Arizona vacation

This Is The End…

Arizona Trip – THE END


Sage brush! Mile after mile,
Quiet in the sun, and shimmering;
Ever in the sun, ever shimmering!
The long low mountains
Seem to crouch beneath the heat,
And the earth, dried to a powder,
Is strewn with choked brown grass.
Ants burrow in the ground
And live on things that perish here.
Stream beds are dry, beaten paths
Of rabbits and sage coyotes
That for keen thirst run the full length
Of each ravine, and fall at last
As did one here whose bones lie scattered,
White as snow beneath the sun.
God, the waste! the quivering waste!
Where things grow up to die!

__P. Roy Brammell

Sunday morning I awoke early to get in one last run before the plane ride. My dad and I ran a different way this time…mostly the same path but jutting off through a different neighborhood before we reached the hill.

The weather was much changed Sunday morning. Instead of a lovely, balmy 60+ degrees in the morning it was about 45 degrees and crisp. I put on my only running shirt with sleeves (my Hood to Coast shirt) and we set out.

My fingers were cold as we warmed up. My legs were a little sore still from Thursday’s run and Saturday’s hike. I managed to do the whole 3 or so miles without walking though. I remained in my target heart rate range this time too–not spiking too much.

I felt a sadness in my stomach as the run came to an end. It marked the end of the sunshine, the end of the vacation, the return to the gloomy Northwest. I was slightly homesick, I missed my kitties, but I also didn’t want to leave Tucson. It was such a paradise. I wanted more time to read and write beside the pool. I wanted more time to hike the places we didn’t get to. I wanted to try trail running.

Alas, vacations must end. I stretched, ate, showered and packed.

Run Stats:

Time: 32 minutes

Calories Burned: 336

My parents drove us the 1.5 hours to Phoenix on an old highway instead of the freeway. It was miles and miles of nothing but desert. I tried not to be sad.

We arrived and Michael and I had a horrible lunch in the airport and then we flew home.

The flight was quick, uneventful and I finished Julie & Julia and started a third book. πŸ™‚ I’d say that was a pretty good vacation!

We arrived in Portland to see green trees, gray clouds, cold weather and rain. Michael’s old roommate Shoe picked us up and we were home!

Some things I noticed about my time in Arizona…

Maybe because I was on vacation in an area popular with retired people, but I noticed just how slow the pace was in Tucson. So peaceful. My friend Christine said something similar too. She said that she’s so much happier here than she was in Seattle. The sunshine plays a huge part in it, but she said that the pace down here is much more relaxing.

Another thing: my skin was so dry. I used to go to the desert in Eastern Washington as a kid and I remembered what the desert was like but really…it’s hard to adjust. I felt like my body was sucked dry. My eyes were always dry, my contacts were uncomfortable, my sinuses were dry and yucky. My hair was so gross the entire time I was in Tucson–dry, limp, lifeless. Maybe it was the water? Who knows.

I also craved SALT. Like mad. I never ever crave salt. Ever. Michael craves things like tortilla chips and I crave chocolate. But once I was in Tucson I wanted to lick the salt off of everything. I craved it. My body wanted nothing but salty foods: Fritos and tortilla chips with lunch, crackers, anything! My guess was that since I was sweating out so much fluid it craved the sodium.

I don’t think I could ever live in Arizona. Which is funny because there was a time in my life where I almost moved to Tucson. How hilarious is that? And after a week here, I know I could not live here. The weather would be nice but everything looks the same. I missed the trees, the green, the water, the rivers, the snow-peaked mountains….It would be a hard adjustment to the brown-everything!

I think Michael and I both learned a good lesson in Arizona: test your body. Push it. Don’t get stuck in the “I’m Injured” cycle. I am SO glad that I ran in Tucson and saw how my body worked. All these months I’ve been afraid to push it, afraid to run outside for fear of immediate injury. Guess what? Nothing happened: I realized I was healed and I could run and hike and do anything I wanted. Same with Michael. He’s been suffering from back pain since December and he realized on this trip that golfing made his back feel better. It’s easy to get stuck in “whoa-is-me” mentality.

One thing I WILL miss for sure:


I have been ruined forever by swimming in that amazing pool. πŸ˜‰

QUESTION: How do you get over the post-vacation blues?

The Corpse Reviver and Ghost Orchids

Arizona Trip – Day Three

Friday we had a plan. My mom and I wanted to go swimming in a pool and Michael was going to go to the driving range with my dad to see if he could hit golf balls. Since Michael’s back has been hurting since December he hasn’t been able to do a lot of physical activities, one being golf. The driving range was a good place to start. They dropped my mom and I off at the Oro Valley Municipal Pool and they left for the golf course.


We had 1.5 hours to swim. I was so excited. The moment I saw that outdoor pool I was in HEAVEN. Oh my god.

An Olympic size pool, outdoors, heated, with 16 lanes for lap swimming! I’M IN HEAVEN!!!! This was the best part of the vacation. πŸ™‚


I grabbed a lane for us and I started swimming my laps. The last time I swam I was unable to because of my chest issues but I didn’t have any issues (thankfully). It was absolutely amazing to swim under the sun in the middle of the desert. Words cannot describe how peaceful and soothing it was to workout that way. I have no idea how many miles I did. Maybe a mile? Maybe a mile and a half? Who knows–I was on vacation! I swam for about 55 minutes then got out to shower and change.


Seriously–swimming outside is a wonderful way to stay fit. I was glowing and all smiles after that. The boys picked us up, we went back to the house for lunch and to make a plan for the afternoon.

Swim Stats:

Time: 55 minutes
Calories Burned: 465

An old friend from Middle School recently moved down to Tucson to go to the University for her PhD. I really wanted to see my old friend Christine since I was there and we made plans to meet up at the Hotel Congress downtown.


My dad and Michael booked a T-time at a golf course downtown and my mom checked out the shops while I spend a few hours with Christine at the cute outside bistro cafe.


We caught up, shared girly drinks and spent about 2 hours or so just hanging out in the shade, a cool breeze keeping us comfortable.The first drink was a Ghost Orchid. So delicious and like art.


The second drink we split: a Corpse Reviver. It had absinthe in it too! I enjoyed that drink as well.

Corpse Reviver


We split the fruit and yogurt plate. It was delicious. The plain yogurt had granola, dried fruit, walnuts, agave syrup and whipped cream on top, plus fresh fruit. It was a lovely, light snack in the middle of the day. I MUST buy Agave syrup. So good.

I love my parents and was having a great time but at the same time it was nice to be out decompressing with a friend!

After my date with Christine, I met up with my mom and we hit a few art galleries and a park near the golf course.

We checked out the Cathedral in downtown Tucson, as well. There was some cool art in the courtyard.

I saw the only cat the entire trip outside of an art gallery in downtown Tucson. Then we walked around the park where we saw the only water in Tucson. πŸ™‚

We picked up my dad and Michael and the four of us went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. El Parador had been in Tucson since 1946 and seemed to be a popular local favorite. The inside of the restaurant used to be an outdoor patio. They enclosed it but kept it looking like a garden oasis–the trees still grow inside.

It was a nice dinner and I did not care about the insane amount of calories. Especially in the table side guacamole. YUM.

The food was tasty but not authentic in any way. I was mildly disappointed in that. My hope is that I have REAL Mexican food on our trip to Texas. πŸ˜‰

Despite the eating out a few times during my trip, I did pretty well with still counting my calories, watching what I eat, being mindful.

Every day of my vacation I was in bed by like 8 pm. Totally exhausted!

QUESTION: Do you maintain your normal eating habits while on vacation? Have you ever swam in an outdoor pool like I did?