16 December 2011

Postcard from Arizona- 6

15 December 2011

Christmas is getting close. I can tell cuz the Christmas lights have already fallen down 2 times and the big bow on the front has fallen 3 times. Made us feel pretty festive. So when friends Mike & Susan invited us to go with them to see the Christmas lights in Tucson we jumped on the opportunity.

It's pretty easy to do. There's a street in Winterhaven area of Tucson named Christmas Ave. Property owners there go all out decorating their yards, trees, houses, cars or anything else that stays put for a few hours in the evening. I guess when you live on a street with a name like that you have no choice. Even those in the neighborhood who don't celebrate Christmas join in. Like the house with the makeshift minora made from plastic pipe; and another with a giant dreidel.

Mike did his homework and got us there quickly: I-10 to Exit 255. N on Miracle Mile (past the NoTell Motel... seriously!) to Oracle, 2 blocks left to Ft. Lowell, then down Ft Lowell to Christmas Ave. He even found a map of the neighborhood that showed the proper route to drive through the neighborhood. It needs to be organized cuz there are a lot of cars! Tucson police control all vehicle access and each of the entry points is lighted with emergency lighting. There are only 3 nights when cars are permitted into the area, otherwise you have to make it by foot. There's an entry fee: as many canned goods as you can afford. The only problem I saw is that pedestrians are permitted onto the same streets as the cars, so it can get a little scarey and we needed to stay alert.

Trying to get photos turned out to be a challenge... night shots from a moving car are if-y at best. So, if you'll pardon the fuzziness, here's our memory shots:

Straight from an animated movie...

Dunno how I managed this one!

LOTS of cars!

Not sure... an Arizona igloo?

Anybody wanna play Angry Birds?!

Not terribly inventive, but it was better lit than a shopping mall.

Even this Jeep got a layer of lights!

Mike looking pretty grim: "Where's the bathroom?!"

Yep... a dreidel

Traditional southwestern motif

Couldn't miss this with lights banging on/off.


  1. great pix -- great commentaries!

  2. Thanks Becky. But it wasn't as easy as it was when we used film. With all the automation on cameras these days you'd think it would be a snap to take a photo of a string of lights... what a pain! An internet acquaintance who is an exceptional photographer [ http://dezsantana.com/ ] even discovered his newest camera failed to focus properly when taking pics of Christmas lights made with LEDs... but incandescent lights were OK! So it's not as easy as I thought.