Charlie and I drove 01h45m to Tuscon last Tuesday to join family from Illinois at his grandparent's house in Tucson. It was really fun and super relaxing. Even more than I thought it would be. The weather was great and I was reminded of how beautiful the desert can be. Here's a quick but hopefully cute recap of my Thanksgiving festivities, plus pictures.
1. I hiked the Catalina Mountains and it was beautiful! One of the nice things about living in Phoenix is being surrounded by mountains. Catalina State Park in Tucson, however, was a totally different mountain experience for me. A rigorous, nearly 3 mile hike that was mostly uphill led us down, finally, to a collection of serene green pools of water. Our group relaxed in this area for a bit, reviving our bodies with granola bars, Cheetos (lol) and water.
2. I dropped my replacement phone down the side of a rock and into a shallow pool of water. 🙈 Luckily, a really nice girl that was there retrieved it within seconds, and there wasn't significant water damage. Unfortunately, the face of my phone now looks like the cover of Black Flag's Damaged album. Also, the microphone no longer works. And yeah, this was a replacement phone that I literally had for a DAY to replace the phone I just dropped in the toilet two weeks ago. I am a genius.
3. I saw a bunch of stars. Charlie's grandparents live in a community near Tuscon that is pretty secluded in the desert and has restrictions in place to reduce the amount of light pollution in the area. This means you can look up in the actual sky and see actual stars at night! Like, a bunch of them! Burning balls of fire! Living in the city, you don't really realize what you're missing until you see Orion and Sirius and remember, oh yeah, this is a thing that happens. ✨🌟
4. I ate like a monster. Honestly, no explanation needed. I can pack it away. As long as the food is good. Obviously, I killed it at the Thanksgiving dinner table, but I also stuffed my gut at nearly every other meal that week. Exceptions include: the chicken marsala I ordered at The Cheesecake Factory. This is one of the most overrated restaurants I have ever had the displeasure of eating at.
5. I lost every game we played that week. This includes my Family Feud team, Farkle, two rounds of Scattergories (my favorite game!), and a Go Kart race track disaster during which I was lapped 2-3 times by everyone else.
6. I skipped the Black Friday grazing fest and opted instead for a quick stop at the local thrift store where you can save big bucks all year round. I didn't get to spend too much time here, mostly because no one else in our group was addicted to the thrill of the thrift like I am. No matter. In about 15 minutes, I managed to snag two pairs of silk old lady pants and two vintage camera straps.
7. I got some reading done. Emphasis on some! I brought along colored pencils, cardstock, and a graphic novel about Rosa Luxemburg as entertainment for the week. I completed a couple of silly sketches and got about halfway through Red Rosa. (I finished it yesterday. It was beautiful and inspiring and informative and sad and angering and surprising! Let's be book pals on Goodreads!)
8. I escaped a room! Have you ever done an escape the room challenge? Basically you get locked into a room with your group and you have to solve clues and decode stuff and work together to get yourself out of the room in a set amount of time or you lose and die! Just kidding. You just don't win. Which is pretty much just as bad, right? We escaped (with just two minutes to spare!) and had so much fun trying to figure shit out!
9. I went to a zoo in the middle of the desert. We sort of had to rush through it, but we still got to see some cute/sad animals. (I always find the animals at a zoo to be a bit sad). I think my favorite was a brown bear that was sort of loafing around on a rock, not doing anything particularly interesting, except being a bear. I didn't get any souvenirs here and I am sad about it.
10. I (briefly) visited downtown Tucson. We went to the feminist bookstore Antigone Books, got coffee at Revolutionary Grounds, and bought two cassettes from Wooden Tooth Records. I also walked past the legendary (to me!) Desert Vintage shop and didn't walk in because I was having some sort of crisis. Er, we are broke and I didn't want to torture myself.
What did you do for Thanksgiving?