Love Where You Live | Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

May 31, 2014

Way back at the beginning of March, Sunshine had Spring Break and we decided we wanted to do something fun as a family, instead of sitting around the house the entire week. We actually tried to do something fun each day of Spring Break, and Monday's activity was a day trip to Tucson to visit the Sonora Desert Museum.

First thing Monday morning, we picked up Bruce Wayne's grandma and headed south to Tucson. It was a really pretty (for the desert!) drive, with one of the highlights being when we spotted a crop duster at work. The wee ones were so excited thinking they had just seen the real Dusty Crophopper from the movie Planes. Eventually, we rolled into the parking lot of the Sonora Desert Museum and our adventure began.

I wasn't sure what to expect of the museum, but within minutes of walking in, we knew it was going to be a hit with the whole family. Along with the 2 miles of walking paths that take you through 21 acres of beautiful plants and trees, there were also animal exhibits, an art gallery, a few gift shops, a small aquarium, several restaurants (the one we ate at was very tasty) and a fantastic bird show. We spent a good 6.5 hours exploring the grounds and never once felt bored. Bruce and I especially enjoyed the chance to see the variety of plants that can handle the harsh desert conditions as we are in the process of adding some curb appeal to our house in the form of flowers and shrubs.

Our first stop for the day was the hummingbird house. We got to see lots of hummingbirds up close, including some mamas who were sitting on nests. The nests were tiny and the eggs inside of them were itty-bitty. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for the girls. They still talk about the hummingbirds often, three months later.

After the hummingbird house, we headed to the bird show where we watched some amazing birds in action. I especially loved the owl.

We played on the statues near the tortoise exhibit then spent a good amount of time watching the big horn sheep walk up and down a steep incline and we could hardly pull ourselves away from the otter who was putting on a real show for my wee ones as they stood with their faces pressed against the glass of his underwater viewing area.

But hands down, our favourite part of the entire visit was the mountain lion. We originally started our visit to the mountain lion by standing down by the fenced area of his enclosure. We couldn't see him, so one of the volunteers pointed out a smaller viewing area near the top of his enclosure where he liked to hang out and she made a comment about how he was known to hang out there, especially when small children were around.

We headed to his viewing area and sure enough, there he was. We stood around watching him for some time and the girls were being silly, hoping they would catch his eye and he would move around a bit. He just lay there looking at us all and Man Cub finally decided he was bored. He ran from the viewing area to the bench where Bruce's grandmother was sitting and the cat jumped to his feet and ran to the glass to watch where Man Cub was off to. Bruce went to get Man Cub and then proceeded to help Man Cub play hide and seek with the mountain lion, which really riled the cat up. He was all over the place trying to find Man Cub and at several times, he jumped right up against the glass, so he and Man Cub were nose to nose. The girls were going crazy watching this. They thought it was the best thing ever to see the mountain lion going nuts over their brother. I hope the cat got a good meal later in the day, after all of our teasing!

We snapped a couple photos of the kiddos then ended our trip to Tucson with a stop at Eegee's... a restaurant I had heard so many people rave about. I wasn't impressed. I thought the food was severely lacking and their signature treat- an Eegee (some kind of slushy type desert) wasn't anything to get excited about. Bruce and the girls, however, were in absolute heaven as they enjoyed their Eegee's fare. Just goes to show who in our family are true Arizonans and who is the outsider. Ü

We had such a blast at the Sonora Desert Museum and cannot wait to go again. We actually bought season passes when we were there, as it ended up being cheaper than buying us each a ticket to get in for the day, so we are planning to make another trip that way in the near future... you know, once the heat is gone and it is bearable to be outdoors once again!

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