Sunday, 15 March 2015

Microdwelling Exhibit: How Little Space Do You Need?

Microdwelling Exhibit 2015

This past summer my husband and I downsized. We sold, donated or discarded more stuff than we now own. Even at that, we still have more space and stuff than we need. I know we could manage in a smaller space than we downsized to, but I'm not sure how well we'd manage with the small spaces advocated by the tiny house movement. Microdwelling 2015, an exhibition of owner-built and human-inhabited micro-dwellings at the Shemer Art Center and Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, provided an interesting look into small house living and alternative construction techniques.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sailing Saguaro Lake on the Desert Belle

Desert Belle

Arizona has many lakes, most of which are man-made, formed by the creation of dams and reservoirs. Saguaro Lake, approximately 40 miles east of Phoenix, is one such lake, created by the construction of Stewart Mountain Dam on the Salt River. The lake is about 110 feet deep at its deepest point and has over 22 miles of shoreline, home to several different ecosystems. A ninety-minute narrated cruise on the Desert Belle is a great way to explore the lake and its ecosystems.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Snowbirds Dancing in Mesa

Band setting up
Band setting up

A sandwich board sign at the entrance to the gated 55+ community announces Dance Tonight 7 p.m. My husband and I drive up to the gate. We tell the guard we are here for the dance and he waves us through. It is not quite 6:30, but we know these dances fill up. We don't want to scramble for seats amid a full ballroom.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

History Lives at Tubac Presidio

Entrance to Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Tubac, a small town in southern Arizona, has a long and rich history. That history is preserved and on display at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park in the heart of town. The park was dedicated in 1958 as Arizona's first State Park.

A presidio is a Spanish military fort or headquarters. The Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac was established in 1752, making Tubac the first European settlement in what is now Arizona. In 1775, soldier and explorer Captain Juan Bautista de Anza II set out for Tubac across country to establish a settlement in the San Francisco Bay area. That journey emptied Tubac of most of its residents. Apache raids drove other away and the presidio was moved to Tucson.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Exploring Historic Yuma

Yuma is a city of just over 90,000 people on the southwestern edge of the state of Arizona near the borders of California and Mexico. It is home to a number of snowbirds in the winter. And it attracts overnight guests from other parts of the state. These visitors are often en route to Los Algodones, Mexico for dental or medical work or for shopping. Many stay at hotels just off the Interstate and never explore what the Yuma area has to offer. Many miss the stories of the historic downtown area.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Going Gypsy: A Review and an Interview

Going Gypsy cover

What do you think when you hear about a couple selling their house and travelling the globe? Perhaps, like me, you are a little envious. Perhaps, also like me, you doubt you would be able to live like that and wonder how one starts off on that kind of lifestyle in the first place. In Going Gypsy, David and Veronica James tell their story about becoming full-time travellers with no fixed address.

David and Veronica raised three children, affectionately referred to as Piglet, Decibel and The Boy. When the youngest went off to college, they began thinking about what to do with the rest of their lives.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Tubac Arts

Tubac Arts Festival

Tubac, a small town along the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona with a population of a little over 1,000 people and a history dating back 300 years, describes itself as a destination for the arts. Every year in early February, it hosts the Tubac Festival of the Arts. The 56th Annual Festival in 2015 became my opportunity to visit the town and the festival.