What is my favorite city? There are so many places that I love. I started thinking about NYC and London where we’ve seen such amazing theatre.
Then standing on the pier and looking at the Sydney Opera House was spectacular. We both stood there grinning and saying, “Can you believe we are here?”
Also, Tallinn. Yes, it seems bizarre, but our day that we spent there was amazing. The tour guide absolutely loved her city and it made the rest of us love it as well.
I could mention LA where we have a ton of memories at Disneyland or San Francisco where we absolutely adore the vibe. And Denver, which is close to where I grew up with the Rockies in the background.
But, I think for favorite city, I have to choose Tucson. Why? It’s been our home for more than two decades and it is a big city that doesn’t feel like one.
There are quirky things that other people hate when they visit. We basically have no freeways. Yes, there is one that runs around the outside of the city, but it is more for truckers and people headed east or west from the area. Commutes are primarily made on surface streets. And if you are a fan of freeways to get around, Tucson isn’t your place. But, I’m not a fan of them.
We don’t have gorgeous fall foliage. Our turning of leaves tends to be about a week long. Things turn yellow and the leaves are just gone. Usually in November when we start getting into the freezing temperatures more consistently at night. We’ll still be getting into the 90s sometimes during the day and freezing at night. Temperature swings of 50 degrees in a day is actually pretty common in the winter here.
Our trees don’t tend to get huge, but instead get wide and shade our yard with a giant canopy. The leaves are tiny to preserve the loss of moisture, but it also means no raking of leaves.
The spring blooms tend to be early–sometimes in February–and they are easily overlooked. The cactus flowers are beautiful, but tiny, or on top of the saguaros where you need to look up to see them.
It gets hot. Really hot. No one goes outside during the middle of the day unless they absolutely have to or are tourists. Really similar to frigid winters in other climates, but it messes with people who expect summer to be the outside season. Winter here is beautiful and it’s why we have so many winter visitors who live here year after year.
We have four mountains ranges surround the city and we are in a valley. We are considered a steppe desert so it’s not sandy. We tend to run 5-10 degrees cooler than Phoenix since we sit at 2500 feet above sea level.
Why do I love it? It’s a quiet beauty here. We have the amenities of a big city, such as theatre and music. The sunsets are among the most beautiful in the world. And, it’s home. It is where we have the small memories that fill out the bigger ones from travel to other places. It’s where Snake and I met, married and plan to make so many more wonderful memories.