February 28th, 2019

Winter Sunlight

I regrettably lack a cactus icon

[personal profile] rachelmanija and I are now in Arizona! Highlights and lowlights (mostly highlights) of our Tucson trip so far:

* At the rental car place in the airport, Rachel asked if our rental had a built-in GPS. It did not. The attendant offered to go see if they had any cars that did. He came back to inform us that the only car currently on their lot with a built-in GPS was a 2019 Mustang convertible. So guess what we are now driving.

.... it is amazing. Though slightly nerve-wracking to drive, because it is a brand new $50K car with an astonishing amount of horsepower and controls that are so sensitive and complex that we keep finding ourselves spending 10 minutes trying to figure out how to do normal car things like turn on the air conditioning. Taking the top down and cruising on the highway is FUCKING AWESOME, though. :D

* The first night, we decided to pick up a six-pack of beer to take back to our AirBnB. We asked the clerk if they had a bottle opener. There was a baffled pause and he was like "uh, I'm not sure" and starts LOOKING UNDER THE COUNTER. We went "No, no, to BUY!" and were directed to the right shelf, but we left the store wondering just how far this would have gone and in what possible set of circumstances having the clerk in the store open our beers for us and then let us walk out of the store with them would have led to anything good.

* We got two different AirBnBs so that we could split our time between a quiet, secluded location in the suburbs, and being in the middle of downtown. The first one was quiet and clean and nice, and we heard coyotes howling and stargazed from the deck. AirBnB #2 so far has turned out to lack the extra bed that was promised (this isn't that big a deal because it was at least partly due to our failure to read the optional details, and we don't mind sharing a bed), and perhaps more critically, it has turned out to lack hot water, and the bathroom is first of all down the hall and shared with a next-door shop, secondly is not very clean, and ... did I mention the lack of hot water? Because it's kind of a problem. >_>

It is, however, cute and quirky and charming. We had a conversation with our hostess which went something like this:

Hostess: So, have you two been friends for a long time?
Us, slightly baffled: Uh ... about five years, I guess?

She also pointed out about 5 times in the conversation that Tucson is very LGBT friendly, that this place is very LGBT/trans friendly, etc. It was something like 3 hours later that we looked at each other and were like "Uh ... I think she was asking if we were a couple."

We are dense.

(And now there's only one bed. I think I've read this fanfic.)

At least she didn't ask us if we were twins.

She was also one of multiple people in Tucson who have successfully guessed that I'm from Fairbanks (not merely Alaska generally, but Fairbanks, specifically) before I told them. She had also not only lived in Fairbanks in the past, but worked in Denali Park the same summer I did, at a business next to the one where I worked at. Small world.

* Today we went on a guided nature hike. As we were cruising down the road toward the trailhead in our Mustang, one of us (me, I'm pretty sure) remarked on how smoothly the trip was going so far. (This was before we discovered the lack of hot water in tonight's AirBnB.) Not 2 minutes later, we drew to a halt at water flowing across the road and a "road closed" sign.

We contemplated this, contemplated our incredibly expensive rental car with the 2" ground clearance, and decided perhaps we'd walk. We were due to the trailhead at 5, and it was at that point almost exactly 5. This was our second try at the nature hike, because on the previous day we'd ended up cancelling and rescheduling due to having underestimated how long it would take us to drive back to the city from our south-of-Tucson excursion to a lovely little arts community called Tubac, which had involved making everyone on the nature hike wait for us for about 15 minutes while we desperately tried to fight our way across town through road construction and rush-hour traffic before we ended up rescheduling. So it was with a certain amount of embarrassment that we texted the guide to let him know that we were almost there, REALLY, WE MEAN IT THIS TIME ... as we were hopping over braided channels of the CREEK flowing across the middle of the road and trying not to get our feet wet. The GPS said it was only 0.2 miles! We could be there in 5 minutes!

He came and picked us up, which was good since it was more like 3/4 of a mile. The hike was fantastic, and we saw a coyote and bats and learned a lot about saguaro cactus, and then got a ride back to our car. "The water has gone down a foot since yesterday," he remarked as he let us out at our car. We contemplated on the drive back to town that possibly the information that the road is bisected by a creek should have come up, maybe just ONCE, in all of our various texting/calling with him over the last couple of days as we failed repeatedly to show up for his nature hikes. This is doubly ironic because during the hike he had mentioned that flash floods are very dangerous in the desert and just a foot of water can sweep a hiker off their feet or a car downstream. So maybe mentioning the foot of water on the road would have been helpful then?

It was a really fun hike, though!

* Rachel has been talking me into buying all the cactus things, including an actual cactus (edit: two actual cacti) that I am going to try to take on the plane with me because I have no common sense.

And now it's 12:15 a.m. and our not-so-great (but LGBT-friendly!) AirBnB has a party going on next door. I plan to try to sleep anyway.

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