January 1, 2006 |
I was disappointed. I had checked into Loews Ventana Canyon Resort hoping for a room with a city view. The lights would be beautiful at night in the clear desert air, I thought. But my room was tucked into the back of the 398-room hotel, facing the Santa Catalina Mountains. I had arrived late on an October day just in time for sunset. The flaming red sky I saw from my window was nice, but I still craved city lights. Until the next morning, that is, when I walked out onto my third-floor patio.
July 25, 2004 |
Somewhere between Palm Springs and Yuma, Ariz., I heard the train whistle blowing, a low-toned moan that roused me from sleep like a gentle alarm clock. I parted the royal blue curtains that shielded the light from my tiny compartment aboard Amtrak's Sunset Limited Superliner and looked out as the rising sun gave substance and shape to the Sonoran Desert sands.
March 5, 2000 |
My first golf lesson, from a macho pro at a Caribbean resort, was so miserable that I didn't play again for five years. I wilted under the broiling sun and the scornful gaze of my instructor, who ordered me to do this, do that--rarely disguising his disgust at having to teach a nervous neophyte instead of a real golfer who could appreciate his pithy pointers. I ditched the sport faster than I could yell "Fore!"
August 8, 2004 |
Within my first hour at Tanque Verde Ranch, I spotted a bright red male northern cardinal, singing melodiously, in a mesquite tree. Half an hour later, I saw hummingbirds buzzing around a feeder hanging outside the ranch's nature center. Later during my two-day stay, I added a Gila woodpecker, barn swallows and goldfinches to my bird list. You'd think I was staying at a bird preserve instead of a ranch about 25 miles northeast of Tucson's airport.
December 9, 2009 |
It starts now. In December, on snowy mountain roads around Tucson with his graying, balding posse riding shotgun, Lance Armstrong is back at it, all in, no doubts, head of a new cycling team but with the same goal as always -- to win the Tour de France. Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong, 38, has gathered seven of the men who rode with him in last year's comeback. He also has a dynamic young nemesis, a Spaniard named Alberto Contador, a 26-year-old who has won four Grand Tours, including the Tour de France twice, and who is unafraid to say that he's not a fan of Armstrong the man or the teammate.
February 4, 1996 |
No doubt about it, in Tucson they like chiles. From sweet bell peppers and mild New Mexico reds to picante chiltepins and fiery habaneros, chiles are integral to Tucson's gastronomic scene, which is fragrantly influenced by the cuisine of its southern neighbor, the Mexican state of Sonora. A visit to El Charro Cafe is a wonderful introduction to Sonoran-style cuisine.