We unexpectedly lost someone very special a couple of months ago, my father-in-law, Tom. This past weekend, all of our loved ones, from near and far, came together in Tucson, Arizona to celebrate his life.
I find myself becoming more and more fond of Tucson and appreciating why my in-laws loved this part of the country so much. In honor and in celebration of Tom, we enjoyed the breathtaking views, colors and textures of the Southwest and spent quality time together as a family, a rarity since one of Phil’s brothers lives in France.
We started the weekend exploring downtown Tucson with an al fresco lunch stop at La Cocina and a tour of the Train Depot.
In the afternoon, we headed to one our favorite spots in Tucson, the DeGrazia Gallery. We wandered around the gallery’s cacti-filled garden and took a peek at DeGrazia’s work. I hit some bad luck here when I accidentally squatted right onto a baby cactus… All I have to say is thank goodness for Phil and his patience as he pulled every single prick/thorn from my behind… That’s true love…
The next day, we visited the Desert Museum to appreciate the animals of the Southwest, in particular, the javelina, a type of wild pig that roams the dessert and has gotten into a fight or two with the family dogs. Spoiler: the javelina always wins. The museum is really like a magnificent hike through the desert and the views here are amazing.
Throughout the visit, we also spent time at home, cooking, drinking and chatting. My in-laws’ home has a lovely view of the Catalina mountains where we can appreciate those famous Arizona sunsets.
We celebrated Thanksgiving a little bit early with honey roasted ham, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, oregano lemon chicken drumsticks, and pumpkin pie. It was quite the feast and a great time for us to all sit together and connect. Baby Mia also joined us at the table, perched on her little stool, and had her fair share of mashed potatoes.
On one evening, we gathered together to lift wish lanterns to the Arizona skies and sent love and wishes to the heavens. The lanterns were a bit tricky because of the light wind, but with a little patience (and maybe some anxiety), we were able to fly a few.
On our last day, we did a quick pool session at the Westin La Paloma Resort before everyone headed back home. Chatting poolside and taking dips into the heated pools were a lovely end to our Tucson trip.
My father-in-law was able to bring together the whole extended family to Arizona at the same time. Even though he was not physically there to enjoy beautiful Tucson with us, I’d like to think that he was there in spirit.
In loving memory of Tom