Wedding Day & Festivities

I left off with Anna and I lounging like lizards by the pool. It was blissful! I needed some relaxing time and some sunshine. I love the desert…

We cleaned up and got ready for the wedding and took the street car downtown. The wedding was at the Z Mansion. It was such a cool building! (When we got there we explored a little bit and there were secret passageways and all sorts of neat things.)



There wasn’t much around there and we hadn’t eaten lunch (the vodka and pineapple didn’t count LOL). We wanted a snack so we ended up going to a Mexican restaurant across the street and sharing a snack of guacamole and chips and a quesadilla.


Then it was time for the event! We hung out and explored the mansion a little bit during cocktail hour.


I LOVED the wallpaper. I wonder if Michael will let me do this to our house…..? I know I just remodeled my bathroom but now I wish I had peacocks on the wall…



The wedding was outside in the backyard. It was an intimate wedding under the trees that were decorated with fairy lights. There was a gazebo and a fountain. The colors were a creamy ivory and sage green. I loved the colors.


Christine looked gorgeous! Her dress was simple and looked breezy and comfortable (and perfect for a hot Arizona day). Everything looked magical. I was so happy for the couple!



She walked down the stairs and then her dad met her and walked her down the aisle. Christine and Jeremy had a very sweet, romantic and unique wedding ceremony. They each talked a little about how they met and it was funny! I was so impressed they were able to like have SPEECHES! And an ACT! Michael and I wrote our ceremony and vows so that our friend Star was the one saying everything and we just said “I Do” because we both knew we wouldn’t be able to talk much up there.



It was very romantic and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house–even Anna who didn’t know the couple was bawling her eyes out. LOL

After the ceremony they got group pictures of all the guests and then we all kind of hung around by the bar area while we waited for the tables to be set up.



Anna and I won the lottery with the table. Table 8 ruled! We made lots of new friends and had a blast!


There was drinking, dancing, food, lots of laughing.


They had anyone who wanted to come up and give a speech. Apparently I’d had just enough wine to feel bold enough to go up there. Eeeek! Had I known this was happening I would have written something but I went up there, heart pounding, and winged it.

I think my speech started off with… “Picture gray, rainy Seattle…it’s the 90’s. I’m obsessed with Nirvana and Christine is obsessed with Soundgarden. I think we both have braces and are beyond awkward…” And then Christine jumped in and said yes, and something to the effect of still being awkward (truth). I talked a little about how I met Christine in middle school and said some nice things about her and then of course, Jeremy, her new hubby, I had to comment on his excellent taste in beer. I was told later the speech was ok. I was so nervous I don’t remember much!


We stayed pretty late and danced into the night with Awesome Table 8 (Anna suggested we have a 10 Year Table 8 Reunion) and then we walked back to the street car and headed to the hotel. It was a great wedding!


We slept in and decided on having a very leisurely day. We got breakfast at Dunken Donuts (across the street from our hotel). I love DD!! The iced coffee is amazing. And I love how quick and easy, low-calorie and delicious the breakfast sandwiches were. That became our breakfast norm.


Then we took the street car back to 4th Street so we could finish our sightseeing and shopping and then we checked out the University Campus.



Lunch was Mexican food at B-Line, a cute bistro with delicious food. I got the Carne Asada tacos. It was just the right amount of food and really tasty. Another place I’d recommend if you visit Tucson.


After that more walking, more shopping, and then back to the hotel to spend the day by the pool. I finished reading my book and started the next one, took a nap, relaxed. It was lovely! I FaceTimed with Michael and Bella by the pool. 🙂


I had some time to kill before dinner so I ended up going to the hotel gym for another quick elliptical workout.


Dinner was at Hub. We cleaned up and took the streetcar back downtown. The place was huge and packed! But we got a table immediately. We got tasty beverages.



And I ordered the Veggie Burger. It was a Chipotle black bean patty with roasted red pepper aioli on a delicious brioche bun. I got a salad instead of fries. The whole meal was fantastic! I was really impressed with the food and the vibe was pretty cool.


It had high ceilings, exposed brick walls, cool decorations and apparently they are known for their ice cream because there was a huge setup for that too. Sadly, we had to skip the ice cream because we wanted to make the last train of the night back to the hotel. We could have walked it but…we didn’t want to! So we hustled back to the train. I think on Sundays they stop running at 8pm. It was a really perfect day and I happily fell asleep early and slept like the dead.

Hiking Sabino Canyon

Arizona Trip – Day Four

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la …

Saturday we all got up, ate breakfast and then headed out for a day of hiking. This time: Sabino Canyon.

We got a later start than we planned and since it was the weekend it was PACKED. There were so many people there they were parking down the block and up the street at a school. Apparently it’s a popular place.

We had tons of water bottles and lots of sunscreen. We set out on the trail. It was pretty flat at first, through just sandy trails through cacti and sagebrush. There were shuttles that took people up to the top of the mountain but we are all hikers and shunned that idea!

Michael, Me, Dad

We trekked up the trail and it started to get more inclined. Lots of slate rock. No covering. No trees. It wasn’t very hot–about 83 degrees I think? Which seems like a lot compared to the 40 degree Portland weather–but since the sun was beating down on us it felt hotter.

There was a really nice breeze through the canyon. We followed the trail up the side of the mountain. It was pretty narrow in places but I didn’t feel too nervous. Maybe because my parents were there–the whole protective feeling you get from your folks? Who knows. Usually heights make me really anxious.


I had a great time hiking up the mountain. While it was a nice incline up the side of the mountain, I never felt like I was straining. My quads were a tad sore from my run the other day but I wasn’t crippled. It felt good to hike! It had been soooo long! My body has finally recovered! I felt like I was back to my pre-injury old self!

I had been diligent about sunscreen the entire trip–this last day in Arizona I forgot one spot: The back of my legs. UGH! I always forget that! I got a serious sunburn there. Ouch. 🙁

We got to the top and went back down the other side, crossed a small creek (the water was refreshing compared to the desert), ate an apple as a snack and then eventually made our back to the parking lot.

We probably did about 4 or 5 miles in a loop. It was quite the scenery. Since we didn’t see many of the other hikers on the trail it was quiet and peaceful. I did see a few trail runners. That was pretty cool. I imagine there’s lots of good running in this town.


Hike Stats:

Time: 2:38

Distance: 4-5 miles?

Calories Burned: 643

We once again missed lunch so after our hike we drove a few miles into downtown Tucson for a late lunch at In-n-Out Burger! Oh my god! The last time I was at an In-n-Out Burger was when I was 17 I think? I went on a camping road trip with my aunt and her whole family down in the Redwoods. In-n-Out is a California thing I think, so we got burgers there. I don’t remember being impressed by them but dang that burger was super awesome after a day of hiking. 500 calories that were TOTALLY worth it.

I devoured that burger in record time.

After lunch we went back to Oro Valley, everyone took showers and I spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool in the shade. I started reading my second book: Julie & Julia. Why has it taken me so long to read this book? I’ve had it over a year and finally read it. So good. Loved the movie, loved the book, she’s a funny writer and I enjoyed every word I read.

Lounging by the pool in the shade, listening to the waterfall in the garden and the birds in the trees….it really doesn’t get any better than this. This vacation was SO needed on so many different levels.

Guess what? I did not think about anything back at home. No work, no drama, no stress, no issues, just sunshine, desert, vacation and crisp air.

After a few hours of downtime, we all went to the local BBQ joint for dinner: Bubb’s Grubb. It was our last night in town plus it was my mom’s birthday.

“Bubb’s Grubb” was the week-long joke that wouldn’t die. Guess what? It was freakin’ awesome!

I ate Hushpuppies for the very first time. I loved them! I ordered a beer and the Bisket sandwich for dinner. It came with mac n’ cheese (not as good as the Old Pueblo Grille Mac n’ Cheese) and coleslaw.

The meat was all smoked and grilled outside in a huge grill. It was the size of like four refrigerators. The meal was excellent. It was one of the highlights of the trip, and we all shared a piece of ice cream Turtle Cake for dessert.

It was delicious. When we got back Michael and I sat in the hot tub out back. The night was dark with the Super Moon bright above us. The air was still and it was just us enjoying the night air. It was a lovely end to the vacation.

Perhaps the hot tub was not the wisest move with a sunburn. It hurt a bit afterward. I slathered on the aloe goop, whined a bit, and then fell into a restless sleep. Every time I moved I awoke from the sunburn. But it was a nice souvenir to take back to Oregon.

QUESTION: Have you ever hiked in Arizona? What was your favorite hike?