It’s Wednesday afternoon. We drove from Yuma to San Diego earlier today. We’re currently in our exceedingly lovely hotel room with the sliders open to a sunny patio, a paved walkway, followed by sandy beach. I do not want to move from this spot, but unfortunately staying here indefinitely is not an option. We’re on a book tour after all. Bill is dozing over his iPad, and Bella is zonked out on the bed. Have I mentioned that doing book tours is hard on man and beast alike?
It’s not often you get a few hours off on a tour, and so we’re all really relishing this mini-vacation, because it turns out to be the second one this week. On Monday, after the noon-time Sierra Vista signing, we took our granddaughter and her fiancé over to Bisbee for a “hit the high spots” tour. We went to Santiago’s at the bottom of Brewery Gulch for lunch.
My chile relleno was TERRIFIC!! (By the way, for those of you who are outlanders in the American Southwest, the proper pronunciation of Chile Relleno is CHILL-EE RE-EE-NO. If you say CHILE RE-LAN-NO—that’s a good way to get run out of Dodge. Ditto for Fajitas. That’s pronounced FAH HEE TAS. And do not ever call Tacos —TAY-KOES— or Enchiladas — EN-CHEE-LADES. The first time you come to Arizona to visit, you will thank me for this handy pronunciation guide to Arizona foodstuffs.
Geographic names can also cause difficulties. Gila Bend is pronounced HEE-LAH BEND. The Huachuca Mountains are the WAH-CHOO-KAZ. And the mountains on the far side of the Sulphur Springs Valley, the Chiricahuas, are pronounced the CHEER-EH-KOW-AZ.
Wait, I’m off topic here. Thinking about the food at Santiago’s sent me into a spasm. What I really wanted to talk about was going back to Bisbee on our mini-vacation.
As we walked into the restaurant, I saw that one of the Lavender Jeep Tour vehicles was parked half a block away in front of the Copper Queen Hotel. When people write to me asking about what to do when they visit Bisbee, I often mention the jeep tour, but I hadn’t ever been on it. That changed during the late afternoon hours on Monday.
I loved seeing the town through the eyes of someone who no longer lives there—noting familiar and some unfamiliar places. Believe it or not, there are some streets in Old Bisbee on which I had never before ventured. But it was also fun seeing it through the eyes of people who had never been there before. I had initially envisioned Bill doing the driving and me doing the talking. Instead, we had someone else driving with me chiming in here and there with the tour-guidey stuff. (Spell-checker is NOT going to like the word guidey!)
So if your going to Bisbee to visit, don’t write to me for advice: Do the following: Book the Lavender Jeep Tour. That’s a must. If you’re staying overnight, the Copper Queen Hotel is a good bet. For a fine dining evening experience, try Cafe Roka—but check their hours first. They’re not open every evening. And for great Mexican food, definitely Santiago’s.
You can tell them all that I sent you.