Two weekends ago, my mom and my aunt came out to Tucson to visit. It was so wonderful to have them here, as we most certainly rocked the desert.
They arrived Wednesday night with bags full of jewelry and fabric for me from my grandmother. She gave me some amazing jewelry pieces, that I have already worn in performance!
The following day we all made our way down to Tombstone- the old west town famous for the gunfight at the OK Corral. Sure it's a bit touristy these days, with souvenirs and actors, but it's really rather interesting to imagine what life must have been like on the real frontier. It's easy to glorify the wild west thanks to all the spaghetti westerns and cowboy stereotypes that exist, but in reality it must have been one hell of a hard life. I have so much admiration for all the people who endured it, because they made it possible for me to be here now, learning what I am from the desert. So anyway, I love visiting Tombstone.
We wandered the dirt streets and little shops, and even did one of those old time photos, which was really fun and really cheap, it being the 100 degree off season. Heading into Big Nose Kate's Saloon for a bit of libation is really like going back in time, as the decorations are all old west appropriate (and possibly partly authentic), and the waitresses all dress as saloon girls. The atmosphere was pretty laid back, and there were tons of tourists inside. There was even an old cowboy who interrupted our snack to bring us all over the bar taking funny pictures.
Later that night, I served them one of the many vegan gourmet dinners that I would make over their visit. They didn't seem to mind too much. :)
We spent the next day in antique/ thrift/ and second-hand stores (of which there are many) all over town. It was really fun. I haven't been shopping other than for food in who knows how long, and to have some lovely ladies to do it with was quite a treat, as all of my female friends in Tucson have young children, making the shopping experience quite a bit different. We found some amazing little treasures, had lunch at Lovin' Spoonfuls (the yummy vegan restaurant here), and ended the spree by a visit to the boot store, where they both found some lovely cowgirl boots to complete the desert experience. That night we watched some very talented fire dancers performing on 4th, and had a grand ol' time.
Saturday I took them to my favorite farmers' market, so we could stock up on fresh local veggies. There has been a couple selling herbs and spices the last several times I've been there, and I've been so excited about this. They have a killer curry, and most everything else I need on short notice, because when I order from Mountain Rose, it takes about a week to arrive (which is well worth it for bulk, but have immediate access is nice for a few things).
Mom and Janet helped me all day preparing for Satomi's goodbye party which was that evening. I made a soba noodle dish and a green tea agar agar dessert, which didn't turn out as I hoped. It was a bittersweet evening, because I hate saying goodbye to dear friends, but I was glad that the monsoon sort of sanctified the whole experience with a downpour, thunder, and lightning. All the kids had an absolute riot playing in the mud, and I think the adults were pretty jealous watching them.
After the party, we headed to the Surly Wench for a show by Black Cherry Burlesque. It was highly entertaining and at some parts extremely amusing.
The next morning we woke up early to go greet the desert morning at Sabino. You really have to be in the middle of it in order to experience the true abundance of the desert. A perfect thing to do before catching a flight home. Ah, more goodbyes. It will be really nice to live close enough to family to be able to see them more often.
It was so awesome having them here. Now, I'm trying to convince my dad to come out and visit. He would love it.