Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sonoita, AZ

The last stop on our wild west adventure through Arizona was to Sonoita / Elgin area. This is, if you can believe it, a wine region! It was about a 70 minute drive from Tucson (we actually passed through it on our was to Bisbee) and we took Aaron's sister wine tasting for her first time. We visited a few wineries...some of which, to our surprise, were wonderful! We could not believe the quality of wine in this area. We visited one winery which was downright awful, but the majority of the wines we tried were beyond decent. They are really doing a good job! It was so pretty too...lots of open spaces, sun bouncing off the mountains. This was the icing on the cake for a surprising exploration of Arizona. I really couldn't believe how much I ended up loving all the places we visited.

Bisbee, AZ and Tombstone, AZ...and a bonus Ghost Town!

 While out in Arizona, we were encouraged to add Bisbee to our lists of must sees. Having never heard of this place, we were really apprehensive. We were planning to go to Tombstone, but added Bisbee to our itinerary as well. We drove outside of Tucson, past Tombstone, and up through some mountains. Before we knew it, we literally stumbled across this little town called Bisbee, which looks so much like San Francisco! Bisbee was an old mining town and a bunch of wealthy San Francisco locals developed the place, hence, it looks a lot like SF. It was full of VERY interesting characters...lots of hippees and other odd people. While most of the town was clean and quaint, there were some strange...parks?! and odd buildings inhabited by some of these people I would suspect were living off the grid. We also noticed tons and tons of stairways everywhere. The town is quite hilly, so to connect from street to street you can climb these stairwells. The town had so much character, tons of great restaurants, and lots of little haunted hotels! The next time we go out there we plan to get a hotel room for a night. We were really pleasantly surprised at this little gem of a town.

 After heading out of Bisbee, we stopped in Tombstone. I had been there years ago and it was similar to how I remembered....commercialized and filled with tourists. obviously has history, and there were some cool places to visit. We had a beer in a bar with live gun shots and a man playing was not boring.

 We made one last stop before heading back to Tucson in Fairbank which was REALLY a ghost town...completely abandoned in the late 1970's...but really most of the town left in the 40's after the mining boom. The town was SO creepy and Aaron made me walk about a mile out this dirt road to a cemetery...I almost had a heart attack I was so scared!

 This was a gas station that was in operation through the 70's if you can believe it!
 This was the school which was recently refurbished and is used as a little museum and book store.

 This is the SPOOKY trail that lead to the cemetery....
 The sun was starting to set.... so CREEPY...

 These are some of the graves. I don't know how appropriate it is to take photos of a cemetery, but I wanted to capture how darned scared I was. The whole thing was really run down but you could definitely tell there were graves everywhere.
 The walk back through the trail was even spookier than the way over because we were fighting the sunset! Ah! I get the willies just looking at these pictures.
All in all a great day discovering some of the old west. What an interesting place!

Tubac, AZ

Hi Bloggies,

I never shared my Christmas vacation with you all. The BF and spent Christmas in Tucson with his family and stayed at his sisters house.

Aaron and I took a few one day trips, to Tubac, Sonoita, and Bisbee, AZ. All three of these places were very appealing and I enjoyed our exploration of AZ very, very, much.

First, I give you Tubac. Tubac is a little artist's colony about an hour outside of Tucson. Like many Arizona towns we discovered, it really pops right out of the desert. It's filled with artists shops, antiques, restaurants, etc, and it was such a fun way to stroll around in the AZ sunshine. Aaron and I enjoyed lunch at a cute little dive bar and restaurant called the Tubac Inn and scored an awesome birthday gift for my Texan step dad in Fort Worth. I love buying gifts as I see them for people rather than rushing around the week before and being forced to get something.I also found some great gourmet products at Tubac Olive Oil company.... hazelnut oil and blackcurrant balsamic vinegar. They taste great on a simply dressed salad.

The Tubac Chamber of Commerce really needs to redo their website because the pictures don't do the place justice. It's quaint and very pretty in it's own southwest way.

Enjoy the pictures.
Aaron checking out a hotrod, per usual.
 Pretty December sky.

 Another one of Aaron's action series....

Tubac was well worth the 50 minute drive from Tucson. We noticed quite a few restaurants, bars, and little hotels. It might be a fun place to stay for a night and explore!