Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

We hope everyone, reading this, had a happy Valentine's day!

We had a fun, adventuresome, day! Our friends, Mike and Elvira Spooner, from Phoenix/Arizona City called on Friday, asking if we had plans for lunch on Saturday. They planned to be in Tucson on Saturday and asked if we could get together. We hadn't seen Mike and Elvira since last summer, so we welcomed the opportunity to visit with them! Our lives are oddly similar in many aspects. Mike is "an old (our age) optics buddy" of Dean's. His first wife died of cancer around the same time that Dean's first wife, Vicki, also died of cancer. What a bond for two men to have. Mike met and married Elvira, a wonderful Peruvian lady, who works for the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix....Dean and I met, and so we're two (relatively) newlywed couples! Mike and Elvira married before Dean and I, by about a year or so. We last spent time with them at the Grand Canyon Star Party, in June of '08.

Mike and Elvira arrived about 11:30am on Saturday. We thought they probably had other plans in Tucson, but when asked they said, "We came to see you!" Elvira had never played in snow before, as she grew up in Peru and has lived in So. California and Phoenix ever since. We suggested the top of Mt. Lemmon for lunch, as they had 18" of snow over the past week! We had previously eaten at the Iron Door (at Ski Valley) on our trip there New Year's Day. This time we decided to eat in Summerhaven, the little town at the top of the mountain. The Mt. Lemmon Cafe was busy, but we found a parking spot, and enjoyed lunch there - though Elvira was huddling by the heater the entire time! She was wearing warm clothes, but not used to the cold weather. She tossed a few snowballs, as did I (aiming for Dean, hitting Mike)! It was fun to see the people sledding on the mountain, kids playing in the snow, and some crazy guy shoveling snow into the back of his pickup truck. Mike had lived in Tucson on occasion, but had never been up to Mt. Lemmon, and I think he enjoyed the trip even more than Elvira! We stopped at the beautiful vistas on the way up and back, viewing waterfalls of melted snow at 7 Cataracts; views of Mt. Graham and Kitt Peak in the distance, and even seeing Dos Cabezos (near New Mexico) off in the far distance. It was a picture perfect day! At one of the overlooks there is easy access to the desert from the parking area. There are some spectacular Saguaro, as well as Ocotillo and Prickly Pear very near by. I love looking at the Saguaro, they are so bizarre looking and massive; and even the Prickly Pear were in a Valentine's Day frame of mind!

Returning to Tucson, we caught the last weekend of the Gem and Mineral Show. This is the largest one in the world, and no February is complete without at least taking a walk through part of it! We hit one of the hotels that has a nice variety of gems, fossils, meteorites, and minerals. Elvira bought a pendant, we did lots of looking. It was a full day! We returned home about 5pm, in time to feed kitties. Mike and Elvira had an hour's drive back to Arizona City ahead of them yet.

Saturday evening brought a long awaited movie at The Loft. We had been planning this evening for a few months! Moulin Rouge (2001 - Nicole Kidman/Ewan McGregor)! I put this movie as one of my all time favorites, but had never seen it on the big screen. I had happened upon it on cable several years ago, and have watched it countless times since. There was a good crowd there to see it, including our friend Nancy and her friend Paul! Nancy had never seen the movie, and it was fun to hear her reaction to it. People sang along with the songs (including me), though there was no can-can dancing in the front of the theater. If you have never seen the movie, I really recommend it! It's romantic, funny, sad, and exciting - all at the same time! Definitely a winner! The perfect cap to a fun Valentine's Day!

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