This is just as well, since it meant that when ourika called at 8:20, I was awake and about to get in the shower. She wanted to know what I had planned for the day, and whether I needed restaurant recommendations, and was I planning to come to her friend's house that evening? I provided the answers (don't know yet, the list she sent should be plenty, and yes, we would all be there), and she let me go to take my shower.
After showering, I went down to the front desk to get a password for the wireless network. I took a quick look at my email, and was considering calling to make plans, when ourika called. She had some thoughts about what I'd said before, and wanted to talk about what she was doing, and just generally chat. Eventually I got off the phone and called demongrey and museasylum626 to find out what they were up to. While I waited for them to be ready to face the day, guess what happened? That's right, ourika called! At this point, I realized that the bride had been left alone to run errands two days before the wedding. I briefly considered giving up on more interesting pursuits to go be Temporary Substitute Bridesmaid, but self-interest beat out altruism, and I figured that telephone support had been working so far.
DG, MA and I went to breakfast at Waffle House, conveniently located just across an empty lot from our hotel. While eating, we discussed what to do with our day. The only thing I really wanted to do in Tucson was the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, but that sounded like more fun to do the next day with a larger group. MA suggested seeing caverns, but I wasn't wild about the idea and she said that it wouldn't be the end of the world if she didn’t get to do it. DG pointed out that we weren't all that far from Tombstone. This sounded good to all of us. We repaired to the hotel for directions, and determined that if we left right away, we might be in time for the gunfight re-enactment. About halfway there, I finally adjusted to the size and handling of my car, and took advantage of the higher speed limits, so we did arrive in good time.
Tombstone, Arizona, founded in 1879, was a silver mining town and was a bustling population center for less than a decade. When you think of the Old West, with the town surrounded by empty space, and conflicts between the miners, the ranchers, the ordinary townsfolk, and the law, you may well be thinking of Tombstone. Its most famous moment was the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which has been memorialized in song, story and movies, and is said to have been the first gunfight of its type.
Previous Vacation Tie-In: Many of the people who survived the Tombstone's heyday later ended up in Alaska as part of or following the Klondike Gold Rush, including Wyatt Earp.
After a pleasant afternoon of historical tourism, we headed back to Tucson. DG called oidhche to see if they had arrived, and to make tentative dinner plans. Much to my dismay, DG, Boy Most Likely To Randomly Spout German, decided to learn a new trick and instead started to randomly spout Spanish. Ordinarily this would have been more useful, except that at the time we were approaching a checkpoint set up by the Border Patrol! That was not in fact the best time for cultural awareness. However, the conversation had ended and DG restrained himself to being a typical American tourist while they were at our window, so we passed without incident.
oidhche, palingyuan, turtle_morn and N had all arrived and checked in while we were out of town. We went looking for dinner. Our first attempt was from Ourika's list, La Parrilla Suiza. Of course, we weren't thinking, and 6:00 on a Friday night is a hard time to get a table at a good restaurant without reservations. Since that was unsuccessful, we ended up at a Japanese fast food restaurant.
The next stop was the home of Ourika's friend, C. C was kind enough to open her home to a bunch of strangers (the seven of us arriving en masse constituted the bulk of the gathering). There was food, drink, and a great deal of teasing of Ourika, who, understandably, was much more hyper and more easily distracted than usual. There was also a frantic search for the text of Jabberwocky, followed by a dramatic reading.
To be continued...
Coming next installment: palingyuan lovingly describes the levels of pain each species of cactus can inflict.