30 September 2014

Eye catching, yes?

Clearly this shop owner in Nogales, Mexico knows how to attract interested shoppers into her store! Quite a provocative display of scarves, belts, and bags, wouldn't you say? Ole!

Seeking grand hacienda style ~

The shops of the plaza surrounding LaRoca restaurant in Nogales, Mexico offer beautiful home furnishings and gift items. Fine furniture, pottery, ceramics, and impressive lighting fixtures to name just a few...  and as a touch of whimsy I spotted one window display with a sequined sombrero! Ole!

29 September 2014

South of the border ambiance ~

The Nogales, Mexico restaurant LaRoca is built into a cliff (bottom image). Surrounding the restaurant is a beautiful plaza filled with retail shops selling high end furniture and gorgeous home decor items.

28 September 2014

Buen apetito! Buen provecho!

Here is a peek at the interior of LaRoca and the outside entryway. The building itself is nestled into a natural cliff face (hence, the name of the restaurant) and the natural stone is visible here in the entry and also in the main dining room.

27 September 2014

True Old Mexico ~

LaRoca (the Rock) restaurant in Nogales, Mexico is definitely worth the trip! A short walk from the border and you are transported into an elegant Old Mexico experience. Wonderful ambiance and great food. For the next few days stay tuned for a mini tour of the restaurant itself and the plaza shops surrounding it.

26 September 2014

Welcome to Mexico!

From Tucson it's easy to pop over the border to Nogales, Mexico for shopping, dining, and even sports betting. You can stroll into Mexico with no delay but you must have a passport to return to the U.S.

25 September 2014

Wounded caterpillar?

Nope - that's just soy sauce on this yummy caterpillar sushi roll prepared by the Ichiban Restaurant chef, one of the few sushi places on the far east side.

24 September 2014

In a galaxy far, far away ~

In a galaxy far, far away on a planet much like Earth single flower blooms grow to a height of 8 feet and have blossoms the size of beach balls. Colors, too, are similar to Earth flowers but are  much more vivid....  These metal flower sculptures outside a gallery in Tubac are pretty impressive!

23 September 2014

Climbing roses ~

One of the many charming shops in Tubac, the artist community south of Tucson. I love these climbing roses "growing" toward the roof. The big (kind of weird) ones closer to the ground are the size of car tires! Fun yard art!

22 September 2014

Celestial dining ~

Elvira's restaurant in Tubac is not your typical Mexican cantina. This upscale eatery has decorated their ceiling with hundreds of beautiful glass ornaments that make the interior shimmer with light - gorgeous! Check yesterday's post for a photo of one of their elegant appetizers. Bon appetit!

21 September 2014

No border crossing necessary ~

If you love Mexican food you must try Elvira's in Tubac! Elvira's was a famous restaurant in Nogales - they opened in 1927. They lost a lot of business due to the economic turndown in the U.S. With very few tourists visiting Mexico, Elvira's closed their Nogales location. But the good news is they moved the restaurant (and their famous menu) to Tubac. Here is their appetizer dish of Chiles Toreados: Guero chiles fried with lemon and soy sauce - hot! Yummy!

20 September 2014

Wonderful possibilities ~

I have always loved this piece of scripture. Various versions of the bible translate it with a few different words but the meanings are all the same - open your heart to show hospitality as you never know who might be visiting you. It is a beautiful sentiment! This terracotta plaque is displayed on an outside wall at Mission San Xavier.

18 September 2014

Door to nowhere ~

So one of the most interesting things I noticed in my recent visit to Mission San Xavier was this painted door on the right of the main chapel. A docent said that it was painted to help achieve balance in the interior as just opposite this faux door is a real door. A very interesting concept for the 1700's, don't you think?

17 September 2014

Tucson's Twin Beds ~

So 10 days ago I posted the first photo of my backyard discovery - dove twins had hatched in a flower pot. Today I saw that they have grown so much that each has its own pot! Look carefully and you will see a little grey head peeking out above the rim.

16 September 2014

Cowgirl angel ~

Just to the left of the front entrance, this niche is easy to miss! Continuing the mini tour of Mission San Xavier, here is the original baptismal font. It was brought from Spain. Notice the painting high on the wall. It is an angel recording the names of the babies who were baptized. I THINK she might be wearing blue cowgirl boots!

15 September 2014

First Native American Saint~

Mission San Xavier continues its massive renovation. The church was founded in 1692 and the original building was destroyed in Apache Indian attacks in 1770. The current building construction was completed in 1797. Within the chapel is this carved wooden sculpture of the first Native American Saint, Kateri Tekakwitha. The last time I visited there a lot of scaffolding was erected in the chapel and that has all now been removed. It's beautiful!

14 September 2014

Wonderful Windy Wedding!

Just as we were leaving Mission San Xavier we caught this glimpse of a wedding party entering the chapel. The bride's beautiful gown was billowing in the wind - gorgeous! Happy day ~

13 September 2014

Rare Tucson Toucan ~

I'm betting that even the most seasoned ornithologist has not spotted this specimen in the wild. It is the rare Tucson Toucan with distinctive antacid-pink plumage. Notice the tell tale markings on its beak... "GOODYEAR."  Yes, dear followers, this bird was once a tire.   (:

12 September 2014

Blue Willow Love Birds ~ inside and out

The Blue Willow is a very popular restaurant in Tucson. It's rather famous for brunch and it has been around for decades! I love going to locally owned places (no chains, please!). Here is their mural on the north side of the restaurant. It's not where their parking lot is so even regular diners there might not know of this artwork.

11 September 2014

Tucson's Loch Ness Monster ~

I'm really not sure what to make of these creatures. At first glance they look like water creatures because of their swan like wings. And then the long neck makes me think of famous Nessie. But then the spots -- well, those are very much like giraffe markings, don't you think? So what do we have here? A garden planter that is half giraffe/half swan?

10 September 2014

Giant caged ice cubes? What's up with this?

Any guess on this one is a good guess! I saw these giant "caged ice cubes" in front of a Tucson gravel company. They have spigots on them. Anyone know what these are used for???

09 September 2014

Timeless Art Deco ~

This new, modern parking garage was designed with an Art Deco exterior. A style that will never go out of style! Looks beautiful, doesn't it? So much beauty in downtown Tucson! What a nice place to stroll around.....

08 September 2014

Funeral parlor turned Pizza parlor ~

Previously on this site I posted photos of the then-abandoned building and remarked that it was a great looking building and wouldn't it be wonderful if someone restored it? Well, someone did and here you go.... the building was originally a funeral parlor and now it is Reilly's, a great place for gourmet pizza. The interior is beautiful with its high ceiling, sleek bar area, and interesting lighting fixtures. Do check it out when you are downtown! It's on Pennington just across from Cafe Poca Cosa.

07 September 2014

Oh boy ~ twins!

A few weeks ago I noticed that a dove had taken up residence in one of my hanging flower pots. What was weird about this was that there is a nice nest right above this flower pot where the patio roof meets the house wall. Nope, she wanted the flower pot. And so she sat, and sat, and sat.

I researched dove nesting habits and learned that although it looks like the bird never leaves the nest, actually it does leave and its mate takes turns and sits too. Once when no one was sitting I took a peek and saw an egg. Now I was getting really interested! This morning I was actually thinking that it has probably been too long and that the egg wasn't going to hatch at all. When no one was guarding the nest I went over and peeked in. I expected to find a dried out egg (or even a tiny carcass).

Oh boy - I saw tiny twin doves! They are about 2 inches so they were likely born several days ago and just have not been peeping enough for me to notice. I have to be super quick now to grab the camera because the parents are never gone very long and I don't want to disturb this growing family!

06 September 2014

Wherever you are tonight please join in!

Wherever you are in the world tonight, you can be part of the International Observe the Moon Night. In Tucson a lot is happening on the UA mall - free telescopes operated by scientists who can guide you, indoor activities at Flandrau Science Center, and all will be topped off with a fantastic laser light show to the music of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" (of course!!). I think the moon is quite magical actually and it's always nice to know that when someone you care about is far away, you can be drawn closer by knowing that you are having the same experience looking at the moon. Enjoy the skies tonight!  

05 September 2014

Apologies to all followers ~

The site has been hacked by spammers and many many advertisements have been placed in the "Comments" section of recent photos. In attempting to clean them up and delete them, some real comments were also deleted. I was not able to isolate just the spam comments for deletion. So any of you who recently commented on photos (Stefan, Elizabeth, others) please know I did not delete your comments intentionally. It was part of the system's deletion protocol.

04 September 2014

Avast, me hearties!

Every kind of flag you could want - sports team flags, national flags, even a Bob Marley flag! My personal favorite is the PIRATE flag...........arrrrr!   And check out the name of the company - I laughed out loud!

03 September 2014

Always controversial - art or....something else?

Another photo taken in quirky Bisbee, AZ, the mining-town-turned-artists-colony. Here is a huge mural with many disparate elements. Art? Graffiti? Something in between? What do you think?
Photo courtesy Nathan S Bunker

02 September 2014

Truly amazing and beautiful ~

These magnificent angel sculptures can be found guarding a private home in charming Bisbee, AZ.  Bisbee is an old mining town and is now well known as an artist community. Unfortunately I couldn't find the name of the artist who created these pieces but I can tell you this angel image is the cover for Sky Rocket Prophet's "Valley Hymns" CD.
Photo courtesy Nathan S Bunker

01 September 2014

Famous graveyard ~

Perhaps the most famous graveyard in the Old West - Tombstone, AZ. The grave markers are inscribed with truly memorable epitaphs! Taking a trip to Tombstone is a way to travel back to the late 1800's - fun!
Photo courtesy Nathan S Bunker