Piazzale Michelangelo

February 11, 2015

A Rad Reunion

September 27, 2011

Exploring the valley of gold

June 13, 2016

  It’s easy to notice the natural charms that frame Oro Valley—the towering, rocky majesty of Pusch Ridge to the east impresses me first; the lush green swath cut through the desert by the Cañada del Oro wash impresses me next. Over a weekend, the rest of the town blows me away. Hiking, golfing and cycling top the column of physical activities in this Sonoran …

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A day in Ambos Nogales

June 9, 2016

The phrase Ambos Nogales, which refers to “both Nogales,” captures the idea of looking past the fence and seeing one community—one city that happens to span two countries, rather than twin cities of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora. An hour south of Tucson on Interstate 19, Nogales, Arizona, is a mix of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures and the seat of Santa Cruz County, …

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In Tucson, Mt. Lemmon Is the Go-To for Outdoor Adventures

June 7, 2016

It’s called Babad Do’ag in Tohono O’odham native language and often referred to as part of the Sky Islands, but whatever the name, Mount Lemmon and its surroundings are a paradise of outdoor adventures. In summer, winter, spring and fall, the mountain hosts hikers, backpackers, skiers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts looking for mountain air and gorgeous vistas. Towering over the northeast edge of Tucson, Mount …

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A day in Tubac

February 1, 2016

Art and history are intertwined in this colorful and rich village along the banks of the Santa Cruz River.   In an idyllic natural setting just 45 minutes south of Tucson by car, this bustling, if small, artists’ colony was the state’s original colonial garrison, the Spanish crown’s sole outpost in the region for more than 20 years before the Tucson presidio was built. Today, …

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January

January 30, 2016

January is a long month. The winter slows everything and whether it’s sniffles or something severe, everybody’s health stumbles a bit. I can’t hide in books and movies, as much as I’ve tried. There needs to be friends; there needs to be the General and Freaktown. There’s basketball, and football playoffs, but they’re frantic, fleeting matches. There’s not the steady march of summer’s sentinel, the …

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The Galvy Awards: 2015 in Review

December 31, 2015

Welcome to the inaugural Galvy Awards, my anything-goes, tongue-in-cheek, arbitrary, passionate yet thoroughly irreverent celebration of the best places, events, excursions and sundry moments I enjoyed this past year. I’ve had it in my mind to do something like this for the last several years, with much of my personal writing based on favorites throughout the year. I’d even go so far as to dream …

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The feeling of being in motion again…

June 1, 2015

“The feeling of being in motion again, it’s the most extraordinary thing in the world.” I’m not even out of Tucson yet when this song lyric jumps into my head. From The Mountain Goats’ Zopilote Machine, “Going to Georgia” isn’t a song that fits with the moment overall (though it’s an absolutely amazing song). But the phrase “being in motion again” is exactly what I …

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In Mallorca with Peter Nichols’ The Rocks

May 29, 2015

Setting a novel on a Mediterranean island is an easy to way to attract the attention of travelers. Peter Nichols, a sailor himself, makes the most of the Mediterranean island setting in The Rocks. Mallorca comes alive in his prose as a place where people “can leave the world outside.” The olive and lemon groves, the bougainvillea, the sunshine, the sea, even the changes in the air …

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Piazzale Michelangelo

February 11, 2015

For my solo day in Florence, I hiked straight to the city’s best observation point. Across the river, through the winding streets and up, up the hill, the Piazzale Michelangelo is magnificent. On a sunny day in February, the city shone, a hint of snowcaps in the distance and what I’m sure were greatly reduced crowds staring out into the stiff winds. Like Monmartre in Paris, or Alamo …

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