June 9, 2016

Southwest 2: Tucson

Guys.  Guuuuuuys.  Tucson was my favorite.  Am I allowed to say that?  It was.  I tell people this and some of them are all, "Tucson? Really?" and some of them are like, "TUCSON. YES."  This grass-between-my-toes tree climber who grew up pretending to be a woodland fairy fell head over heels for the statuesque cactuses and the endless brown orange earth.  Have you read Stargirl?  No?  Go read Stargirl.
...Alright.  Now that you've done that, you get Tucson.
These are the things that happened:

1.  I didn't get in until after dark, which is always a little disconcerting.  Durham dance pal Leslie and her now-fiancee Adam introduced me to this delish mexican (southwestern? new mexican? i was never really able to distinguish) restaurant and my bike did NOT! get stolen off the back of my car.
2.  I zipped over to my couchsurf host's house and met him and his brother (hiiiii FRANZ AND CHRIS) and they were great and Bixby lurved them and I finally watched Jurassic Park for the first time in my entire life.  We also went to their parents' house because their parents' neighborhood has a pool/hot tub and we bopped back and forth between the two and the sky was the clearest blue you've ever seen and the cactuses were green and reaching and there were mountains in all the corners in the distance and I was like okay, Tucson, I like you.
3.  I went shopping on 4th Ave, where they have the best bookstore and a hippie shop and a place with raspberry soda and a little boutique where all this stuff was practically $5 so I bought a dress that didn't fit.  Hooray!  Sarah and Erika and I facetimed while I ate a salad.  I got a little baby cactus that I velcroed to my car and drove around the rest of the US and then killed on account of cactuses need water too.  Not a lot, just not none.  Sorry, baby cactus.  Also: Hub ice cream.  Swoon.
4.  Bixby was like a celebrity on a leash.  After traveling around the country with a dog, I will tell you where they love dogs the most and that place is Tucson.  Everybody wanted to say hi and pet him and learn his name and I was so proud of him and it was great.  I feel like he really flourished in Tucson.
5.  AND MAYBE THE BEST PART OF THE ENTIRE THING IS THAT GENEVIEVE LIVES THERE.  Gen is one of my favorite people on the whole planet.  She knew me at the most embarrassing and awkward time of my life and loved/s me anyway.  She had a bonfire at her house and her dad was there too and her fiancee Mikey and her friends and I brought Franz and we drank beer and they played music and everything was great.  We did other fun things too, like Try to eat at a restaurant that Hillary Clinton dined at once but there was an absurd wait so Go to a different restaurant and eat really good food and also margs and then Barhop around downtown Tucson for a while.  Great great!  Her friends are cool!
6.  Sunday was brunch at Mikey's grocery/restaurant place and watching the Panthers play football and then the All Souls Procession, which I had sort of adjusted my schedule for and was absolutely the highlight of the Tucson time.  We all got together for face painting and eating and then the parade started and it was the most magical thing.  All of us, all hundreds (thousands?) of us walked around in our masks and costumes for this strange and sacred ceremony with music and praying and an enormous urn.  We dropped in names of people who'd died over the past year and then they lifted the urn up and lit the whole thing on fire and it was sad and happy and beautiful and we danced across the stage even though we weren't supposed to.
7.  I left the next day (sad face).  BUT!! not before Gen asked me to be a bridesmaid in her September wedding, which means: I get to go back.  And guess who just bought her bridesmaid dress last night.  See ya soon, Tucson ;)