New Spas at Hacienda

February 24th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Two new Jacuzzi jetted hydrotherapy spas have just been installed at Hacienda del Desierto to replace the old ones.  One is private to the Casita, the other is used by the three other guest rooms.  Guests love to sit in them at night to stargaze and work off those sore muscles from hiking.  These have mini-waterfalls and colored lights for dazzling effects, but more importantly, they are more energy efficient and well insulated.  The palm trees and palo verde tree shadows are reflected in the water.

New Hydrotherapy Spa

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

February 10th, 2012 by tucsonbb

5 oz bittersweet (60-70%)  chocolate, coarsely chopped

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Dash ground red pepper

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup slivered almonds

cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave at high 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth.  Cool to room temperature.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); stir with a whisk.

Combine sugar and butter in large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes).  Add egg; beat well.  Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat just until blended.  Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Add almonds and stir.  Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until almost set.  Remove from oven.  Cool on pans 2 minutes or until set.  Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.



Arizona Centennial Quilt Exhibit

January 31st, 2012 by tucsonbb

Oleander 9 PatchContemporary quilt makers throughout Arizona have created original quilts for the Arizona Centennial exhibit.  The opening is Saturday, February 18th at the Arizona History Museum, 949 E. 2nd St., Tucson, AZ.  Creative works of art in fabric display the landscapes, cultures, historical places and events unique to Arizona.  “100 Years – 100 Quilts” is a collaborative project between the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona Centennial Quilt Project.  The result is a visually stunning collection of art and history.  The exhibition runs through December 31, 2012 and the Official Centennial Commemorative Quilt will be on display through March 3, 2012.

While there, take the time to see the wonderful exhibits in the rest of the museum which visualize and explain the history of Arizona.  There is even a section of the museum developed especially for children with hands-on activities.

Professional Theater; Gorgeous Venue

January 15th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Buildings around downtown TucsonTop quality theater, Arizona Theater Company, is located in one of the most beautiful Spanish Colonial style buildings in Tucson. The Temple of Music and Art, located in historic downtown Tucson, is a refurbished 1927 theatre, in a style that flavors so much of our city. Its graceful courtyard is a wonderful place to gather before or after the show. Before and after a show, theater goes can also enjoy art exhibits in an upstairs gallery. For an extra treat, enjoy light fare, sweet treats and refreshing drinks at The Temple Lounge facing the courtyard. Inside, the intimate 627-seat theatre ensures a great view from every location – no seat is more than 66 feet from the stage.

Playing now through February 4 is “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps” adapted from the novel by John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s movie.  February 25th starts “The Great Gatsby”.  Look for great theater as a visitor to Tucson.

Buildings around downtown Tucson

Barbershop Singing Event Close

January 9th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Barbershop Quartet Minus One

As part of the Tucson International Midwinter Barbershop Convention, the Arizona Centennial Tucson Chapter Show will be held January 19th at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall.  Tickets for the combination dinner & show are $50 and show only tickets are $20.  Some of the performers will be the Tucson Barbershop Experience Chorus, the Spirit of Phoenix Chorus, and the Tucson & Phoenix quartet.   Some of the past years’ winners will also perform.  This sounds like a must-see for those of who love barbershop singing.  For more information, go to the website listed above.

Sandhill Cranes Due

December 29th, 2011 by tucsonbb

A Siege of Cranes

Birders come in droves to Southern Arizona to see the Sandhill Cranes during the month of January.  They are visible by the hundreds or thousands in areas near Willcox during this next month.  Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival celebrates all things avian from January 12-15.  There is a free nature exposition, a variety of free seminars, tours of scenic landscapes and historic sites, Sandhill Crane and Raptor watching spots, and a banquet featuring the Editor of Birding Magazine.  For additional details, go to the website Wings Over Willcox.  We encourage birding guests at the Hacienda to participate in the festival.


Dolly Steamboat Cruise

December 5th, 2011 by tucsonbb

Dolly Steamboat, Canyon Lake

We at Hacienda del Desierto just returned from a tour that included the experience of cruising beautiful Canyon Lake on the Dolly Steamboat in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, just northeast of Phoenix.  The  captain was knowledgeable about the area and pointed out bighorn sheep right next to the lake and eagles up on the cliffs.  For 1 1/2 hours he pointed out the wildlife and geology of the lake area.  The Dolly steamboat provides protection from the sun or rain but also allows guests to walk outside on the open deck to experience the breezes and a better view of wildlife.  We like to point out to our guests what Arizona has to offer not only in Southern Arizona but in other parts of our state.  We’ve lived in Arizona since the early 50’s and never taken advantage of this lovely boating experience and will recommend it often.

Located on the historic Apache Trail (Highway 88) not far from Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona. Nature Cruises, Twilight Dinner Cruises and Astronomy Cruises are available year round.


New Baby This Week

November 28th, 2011 by tucsonbb

Baby Javelina with Mom

Guests at the Hacienda are always intrigued by the javelina herd that come every day to our property.  The herd maintains a size of between 15-18, and this week a new baby was added.  Usually twins are born, but sometimes a new baby is too weak or gets pneumonia and dies.  The entire herd protects any new babies from danger, so we must keep a safe distance at that time.  Last week one of the herd came right up to our back door and stood there, not allowing us to leave.  We didn’t understand why until we looked further out in the yard and saw the new baby.  We don’t know why this week we have only one baby, but he is a real cutie.  The javelina are particularly drawn to the area around our bird feeders because the birds are messy and seeds drop to the ground where the javelina can easily munch.  Another favorite are Palo Verde tree or Mesquite tree seeds that drop to the ground.  When they chew on the seeds, it sounds like the javelina are chewing on gravel.

Artists in the Courtyard

November 15th, 2011 by tucsonbb

Save the date!  Saturday November 19th, 11-3 in the La Cocina Garden Courtyard, 201 N. Court Ave.  Three demonstrations will be given by local Tucson Artists: Pottery by Catherine Orrantia, water colorist Jeff Mott, and custom beadwork by Carlos Levya.

Entrance to Old Town Artisans

La Cocina will also be selling fresh flour tortillas made on their grill and will have special menu items on their Garden Restaurant menu.  After enjoying the art, take a look at the many unique shops in the complex, one of the oldest buildings in the city of Tucson.

Tucson Professional Ballet

November 6th, 2011 by tucsonbb

Those visiting Tucson as well as residents may not realize there is a wonderful local professional ballet company,  Ballet Tucson.  This weekend we attended a performance of three ballets which showcased not only the talents of the resident professionals but also the teen ballet group in training and the Children’s Ensemble.  Not only is the choreography  well done, often by the director with or by one of her artistic associates, the artistry is outstanding as well.

After attending the San Francisco Ballet last spring and sitting in the far reaches of the balcony where we had to use binoculars, it was a pleasure to be able to sit close to the dancers at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater on the U of A campus.  The prices of performances is also more affordable than the large cities.  We salute Many Beth Cabana, the founding artistic director, for establishing and nourishing such a special dance company.

They will also perform three more times this year.  “The Nutcracker” in December, Dance & Dessert XV this winter, and Cinderella in the spring.  Well known restaurants in Tucson serve to-die-for desserts during intermission at the Dance & Dessert evening so get your tickets early as this is a popular event.