48 hours in Tucson

My mom asked me a week before, if I'd want to go with her to Tucson to surprise my Grandma who is living there. I was completely on board since I hadn't seen her in over 4 years, but I just needed to be back by Thursday evening because I had Friday morning orders. My mom got everything situated that week and the following Tuesday afternoon came. We met each other at the airport, went through security, and listed ourselves on standby (may I add that standby is the worst because your'e constantly stressed worrying about if you will make your flight. Yes it's free, but I'd rather pay and not worry. We almost didn't make 2 or 3 of our 4 flights.) After an hour or so of waiting, we finally started boarding and were making our way to Vegas. Our Vegas to Tucson flight was a little sketchy, but we had an amazing woman at the ticket counter who marked our passes XT, meaning extra time to board, and instead of boarding with C group, we got to board right after A. Well, my mom (who works for Southwest), didn't know what that meant, so ended up boarding with C anyway, ha! We were finally on our way to Tucson. 

We made it to Tucson, rushed down to pick up the car rental, and our first stop was In-N-Out. I hadn't eaten anything since lunch time and it was 6:30 in Tucson, which is 8:30 our time back home. Basically I was starving. Fun fact: the first time I ever had In-N-Out was in Arizona! 

 Classic.

Classic.

 Had to capture these two palm trees hugging each other as we left  In-N-Out.

Had to capture these two palm trees hugging each other as we left In-N-Out.

 We also were lucky enough to see a glimpse of the sunset on our drive over to Grandma's. 

We also were lucky enough to see a glimpse of the sunset on our drive over to Grandma's. 

We made our way over to Grandma's house to surprise her. We were going to wait until the morning since it was getting late, but we said screw it. We arrived in her community and parked in front of the house next to hers so that she wouldn't see us pull up. By this point it was about 7:15pm and the sun was going down. We weren't sure if she was in bed yet but we saw the lights on and the blinds closed. We quietly made our way to the door and knocked three times. I saw her peek her head around the blinds and she looked startled. She opened the door and her face was just dumbstruck. She looked like she had seen a ghost! (I wish I would have filmed this.) She couldn't believe we were there and she almost seemed confused, but ever so happy. We headed to the living room to sit down and chat and we ended up being there until 9pm (11pm TX time.) We decided to call it a day and told her we'd be back in the morning. We headed to our hotel, Casino Del Sol, which was only about 5 minutes from where my Grandma lives, and it just happens to have the most amazing photo worthy pool. 

We woke up early the next morning to get the day going. We stopped for a coffee and then headed straight to the pool to lounge in the sun, before heading over to Grandma's. 

 Pool area at Casino Del Sol. 

Pool area at Casino Del Sol. 

After basking in the sun for nearly an hour, it was time to go see Grandma. She told us she usually gets up at 6am every morning, so we knew she'd be waiting for us. We arrived bearing gifts-flowers, food, and our company of course. :) We spent the morning with her, and then went to lunch with her as well. She wanted Chinese, so we found a Chinese restaurant and that's where we ate! We came back and spent some time in her garden before heading out for a few hours. 

 Grams & I. 

Grams & I. 

 Favorite rooms in Grandma's house. 

Favorite rooms in Grandma's house. 

After hanging out all morning, my mom and I decided to head to downtown Tucson. It's only about 10-15 minutes from Grandma's house so we weren't too far. We walked around a bit near 6th and 7th street, got a coffee at Exo Roast Co., popped into some galleries, and then to do some shopping. 

 Painted glass reflection. 

Painted glass reflection. 

 Painted glass.

Painted glass.

 Had to find the "Greetings from Tucson" wall, duh. 

Had to find the "Greetings from Tucson" wall, duh. 

 And had to jump in front of it, duh. 

And had to jump in front of it, duh. 

 Exo Roast Co. 

Exo Roast Co. 

 Exo Roast Co. 

Exo Roast Co. 

 Cactus everywhere!

Cactus everywhere!

 The coolest little space.

The coolest little space.

 There was a lot of street art and graffiti everywhere. 

There was a lot of street art and graffiti everywhere. 

 This was one of my favorites. 

This was one of my favorites. 

After exploring a bit of downtown, we headed to do some shopping, where I found my new favorite dress that I recently wore to a wedding. We then went to Safeway to pick up some groceries so that we could make Grandma dinner. We made pasta and salad and she even had leftovers! I also brought some frozen PB cookies on the trip that we baked while we were there. After dinner, we wandered around her neighborhood during sunset (drink in hand). 

 Sunsets + mountains.

Sunsets + mountains.

 Blue on blue. 

Blue on blue. 

After sunset, we hung out with Grams for another hour or 2 before heading back to the hotel. The next morning we were up bright and early. We left the hotel at 6am to head to Saguaro National Park for some fun. 

 Cactus for days.

Cactus for days.

 Seriously, this place was everything. 

Seriously, this place was everything. 

 Hi!

Hi!

 We had this place to ourselves. 

We had this place to ourselves. 

 I think I took like 100 pictures of the same cactus. 

I think I took like 100 pictures of the same cactus. 

 Cactus cont. 

Cactus cont. 

 More cactus. 

More cactus. 

 Close up. 

Close up. 

 My favorite was the road against the desert. 

My favorite was the road against the desert. 

 Nothing but blue skies. 

Nothing but blue skies. 

 Doing my thang. 

Doing my thang. 

 Hello again!

Hello again!

 <3

<3

After spending over an hour exploring the park, we had more time to kill since my Grandma was at an appointment. We headed on over to the Mission San Xavier Del Bac. This place is only a few minutes from my Grandma's as well, and I've been before, but I wanted to go back for pictures. Plus, it's beautiful. 

After the Mission, we went to Goodwill, the grocery store, and back to Grandma's for a couple of hours before taking off. We got to chat with her one last time before having to leave. She told me so many stories about growing up during the Depression and what it was like then. I can't wait to go back and visit her again soon! 

Before setting off to the airport, we made a pitstop to get some chicken and waffles. We also finished our trip with a drive through the Sam Hughes Neighborhood, which is a National Historic District located in downtown Tucson near the University of Arizona. The homes here are absolutely stunning and begging for their pictures to be taken.  

Recap of my 48 hour trip to Tucson and everything we did:

1. Spent time with Grandma.

2. Gambled at the casino (totally failed to mention this).

3. Hung out by the pool.

4. Explored Downtown Tucson. 

5. Went to Saguaro National Park. 

6. Visited Mission San Xavier Del Bac.

7. Saw the sunset both nights we were there. 

8. Drove through Sam Hughes National Historic District. 

9. Ate chicken and waffles. 

10. Drank champagne and baked cookies. 

 

Thanks for reading! Until next time :)

-Halee