Roda’s Critter Connection, Winter Edition!


I really lucked into this one! I was sitting in our front room and this roadrunner hopped up on the wall in the back yard. He ran along the top and hung out just long enough for me to grab a picture.

It has been cold, by Tucson standards, and we have not seen a whole lot of critters, so this was a gift!

Have a great week everyone πŸ™‚

Eating and Drinking our way through the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Savor Tucson!


We are still getting familiar with all the cool happenings that Tucson has to offer. One that came up on our radar was the Savor Southern Tucson Food and Wine Festival Β for charity, which was held last Saturday.

We really had no idea what we were getting into, it just looked like a lot of fun, food and a beautiful setting, as it was held at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. We have been to the gardens before and knew it was spectacular.

So we called UBER and set out on a fabulous 77Β°F day for four hours of indulgence! When the guests first arrived, we were all given complementary wine glasses, always a good sign.

There is no way to cover all that we experienced, so I am going to highlight our favs. The categories are: Bread, Sweets, Savory and Spirits!

Our first winner was Beyond Bread which is pictured above. In addition to showcasing bread letters, which were huge by the way, they sampled their creole shrimp salad and King Cake, in honor of Mardi Gras.


The creole shrimp salad was good, but look at that perfect baguette!

Toward the end of the day, I went back and sampled the King Cake and it was tasty too.

Moving right along, we went into Nothing Bundt Cakes. We may have made a technical error here! While we were tempted, we decided we should eat something closer to a lunch meal before indulging. Turns out we missed some rather impressive flavors, as others told us later.




We did loop back toward the end and we each sampled a different flavor, and wow! Not only are the cakes fantastic, but that butter cream cheese frosting was to die for!! I will have to find this store soon!

True to our first mantra of “eat lunch first” we hit a couple other stands. All the while, remember we are sipping libations! Wine, Moscow mules, margaritas and sangria for me. Any beer, whiskey and red wine for the hubby!

The Omni Chef from The Omni Tucson National Resort was our next stop. The line was longer, which we took to be sign of great things to come. We were right!


Their beef tenderloin with roasted red pepper coulis crostini. I could have had 20 of these!


This is their layered flan, several different layers. I don’t remember all of them but there is one with mint and strawberry and topped with chocolate pearls. I had two of these πŸ™‚

They were delicious but small bites, so we needed to keep going to get our $75 dollars worth! It does get a little murky from here, so I don’t remember all the restaurants as I have now found the sangria stand! But I can tell you that all of this was delicious.

Top left; barbecue goat with spicy red pepper slaw, top right; the best barbecue pork ever! middle right: Frederico, that is what the server called him! Bottom image: a little cannoli that was really good! I say that with surprise because I am not usually a cannoli fan. I think the fact that it was just two bites and not a ton of cream filling was a huge plus for me.

We are now about 2 hours into the event and getting full! We decided to actually look around at the Botanical displays, and chat with people at the event.









A portion of the herb garden


As we were taking in the sights, we stumbled (me, literally) into the Spirits section. My hubby tasted a lot whiskey! And, we both went for the Tequila experience.


3 Amigos Tequila had three offerings complete with pairings! I have no idea which I had, but all three were awesome πŸ™‚

We decided to take a seat and do some people watching while the glow of my tequila experience wore off! Along the way, I found another special dessert.


This was a deconstructed lemon bar. Shortbread crumbs on the bottom, lemon curd filling and lime caviar made through a molecular gastronomy process. The chef showed me how it was done and the equipment used, which was fun for this molecular biologist.

It was gooood, and I wanted another, but he ran out well before the event ended! I am Β not surprised.

We continued to look for a seat and took a few photos along the way.

Lots of people watching and fun conversations! Everyone was pretty chatty at this point.







Several people we met told us that this is the best food and wine event in Tucson, I think it will be hard to beat. The food, the people and the weather were all perfect!


We were also told it would take 3 to 4 hours to recover from this event. Um, ya, that was about right for me!

Who wants to go with us next year?! πŸ™‚


Sunday’s Best Linkup: Love is in the Air – A Mama Tale

Good Sunday morning everyone! My blog is also carried on Bloglovin’ where I have a very small following, but a couple bloggers are doing a fun link up in honor of Valentine’s Day so I thought I would share it with you here.

Many of you are extremely creative and I wanted to give you a chance to meet these other crafty, creative and impressive bloggers! I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚


Source: Sunday’s Best Linkup: Love is in the Air – A Mama Tale

Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge, Winter Edition!

Another Monday, another critter! I was lucky enough to catch this desert toad while we were hiking Saturday. Well, I didn’t have to try too hard, he is in a terrarium!

There was a children’s animal program at Catalina State Park, near the trail head. They brought in quite a few critters that are commonly found in the desert here, near Tucson. It was a warm day and the animals were quite active inside their enclosures, but these two toads appeared kinda bored with the whole deal! Check out his fingers!

The feature image is where we ended up at the top of the hike. It’s a beautiful park πŸ™‚


I hope I can find an interesting critter for next week πŸ™‚

Roda’s Critter Connection, Winter Edition


So I had to go all the way to Mexico to find a winter critter worthy of Roda’s Challenge! Well, perhaps I am exaggerating just a bit. But this little leaf guy really was quite friendly and hung out at our host home all day.



Roda’s Critter Connection, Winter Edition!

It is Christmas Day and Monday, so I needed a special critter for the occasion! My son and I were heading out to go for a hike on Christmas Eve, when a pack (or herd, or squadron) of Javelinas came through our yard.


They had a couple babies in the group and I would have loved to have captured those too, but they are faster than they seem!

Merry Christmas!!

Roda’s Critter Connection, Fall Edition

Now that I have returned to Tucson, Arizona I have been able to locate some critters again! The weather in Redmond, Washington is too cold, wet and dark for most animals to be running around but here in Tucson, I am having better luck!

Our son is done with his fall semester and he has not seen our new home here in Tucson yet. So he and I are setting out to do some rock climbing over the Christmas holiday, but our first stop was a quick hike in Sabino Canyon.

We happened across this road runner, who was stalking something and ran out in front of us.


He was moving fast, and this was the best of the two shots I got before he disappeared!

We are heading to Sheepshead to climb Ewphoria and I hope to see some more critters πŸ™‚