Weather: Clear and about 65.
Breakfast was at 10 a.m. We had coffee cake flecked with pecans and topped with cinnamon and sugar, plus hot tea. We could look out the kitchen window and see a bird feeder, as well as a small watering hole that is connected to a water line, so it is always full of water. We saw lots of Gambel's quail at the feeder. We rarely see quail in Maryland and I have only seen southern Bobwhite quail a few times, so I enjoyed watching them and listening to their unique clucking and cooing.
We walked out to their tennis court in the back yard, which was not visible from the house. Mainly, we got a nice tour as my cousin described the many different types of cacti (saguaro, prickly pear, several different kinds of cholla, etc.) and talking about the mountains that surround the city. The sun shone brightly and I was glad to be wearing both sunglasses and a hat.
Back at the house, my cousin showed me a book called Voices of Fort Lowell. It is a compilation of stories from several oral history interviews with people who had lived near Fort Lowell over the years. It's interesting to read about the families in that very rural, hardscrabble area. Despite the challenges, they seemed mostly happy and full of love.
Our afternoon plans were to go out for lunch and go to a planetarium show at the science center on the campus of the University of Arizona. On the way to lunch, we had to take a detour to avoid the cargo train and I thought about my husband, who was unable to join me on the trip. If you like watching trains, it's easy to do it in downtown Tucson. But, we stuck with the plan and drove on to go to Delectables for lunch. Interestingly enough, a guy trying to gather signatures for a petition of some sort (to get something on the ballot at the upcoming election, perhaps???) approached us as we were getting out of the car. My cousin's husband was closest to the guy and kind of got stuck listening to the spiel. I guess it's rather unfortunate that I felt the way I did, but I kind of felt like I was being panhandled. It didn't matter too much, because I was already looking up and down the street to be able to cross over to the restaurant. I still don't know what the guy wanted.
For lunch, Dad and I split a salami and provelone sandwich on a piece of baguette. My cousin's husband and my cousin split a BLT on a baguette. The bread was a bit dense and chewy, but, in general, it was pretty good. The restaurant has art, which is for sale by local artists, displayed on the walls, so it was nice to see that.
We went to the Flandrau Science Center after lunch. First, we went to the mineral exhibit, which is on the lower level. The facility is rather large (but certainly smaller than the Smithsonian museums), so I should have been prepared that they would ask us to wear wristbands (noting we had paid the entry fee) and that they asked "to search my purse for weapons." I guess that sounds more official than, "We want to see if you have knives and tools that would help you steal items or otherwise deface the exhibits." The mineral museum is simply a large collection of mineral samples in glass case after glass case. The back room does have a few of photographs, drawings, and memorabilia from local mines, which was quite interesting to me. After we were done there, we went to get in line to enter the planetarium. We were first in line, so while my cousin held our place my Dad and I quickly looked at some of the children's activities that were set up close to the door of the planetarium (note: I have read reviews that they don't let children under the age of 4 in the planetarium.... I don't know if that's true). It was a nice area. The show at the planetarium was about the Casini-Huygens spacecraft. We spent a minute or two in the gift shop after the show and I bought a few postcards. Just outside the door of the building, we looked at the sundial on the sidewalk immediately in front of the planetarium. An orange tree across the street from the planetarium caught my eye, so we walked across the street for me to take a photo of it. Then, we decided to walk down the main campus path at the University of Arizona until we reached Old Main ( an administration building), then turned around and walked back.
We got back to their house in time to watch the entire Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants football game. The Giants won in overtime (23 -20). We had another fire in the fireplace. There was some discussion of the difference in eastern wood and wood available in Tucson. For dinner, we had Greek chicken, potatoes, and a tossed green salad. After dinner, we watched a Masterpiece Theater movie. It was a version of the Jane Austen novel Northanger Abbey.
I fought hard against the jet lag and the two hour time change. I finally went to bed at 10 p.m.