Day 1, Thursday, March 14, 2019
I had few weeks in March between when I got my job offer and when I would start working. Mom and I were still pretty shell-shocked after dad’s death and I casually mentioned that maybe it would be good to get out of town for a few days. I found a relatively inexpensive direct flight to Tucson, and to my surprise, Mom agreed.
Mom had a few places she wanted to see, and I had a few places I wanted to see, so a weekend trip was born. On the first day, we had an early flight, so we could make the most of our day.
Mom was interested in checking out some rock shops and bead shops, so after we arrived and got our rental car, we set off to find them. But lunch first. We ate at a Mexican restaurant called La Parilla a Suiza that I googled nearby the first rock shop. They say their cuisine is from the Mexico City region and it was good! The only drawback was the air-conditioning was way too high, and it was freezing in there!
The first rock shop, called Norcross Madagascar, was one Mom had heard about in a beading group she belongs to. They sell wholesale mostly, but also welcome retail customers. At first we weren’t sure we were in the right place, because it certainly didn’t appear as if they did any retail traffic. However, the ladies who showed us around the shop were so warm and friendly. They explained the properties of various stones, and what healing properties they were known for. Their specimens range from giant to small and they had things that fit every budget, even if you were just buying single items. They sold carved animals, hearts, cabochons and huge specimen pieces too. I enjoyed wandering the rooms of polished rocks and display items and found several things that came home with me.
Mom found quite a few things too, including one carnelian orb that she bought. Carnelian is believed to help people move through feelings of depression, worry and grief. This one did something more. We placed it on the table several times, on different sides of the round orb, and each time it wobbled back and forth instead of simply rolling to one side like you would expect from a ball. I have no idea what it means, but it was oddly comforting. Maybe it was a message from Dad.
After that we went to Bead Holiday, a traditional bead shop. I’m not into beading like my mom is, but I did get a few pairs of beads that she made into earrings for me. I have such a sweet mom!
We checked out the historic downtown area and spent some time at Old Town Artisans. This block of shops and a few restaurants was once the stables section of El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, the fort constructed beginning in 1775. It was fun wandering around in the maze of shops, filled with a combination of tourist souvenir items, antiques and items created by local craftspeople. We shared some nachos for dinner; another delicious meal!
Our early morning flight made for an early evening after we got checked into the hotel. It was a good first day!