Thursday, November 17, 2011

Southwest weekend

Unless you've only recently crawled out of bed after a week-long nap, you know that I spent last weekend in one of my favorite places in the world: Tucson. Autumn is the perfect time to visit the Southwest. You never know what you're gonna get, weather-wise, but it's generally guaranteed to be a little warmer than home (and this year, it was only just a little!) and always sure to provide amazing cuisine. The place I stay also provides a whole lot of love.

Sometimes the canine kind. This is me with my desert dog, Pork Chop. I love him. (As if you couldn't tell.)
I arrived late on Friday night. My flight landed at about 10 p.m., and my best friend Mike picked me up at the airport. There is just something about being met at baggage claim by someone who loves you that just makes my heart glow. If it hadn't been late, there would have been three people meeting me - Rae and Kaylee, too - but a hug from Mike was enough to make me tear up.

The desert, for the record, smells amazing. Being there, though it's far away, always makes me feel at home.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early, even though I slept through my alarm. Thankfully, Racheal woke me up and pointed me toward Sahuarita and their pecan festival ... which included the 3.7 mile Nut Run I was registered for. Awesome run. Wanna read more? Click here.
That's me and Rae, pre-race. We are adorable. The race itself wound through the Green Valley Pecan Orchard. Yes, this photo is blurry; I was running, for heaven's sake! It was an absolutely beautiful run.

Look! A clear photo! Mountains in the distance; just beautiful.This is my sweet niece, Kaylee, on a pony ride. I find her heartbreakingly adorable.

Kaylee, feeding bunnies.
Mike, feeding a donkey.
Moo. Cute, and delicious.Rae, Kaylee and Mike on our hayride. This was a REAL hayride. Pulled by big horsies, through the pecan orchards.
Check SpellingDude in a real Stetson driving the horsies.
Did I mention that Kaylee got her face painted?
One of the few photos I have of Mike where he's not making a face. He looks sweet and thoughtful here; this is how I actually know him.
Big horsies.
Kaylee wants to be a farmer when she grows up. She also wants to marry two boys. Mike and Rae are in for a world of hurt when The Girl grows up.After the pecan festival, we went out for Mexican food. Carrrrne asada. YUM.

I think my dog looks like Walter Matthau.

We had an awesome visit, but as usual, time passed too quickly. We spent the day Sunday lazing around the house, as Mike had caught a bit of Death Plague and was not feeling well. We used that as an excuse to stay in our jammies until afternoon (when the Trianos took me, Kaylee and Rae out to lunchfast. It's so nice meeting old friends for the first time!) and just hunker down together. I like being the person who comes to visit and just becomes part of the household. I don't need to be entertained; I just need to be family. That's nice.

Monday morning came too fast, and I headed out for a final desert run. I took Pork Chop with me, and loved the feeling of running in this beautiful place, with my buddy at my side.
The view along my run.
More mountains, in the distance. Perfect blue sky.

To say that I miss that place, those people ... that's an extreme understatement. But it's nice, too, to spend time effortlessly, knowing that soon we'll all be together again.

No comments: