2012 Mexican-USA Roadtrip: Our stay in Tucson, AZ

We were looking forward to a unique experience in Tucson, AZ. In Tucson, we had a mini reunion with 2 women that Dimitri went to school with in Egypt. He hadn’t seen either of them for about 55 years since the Lycée Français in Port Said that they all attended for high school. It started out to be a much bigger event, with 10 or so people joining in the reunion from all over the world. But it got paired down to Pia Montoya, who lives in Tucson, and Angeliki Nevrodis, who came from upstate NY for the mini reunion.

Pia and Angeliki decided that they wanted to do at least part of our road trip from Tucson to Vail with us. They would drive in Pia's car and stay where we would stay. They understood that we would be hiking and biking in Sedona and in the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks where we would be visiting along the way. So, Pia and Angeliki would do their own thing during the day and we would meet up for dinner together. In a lifestyle in which neither Dimitri nor I buy things--we only have experiences--this one promised to be memorable.


Pia, Dimitri and Angeliki meet in Tucson 55 years later
The reunion and the road trip with Pia and Angeliki was a huge success. Everyone had fun catching up and reminiscing. Between the Greek that Dimitri and Angeliki spoke and the French, English and Italian that everyone spoke, it was a real international, cosmopolitan event.

Even after our time-consuming mis-adventure getting our refund for our Mexican car permission we arrived at Pia's house in Tucson at 12:30 p.m. for the lunch she had invited us to. She decided to take us out for lunch to Tanque Verde Ranch, 14301 East Speedway, Tucson, AZ 85748, tel. 520-296-6275, e-mail: bdrury@tvgr.com, web: www.tanqueverderanch.com. WOW it was great! We gorged on the huge Sunday brunch buffet. There was everything, including delicious roast beef.

After brunch, we checked into the hotel Dimitri had chosen, which was on the western side of  Tucson. The Radisson Suites Tucson (6555 East Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ, tel. 520-721-7100, www.radissontucson.com) was a huge complex.  Our two room suite, room 441 cost $298.56 for two days plus $12 per day for breakfast for the two of us. The suite was two small rooms in a kind of odd configuration but it worked for us. It was big enough for us to unload our car entirely and the hotel had a storeroom in which we could lock up our bikes. The hotel was quiet and the one desk was big enough for both Dimitri and Audre to set up their computers and work at.

On our first evening in Tucson, we went back to Pia's house with a bottle of champagne and celebrated the beginning of the mini reunion with Pia and Angeliki. Dimitri, Pia and Angeliki looked at photographs and talked for hours.

The next morning, Dimitri took our car to the Tucson Subaru dealer for its 30000 mile scheduled service. Dimitri and Audre went on a 3 hour bike ride on a Tucson bike path from our hotel on the west side of town to the downtown area, a total of 36 km/18 miles round trip. 

After we picked up our car, we hosted Pia and Angeliki at a great Japanese restaurant in the northern foothills of Tucson. Ginza Sushi & Izakaya (5425 N. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ 85750, tel. 520-529-8877, web: www.ginzatucson.com) is much-acclaimed and for good reason. We had a wonderful izakaya-type meal of small plates that all 4 of us shared. Our server, Kimberly Anne, was attentive and friendly. We all had Miso Soup to start and it was tasty and good. We then had the Teppan Squid, the Shumai steamed pork dumplings, the Shrimp Tempura, Nasu Agedashi fried Japanese eggplant, the Tofu Agedashi fried organic tofu, and the Fried Soft Shell Crab. Everything was either very good or excellent. Our stand-out favorites were the squid, the eggplant and the crab. We each had their green tea that was the kind with toasted rice in it and we all liked it. For dessert we had the Mochi ice cream and the regular ice cream. The Mochi ice cream was delicious and unique. It was a wonderful meal. We spent $74.97 plus tip and we think that everyone enjoyed it.

On Tuesday morning, Dimitri and Audre left Tucson to drive to Scottsdale to visit Susan Ross and Gary Waddington. Pia had her car serviced for the big road trip with us and promised to meet us in Sedona, AZ on Thursday.