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Tuscon Desert Museum May 23, 2009

Filed under: Everything — Jason Olson @ 10:46 am
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arizona-sonora-desert-museum1As posted previously, we took a trip earlier this month to Tucson Arizona for a wedding, and had a chance to stop by the Tucson Desert Museum. It was a blast and it was Mathias’ first trip.It is a bit of a drive out in the middle of know-where through windy mountainsides.

When we arrived, the parking lot was packed. Perhaps because at 96 degrees, it was a cool spring day?!?! After purchasing tickets we headed over to the insect and snake exhibit. We were glad to see that Mathias was a little more comfortable around snakes behind glass. He was a little jumpy at the big ones at our museum back home. There were all sorts of neat insects and there was a cool scorpion in an exhibit where you pressed a button for black light and it glowed — of course, Mathias seemed more interested in the button! Unfortunately most of the indoor pictures didn’t turn out well.

The Cactus can actually be quite beautiful with some blooming with flowers. There are other interesting things about cactus which many people don’t know, and I didn’t bother to write them down. However there are hundreds of species with various client requirements. Their biggest threat is birds who nest inside of them. However too much damage can cause them to dry out from the inside-out. When they do, they dry out and the perimeter of the larger caucuses are these long vertical ribs which run the entire length. They look like 1″ diameter poles. They are used in construction throughout Arizona. They were used for the roof of a shade structure placed at various points throughout the nature walk.

Along the walk we saw a few other animials that Mathias was very interested in:


And then, our of nowhere, Mathias happened upon these strange characters:



Tucson Arizona – Accomidations May 11, 2009

Filed under: Everything — Jason @ 8:08 pm
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Bedroom - King Bed

Bedroom - King Bed

We took a trip out for my wife’s niece’s wedding in Tucson Arizona. Fortunately our timeshare has a resort in Tucson that we were able to stay at, and it was great. The Starr Pass Golf Suites provided an excellent place to call home. And while it was simply a usage of our “timeshare week” so it didn’t cost anything, if you were to “rent” this room, they’ve got some great rates going on for around $108/night, which was less than the “reccomended hotel” for the out of town wedding guests. Comparing your typical hotel room, or studio to a one bedroom suite is hard to do. There was one down side… we were on the other side of town. The “hotel” was about 10 minutes from everything, we were about 30 minutes. But it was beautiful!

The suite itself had a single Bedroom with a king sized tempurpedic bed, a full sized closet and entertainment center. Adjacent was a large master bathroom with dual vanity, separate bath and shower – both oversized.

Living Room with Fireplace and Balcony

Living Room with Fireplace and Balcony

On to the living room/main room, was an entertainment center with a plasma TV, fireplace, hide-a-way couch, small eating area and patio. My father-in-law slept in the pull-out bed, along with Mathias. It is also the room your enter into from the front door. Opposite of this picture is the kitchen, complete with breakfast bar, internet connection and FULL kitchen with pots, pans, diswasher, full stove/oven, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker. Oh and let’s not forget the complete washer/dryer unit.

I cannot tell you how much money we save each time by using the full kitchen. The first day we arrived, I stopped by a local safeway, and picked up a great deal of food: eggs, pancake batter, orange juice, milk, cold cereal, bananas, bacon, hash browns, oil, butter, syrup and a few other things. The total cost of everything was about $36 – probably the cost for us to all go out for a single breakfast – and this kept us well fed every morning for five days.

Full sized kitchen

Full sized kitchen

The unit itself was consider a castinata (?) which was like a individual condo unit. Shell has a history of converting condo units into timeshare and that is my guess here. I think these units were really a two bedroom condo, which was converted into a one-bedroom-suite and a single hotel-like studio. There is a door which adjoins unit “A” and “B” of each individual structure. And the “B” unit is significantly smaller with no balcony, and I believe just a kitchenette.

These units are absolutely the way to vacation!


Tuscon Desert Museum May 5, 2009

Filed under: Everything — Jason Olson @ 9:39 pm
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arizona-sonora-desert-museum1We were in Tucson this weekend visiting family for a Wedding – more on this and pictures later. But during our trip we had a chance to bring our son to the Desert Museum. It was a short drive from our timeshare at Starr Pass Resort. These pictures are from their offical website, but I’ll post real pictures from our trip when Jaimie returns home with our digital camera.

We had a great time and Mathias loved seeing all of the animals. He was also spending a lot of good time with Grandpa when he wasn’t sharing my soft-serve ice cream.