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A Review from Southern Arizona Guide

May 21st, 2016 by Betty Ross

frontswingDesert Dove Bed & Breakfast Inn

Does Southern Arizona Guide recommend Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast? Indeed we do!

Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast Inn

11707 E Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730

(520) 722-6879

We are happy to announce that we found just the right one. I know that if you stay at Desert Dove, you will thank us for this recommendation.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

Desert Dove is located on four acres in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains on the far-east side of Tucson adjacent to our magnificent Saguaro National Park East. In fact, the Inn is so close to the Park, you can easily walk to it. On the other hand, the patio gardens are so beautiful, you might just want to hang out in the backyard and watch for the dozens of bird species that frequent this quiet, restful place: Cardinal, Oriole, Roadrunner, Gila Woodpecker, Pyrrhulaxia, Gambel Quail, Western Kingbird, Phainopepla, Cooper’s Hawk, a variety of Owls, several species of Hummingbirds, and so many more.

Nearby are biking and hiking trails, as well as horseback riding through our Sonoran Desert, the most bio-diverse desert in the world.

This adobe home was built as a B&B and decorated with the innkeepers’ extraordinary array of collectibles and antiques that are on display throughout. I easily could have spent a couple of hours just marveling at this wonderful collection of memorabilia. I am certain there is a story behind every one. I was particularly taken by the ornate 1927 wood burning stove in the kitchen and the 1910 upright piano.

The Inn consists of a parlor, kitchen, great room, utility room, two good-size guestrooms; a covered porch overlooking the extensive gardens, and a hot tub. The starry heavens observed from the warm waters of the spa alone would be worth the stay.

Both guest bedrooms have garden and mountain views; a comfortable queen size bed; private bathroom, desk, radio & CD player, a hair dryer, and soft bathrobes. Each bedroom has it own unique collection of antiques and collectibles. No TV in the guest bedrooms, but there is a flat-screen television in the living room if you need to watch that once-in-a-lifetime sporting event.

Just beyond the guestrooms is the multi-purpose room with microwave, refrigerator, KEURIG coffee maker, laundry and other things you might need at any time of the day or night. The innkeepers begin serving coffee and tea at 7:30 AM. Breakfast is at 8:00 or 8:30 AM. Special “treats” might be served in the late afternoon if you’re good.

The Innkeepers

So, who makes this delightful desert hideaway so special? Harvey and Betty built Desert Dove in 1997. Their son was the architect and they were the general contractor. Harvey’s hobby is restoring classic automobiles, such as his 1929 Model A Ford. He’s currently working on a 1929 Hupmobile. Betty’s hobby is restoring antique dolls and quilts. Many are on display throughout the Inn.

Harvey showed me around the gardens. He is particularly knowledgeable about things that grow in our Desert. And both he and Betty are well-versed in Tucson’s culinary scene and are ready if you need recommendations for lunch or dinner. They are also well-traveled, so if you need assistance deciding what to see and do while in Southern Arizona, they can be most helpful.

Can they arrange for a licensed massage therapist to come to the Inn and relax all your tense muscles and aching joints? Of course. Whatever stress you arrived with will vanish into the desert air.

The Ross’ are a lovely couple: well-educated, articulate, and friendly. As professional innkeepers, they don’t come any better. In addition to admiring the myriad collectibles and antiques that seem to pervade the entire Inn, I could not help notice just how amazingly clean their place is. While Betty told me that she has a system for keeping everything clean, I still imagine a team of merry maids sneaking into the Inn every night just to dust off all the objects on display.

The Breakfast

Betty’s breakfast is one of the finest in Tucson and, in keeping with the Inn’s antique theme, her gourmet morning meals are served on vintage tableware. On any given morning during your stay, you might be served Spinach Egg Nest, Southwest Eggs Fiesta, Baked Blueberry French Toast, Baked Oatmeal, Fresh Baked Scones, Yummy Muffins, Waffle Toast; all of which is accompanied by Homemade Salsa, Organic Jams; Fresh Fruit, Fresh Ground Coffee, Tea and Juice. Do you have special dietary needs, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free: no problema.

When I dined at Desert Dove, I enjoyed a light and fluffy Potato Ranchero Quiche and fresh fruit with sourdough toast and delicious organic jam from one of their neighbors. And then there was this other thingy. It was about the size of a muffin, but was in the shape of a rose blossom. I had never seen anything like it … at least not that was edible. Betty told me that it is an apple rose tart made with puffy pastry and sliced apples. Extraordinary in both taste and presentation!

If you would like Desert Dove recipes, check out the “Recipes” section of their blog.To the extent we found fault with anything, it is that Desert Dove is a bit hard to find. I passed it three times before deciding that one particular driveway had to be it. This is not an oversight on the part of the innkeepers. For reasons that surpass logic, Pima County would not give them a sign permit. Go figure.

We suggest you pay close attention to the very specific directions on their website.

Nightly rates range for $130 to $145 depending on the season. Two-night minimum February and March. Check the website for availability and to make reservations.

Tucson Downtown New Restaurant

April 14th, 2016 by Betty Ross

You may wish to dine at Tucson newest restaurant. Elvira’s downtown!

elviraDowntown Tucson is excited for its new neighbor. Elvira’s Restaurant, a beloved Tubac classic, is opening a second location in downtown Tucson at 256 E. Congress St. on Saturday, April 16.

The upscale Mexican restaurant will open its second location in the former Saint House Island Bistro and Rum Bar at 256 E. Congress St. After about a year of renovations, the restaurant is slated to hold a soft opening April 15.

Elvira’s owner, Rubén Monroy Jr., is moving up to Tucson so he can work the kitchen and front of the house. He plans to keep all of the classic Elvira’s dishes, but will revamp about 30 percent of the menu. Right now, he’s tinkering around with new mole flavors like pine nut, almond and dried fruit.

“We’re gonna play a little bit,” he said. But “you end up giving people what they want.”

Elvia’s

Enjoy a stay at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast. We will serve you a delectable breakfast! We have a wonderful desert garden, you may wish to enjoy the spa under the stars with a glass of wine.

What could be better!

potatoquiche Cacti 1Yard art

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

April 3rd, 2016 by Betty Ross

poppy
Picacho Peak State Park

About 40 miles northwest of Tucson along Interstate 10. Take Exit 219 for the Picacho Peak Road.

Park day use hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: $7 per vehicle

Related Links

Wildflowers are on a blooming binge this week at Picacho Peak State Park northwest of Tucson.

Carpets of dazzling gold poppies play a starring role in the colorful show — but other wildflowers add their own hues to the landscape. Among them: blue lupines, orange globemallow, white desert chicory and bright yellow brittlebush.

“Beautiful!” “Awesome!” “Amazing!”

Trek one of the park’s flower-flanked trails this month, and you’re likely to hear such exclamations again and again from hikers along the way.

“It’s a rare occurrence to see this wonderful poppy bloom at Picacho Peak State Park,” said Sue Black, director of Arizona State Parks.

Aaron Soggs, manager of the park, said, “At Picacho, the rain data is showing just about 12 inches, which is the accumulated total since September of 2014. The last great year of flowers was 1998, when there was 12 inches of rain, and we are seeing the same result now with the abundance of Mexican poppies blooming.

You’ll find some expanses of poppies and other blooms in the desert area encircled by the loop drive. Try lower reaches of the Hunter Trail and the Calloway Trail for additional good wildflower displays.

Tucson Street Fair

March 31st, 2016 by Betty Ross

 

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There are two Street Fairs per year, one in Spring and one in the Winter. The next Street Fair is April 1, 2 and 3, 2016. Hours are 10 am to 6pm (dusk) each day. The Street Fair takes place between Ninth Street and University Blvd. along Fourth Avenue. Click here for a map.Free to the public, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair brings together 400+ arts and crafts booths, 35+ food vendors, 2 Fantastic Stages, street musicians, food, jugglers, street performers, face painting, sidewalk entertainment, the ever so popular Free Kids hands-on-art Pavilion and tons of other fun activities.

This year, we are making it better than ever before with new ways to experience the Street Fair. Get your grub on with U.S. Fries at the U.S. Fries Community stage for their Poutine Pig Out Contest. You can also support your community by donating nonperishable food items to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Bring your food to VIP Taxi who will have a cab parked at 7th St. and 4th Avenue for “Stuff the Cab” every day of the fair. Get around in inexpensive comfort, with our new and exciting mode of transportation! Wildcarts is the new, free “Official People Mover of 4th.” Try them out at Street Fair and hail one down for any of 4th’s future events.

Dinning

A stay at Desert Dove would be a great choice for a place to stay.

The desert is blooming with yellow!

Wildflowers

Saint Patrick’s Day

March 11th, 2016 by Betty Ross

saintpatrickThe wearing of the green is nearly upon us, and so the season of green beer, bagels and milkshakes has begun. While there’s nothing particularly Irish about shamrock-shaped cookies or green-frosted cupcakes, you might be surprised to learn that the traditional St. Paddy’s meal—corned beef and cabbage—is no more authentic. Like many aspects of St. Patrick’s Day, the dish came about when Irish-Americans transformed and reinterpreted a tradition imported from the Emerald Isle.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Dublin but in New York City, in 1762. Over the next 100 years, Irish immigration to the United States exploded. The new wave of immigrants brought their own food traditions, including soda bread and Irish stew. Pork was the preferred meat, since it was cheap in Ireland and ubiquitous on the dinner table. The favored cut was Irish bacon, a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. But in the United States, pork was prohibitively expensive for most newly arrived Irish families, so they began cooking beef—the staple meat in the American diet—instead.

So how did pork and potatoes become corned beef and cabbage? Irish immigrants to America lived alongside other “undesirable” European ethnic groups that often faced discrimination in their new home, including Jews and Italians. Members of the Irish working class in New York City frequented Jewish delis and lunch carts, and it was there that they first tasted corned beef. Cured and cooked much like Irish bacon, it was seen as a tasty and cheaper alternative to pork. And while potatoes were certainly available in the United States, cabbage offered a more cost-effective alternative to cash-strapped Irish families. Cooked in the same pot, the spiced, salty beef flavored the plain cabbage, creating a simple, hearty dish that couldn’t be easier to prepare.

After taking off among New York City’s Irish community, corned beef and cabbage found fans across the country. It was the perfect dish for everyone from harried housewives to busy cooks on trains and in cafeterias—cheap, easy to cook and hard to overcook. It was even served alongside mock turtle coup at President Lincoln’s inauguration dinner in 1862.

Far from being as Irish as a shamrock field, this St. Patrick’s Day classic is as American as apple pie.

Desert Dove will be serving something green for breakfast! Our popular Spinach Egg Nests, and some yummy Irish Soda Bread!

Festival of Books

March 11th, 2016 by Betty Ross

A fun and enjoyable event in Tucson this weekend. Enjoy a stay at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast   to round out a great weekend!

booksThe annual Tucson Festival of Books will be held Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the campus of the University of Arizona. The festival features more than 350 authors and panelists, 250 exhibitors, and opportunities to meet famous authors, poets, writers and journalists. There will be book signings, panel discussions, live entertainment, food vendors, children’s activities, Science City, and dozens of free activities for all ages. Admission is free and both Sun Link and Sun Tran provide stops within a short walk of the festival. Sun Link will be kicking off the Festival of Books with an onboard reading by award winning children’s author, Conrad Storad, on Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m. Storad will begin his reading at the Avenida del Convento stop (across from Mercado San Agustin) and will exit at the University of Arizona to participate in the Festival of Books at the Children’s Storyteller

festival of books

 

Arizona State Museum

March 5th, 2016 by Betty Ross

museumArizona State Museum | The University of Arizona
1013 E University Blvd | PO Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
(520) 626-8381 | 621-2976 FAX
AZ State Museum

Gallery

March 5th, 2016 by Betty Ross

Just one of the Art Gallery’s to visit during your stay at Desert Dove  in Tucson AZ

degrazia

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
6300 N Swan
Tucson, AZ 85718
Phone: (520) 299-9191
Toll Free: (800) 545-2185
(1909-1982)
The son of Italian immigrants, Ettore DeGrazia was born June 14, 1909, in the Morenci mining camp of Territorial Arizona. His early childhood experiences in the ethnically diverse community evolved into a lifelong appreciation of native cultures in the Sonoran Desert and a passion to create art depicting their lives and lore.
After the Phelps Dodge mine closed in 1920, DeGrazia was introduced to his parent’s hometown when they moved their seven children to the Calabria region of Italy. The family returned to Morenci when the mine reopened five years later. Enrolling again in the first grade to relearn English, DeGrazia–nicknamed Ted by a schoolteacher–graduated from Morenci High School when he was 23 years old. By then he was an accomplished trumpeter who performed with family and friends.
After working briefly in the mine, DeGrazia hitched a ride to Tucson with his trumpet and $15 in his pocket. He enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1933, where he supported himself planting trees on campus by day and leading his big band at night. During one performance he met Alexandra, the daughter of Fox Theater owner Nicholas Diamos. Ted and Alexandra wed in 1936 and moved to Bisbee so DeGrazia could manage the Lyric Theater there, also owned by the Diamos family. The couple had three children during this time but divorced in 1946.
DeGrazia and Diego Rivera
DeGrazia and Diego Rivera
DeGrazia continued creating his early paintings in Bisbee and by 1941, Raymond Carlson, editor of Arizona Highways, started publishing features about the artist. On a rare vacation to Mexico City in 1942, DeGrazia and Alexandra left an evening ballet performance and headed to the Palacio Municipal where muralist Diego Rivera was working. This encounter led to an internship with Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. The two Mexican masters then sponsored a solo exhibition of DeGrazia’s paintings at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes.
“Los Niños”
“Los Niños”
After returning to Tucson, DeGrazia found that no gallery was interested in exhibiting his artwork, so he bought an acre of land with $25 down at Prince Road and Campbell Avenue to build his first adobe studio in 1944, and also received a BA in Education from the University of Arizona. The following year he received a BFA, plus a Master of Arts titled “Art and Its Relation to Music in Art Education”.
New York sculptor Marion Sheret met the artist when visiting his Campbell Avenue studio. As she recalled, his first words to her were “Where have you been?” They married in the jungles of Mexico in 1947 and bought the 10-acre foothills site in the early 1950s to build what was to become DeGrazia’s Gallery in the Sun.
DeGrazia’s paintings, ceramics and other artwork steadily attracted media attention including the NBC newsreel “Watch the World” and a profile in the 1953 National Geographic article “From Tucson to Tombstone.” His fame flourished when UNICEF chose his 1957 oil painting “Los Niños” for a 1960 holiday card that sold millions worldwide.
Protest at the Superstition Mountains
Protest at the Superstition Mountains
From 1960 to the mid-1970s DeGrazia became wildly successful and the gallery flourished with hundreds of thousands of yearly visitors. To protest inheritance taxes on works of art, DeGrazia hauled about 100 of his paintings on horseback into the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix and set them ablaze in 1976. This infamous event was reported in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and People magazine, becoming part of DeGrazia’s legend before his death in 1982. By this time, the artist had established the DeGrazia Foundation to ensure the permanent preservation of his art and architecture for future generations.

Wild Flowers and Birds

March 1st, 2016 by Betty Ross

verdinMelody’s Birding Adventure 

So Many Birds, So Little Time

We have great birding here at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast.  Click on Desert Dove to see just a few of our birds. All the pictures were taken on our property.

If you wish a personal birding guide, Melody is the one to call. Take a look at her website. You can call Melody or send her an email to set up the day and time. She will pick you up here at Desert Dove and experience a wonderful birding adventure!

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Arizona Archaeology

March 1st, 2016 by Betty Ross

Saturday, March 12, 2016    11:00 a.m. – 3: 00 p.m., Free

Come get to know your State Museum! In celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month, you’ll have the opportunity to meet curators, visit laboratories, and tour collections areas in the largest and busiest state-run archaeological repository in the nation.

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