Here are 20 things to love about Southern Arizona (and believe me, I can think of way more than that...I didn't even touch on Sabino Canyon, the U of A, or outstanding Mexican food!).
Perfect Weather, 80% of the time. Aside from the sizzling summers, Tucson is a meteorology dream. The sun shines. The skies are blue. The breeze is sweet. The mornings and evenings are cool. You can wear t-shirts all year long.
Unparalleled Sunsets. It's not an easy task to find a match for Southern Arizona's grand sunsets. Purples, pinks, oranges, and blues explode over mountainous horizons nightly for an art show unlike any other.
Lack of Humidity. We spent almost our entire spring and summer on the east coast and throughout the midwest (north carolina, virginia, pennsylvania, new jersey, ohio, indiana, and minnesota). Sounds nice, doesn't it? Actually, not so nice. I prefer dry AZ to dripping moisture. I will never complain about Arizona summers in the same way again.
No Ticks. The warnings began as soon as we crossed the Mississippi. "Be sure to check your skin when you come in from being outdoors." Apparently, these little bloodsuckers attach themselves to you and can even carry Lyme Disease. Creepy...and not something we have to worry about in Arizona. I'll take rattlesnakes and tarantulas over those bugs any day.
No Tornadoes. Never have I been more grateful for our temperate climate than when we got multiple warnings and watches on our 9-month trek across the USA in an RV. There were many sleepless nights and one almost-evacuation. I understand that these kinds of natural disasters are far less scary when you have a house and a basement, but...it's even nicer not having to worry at all. Same goes for earthquakes.
No Blizzards. Not even in the dead of winter. "Cold" here is like 40 degrees...and that is really cold.
Being able to go for a walk/run/bike ride outside at least 9 months of the year. If you're the outdoorsy type like we are, Tucson is paradise. We rarely are contained indoors by rain, sleet, snow, or bugs. Sure, it's hot in the summer, but...you can always escape to Mt. Lemmon.
Mt. Lemmon. At 9,157 feet, it's a haven from hot weather in the summer and a snowy retreat in the winter. Best of all, it's only about 45-60 minutes away.
Sunflower Market, Trader Joe's, AND Whole Foods Market. When it comes to the natural food arena, Tucson offers more options than most.
Reasonably Priced Grocery Stores w/ fresh produce from neighboring states. To say we experienced a bit of "sticker shock" in states across the USA is an understatement. Heavy whipped cream was $7. Avocados were $3 (each). Not prices we were used to.
Mountains in Every Direction. How foreign it was to look around and see flat lands. Not to get poetic on you, but I felt a little loss of my soul without the purple-blue mountains in the landscape.
Wide Open Spaces. Room to breathe. It's the country out here - even in the middle of the city. It's hard to describe, but that's the way it is.
Nice Freeways with good signage. This is true for "Arizona" more than for "Tucson" specifically, but AZ's roads are in excellent condition compared to the majority of the country. Few potholes. Lots of rest stops. Great for road-tripping.
Sunshine. 350+ days of it. To warm your shoulders, your cheeks, and your heart.
A birth center (and freedom to birth at home). It's shocking to me that some states have actually succeeded in banning home birth (especially considering that they are proven to be as safe as hospital births). Here in Arizona, we believe in giving women options.
The Smell of Rain in the Desert. Until you've smelled it, you can't quite get it. It smells clean, refreshing, new - full of life and good things. If I could bottle it, I'd make a million.
The Landscape. Yes, cactus are beautiful. In a different way than oaks and pines, I admit...but breathtaking nonetheless.
Big, but not too big. The Tucson metro area is about 1 million, but I wouldn't describe it as densely populated, crazy, or crowded. The city is large enough for H&M and Costco, but not so big that you feel small.
The Ability to get to the sea in 6 hours - by car. When the sea coaxes your spirit, you can get away with relative ease.
Family & Friends. I won't deny that a large part of the appeal of this place is having our loved ones near. It's a wonderful thing for so many reasons.
Since we've moved back, people often see me around town and ask: "Are you glad to be back? Are you happy to be here again?"
I almost want to shout the answer at the top of my lungs, with joy brimming from my [cowgirl] boots, "Yes! GLAD is exactly the right word to describe this feeling."
* Note: Our country is grand, diverse, and beautiful. There are quite a few spots that we loved and hope to visit again - more to come on that topic in the near future.
If you live in Tucson, what do YOU love about it? Tell me what I missed.
What are a few of the best things about where you live?
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