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10-11 April 2015 Arizona - Tucson

Friday 10th April

Another lovely day, hot and sunny. Whilst having breakfast we watched a tiny hummingbird chasing off a dove, she gave the dove a firm dig with her spike like beak. It's nesting season so they are all fighting for territory. We said goodbye to Picacho and made our way on the I-10 to Tucson. Our destination was the Lazydays KOA site just south of the town. This is a large RV park, more like an RV town with tarmac roads and lots of facilities. There are two pools each with a jacuzzi. A grassed dog run which is more like a small park which Sandy is very appreciative of. Fruit trees are planted throughout the park. On our site we have a lemon tree and so far we have harvested five lemons. The back drop to the town is the Catalina Mountains which is quite spectacular. Took a dip in the pool this afternoon and relaxed in the jacuzzi. This evening we took another recommendation from the Roadfood book and went to El Torero in South Tucson. Although surrounded by the city South Tucson is a separate district and known for its Mexican food. El Torero restaurant is tucked away in a side street set back from the road and would be easily missed.

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As we walked in there was a long bar on the left and beyond that was the dining room with bullfighter paintings on the wall, plus a large stuffed sailfish with fairy lights around. We were greeted by Lucia who had been working at the restaurant since 1973. The place is know for its Sonoran style food and Lucia advised us on what to have. We started with a large thin tortilla crisp, freshly cooked with cheese perfectly melted across the surface. This was served on a silver cake stand type plater and we pulled off slices. Following this we had a selection of enchiladas with different sauces and fillings to give us an idea of the range of food they offer. We had a lot of laughs with Lucia and she told us of her visit to Europe in the 1980's with her uncle who was attending a WW2 reunion commemorating D Day.

Saturday 11th April

Today we went to the races. North east of Tucson is the Rillito Park historic racetrack that has been operating since the 1930's and it is the birthplace of 'quarter horse racing' - this means horses bread for speed. We got to the track at about 12.30 and the horses for the first race were already in the small paddock. It was $5 entry fee and the race programme was free. There was a large grandstand and plenty of space along the rails to see the action. It was a relatively small race track and we did have a close up view of the horses and all the facilities were close at hand. The first race was the shortest I had ever seen, just 100 yards, very exciting but very quick. We had a really enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine watching these beautiful animals at close quarters. Announcing the start of each race with a hunting horn and dressed in a high hat and a red hunting jacket was Denny. We got talking and he gave us a blast of Rule Britannia on the horn. Originally coming from Seattle he had been working in Arizona for a few years. He gave us a few tips on where to go in Seattle and Washington state.


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Courtesy Denny Shreffler

This evening we went to The Fox Theatre in Tucson to see the British Invasion Tribute Show featuring music from the sixties. It was the theatres 85th birthday free concert - John spotted it in a local newspaper. Denny had mentioned earlier that every 2nd Saturday of the month free events take place in the downtown area of Tucson. There are free outdoor concerts and lots of street activities, including car clubs. Driving through town trying to find parking we came across a row of vintage cars parked long the curb, all immaculate, some with their bonnets open and a row of LED lights around for better engine viewing. The Fox Theatre was 1930's Art Deco style and well looked after. As usual we had a warm welcome at the door from what I guess were theatre volunteers. The foyer where we bought drinks was busy and when we walked into the theatre it was full. The crowd was mostly 'silver surfers' as you would expect from the music but there were a fair few youngsters. The group were called Five Way Street and they had mastered the sixties sound really well and even came up with a very decent English accent when singing, 'Mrs Brown you've got a lovely Daughta'.

We had a good evening and the atmosphere in the theatre was great, people singing along and dancing. On the way back we dropped into Denny's Diner for supper - egg, bacon, hash browns and a two stack of pancakes with strawberries!


Courtesy Denny Shreffler

We had a good evening and the atmosphere in the theatre was great, people singing along and dancing. On the way back we dropped into Denny's Diner for supper - egg, bacon, hash browns and a two stack of pancakes with strawberries!

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