After pulling out of Paws and Hooves Ranch on Wednesday (for the last time) and settling in for an overnight at Tucson’s Pima County fairgrounds (click here to read our recent review), we enlisted Jeanie and Ray to come along to check out a new-to-us Mexican seafood restaurant, Mariscos Chihuahua (the one on Grande Avenue). We’d seen the menu online; it included both ceviche and pulpo – memories of Panama - and my mouth watered.
Our opinion: delicious! Oh, that ceviche tostada was outstanding… yum. It was great to spend the evening catching up with Jeanie and Ray over margaritas and fresh seafood.
Next day, we were up and on our way early, driving through rush hour traffic to Lance’s RV Service on the north side of town. Our service list had grown – besides installation of the new Splendide washer and dryer, we needed a small adjustment to the wood trim on our big slide and decided to have the generator serviced. Leaving Scoopy in Lance’s hands, we took off for a busy day.
First stop? Late breakfast at Coyote Pause Cafe, a cozy restaurant near the entrance to Tucson Mountain Park. Then we headed off west once again, to Justin’s Diamond J RV park (click here to read our review and see photos). Justin’s, owned by “Doc” Justin and his wife, Christine, is our favorite commercial RV park in the Tucson area, and we had called earlier in the week to see if we could snag one of their unusually large sites on short notice.
Christine, a native of Viet Nam, is one of the most friendly, energetic and personable RV park managers we’ve met – and she has a great memory. We exchanged hugs, and she confirmed that she’d reserved a spacious site for us. The prior renters were leaving as we went to check it out – we’d arrived at the perfect time.
I was surprised to realize we hadn’t been at Justin’s since September of 2008, over three years ago. The landscaping has matured, and Doc and Christine have continued to improve their park. Their unusually large spaces are particularly welcome this time of year, when every site is occupied.
Once we secured the site, we were off again, this time to the Tucson Mountain district of Saguaro National Park. On the welcome advice of a volunteer at headquarters, off we went to the Signal Hill picnic area for the short hike to view 1,000 year old petroglyphs… which stretched into a pleasant, 3 1/2 mile loop hike back to the parking area.
By then, it was 1:30, and the work on Scoopy was slated for completion by 2 pm. When we arrived just after the hour, we found three RV techs inside, grunting and exclaiming as they tried to get the dryer onto its shelf above the washing machine. The three worked well together; they even kept their senses of humor as they alternately applied brains and brawn to the problem. It took longer than anticipated, but we pulled out of their parking lot at 4 pm, just before the worst of rush hour – whew.
(While service work is on my mind… if you don’t already know about the RV Service Reviews website, be sure to check it out the next time you need service work: RVserviceReviews.com. Reviews are written by RV’ers – be sure to add your own experiences, too, good or bad. It is a great resource for those of us who are likely to need service or repairs in an unfamiliar area.)
By the time we settled in to our site at Justin’s, breakfast was a dim memory. With wine in hand, Odel skimmed through the owner’s manuals for the new washer and dryer (light-years beyond the basic, hard-working Kenmore W/D we had replaced) while I boiled pasta and nuked a frozen container of Odel’s fantastic Italian sausage pasta sauce. Oh, the joy of homemade, frozen food and a microwave! :)
Odel tossed a load of laundry into the new washer on Friday morning, and we entertained ourselves watching our tumbling laundry through the glass door of our first ever front loading washing machine. It appears to use fraction of the water we needed in our old top-loader. And the dryer… tumble, tumble, tumble – STOP… and then tumble in the other direction. It changed direction every couple of minutes; at first, I wondered if it was broken. Will that keep our sheets from rolling themselves into a giant, wrinkled ball in the dryer?
So we are happily settled in our site here at Justin’s for the next couple weeks. I’m heading off an a plane again next week, to Sacramento; Odel picked Tucson as his home while I am gone. Justin’s offers great desert hiking right out the back of the park, and Odel has sussed out good deals on the city golf courses. Life is good in the beautiful Sonoran desert of Arizona.