Our first stop in Arizona was to visit my aunt and uncle who winter in the Green Valley area. We found an RV park just a few miles south of them that didn’t have the dreaded “55 and over only” rule that is so common in this area.
We again went through what’s becoming a common series of responses when we pull into a private park. Initially we are a bit turned off at the all-gravel drives and spaces, and how close the RV’s are to each other. And then we meet our neighbors (in this case before we had even fully unhooked) and have a number of great conversations and over time the way the trailer is situated isn’t so important. We are learning great lessons in hospitality - in this park I made a quick comment to a couple outside their Airstream who were both on laptops. Not a minute later they had me inside their trailer, rooting through the fridge for a beer. While the beer was gone, they had wine as an alternative and soon MsBoyink and I were sitting outside their trailer sipping and conversing in the dark. We hope to be as welcoming to guests in the future.
We visited with my extended family, and had a great serendipitous moment when a woman came to greet my aunt and MsBoyink realized it was the mother of her best friend since high school. Turns out they are all friends here and have been for some time.
The kids found another bingo game to take part in, and while checking on them there I flipped through a local newspaper and found mention of the upcoming Tucson Festival of Books and immediately knew it was the event for us. One of Miranda’s goals for the trip was to meet her favorite author. I tried to make contact but he appears to be a bit of a recluse, with only auto-responders to his email address and notices on his website about how he doesn’t even sign books brought from home when greeting his fans. Miranda was greatly disappointed and dealt with her loss by assigning that authors name to a rock that got chucked into the Atlantic ocean.
This event gave not only the chance to meet other authors she liked but also had a place where you could read books to therapy dogs - which is right up Miranda’s alley. Actually I don’t think you could design a more appropriate activity for her.
We went, found free books, listened to readings, had face painting, talked to students doing Lego Robotics, visited a number of booths (including those from all National Parks in the region), saw a volcanic explosion, experimented with eBook readers, had free smoothies - all at an event with no parking or entrance fees. Perfect. We came home dog-tired from being in the sun and doing so much walking.
We attended my Aunt and Uncle’s church on Sunday (we were Presbyterian this week), then explored the pretty Madera Canyon. We did a little hiking, and then Data and I repeated our Carlsbad Canyon experience by pulling the bikes off the truck and doing a 7-mile coast out of the park hitting speeds of over 30 MPH coming back down the mountain side.
Monday morning we pulled out headed just north of Tucson with a state park as our destination.