I moved away from Tucson 20 years ago. I was born, raised and went to college there, so it was my life’s goal to leave. But as an adult, I’ve grown to love it. Instead of hating the cactus, the sun, the long, lonely roads to nowhere now I can see the beauty in the open desert.I hadn’t been back to Tucson since the Christmas after my uncle passed away two years ago. So a week before Christmas, my husband and I piled the kids in the car and headed to Tucson. This year, we were fortunate that Ford Español offered to loan us a 2016 Ford Edge for the trip. Other than the treacherous ride back, which I’ll get to later, the weather was perfect and the scenery, gorgeous.
We stopped in San Diego at the beginning of the trip and took Interstate 8 from San Diego. I know that the desert sunset was probably beautiful anywhere in Arizona that day, but it was exceptionally beautiful in Yuma.
We moved around a lot while we were in town. We stayed at the Omni Tucson National (which was a lovely golf resort – nice room, beautiful pool, amazing views – that we got a great deal on), and with friends and family. One of my friends lives near Sabino Canyon in the Coronado National Forest.
We went on a short hike on the Sabino Canyon Trail and found the Sabino Canyon Dam. We do a lot of hiking in Los Angeles and it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen water. The kids had a great time climbing the rocks.
After our hike we drove over to Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch where my husband and I were married 13 years ago. It’s a charming resort hotel built in 1929 as a girls school. It was converted to a guest ranch in the late 40s and became famous as the spot where Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy would go to have their secret affair. Now, it has an award-winning restaurant, lovely rooms, and beautiful scenery.
On Christmas Eve, we stayed at my brothers house out in Oro Valley on the North Side of Tucson. We gathered up all of the kids and went on a hike in Catalina State Park. The kids, who ranged in ages 8 to 15, did not want to go and complained until about a half hour into the hike and then it was delightful.
Honestly, it was hard to take a bad picture anywhere near the mountains. The sky was so pretty and the air clear and clean. After the hike, we went to In-N-Out and the picture below was the view from our table inside the restaurant.
On Christmas Day, we drove out to Rio Rico, which is between near Nogales, to see more family. It was gorgeous.
As you can see, we did a lot of driving the week that we had the Ford Edge and the car was great. It got about 22 miles per gallon and handled well on the highway and in the city. We really put the car to the test on the way home from Tucson, though. We ran into an epic windstorm on Interstate 10. The dust was so thick that at one point we couldn’t see beyond the car in front of us.
I could feel the wind blowing the car, but I didn’t feel at any point that it would blow us off of the highway. The Edge did extremely well under the conditions and I was grateful that we were in such a sturdy car.
It was not only a great driving car, but a very useful one for our trip. We packed the Edge full of stuff – two adults, two kids, presents, luggage, sleeping bags, blankets – and it was comfortable the entire time. Driving for 8 hours can be hard on my back, but once I adjusted the lumbar support, I was in heaven. Plus the Edge was beautiful inside and out.
Once we were back in Los Angeles, I had to get back to reality and clean out the car and go to the grocery store. The Edge is roomy, but not too big. It easily fit into a small Los Angeles parking space and had plenty of room for all of my groceries in the spacious cargo area. We all loved the Edge.
And we loved our time in Tucson. Hopefully it won’t take another two years for us to go back.
Disclosure: I was loaned the Ford Edge for a week for review purposes. All opinions (and photos) are my own.