

This is one of those "you have to see it to believe it" Tucson treasures! Bird lover Gayle (photo 3) has filled her corner lot with bird feeders of many shapes, sizes, and colors. Her yard attracts every type of local bird imaginable with delicious seeds and snacks to tempt the fussiest of avian visitors. Gayle gets her supplies from the Wild Bird Store on Ft Lowell.

20 December 2013

Arctic Desert Dwelling ~

A sweet seal and a skinny polar bear share this decorated igloo in the desert. How did they get so far south anyway??

19 December 2013

Festive ears ~

On this dull grey and overcast day the Santa hats on Father Kino's horse are a nice festive contrast! Every year a mystery person decorates the horse's ears. Fun! 

18 December 2013

Desert Decorating ~

I love that these homeowners decided to decorate their palo verde tree in their front yard. The green branches really set off the giant ornaments. Who needs a pine tree to be festive??

17 December 2013

A Tucson Tradition ~

A Tucson Treasure, the Gaslight Theatre has many devoted followers. For people who want a "feel good" performance with humor, energy, and very corny special effects, this is the place! This year's holiday show is "A Smalltown Christmas."

16 December 2013

The Santa Spirit is Everywhere!

The median on Harrison between 22nd and Golf Links has several pieces of public art/ metal sculpture. Every year a Secret Santa fastens a Santa cap on the desert tortoise to help him celebrate the season! Fun!

14 December 2013

Covered Covered Wagons ~

These ghostly shapes are the tarp/canvas covers of the Covered Wagon Ferris Wheel at Trail Dust Town. I don't know if they are now covered for the winter season or if I caught them before being readied for the regular evening crowd.

13 December 2013

Good advice for parents ~

CAT parents that is! I thought you cat lovers would enjoy this veterinarian's street sign message!

12 December 2013

Failed Christmas Candy?

This sugar glass "candy" is actually a simulation of a planet's surface when it sustains an impact. (In this case the impact was caused by a foiled-wrapped hammer.) Those craters on the moon you see are a result of similar impacts. I attended a lecture on Impact Craters and this hands-on messy bit was included for fun AND education!

11 December 2013

Tucson Treasure ~

With all of the fun created at Trail Dust Town from the charming storefronts to the fight and stunt reenactments, it's easy to miss this wonderful museum. The Museum of the Horse Soldier is adjacent to the area where the live shows take place. It's a remarkable historic treasure dedicated to all-things-calvary. 

10 December 2013

Charming carousel ~

Is there anything more delightful than catching a ride on a carousel? Here is the charmer at Trail Dust Town - just past the entrance to the Chinese Quarter. At night it is even more fun with its lights!

09 December 2013

Santa is loading up ~

Looks like Santa has landed at Trail Dust Town to pack on some calories for himself and his mighty reindeer team before his around-the-world trip. He left a sign in his sleigh that says, "Be Right Back! Went to Pinnacle Peak for a few cowboy steaks. Santa"

07 December 2013

Gift giving time ~ Where is this?

Saturday: OK all you loyal site followers! It's time once again for a "Where is this?" quiz. First to correctly identify this location wins a "Fabulous" TDP t-shirt or mousepad (your choice). Both feature the "Monday already?" ram that you can see on TDP's home page. Just in time for a holiday gift from me to you!

Sunday: No one made a guess yesterday so here is a HINT/CLUE: Look closely at the decoration around the windows and the style of the birdcage...

Good luck today! 

Monday: OK, no one ventured a guess - too bad! It is the entrance to the "Chinese Quarter" at Trail Dust Town! This is the route you take to get to the carousel and the ferris wheel. Look familiar now??

06 December 2013

Stormy weather ~

What might look like the end of the world is actually the end of Speedway - all the way east. Stormy weather moving in. Look at how low the clouds are in the sky -- where are the Catalinas?

05 December 2013

Cactus Caps ~

Every year Tucson Medical Center decorates their saguaros with Santa hats! What a fun tradition! You'll see the stormy sky over the Catalinas in the background. Freezing temperatures and perhaps SNOW is being predicted for tonight! Brrrrr!

04 December 2013

Santa was Created in Tucson!

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus and he was created in Tucson, AZ! Artist Haddon Sundblom created the well known and well loved image of Santa for the Coca Cola company. Sundblom was a frequent visitor to Tucson where he stayed at what is now known as the Westward Look Resort. Sundblom often used the resort owner's two daughters, Laci and Sancy Nason, as his models. In this painting Sundblom transformed little Sancy into a boy so that Coke would appeal to both boys and girls.To read more, click here.  

03 December 2013

Playground playground ~

For kids who are dreaming of getting some backyard gear from Santa, this place on Stone near Drachman seems to be a playground showroom!

02 December 2013

Santa is in no danger ~

These homeowners have a flying angel pig, a penguin, and a festive cow on their roof. Since none of these animals are known for their flying skills (sorry, pig!), Santa is in no danger of having an air traffic incident over this house!

01 December 2013

My advice for the next 24 days ~

Some people probably DO enjoy the shopping malls at this time of year (or should I spell that "shopping mauls"?!). But not me! I'd rather be home baking some goodies to give as gifts than fighting the crowds. What was the best gift you have ever received?

30 November 2013

One space left!

My local Target was hopping today but it wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be. Check out lines were fast! Are you doing your shopping in stores or online?

29 November 2013

The official start of the season ~

Thanksgiving is behind us now and the Arizona Inn's always-perfect Christmas tree is up! It's officially time to start shopping, wrapping, and baking!

28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This fellow could really feed a crowd! His presence is bringing an air of festivity to the corner of Kolb and 22nd Street. I hope you enjoy the day. Please post what you are thankful for this year!

27 November 2013

Lights = Festive!

Pastiche restaurant (Campbell near Ft Lowell) has hung just a few strands of lights and the whole place feels festive and ready for the holidays!

26 November 2013

Lemmon Icing ~

Tucson's Mt Lemmon displayed the first signs of snow today! Did you know that Mt Lemmon has a ski area? It's the southern most ski area in the United States. And you thought Tucson was "all about heat." HA!

25 November 2013

All Across America ~

In the spirit of the season, here's one smart turkey who doesn't want to be anyone's dinner! Enjoy ~

24 November 2013

Salute to Tour de Tucson participants ~

The thousands of Tour de Tucson participants had an unrelenting rain as they pedaled their way around Tucson. Unusual weather for this time of year - and a bit cold, too. Today I'd like to feature some of the memorials that have sprung up around Tucson to raise awareness of bicyclists who have been killed by motorists. Here are just five of the many "Ghost Bike" memorials around town. Each one is different and has its own sad story to tell. They are powerful reminders to motorists to be aware.

22 November 2013

Rainbow Rose ~

I have never seen a rose plant like this one! It is blooming in many different colors - yellow, pale pink, darker pink, yellow and orange..... have you ever seen something like this? It is GORGEOUS!

21 November 2013

Wild West with an Arty Twist ~

Don't forget that Tucson was, after all, the Wild West. Cowboys and rodeos are part of our culture and here is an arty salute to our heritage - a pick up truck's tailgate made from horse shoes! Fun and imaginative!

20 November 2013

Greetings from Tucson!

Yesterday's post of the mural at Stone & Speedway reminded me of this well-known postcard image of Tucson - each letter has its own story to tell.