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Fest in Barrio Hollywood

One good thing about having gone to the home show yesterday is that we don't have to waste a beautiful Saturday indoors. Springtime in Tucson is really marvelous when the wind isn't blowing. Today was typical: sunny & crystal clear, dry, light breeze and about 80 degrees.

We started the day heading to the Tucson Botanical Garden. The gardens are located in town, on the site of an early settler's home, making a green oasis in the midst of urban sprawl. Don't go expecting English formal gardens with neat squares and carefully arranged flowers. The Botanical Garden presents a series of tight little gardens along twisting paths. There's a low-water desert area, a children's garden, herb garden, several nice patios shaded by grapefruit, mesquite, and other desert-loving trees, and much more.

Tucson Botanical 1.jpg

It was very useful for planning things we want to put in the back yard of the house. We'd like to obliterate the existing lawn (a water- and maintenance-hungry monster, utterly inappropriate for the desert) by xeriscaping with gravel and cactus. We were so impressed we bought a family membership, which allows us to visit as much as we want.

Tucson Botanical knee.jpg

Of course during the visit I managed to get my knee into some cactus while snapping a picture of a lizard. I seem to get spines in my leg every couple of weeks doing one thing or another. Although the spines are straight, they still require a good tug to remove.

A month or so ago, our friends Mike & Tracy left a flyer on our doorstep for a local Mexican restaurant on Grande Ave. We went looking for it so we could get lunch, and found the street closed for a street party. Turns out it is part of Barrio Hollywood, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tucson.

Tucson Barrio Hollywood.jpg

This was a huge bonus. Mexican food stands, salsa dancers on stage, a fine band, and plenty of local color. That accordian player might look anglo but let me tell you, that band could crank out some great music.

Tucson Barrio band.jpg

A local insisted we try a small cup of deep-fried tripe with green chiles and salsa, and then we made lunch of a burro, three tacos, strawberry Hawaiian shave ice and some churros for dessert. This festival was a lucky find. Even though we haven't yet gone traveling yet, it feels like today we got back into the swing of it.

Tucson churros.jpg

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