Tucson, part 3

January 8, 2015

Well, I’m officially back in the UK now after a long, lovely, (mostly) sunny break in Arizona. It was hard to leave, but always nice to come home to our two little tuxedo cats (one of which is currently lying on my desk as I type).

The last part of our trip was really fun. We went to Bisbee for New Years Eve, experienced a hard frost in the desert (brr) and stuffed ourselves with more food than I thought possible. We also squeezed in a few more hikes and had a couple really warm, sunny days to round everything out.


 secret pools, Tucson secret pools in Tucson

secret pools, Tucson

A couple days after Christmas a few of us hiked to the “secret pools.” My friend Don and Uncle Brian discovered them last Christmas while bushwhacking, and it’s been a favorite spot of ours since then. It’s a tough hike and difficult to find, which makes it even more magical when you do reach the destination. I only wish it was hot enough to swim in!

Tombstone Arizona

We stopped in Tombsone on the way to Bisbee, which is pretty much a must. Sure it’s super touristy, but that’s sort of the charm of the place.

Bisbee Arizona

We arrived at Historic Bisbee on the 30th, and this is the view from our balcony. Bisbee was an old copper mining town and today attracts a mix of artists, musicians, bikers, hipsters, etc. It’s incredibly eclectic, and difficult to describe without being seen.

Bisbee Arizona Bisbee 1000 stair challenge

On New Year’s Eve day we did the Bisbee 1000 challenge – basically you walk 1000 steps that wind all around Bisbee. At an elevation of 5,500 feet this is quite a challenge! It took a total of 6 miles, 3 hours and 2 pit stops for us to complete it. If you ever go to Bisbee, I highly recommend getting a map and walking the stairs – it’s a great way to see the very colorful town and get some exercise along the way.

Bisbee 1000

Here we are halfway through the 1000 stair challenge. It was cold and VERY windy on NYE, but we didn’t let it stop us.

whyld ass cafe in Bisbee whyld ass cafe in Bisbee

Sandwiches from the vegan Whyld Ass cafe in Bisbee.

IMG_1977 IMG_1964

New Year’s Eve in Bisbee at St Elmo’s Bar.

historic Lowell Arizona drive from Bisbee

We had breakfast in historic Lowell just down the road from Bisbee before hitting the long road home to Tucson.

snow in tucson

On New Year’s Day we had snow in the desert! This photo was taken out by my mom’s house by my friend Don. Unfortunately I was driving back from Bisbee this morning, so the snow had melted by the time we got home. We could still see it in the mountains around us though.

vegan sushi at RA vegan sushi at RA

vegan sushi at RA

Vegan sushi, steamed veggies and agedashi tofu with mushrooms from RA in Tucson.

Zemam's Tucson Zemam's Tucson

Ethiopian food from Zemam’s in Tucson. This has long been a favorite spot with my family, and they just opened another location in Tucson (although I’ve yet to try it). The food is shared on one tray and you use extra bread and your hands to eat, so it’s very communal. We had a mixture of different veggies and lentils.

Cashew Cow in Tucson vegan ice cream at the Cashew Cow in Tucson

Vegan ice cream from the newly opened Cashew Cow in Tucson. Andrew had the coconut while I went for the incredibly luscious vanilla raspberry.

Tucson frost

The morning after our deep freeze in the desert.

vegan sofritas burrito from chipotle vegan sofritas burrito from chipotle

Finally got to try the vegan sofritas burrito from Chipotle – it was pretty good! Now if only they’d start serving it in England…

hike in Milagrosa canyon Tucson hike in Milagrosa canyon Tucson

hike in Milagrosa canyon Tucson

Hiking in Milagrosa Canyon, which is my favorite canyon in Tucson. The water was flowing very fast after all the rain and snow we had in Tucson, and we were the only people at the pools.

Tucson sunset Tucson sunset

Enjoying another bonfire and sunset out in the desert at my mom’s house.

vegan Mexican food at El Charro vegan Mexican food at El Charro

vegan Mexican food at El Charro

For our final night in Tucson we went out for Mexican food (are you surprised?) at El Charro. We had tableside guacamole to start while Andrew had vegetable fajitas and I went for the vegan enchiladas which were really tasty. My mom had the vegan quinoa green chili tamales (not pictured), which was probably the winning plate.

vegan Mexican food at Real Food Daily LAX leaving LA

We had a 7 hour layover in LA (yuck), but luckily I found Real Food Daily – a vegan chain restaurant in LA that has a branch at LAX in terminal 4. I went for the LAX bowl which had lettuce, black beans, brown rice, cashew cheese, salsa, guacamole and a cilantro lime dressing. It was really expensive, as airport food is, but was big enough to share or keep as leftovers for the plane.

So that’s it for now. We had an amazing trip back home and already miss our friends, family and the desert. Now it’s time to focus on getting the kitchen finished so I can get back to posting new recipes!

  • Wiley Coyote January 8, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Wow I wish I would have hiked when I was in Arizona last year! The drive out to tombstone was beautiful. Great photos 🙂

    • Leicester Veggie January 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      Arizona has some absolutely fantastic hikes – if you are there again you should definitely do some!