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Birthday Trip to Tucson

Birthday Trip to Tucson

Birthday trip to Tucson was a beautiful adventure of food, forest, desert, and culture. It was a far away experience and journey.

Birthday Trip To Mount Lemmon

This birthday journey is in the beautiful ” sky island.” This mountain brings life, water, and history to not just Tuscon but New Mexico and Mexico. You begin your journey in the Sonoran Desert to end in the mixed conifer forest.

This mountain is named after botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon. Her and her husband spent years identifying plants after spending their honeymoon on the mountain.

The 1 hour drive takes you over 7 life zones including Alpine Tundra zone (there is no access to this zone). The hour takes you from Mexico to Canada in life zones. There is a great app you can download that covers each zone from the University of Arizona.

When you get to the top there is a fun town Summerhaven with a restaurant and a general store with fresh fudge and the famous Cookie Cabin. The drive down is just as impressive and beautiful.

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St. Augustine Cathedral

St. Augustine Cathedral

This beautiful cathedral is downtown Tucson. This church started in 1776 long before Arizona became a state. Royal Presidio was the name of the church in this small community. Father Donato Rogieri from Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1850s to rebuild and establish the church. This church constructed by moving one adobe brick at time from Solano Leon place to get the parish a place of worship. 1928 the brick structure transformed into its present Mexican baroque form.

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Mission San Xavier del Bac

Tucson Mission San Xavier del Bac

This mission is apart of the wonderful history in Tucson. The missions are a big part of the culture and religion in the Southwest. This is the most photographed mission in the state

Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish Catholic mission, is 10 miles south of downtown. This mission on the Tohono O’odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. This location began with Franciscan missionary Fr. Juan Bautista Velderrain beginning in 1783. This mission has been apart of the New Spain, Mexico, and the United States since construction began.

The mission presents shells as a symbol of pilgrimage. The Baroque architecture is traditional with marbling, faux doors, and other details. The mission represents the struggles that have been with the Southwest, living in harsh conditions, the changes in governments, fire, and earthquake.

Casa Grande Ruins

Taking Route 87 off I-10 going 19 miles east on AZ 87 you come across the community built by Salado Indians around 1300-1350 AD. This area settled as early as 300 CE. There is no know purpose for largest prehistoric structures in America.

This community built complex irrigation, farming, and trade for survival. There is no written history left behind. The framing and food included mesquite pods, squash , prickly pear fruit, corn roasted or eaten raw, fish and other animals, saguaro fruits from the tops of the cati, and fowl.

The large building in the center of the community is for religious ceremonies with ceremonial wine. There are gravesites discovered inside the center. There are what appears to be ball courts for Aztec played similar all courts they are located in Wupatki a site near Flagstaff as well.

The community was no longer used after  1450. This community survived looting, huntin, vandalizing, and left for destruction. Therefore 1892, President Benjamin Harrison set aside one square mile of Arizona Territory surrounding the Casa Grande Ruins. This is the first prehistoric and cultural reserve established in the United States.

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Domes of Casa Grande

Casa Grande Domes

This is fun spot to stop and see from your car. It is a no trespassing area that is very unsafe especially for young children. This location was the hopes and dreams of many that never came true. This location was for manufacturing of computers but was never completed. There is an eerie feeling here. You can hear the walls speak as if there was life there but really the life has been one of decay and destruction.

Birthday Food Stops

Fudge Shop

Getting to the top of Mount Lemmon is a great little spot to shop, eat, and get a little sweet treat. This general store has some great snacks, a few souvenirs, and fresh fudge. The tradition of a sweet shop on your adventures that are so fun and memorable. Therefore it is a great birthday treat for the journey back down the mountain.

YardHouse

Birthday dinner was enjoyed at the Yard House in Tucson. This was an exception meal. The Black Orchid cocktail was as delicious as it was beautiful. They have a great happy hour menu with half off appetizers and drink specials. Enjoyed Poke Nachos a great fusion dish and fried calamari. They have a beautiful dessert for birthday celebrations. The one downside to this location is solo diners are moved on the seating list and the waitress was not to attentive. The manager ensured the dining experience was exceptional.

What is your favorite birthday trip location? Share on social media using #4chionstyle.

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