Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Summer in Tucson

August 9th, 2016 by samhughesinn

Monsoon Season

Storm Clouds

Storm clouds forming

People living in colder parts of the country are always anxious to hear horror stories about summer in Tucson but the subject of Monsoon Season only comes up when it’s so hot here no one is very eager to come experience it with us.  Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast has now endured 16 monsoon seasons and is half way through the 17th. We love monsoon.

In our first year of bed & breakfast business Tucson experienced the earliest arrival of monsoon season in history, June 17. Until a few years ago, the arrival of monsoon was calculated on the dew point reaching 55 degrees or more for three consecutive days. The rain almost always began after that third day. Now monsoon season has been designated June 15 until September 30, whether it’s dry or wet, and a more average first rainfall occurs around the first week of July.

Some visitors think we exaggerate the intensity of monsoon storms because they experience heavy rains throughout the year in their own home states. But monsoon can be either hours of gentle rainfall or it can produce violent winds that uproot trees and down power lines. Thousands of lightning strikes can cause fires to flare up in multiple locations and create hazardous conditions for people on the ground. Flooding fills our usually empty river beds to overflowing, and even some unlucky houses in low lying areas. On the campus of the University of Arizona you’ll find metal barricades across the step-down areas of some buildings to help keep the water from rushing under the doors.. People who live here love the frequent showers especially since they often cause the temperature to drop 25 or 30 degrees in minutes. Then our famous “dry heat” is replaced by the not so welcome “humidity”.

Downpour

First monsoon rain 2016.

Tucson receives half of its yearly rainfall during monsoon season; at least that’s the hoped for outcome, and so far 2016 appears to be on track. Storm clouds build up in enormous and beautiful designs and can appear any time of the day. A perfect blue sky can suddenly turn dark as night and claps of thunder can build slowly to ear shattering intensity in minutes. It is dangerous and exciting at the same time bringing a welcome change from the 100 degree days of June, at least for short periods of time..

Lightning

Lightning strikes

A recurring feature of monsoon season is Arizona’s “Stupid Motorist Law“. If a driver goes around a barricade on a flooded street and becomes stranded, he/she can be charged for being rescued. And yet a number of drivers attempt this maneuver every year and in some cases with disastrous results when the car is swept away..

Monsoon season is full of drama, from the first Cumulonimbus clouds poking up over the mountain tops, & the heavy rainfalls, to some of the most beautiful sunsets on earth.

Monsoon sunset

Sunset monsoon season

 

 

Fox Theater Tucson

July 17th, 2016 by samhughesinn

The Fox Theater Tucson – Film, Music, Special Events
1929 Theater

Fox Theater Tucson

The Fox Theater Tucson began construction in summer of 1929, designed by the architect M. Eugene Durfee to feature movies and the then still popular, vaudeville. It opened in April of 1930 with the film, “Chasing Rainbows”, starring Jack Benny in one of his few and unmemorable movie credits. The gorgeous insides are a blend of southwestern desert and Art Deco with touches of Egyptian, Native American and Mayan inspired designs.

For the first scheduled event, the streets were closed to traffic and waxed for dancing. More than 3,000 people bought tickets for the show and the event became a local “must-see” featuring live bands outside and free trolley rides downtown. (Tucson’s original trolley was still operating then and has since been replaced by a shiny new streetcar version in the past few years.) The Fox Theater Tucson flourished for forty years and then, with the advent of more outlying theaters, drive-in movies, television and the loss of retail space, people found other forms of entertainment and popularity declined. The Fox Theater Tucson closed in 1974 and sat vacant for 26 years. The owners had various plans in mind for the building, including destruction, but never got around to any of them.

In the year 2000 the Fox Theater was purchased by a not for profit organization and $13 million dollars were spent for restoration. Its interior was as faithfully reproduced and restored to be as much like the original as possible. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and reopened for business on New Year’s Eve, 12/31/2007. About 1,100 of 1,200 available tickets were sold in the opening fund-raising event in which tickets cost $250 per seat and $1,000 per couple for the balcony “love seats.” The restoration of this theater, along with many restaurants and new living spaces, has contributed to the overall vitality of a revived downtown.

Oldies-but-goodies movies and film festivals are scheduled throughout much of the year currently but along with these are many live presentations featuring, singers, musicians, combos and many other special events. Check the schedule, seating chart & ticket sales for entertainment the rest of this summer and coming up for fall and winter. See featured videos on YouTube. Fox Theater Tucson, 17 W. Congress Street.

Fox Theatre Tucson

Fox Theatre

 

Farmers’ Markets in Tucson

July 3rd, 2015 by samhughesinn

farmers market

Farmers Merket

All seasons, but especially in summer, you will find an abundance of farmers’ markets in Tucson.

Some operate in the morning and some in the evening to take advantage of the coolest parts of the day, although, on many days you’d be hard pressed to find the coolest part. Take a spray bottle of water, wear a hat and lots of sun screen and go out and find fabulous locally grown fruits and vegetables,

Chile Ristras

Chile Ristras

desert honey, baked goods and chile ristras (a ristra is an arrangement of drying chili pepper pods used for cooking or as a decorative item).You can find a market any day of the week but here are some of the better known ones.

Tucson Farmers’ Market at Maynards, 400 N. Toole Ave.- Located behind the restaurant, Maynard’s Market & Kitchen at the Old Train Station across the street from the Congress Hotel. Among the veggies & fruits you’ll also find locally made tortillas, tamales, baked goods, cheese, coffee, tea, salsa and many other goodies.Open Saturdays, April through October, 8 a.m. to Noon.

Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market at Mercado San Agustin – 100 S. Avenida del Convento. This the last stop on the trolley line and boasts a bakery (try their doughnuts), several shops, a commercial kitchen, some yummy Mexican food and a lovely restaurant, Agustin Kitchen. You’ll find a big selection here too, along with honey, nuts, plants & flowers. Open evening hours, 4-7 p.m. Thurdays. Phone 622-0525, ext 7262.

paprika-65270_640

El Pueblo Farmers Market – El Rio Health center parking lot, 101 W Irvington Rd.Their offerings include eggs, herbs, vegetables and honey. Open Mondays, 3-5 p.m., phone 520-882-3313 for information.

Friday Farmers’ Market at Broadway Village – 2836 E.Broadway. featuring all of the above plus seafood (we don’t know where this might come from but it’s different). Open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers’ Market, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Voted Best of Tucson, 2014 (Tucson Weekly) and for good reason. It’s one of the biggestmarkets in Southwestern Arizona and supports a

diverse group of local farmers. It’s surrounded by an early Tucson shopping area featuring many fabulous shops in a beautiful setting. This one is about eight minutes north on Campbell from Sam Hughes Inn bed & breakfast. Open Saturdays & Sundays, 8 a.m. – Noon.Farmers' Market logo

Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear Cactus Tuna

June in Tucson

June 1st, 2015 by samhughesinn

June in Tucson is, perhaps, the cruelest month. That’s especially true this year because last month was wonderfully mild. When 100 degree temperatures return, Tucson’s residents have to become creative and develop tough skins because they know there will be many, many more days like this one. So, resident or visitor, here are some things to do in June that will help build up endurance for the hot days and nights to follow.

Movies Under the Stars

Three locations are offering evening outdoor movies for people who want to enjoy being outside after sunset.

outdoor theater

Demeester Performance Center

Every other Friday Reid Park’s Demeester Performing Arts Pavillion, 900 S. Randolph Way, is hosting free admission movies. Some bench seats are available but most people prefer to bring a blanket or a folding chair & sit on the grassy hillside. June 19th’s show is Shrek, a favorite with families with children .Food trucks are nearby to satisfy hunger & thirst.

La Placita

Every Thursday evening beginning at about 7:30, Cinema La Placita at 100 S. Church Avenue, presents oldie but goodie movies on its patio. Seats are available at tables scattered around the patio and some bench seating, but to be assured a good seat you can always bring your own. A $3 charge includes popcorn. June 4 will have Private Benjamin starring Goldie Hawn, June 11, A Shot in the Dark with the never to be forgotten, Peter Sellers, and on June 19, King Kong (the 1933 version) and June 25th, Dr. Stranglove (Peter Sellers again). Refreshments are also available at the restaurants of La Placita.

And for a real change of pace in outdoor movies, the next Movie Under the Stars event will be 7:30 p.m. June 26 at East Lawn Palms Cemetery, 5801 E. Grant Road. Movies are projected on an inflatable screen. Watch the newspaper, Tucson.com, for the name of the next production. Bring blanket for seating although some chairs will be set up and concessions will be open. Sounds a little creepy but it’s a Tucson Thing now that the drive-ins are all gone. Seating is on grassy lawn not on grave sites.

Art Center Offerings in June

Zac Harmon Guitar

Zac Harmon Guitar

 

The Sea of Glass Center – Center for the Arts, 330 E. 7th Street, an unusual indoor venue, has scheduled three very different events in June. On June 19th, Zac Harmon (called International Blues Ambassador), with his 4 piece band, presents a concert at 7:3PM. A dinner/concert package is available. Tickets available online at the website and read more about Zac’s blues career beginning in Jackson, MS..

 

Documentary with speaker

One Track Heart Promo

Saturday, June 20 at 7:00 PM, the documentary, “One Track Heart:The Story of Krishna Das”  will follow the speaker, Jivananda dasa Vanacarif of ISKCON, describing the basic philosophies of Hinduism. He has traveled the world lecturing and sharing the word of his favorite guru. The documentary describes the evolution of rock musician turned spiritual leader, Jeffrey Kagel,(Krishna Das) who in 1970 turned his back on rock stardom to pursue a personal search for spiritual fulfillment. Check website for tickets and more information on both men.

 

Dalai LamaAnd on Saturday, June 27, Sea of Glass will showcase the film, The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle For Freedom. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, has lived in exile for most of his life trying to reach a compromise with China.The struggle continues to this day. Again, information and tickets can be found on the website along with a trailer from the film. Tickets purchased in advance are less expensive than day of the show tickets.

And enjoy lovingly prepared, locally sourced & reasonably priced plant based food items at The Food for Ascension Cafe, located next door, before or after these shows..

 

Music Scene

band

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

 

The historic Fox Theatre announces these special events in June all starting at 7:30 PM: June 6, Nitty, Gritty Dirt Band (country/folk), Thursday, June 11, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Americana), Saturday, June 13, Phil Wickham (Christian), and Friday, June 19, Art Garfunkel (super famous singer/songwriter).

Phil Wickham

Phil Wickham

 

Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel

Duo

Fleck & Washburn

Summer in Tucson

May 24th, 2015 by samhughesinn

Summer Sun

Summer in Tucson:

Arizona enjoys more than 300 sunny days a year and in the summer months it’s important to find ways to endure and also enjoy, summer in Tucson. A little creativity is necessary and it’s always good to remember that even though it may be beastly hot outside, it will never prevent you from pursuing activities the way winter in colder climes does. You don’t have to shovel it and you don’t have to scrape it off your windshield and if you’re lucky, summer will only last until mid-October. After that, it’s heavenly here. You just have to find places and things to do that keep you out of the blazing sun during the hottest hours of the day.

Until the middle of May the nights and mornings in Tucson are cool and pleasant. As June, the nastiest month, approaches, night and morning begin to come close to daytime heat, minus the sunshine. Air Conditioning is our salvation, in the house, in the car, in stores & theaters; it’s everywhere you want to be. You just have to figure out how to navigate from air conditioned place to air conditioned place and remember to drink lots of water.

One new reason to spend part of summer in Tucson is the Summer in the City Discount Card. About 130 merchants in the five shopping and entertainment districts are offering discounts up to 50 percent with the card.You can order it online for $5 and there is no limit to the number of times you can use it. Stay at Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast and two people can use the inn’s cards to receive discounts on food & drink, to purchase something special, or take a yoga class. The possibilities for savings are at least 130. Cards are valid through the end of August. Check the website for the list of merchants participating.

COOL PURSUITS:

Mt. LemmonMt. Lemmon Sky Center
has the largest public viewing telescope in the Southwest. They offer nightly presentations by gifted astronomers at an always cool altitude. Check the website or phone 520-626-8122, Mt. Lemmon at any time of day will be considerably cooler than Tucson.

DeGrazia Gallery

DeGrazia Gallery

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun occupies ten acres created and built by late Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia. Multiple cleverly conceived buildings house the huge collection of originals: oils, pastels, metalwork, pottery, ceramics & sculpture all designed by this incredibly talented artist. Some of the interesting creations are outside but you can spend almost all the time indoors in the labyrinth of rooms housing his works. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 520-299-9191.

La Vida Fantastica

Unknown Artist, Kuna Culture

The Tucson Museum of Art at 140 N. Main Ave. in downtown Tucson, is located in the El Presidio Historic Block of early Tucson architecture.. This summer will feature several interesting exhibits. The WPA Connection: Selections from the Modern Art Collection and La Vida Fantastica: Selections from the American Folk Art Collection. Along with its vast permanent collection  you can spend many happy hours in the cool of the museum and grab a bite to eat at their yummy Cafe’ a la C’art. No sweat guaranteed!

Summer 2015 Exhibit

Summer Exhibit Mini Time Museum of Miniatures

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures offers 10,000 square feet of air conditioned wonder as you peek into the fascinating tiny world of hundreds of different miniature art displays. Antique & contemporary miniatures are sure to please young and old. Closed on Mondays so check the website for hours on the other days. 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr., 520-881-0606.

Field, Pima Air & Space

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum has five air cooled hangers featuring commercial, military and civil aviation exhibits. You can also enjoy a toasty tram tour of its 80 acres of famous and not so famous aircraft and/or tour the Boneyard with its hundreds of mummy wrapped aircraft lined up by type. These tours are true examples of a Summer in Tucson experience and are not likely to be cool, so bring a spray bottle of water or a hand fan if you decide to indulge. 520-574-0462

Queen Mine

Queen Mine

 

And if you’re spending a few days of Summer in Tucson and want to venture a little further out, visit the cooler old world town of Bisbee (at an altitude of more than 5500 feet), and its Queen Mine,once a busy working copper mine. The mine is an always chilly 47 degrees so you’ll need a jacket. You’ll ride the mine train deep inside the tunnel while wearing miner’s hats, slickers and lanterns. The tour lasts about an hour & fifteen minutes. Call 866-432-2071 for reservations.

 

Cave interior

Cave stalactites, stalagmites

And for another cool subterranean adventure, don’t miss Kartchner Caverns State Park to witness a still forming, water dripping, perfect cave, undisturbed by man until its discovery in 1974 and featuring awesome stalactites and stalagmites. Great care is taken that nothing harms the interior of this cave so no cameras, or equipment of any kind, purses, backpacks, etc. – all must be tucked into lockers before the tours begin.Reservations are a must so check the website to make online future or same day arrangements. For those wanting to experience the cave the way its discoverers did, Helmet and Headlamp tours are also available but only on Saturdays. Kartchner Caverns Park is located near Benson, AZ, about an hour & a half from Tucson. (520) 586-2283

 

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