Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Touring Tucson

Longtime readers of the Android's Dungeon will recall a previous visit to Kartchner Caverns. The caverns are still there, and they're pretty darn neat. Christina and I had a fine time last summer in the Australia (well, it was winter there, but you get the point) visiting the Jenolan Caves, so I thought she might enjoy Kartchner. She did. The formations are really spectacular, although the caves are not nearly as extensive as Jenolan. Kartchner is certainly one of the best preserved "show caves" in the world.

Not a lot has changed in the past 3 years. They do plan to open the "Big Room", but that keeps getting pushed back. Now they're hoping for November 2003. They tell visitors that rumors that the caves aren't doing so well aren't true. Still, I noticed that they take precautions I don't remember from before. A ranger trailed our group telling people what they couldn't take in or couldn't touch. And they explained their system for tagging things people have contaminated so they could be quickly restored before permanent damage ensued.

Today, we went off to the Tucson Museum of Art. First, however, we had lunch at El Charro, a Mexican restaurant that has been around Tucson for over 80 years. The food was great; the service was...goofy. At one point our waiter explained that he hadn't brought our drinks yet because of "printer trouble". The two tacos I ordered were available in hard or soft; when I asked for one of each, he said that wasn't possible. So I order the soft; he brought me hard tacos. Christina ordered two tacos; they brought her four. (At least that way, I got a soft taco.)

One of the reasons we went to the Tucson Museum of Art was that The New York Times Traveler's Guide to Art Museum Exhibitions 2003 listed an exhibit on Mexican nativity scenes. It turned out that the exhibit was a nativity scene put together by a local every year. It was interesting, but the rest of the museum was fortunately more substantial. They had a nice collection of pre-Colombian art, which Christina particularly enjoyed.

So we've had a nice visit out to my parents. (Hopefully the snow back East won't impede our return tomorrow.) We managed to see some neat things the past few days without spending as much time in the car as last time. (Flying into Tucson helped that.) I'm in Week 3 of my 4 time zones in 4 weeks tour; we'll see how I hold up next week...

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