December 21

This has been a long day. The day, as far as the trip is concerned, began around 05:30 when even the hint of a dawn sky is nearly two hours away. Lar picked me up around 06:45 and we set off for the airport. I had not gotten much sleep but that was deliberate. It just did not make sense to sleep since I did not even return home until after 02:00 after a fine show at The Ark and afterglow drinks with Janelle, Ralph, Tom, Rick, and Sue. Sue had just completed her final night - her 251st. Friday - as an Ark manager. Lar managed to drop me off at the airport about quarter of 8. We had some crummy traffic with three accidents to slow us down. I don't think the roads were that bad but people just seemed to have some trouble staying in control. Getting my ticket and passing through security wasn't that time consuming and I was still at my gate with well over a half hour to spare.

Since I had something like a six hour flight I just decided to catch up on sleep during it. I got lucky the whole way through : no one sat down in the seat next to me. I could feel more at ease and stretch out a tiny bit more.

I met Mom and Dad at the Phoenix airport and we set out on our journey together. We first dropped in on the galleries of Scottsdale. There are some remarkable galleries and furniture stores there. Some of the ceramic work like the tool chest and paint can look so incredibly real you wouldn't know they weren't unless you touched them. The metals and wood like appearance were that impressive. The subtle color changes to make intricate patterns in some of the tapestries by Koehler (I think) were equally stunning. It was a treat to see some of this work.

After a meal that may have unsettled my stomach later in the day we made the hour and a half or so drive to Tucson and our B&B: The Catalina Park Inn. Tucson will serve as our base for day hikes over the next several days. With luck the weather will improve and the skies will clear. I realize they need the water but I'd rather it not rain while we are hiking.

Tomorrow the day hikes will begin. Tonight I'll sleep on this comfortable bed and hope my stomach settles back down. I can already tell I am going to like this inn. Very comfortable. Who knows by the end of the week I may decide I have to buy one of their soft, warm, hedonistic bathrobes to use at home.