I met Linda of Blossoming Widow when I stumbled upon one of her photos. I reached out to her to get permission to use her photo from her Tucson’s Rillito Park post in my More Weekend Adventures in Tucson post. I was so thrilled to meet another Arizona blogger in Tucson I couldn’t resist inviting her to this series. Linda is a widow embracing life and I really enjoy her stories!
Let’s meet Linda!
 Favorite thing about Tucson.
I’ve lived here in Tucson for over 30 years now and I have two favorite things about Tucson.
One is the people. Mostly everyone is friendly with such diversity, that everyone is welcomed. I’m half Caucasian and half Filipino, I grew up in the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and I also lived in Virginia. I’ve always been treated differently and never felt like I belonged. When I moved here to Tucson, I immediately felt welcomed and that I was finally home.
My second favorite thing about Tucson is the weather. In the winter, it’s crisp, clear and the temperature, for the most part, it is cool, not cold. After a few months of that, I welcome the 100+ degree heat. Most people here complain when it gets too hot, but not me. I love it!
2) Least favorite thing about Tucson.
My least favorite thing about Tucson is you only have access to the freeways on the edges of the city. So if you want to go from one part of the city to another, you have to first go south a bit, then take an exit to go way north. It’s kind of a pain.
3) What differentiates your area of Arizona from the other parts.
Tucson is nestled in a valley that’s surrounded by the Santa Catalinas, Rincons and the Santa Rita mountains. You can go from cactus and intense heat to pine trees and much cooler temperatures in a matter of minutes. Many families escape the heat in the summer to go camping up at Mt. Lemmon. Going from Tucson to Mt Lemmon is a very nice scenic drive that many Tucsonans and their visitors enjoy. Not only is it cooler up there but there’s also a ski lift, a lake, and place to get cookies and pizza!
4) Favorite coffee spot in Tucson.
Civano Coffee House (5278 S Civano Blvd) is my favorite place to get coffee. This place is hidden in a quaint residential area that is lined with trees and surrounded with beautiful Old Pueblo style homes. I always order an Americano with Cafe Cubano, which is a shot of sweetened espresso. It’s delicious! You can either sit inside or out in their courtyard.
5) Favorite spot for drinks in Tucson
When I was thinking of the answer to this question, the thing I thought of first is, ‘Who makes the best margarita?’, because there are some excellent places to go for that here in Tucson. However, my very favorite place to go for Happy Hour is PF Changs (1805 E River Rd). I like how they always come up with seasonal drinks, but my all time favorite is their Mai Tai. I have yet to find another place that serves a better Mai Tai than they do. They are not only delicious but OMG, they are strong! I also like that they have a good selection of appetizers during Happy Hour, at a very reasonable price. No need to worry about dinner afterward as you’ll be too full.
6) Favorite local hang out in Tucson.
I’m a very busy woman with a full-time job, blogging and keeping house, so there’s not much time to hang out anywhere. However, once or twice a week, I drive out to a small town called, Sonoita, it’s about 35 miles from Tucson. Sonoita, Arizona is wine country and the first region in Arizona to have earned the American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is absolutely beautiful out there, 10 degrees cooler than Tucson, and usually quite windy.
I have a little 10 x 20 shed that I turned into a cottage. I open all the windows, let the breeze come through and take a nap.
Sometimes we will also hang out at one of the vineyards, sit under a ramada and share a bottle of wine. My favorites are Hops And Vine and Wilhelm Vineyards.
7) Favorite breakfast spot in Tucson.
I love going to the Cup Cafe inside the Hotel Congress, located in downtown Tucson. It’s best to get there early though, as it is very popular and the wait can be long. If you do have to wait, there is a gourmet Bloody Mary bar in the Hotel Congress lobby. We had to wait for over an hour one time and indulged in a Bloody Mary with bacon and cheese. I have to say, it was pretty darn delicious! Back to breakfast. My favorite to order is the Chilaquiles Verde which has braised pork, two poached eggs on a corn tortilla, topped with tomatillo sauce, asadero and cotija cheese. They have an eclectic menu and serve not only breakfast but also lunch and dinner. Oh, and let’s not forget desserts!
8) Favorite lunch spot in Tucson.
My favorite lunch spot, hands down, is Papa Locos Tacos and Burgers (8201 S Rita Road). The best part is, it’s right in my neighborhood. It’s nothing fancy, just a hole in the wall type of place, inside the back of a gas station mini-mart. They have a salsa bar with different types of salsa, pickled jalapenos, onions and cilantro, limes, etc. Plus, to the side, sitting on a warmer, are grilled jalapenos and grilled onions. I like to get their Chile relleno and enchilada combo plate. Best Mexican food ever!
9) Favorite dinner spot in Tucson.
My very favorite place to eat dinner is at an Italian restaurant called Vivace (6440 N Campbell Ave). They are a little pricey but worth the money. I always order the Spinach and Cheese Souffle, which is to die for, and the Crab filled breaded chicken breast. Yum!
10) One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
I usually will take them to hike Tumamoc Hill. It’s a very popular hiking trail where you’ll see all different ages, from young to old. It’s about 1 ½ miles up but it’s very steep. I go up at least once or twice a week and it never gets easier. There is even a shrine at the entrance. I guess it’s there so you can pray before you go up. Family and friends are always excited to go for the challenge. If you want a good lung work-out, this is it!
11) How do you like to beat the heat
If you live in Tucson, you must have a swimming pool. To beat the heat I wrap a sarong around me with no makeup and messy hair. I’ll sit at the edge of the pool, dip my feet in, and drink a big glass of Sangria 🙂
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