Greetings from Tucson: Sonoran hot dogs, hiking, and chilling out west

I am presently on vacation with the family, in Tucson, Arizona. Chris’ parents, sister and nieces all live here, and every other time we’ve gone to visit has been in July.

July is, in my opinion, not an ideal time to visit Tucson. I don’t care how dry the heat is, 112 degrees is not pleasant nor conducive to getting out and enjoying the desert scenery. March is turning out to be really excellent, at least from a climatological perspective.

Yesterday, we visited El Guero Canelo for some Sonoran hot dogs. This was also most excellent. For about $2.50, you can get a hotdog, wrapped in bacon and grilled in butter, tucked into a soft yeasty roll, and covered with pintos, onions, mustard, mayo and jalapeno sauce. It’s pretty outstanding. You can see the place when it was featured on Man vs. Food below:

I suspect that if I had the means and proposed a Man vs. Food themed vacation, Chris would be fully on board with that idea.

We also went hiking in Saguaro National Park for a couple of hours with Mom Dee. Maddie managed to get through the whole hike with minimal whining until the end. My favorite part was coming up Bajada Wash, which  was a lot like walking on a beach, without the water.


Josh went to see John Carter with his grandpa. Speaking of which, I probably should write a review of John Carter, since Chris and I saw it last week. While not technically a steampunk tale, the technology was very steampunk-y (and gorgeously computer generated). We’ve both been fans of the Martian book series since we were teens. One of the best compliments I ever got was from one of my college writing professors, who said that my work “reminded him of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but better written.” I tend to write in that sort of fast-paced, melodramatic action-driven style.

As a brief review, I’d say that we enjoyed the movie. It’s great eye candy, with some really fun moments for fans of swashbuckling action and adventure.  The writing and acting were neither outstanding nor awful; really they were obviously in service of the visuals, which were genuinely stunning.  Fans of Star Wars would probably enjoy it a lot; it scratches that particular sort of itch very well.  (And compared to some of the stilted dialogue and acting in the prequel trilogy, John Carter is practically Shakespeare.)

I’m trying really hard to just relax and unwind this week. In addition to visiting with family, hiking and eating myself silly, I’m listening to Alex White’s The Gearheart audiobook podcast. I’ll probably review it later as well, but I’m enjoying it so far.

I tend to be a very restless spirit, so it’s not easy for me to do “down time.”  On that note, pastor Mike Cosper had a very timely post on his new(ish) blog – Sabbath: Resting & Playing.

How about you, reader friends? Do you have a hard time “turning off” on vacation? Do you consider blogging to be “journaling” and thus acceptable vacation activity, or do you think “unplugging” includes blogging?

Whatever is going on with you, I hope you get the rest you need. 🙂


  1. ·

    Those hot dogs look amazing! Have you ever tried Wardynskis? They’re popular up here in Buffalo.

  2. Kat French

    Marian – Karen McClive posted a photo on Facebook this week that said basically the same thing. 🙂 I can’t disagree. After I got over the initial shock of having “down time,” I came up with a couple of good ideas for future stories. 🙂

    And I think CommentLuv hates *me* because I was lagging about upgrading. I’m thinking about uninstalling it. When it works right, I love the way it cross-pollinates everyone’s most recent posts, but it fails to work too much of the time. 🙁


  3. ·

    Tucson!!! Did you go to Old Tucson Studios? They’ll have their second ‘Steampunk’ festival in 2013… I wish I could go!

    And yes… blogging is fine on vaca… as long as it fits the ‘subject’ of your blog… *wink*

    1. Kat French

      We didn’t visit Old Tucson Studios this trip, but we passed it on the way to the Desert Museum. Very cool about the steampunk festival! It’s a great setting for one. Hopefullu I can make it next year!


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