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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Southeast Arizona!!

 I can't tell you how much I love visiting southeastern Arizona. 
The cities, the towns, the people, the food, and more ~ all fabulous. 

We started our long weekend in Tucson, staying in a sweet little Air BnB near the University. 
I love finding cute little guest homes on this website ( 
This place was actually an older property, maybe an office building of sorts. 
It was converted and re-decorated with groovy 70's decor. 
And this charming frig magnet!

Dinner had to be tacos and we loved Street Tacos & Beer on Congress Avenue in downtown Tucson. 
Our late night pub crawl took us to four very different spaces in Tucson.  

First up ~ 
Owls Club ( 
a great converted church or assembly space with wonderful cocktails and nice music. 
Great vibe here, actually. 

Then we were off to 
Tough Luck Club, located below Reilly Craft Pizza (
for some inventive cocktails. The menu is in itself a great read!

Next stop - The Hut ( on 4th Avenue
This student-focused Tiki-style bar is huge! They are serving beach-bums of all ages with some potent rum drinks and bottles of iced cold beer. If you can't have a good time here, well...

Last stop - The Buffet, located on 9th Avenue just away from the hustle of 4th Avenue.
This long-time standard dive bar used to serve crock-pot boiled hot dogs, but alas - no more. 
They still serve any thirsty soul bottles of beer, jello shots, and mixed drinks. 
The 'Happy Minute' still lives on here at 11pm. 

I would hit up any one of these bars on a return trip to Tucson, 
but have listed them in order of my personal preference. 

Breakfast in Tucson - You cannot beat Baja Cafe (www.bajacafeoftucson). 
We chose the Broadway location and though we waited for an hour - it was totally worth it! 
Fresh, delicious hangover food - both savory and sweet for whatever ails ya. 
I'm 100% positive that this will become my every-time-I-go-to-Tucson breakfast from now on. 

On our way to Bisbee, Arizona.
I love this artist's enclave and uber-hippie old mining town. 
But on the way we stopped at both the Lavender Pit and the historic town of Lowell. 

I had no idea this little place even existed, 
or that people placed their vehicles here for your entertainment. 

So yeah, stroll down Erie Street in historic downtown Lowell for a piece of the past. 

In Bisbee we stayed at the Copper Queen Motel ( 
We've stayed here before and it's historic. There are probably other choices in Bisbee, and I know for a fact that there are some Bed & Breakfast choices as well. 
But the Copper Queen is centrally located, historic, value-priced, and comfortable. 

Wandering the streets - loads of little shops, bars, and friendly people. 
Lunch at Santiago's ( and a quartet of delicious margaritas. 
Every one of their beverages was on point - flavorful and icy-cold. 

We stopped into the Room 4 Bar at the Silver King Hotel ( and were greeted with friendly service and sturdy adult beverages. 

Dinner though... I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get to 
Cafe Roka (! 
This place - oh my land. So good.
Service - great. Menu - unbelievably delicious. Ambiance - cozy & warm. 
This seasonally sourced space delighted us all. 
Your entree choices include a soup and salad of the day with some warm soft bread. 
We feasted on sea bass with jumbo shrimp, lamb meatballs, risotto fritters, and meaty short ribs. 
Dessert looked good, but we just couldn't get there, sorry. 

Our third day took us to a variety of small wineries throughout the Sonoita & Elgin areas. 

Arizona Hops & Vines (

Outdoor koi pond in Arizona!! 

Gorgeous blooms as we enter summer!

And yes, women owned and operated. Friendly, tasty, and such a great vibe. 
I can't wait to visit this winery next time I'm through this area. 
And I'll be bringing friends!!!

Dos Cabezas ( 
Loved the copper bar and the intelligent efficient pouring.
Thanks for letting us spread all our snacks all over the counter on an early Sunday afternoon.
I hope I cleaned up all the goat cheese & pepperoni! 

We also stopped into Rune ( where we were served by the loveliest sommelier under the shade sails overlooking a gorgeous desert. Great conversation with a few locals here!!! 

And then on to Callaghan Vineyards ( which is one of the mainstays of this area. Good wine, good people, and a darling Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

And this... Our annual winery trip with our son and his fiance, so fabulous! 
More fun times ahead, I am so sure. 

:) Until next trip ~ Deb  

Friday, April 6, 2018

Dirty Thirty!

Making memories. Living for those moments that are impossible to put into words. Laughing. Taking pictures. Remembering that time we.... and that time we...

March 2018 - A well-planned and most terrific vacation celebrating our son's Dirty Thirty. He chose Nashville & Memphis, Tennessee for this momentous occasion!

Thanks for getting us started, Sierra!! 

First stop - Nashville, Tennessee!!

Check out these walkin' shoes that carried our son from one end of Tennessee to another! What you may not notice - the open flap under the toes!

Air B & B did not let us down this trip - staying in the 12-South neighborhood of Nashville. This two-story gem was an older farmhouse on a huge lot, close to all manner of local stuff. Check out Frothy Monkey for coffee, Bar Taco for anytime tacos, and Five Daughters Donut Bakery for some of the most incredible croissant donuts. Most important - easy for our Uber drivers to come grab us!

Pear Blossoms in Springtime Tennessee


And a little bit of snow on the ground one morning.

It was hot and it was cold and it was rainy and it was magic. 

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame

 and The Grand Ole Opry, along with a few downtown watering holes on Nashville's Broadway ... The Stage, Robert's Western World, and Tootsie's to name a few.

We visited historic Fort Negley ...

... and snuck into an abandoned baseball field.

We were enchanted by the men's bathroom at the Hermitage Hotel ...

And climbed a buncha steps to the capitol building with everything in bloom - and a gorgeous drizzle.

Franklin, Tennessee is a short drive from downtown Nashville. The Carter House sits on a piece of preserved land trust sharing the Battle of Franklin * November 30, 1864 during the height of the Civil War. The Carter Family farmed about 300 acres of land and owned 28 slaves. The family and some of their neighbors holed themselves up in the basement for over 5 hours as the battle raged on above ground. An amazing site to see!

Bullet holes - still showing daylight! 

 One of the slave cabins.

 Artillery & My Hubby

Just down the road apiece, stands the beautifully restored Carnton Home and its two fabulous cemeteries.

The McGavock Confederate Cemetery 

The McGavock Family Cemetery 

So much to see and do in Nashville, and we loved every single minute. 
But, oh, the food and drink. This town has so much great food... and drink! 

Burgers at Gaylord's, a Marriott venue near The Grand Ole Opry. 

Fried chicken and barbecue just about everywhere, including Hattie B's, Arnold's Country Kitchen, Peg-Leg Porker, and Martin's BBQ.

Oh, and a little bit of beer and dairy-free ice cream to boot!!!

The Picnic Tap & Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream!

Sampling ... lots of sampling -                    

Nelson's Green Brier Distillery, Nashville Craft Distillery, and Corsair all met with our approval!

Oh, and a visit to Santa's Pub too.

Mighty unusual, even by our low-brow standards.


Celebrating Dirty-30 with a doggie bowl of beer at The Villager Tavern. Somethin' Special for sure - AND, Zach & Sierra beat us in darts that night. Jeez.

But our favorite eatery by far in all of Nashville was Husk! I cannot imagine a more perfect brunch. A warm and welcoming home with gracious service and helpful suggestions. Well-crafted cocktails, and a meal that goes down in memory as something more than magical. Delightfully different - regional specialties and bites to share. And share we did. Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs, Carolina Rice Gold Donuts, the Husk Cheeseburger, French Toast with Peanut Butter & Apples, Country Fried Steak, Coddled Eggs, and an Eggs Benny with Bologna that'll knock your socks off.

 Pics just outside Husk - Brunch & Love!

No driving trip is complete without a visit to a winery that serves 22 pours in one visit (I'm the DD)


and a hand-hewn log cabin distillery, all followed up by some of the best barbecue we've ever encountered.

If you're passing from Nashville to Memphis, get off the Highway for Century Farm Winery and the

Samuel T Bryant Distillery. 

But a bit further down the road, head over to Helen's Bar B-Q in Brownsville, Tennessee. You will not regret this sampling of love and good pig! Helen's was the most unexpected surprise of our entire trip - pulled pork sammies, ribs, and barbecue nachos ... who'd have thunk that?

Now Memphis is a totally different animal. Moving across the state from Country and Rock 'n Roll

to Soul and the Blues. The architecture is different and the vibe is different too.

Mural art across from the Hotel Chisca in downtown Memphis.


We stayed at the historic Hotel Chisca in an Air BnB room that housed 6 comfortably, and was so close to Beale Street and all the music we could hope for.

Don't miss visiting 
One of the BEST museums in the country - The Civil Rights Museum 
Housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated
Check them out at 

We danced our way through Stax Record Museum, and were enamored with the presentation at 

 Sun Records - enthusiasm for days! 


... that famous Microphone at Sun Records

The barbecue and hot chicken in Memphis were unbelievable. We couldn't resist Gus' Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken, or the delectable ribs at Central Barbecue. Probably the best que of the entire trip as far as I was concerned. 


Meandering across the Big Muddy! 


Hangin' out at The Absinthe Room

And Breakfast at Alcenia's - A perfectly delightful 
Home-Grown Love & Blessings Meal from the Owner Herself
A "Can't Miss" experience in Memphis! 

I could NOT have asked for a BETTER trip with the family. 
Both Nashville and Memphis were filled with great food and beverage experiences, 
Along with incomparable cultural sights. 
Loved it all! 

We don't always realize we're making memories,
We just know that we're all having fun. 
:) Deb