Sightseeing and Shopping
Green Valley Travel Blog› entry 50 of 59 › view all entries
We had so much fun today. Our wonderful hosts, Bill and Jim, took us sightseeing and SHOPPING! That is something they love and I love and Jag hates. Well, Jag hates it when I do it - not when it is for something he wants.
We drove south to Tumacacori (pronounced “toom-a-kah-co-ree”) National Historic Park. This preserves the ruins of an ancient Spanish mission built in 1691and later deserted. It is a very fascinating place and one that is filled with a certain power I have felt in only a few other places. Most of the frescos and decorations inside and outside the church itself are long gone. Slight traces do remain however, giving one a small hint of what once must have been a beautiful place. Paintings show what historians believe the interior may have looked like.
The mission’s garden is a place of great tranquility. The fragrance of Mexican oregano perfumes the air. Birds drink and bathe in a small fountain, all of which fill the space with music.
There is an old burial ground with a remarkable funerary sanctuary that is tall and round, but rather small inside. There is only a dirt floor inside and it is roofless. Jag remarked that it resembles the Towers of Silence used by the Parsis to dispose of their dead. The graves themselves are not real; the original burials were desecrated soon after the mission was deserted.
Off to one side of the mission building was a lady named Guadalupe Gutierrez.
We went back northwards a short distance to the town of Tubac. This very historic place has now become a center for artists and galleries of all kinds. Nothing here is cheap, but many things are priced very fairly. As I had mentioned a special love for Mexican Talavera and Mata Ortizpottery, my darling friends (who happen to have exquisite taste as former art dealers) took us to a shop with a humungous collection of both types of pottery at very good prices.
We went into one gallery featuring some wonderful paintings. One in particular, caught my eye: it was a fairly large depiction of quail, done in a colorful and whimsical manner. Jag was put off by the price, which was about $1,800! I had no intentions of buying it, but I certainly wanted to.
We continued to a shop selling kitchen items. As usual with many of the store owners in Tubac, Jim and Bill had made good friendships with several of them. They are all very warm people. This shop had the very clever name of “Tumacookery”,a play on words with the name of the historic mission we had just visited.
Another stop for a milkshake for Bill at yet another friend’s shop, then we returned to Green Valley for some relaxation. Jim spread seed out for the wild birds and I sat outside to photograph the peaceful scene. A lovely cottontail rabbit came by, but I was unable to see the roadrunner I had seen in the morning. I could easily live here. Even Jag admitted that he could, too.
We went out for dinner at Agave Restaurant at the Desert Diamond Casino. The casino complex is gorgeous, with a very large fountain at the entrance and trees covered with white lights adding to the enchanting scene.