Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Family Trip 2013: Day 6

It would be a shame to wake up in a four star hotel resort in the early hours of the morning and rush off -- so we didn't bother. We slept in, enjoyed the balcony, strolled the lobby, and just took our time.  Who knows when we will be in a hotel like that again?
Lemon Tree

Saguaro Gardening?
We did leave in time for a late breakfast elsewhere, as we were not up to paying resort prices for the meal.  Then we headed south toward Tucson.

Our first destination of the day was the Saguaro National Park.  Even before we got there, we were taking in the views of the beautiful Saguaro. They were plentiful in neighborhoods, around businesses, and along the highways and roads.  I guess I never thought about them being so close to civilization.  Visiting the southern part of Arizona is worth the trip just to see this magnificent creation.
The visitor center at the park had a "newspaper" with interesting facts about the desert and the cacti we came to see.  It made for fun reading later in the day, but we weren't there among the Saguaro just to read.  We went outside to see the real thing.

The top of a Saguaro
Being out in the desert was a new feeling for me.  Walking a short path brought us closer to the desert plants we came to see, and it made me glad we had plenty of water on hand and a means of transportation out of there when we were done.  It would not be a friendly place to lose one's way.

We headed into Tuscan next to visit a very special place in my family history: the Flowing Wells Assembly of God Church.  It is where three generations of my family worshiped: my dad, his parents, and his grandparents.  It is where my dad began to follow Jesus and was baptized.

I recognized the roof of the old part of the building straight away from family photos, and I just had to have my picture taken there.  I did manage to tour the new part of the church (built after my family's time there) but the old section I was interested in is now their children's area and was locked up.  It was just nice to be there.  And, sure enough, there was a Saguaro right next to the church.

The part I recognized.
The new section
Driving down Flowing Wells Road made me imagine my dad as a small child.  He lived nearby with his family.  He went to school and church here.  The story everyone tells is about the time my dad was walking home from school in the rain.  His dad found him at the corner of Flowing Wells and Wetmore and said he had found a wet Moore on Wetmore.  My dad didn't think it was very funny at the time, but he laughs about it now.

Our next stop was a religious site of a different kind.  We drove out to Mission San Xavier del Bac.  It was my dad who told me about this beautiful place.  As a schoolboy, he wrote a report about the Spanish mission and has fond memories of conducting the necessary research for the project. Mission San Xavier del Bac was built in 1783 and is stunning both inside and out.  I was surprised to find that it is still an active place of worship.  We were careful to be quiet and not disturb those who were praying.

Tombstone City Hall

We drove out to Tombstone after our visit at the mission.  Frankly, I have no interest in the O.K. Corral narrative for which Tombstone is famous, but I did want to see the town.  It is where my dad attended high school, and as such, it is a place of interest to me.  We swung at the park (just outside the famous corral), walked down the boardwalk, drove around the town a little, and then found a hotel about twenty minutes away.

 In one day we woke up in a four star resort and went to sleep in a one star extended stay, but it was a nice place, and I would stay there again.  They even had a microwave and dishes, so we were able to stay in and eat soup and popcorn for dinner.

1 comment:

Robert Wayne Moore said...

Reading about these places brings a lot of nice memories. I love the photos of Flowing Wells A/G and of the mission. My favorite is of the three of you smiling in the desert!
...Nice job.