The Driver Suit Blog-Traveling to Tucson in 2017

2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-12By David G. Firestone

My annual Tucson trip is now just a memory. It was nice to get out of Chicago for a week, and be able to spend time in warm weather with my family. Every year I try to find some interesting things to do, and this year I had a few good ones, and a special project, but more on that later.

I have a hard core and deep seated fear of flying, so I take Amtrak from Chicago to Tucson and back. I take the Texas Eagle, which takes three days. Here is a video I made of the trip down there. You see a lot of the country over three days.

We have a five hour layover in San Antonio, Texas, and I decided to kill some time and have dinner. I found a Whataburger, and tried it, and I thought it was really good.

I also tried a “Homestyle Quarter Pounder” whch is a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder which is, to my knowledge, exclusive to Texas. It’s a Quarter Pounder with, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles “homestyle burger sauce.” It was also really good.

While I was on the final leg of the trip, I watched The Super Bowl on my phone, using the Verizon NFL app, and I’ll have more to say about that next Monday.

Once I got to my parent’s condo, I spent Monday puttering around. I needed to get my sleep patterns back to normal. I had a quiet day, aside from going to Brushfire for dinner. Tucson has some great barbecue, and Brushfire is my favorite place in Tucson for barbecue. Their fried pork bellies RULE!

Tuesday was spent checking out sports card stores in Tucson. I ended up buying a Lenny Moore signed jersey,moore-1 moore-2 and a Derrick Rose game used swatch card.rose-1 rose-2 I then went to Sentinel Peak Brewing Company, and tried some samples.

I then tried the “Overhaul Spicy Chili Beer” which is made with six chili peppers, roasted Jalapeno, Habanero, Serrano, Annaheim, Poblano, and Ghost Chilies. It was not great.

That night, we went back to El Corral, and, as always, the food was great.

Thursday was one of my two big things I had planned for the trip. My family and I went to the 63rd Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, which is in the Tucson Convention Center. There was a lot of interesting stuff there.2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-1 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-16 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-17 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-10 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-13 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-5 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-6 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-7 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-4 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-3 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-12 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-15 2017-2-9-tucson-gem-show-8I’m not as interested in the gems themselves, but the mining aspect interests me. I wound up buying a check from the Bodie Bank, which was in the mining boom town of Bodie California. I also got some other stuff, including:img_1583a small vial of diamond cut quartz,quartz-1 quartz-2some gold leaf in a container with water,goldleaf-1 goldleaf-2a sample of the bluestone used to make Stonehenge,stonehengeand a .07 gram gold nugget.goldnugget-1 goldnugget-2That night, we went to Ha Long Bay, and I had Vietnamese food for the first time. If you haven’t had pho yet, I would suggest you get some, it’s really good.2017-2-9-phoFriday was more or less spent getting ready for the train ride back home, and for dinner we went to Rigo’s Mexican Restaurant. The buffet is great there, and the prices are good too!

Then on Saturday, I got back on the Texas Eagle and headed home. I had fun, and I am looking forward to coming back next year. You may have noticed, I left Wednesday out. Well that was intentional, because on Wednesday, I worked on a project, which I will discuss next week.

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