Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy-Jig

We are home, and so glad to be here. You have no idea how glad. It was certainly a vacation to remember. But if you know me at all, you know I can’t leave it at that. First, though, I have to say that we had fun with Cousin Kim, who usually comes with us. And although I have a few new pictures to share of some things, the best pictures of our annual visits to Tubac, Arizona (just a half mile north of the Arizona/Mexico border, and even south of the checkpoint) are from previous visits and can be found if you click on “Tubac” in my word cloud link area in the right sidebar.

Let me show you the new pictures first, before I go into my rant tale of woe. The Tubac Arts Festival ran from the day before we got there until Sunday the 11th. The weather was picture perfect - mid-seventies.
Free rides in a horse-pulled wagon
Some of the side street crowds at the Festival
Our favorite place was the Beer Garden, a new feature at this year’s Arts Festival. Proceeds go to help maintain the DeAnza Trail and Presidio, where both Bruce’s sister Annette and her husband Glenn donate their time. There was beer, margaritas and entertainment. Plus gorgeous weather and good company!

We sat over to the side and our backs faced this little footbridge and dry creek (below). The footbridge crosses over into the new area of Tubac called The Barrio. In the Barrio are great new stores and restaurants and several dozen streets of new condominiums, plus a park and a sculpture garden.  We were just happy to take in the fresh air, sunshine, good music and to RELAX.

Once Festival was over, the weather turned cloudy, and by Wednesday it began to rain. Before that time we got some walking in and visited a couple of our favorite restaurants.  The following few pictures we took in the Sculpture Garden one morning.

Bruce and the kids playing
Bruce and Mark Twain talk about Things.

Cousin Kim

Cathy playing Ring Around the Rosie

The next couple pictures were snapped during walks around town. They show how some of the stores are brightly painted. And you can see that some merchants keep their wares out at night.

Once it began raining (in a steady, consistent manner that Bruce’s late sister Faye used to call a “female rain”), we pretty much stayed indoors and read, watched movies, and sewed. We left for home a couple days early because - well, rain in Arizona and snowstorms forecast for Salt Lake. We were smart to go and beat the weather.

And that’s about all you need to read unless you want to hear about the unsavory portions of our trip. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful, but I probably do. Oh well. After visiting Tubac almost every year (except last year because of Bruce’s cancer surgeries) for 15 years, one thinks one knows what to expect. First, some backstory. There were originally 6 siblings in Bruce's family, and they grew up in Bountiful, Utah. Now they all (except us here in Salt Lake)  live in Tubac, a town south of Tucson.

The oldest remaining sibling is Dennis, who owns the Tubac Trailer Tether (mobile homes, camping spots, laundromat and propane concession). Then there's Marv who lives in the Tether, Doug who also lives in the Tether with his significant other Katsi, and Annette and her husband Glenn who built a huge house in the Tubac hills when they retired from their California/US Navy life. Cousin Kim’s mom Faye was the eldest of the siblings when she was alive, but she passed away about 13 years ago. It is her mobile home that is designated for visiting family. We offered to pay once, and were laughed at. Not about the money, they said. So, we always come bearing gifts. This year it was quilts, wine, cheese - things they like and can’t get there in Tubac. Anyway, the last time we (or anyone else in the family) visited was 2 years ago. And the place hadn’t been cleaned in the meantime.

We arrived at the Bates Motel trailer on Thursday evening, the 8th. It was dark, late, and we just put fresh sheets on the beds and went to sleep. In the morning we surveyed the place. O.M.G. We were shocked. Our immediate and first trip was to the local market to get creamer for our coffee and some cleaning supplies. That’s what we did on Friday - clean. All day Friday. Kim scoured the bathroom (after two years of disuse, it was a major undertaking); Bruce vacuumed the cobwebs, furniture, floors, desiccated lizard, etc. I cleaned the kitchen, greasy dishes, light fixtures. We washed towels, curtains, windows, etc.

The steps and railings outside the trailer were hazardous and in need of repair; the toilet kept breaking down (Kim got the Golden Toilet Award for using a twist tie to fix the chain), and the doorknobs locked at will. Bruce had to climb in through the window once because the key wouldn’t work. But at least we had a place to stay. We may never go back, but we had a roof over our heads while we were there. For that I am grateful. But the rest.....

Dennis owns the park and employs brother Doug to do handiwork. They never thought (or cared) to have anyone pay any attention to the family trailer. Dennis is in his seventies and and it’s not about money - he is a millionaire. But he lives like a hoarder/pauper (which I mentioned in previous Tubac posts years ago). And that is his right - his choice. But I don’t know if we can go back to that, even to visit. And small-town lodging is hard to come by.

Anyway, once the place was cleaned up and we spent several hundred dollars on groceries for our stay, the single brothers came by every evening wondering what Kim and/or I were cooking for dinner. So yes, we prepared meals for 5 people (Bruce, Kim, me, Dennis and Marv) every. single. night.  So, we got the Bates Motel, and they got free cooking and cleaning and some minor repairs. Kim’s sister Carrie and her hubby are going down to visit the family later this spring. Carrie’s hubby Jeff is a contractor (he did our living room remodel) and we will prepare a list of Must Fix-it’s for him. And if we have to chip in on the repair costs, we will do it gladly. Just don’t make me stay there again in those conditions!!

So now we’re back home and it began snowing within a couple hours of us arriving home. Great timing, as we had clear roads all the way back. We are so grateful and happy to be in our clean and (relatively) spacious cottage. Bruce has gotten a “wild hair” and cleaned his man cave again (bathroom, which was cleaned before we left) and installed a carbon monoxide detector in the last 24 hours. It’s unbelievable how clean everything here seems!  :-)  The unpacking, laundry and grocery shopping are done, and I even got some sewing time in this afternoon. It is wonderful to be home, and we are so happy. Jiggedy-jig!!!



mangozz said...

O.M.G. You poor thing! That sounded like it would make a good movie.It reminded me of the Money Pit and National Lampoon's vacations. I am amazed that you could find anything good to say about that vacation. Welcome home!

PaulaB quilts said...

There's no place like home!

Louise said...

Oof! What a trip! I'm sorry you had such unsavory lodgings :( It's tough when it's family that is sort of falling down on the job. It only took one overnight visit at my in-law's house for me to issue the "We're staying in a motel next time" edict. They've never forgiven me for wanting something nicer than dead grandma's lumpy single bed :)

Sally Trude said...

Welcome home! Molly suspects the real tragedy of the visit was a serious lack of kittens.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Oh my - what a trip! The arts festival and fun sights around town sound great! The rest not so much... I'm always ready to get out of town, but then ready to be home again when it's all over. I can imagine just how much you and Bruce were ready to come home! Hugs, Cathy!

Libby in TN said...

I can just imagine. I'm no clean freak, but I have my limits and that might have sent me packing!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Terry and I are always amazed at how inconsiderate some people can be. If they weren't going to do regular maintenance at the family place, you would think they would at least clean it before family came. Brother. And then come by to be fed. But I'll be kind and think that maybe their minds are not as sharp as they would be at a younger age.

I would love to visit that area. Did you get new pots? You didn't mention it but I'm betting you did. Love the pics from the sculpture park.

Finally, just like Dorothy said "There's no place like home".
xx, Carol

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What an unfortunate experience on your holiday. That really can't be called a holiday...more like a workfest! I'd be thinking long and hard before I went back and if I did, I would definitely be staying at a lovely B&B or a motel. Sounds like a lovely area to be in but the accommodations were certainly lacking.