Coffee and Contemplation: World Tourism Day

Today is World Tourism Day. Today is also my birthday. I decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon for my birthday weekend. The Grand Canyon National Park was free to enter yesterday, September 26. I spent the last couple nights in Williams, AZ about an hour South of the Grand Canyon on historic Route 66. I was told I had been to the canyon when I was young but have no memory of that trip.

This was a fun adventure for me as I’ve never done much for myself on my birthday. I had a nice little road trip. I explored some new places. And I got some great pictures. I’ve shared a few of them below. If you’ve never been, I recommend seeing the Grand Canyon at least once in your life. And all the towns nearby are fun to explore too. For any of you wondering, I turn 34 today. I hope to have another fun adventure next year.

Coffee and Contemplation: National Black Business Month

August is National Black Business Month. The purpose is to support and encourage African American-owned businesses in your community. There are many businesses in Tucson owned by people of color, but I want to focus on two of my favorites. The first is Café Desta. A small café that has served Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine since 2010. They are located South of downtown on Stone Avenue. I have always enjoyed the flavors and aromas of coffee beans from Ethiopia and Café Desta serves Ethiopian coffee along with many delicious dishes. They are accepting orders for Take-Out and Delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The next business is The Downtown Clifton. It opened last year in 2019 with an additional 22 rooms and The Red Light Lounge. The hotel was first built in 1948 and was purchased by the current owners in 2014 and they began restoring the property. Also located a couple blocks North of Café Desta on Stone Avenue, you can enjoy a nice stay in downtown Tucson and partake in some delicious cuisine and coffee. I only care if you try the coffee. If you’re visiting Tucson, these are two great places to check out. 

If you live in Tucson and you haven’t visited these places, what are you doing with your life? You don’t have to stay in hotel, but you can enjoy the food and spirits in The Red Light Lounge. Now go support people of color in your community.

Coffee and Contemplation: Father’s Day and National Arizona Day

I’m a cat dad. I’ve been taking care of my cat Callie for over two years. I rescued her from the shelter, and we had an immediate bond. She yells at me if I’ve been away from home too long. And she yells if she feels there isn’t enough food in her dish or if her water dish looks contaminated. I have to refill it three times a day or she won’t drink it. She likes to rest her front paws on my shoulder as I hold her rear paws in my arms. She purrs and rubs her face on mine.

I’ve never observed Father’s Day on the receiving end. I don’t expect to get any cards or gifts. I’m sure some would say it doesn’t count unless you have a human child. Humans are overrated. Regardless, I’m proud to call myself a cat dad. I love my little fur baby. Sometimes I feel she’s my only friend. Lockdown and quarantine would have been lonely without her. I find myself gravitating towards this as I don’t have a good relationship with my own father. Many people have lost their father and this day is difficult for them.

She’s not angry. That’s just her face.

With the world diving headfirst into chaos, the issues I have with my father seem trivial. I feel ready to let go of the past and move on. But I’m not ready to discuss this with my father. Maybe I will one day. It doesn’t feel necessary. For now, I’ll enjoy being a cat dad. And anyone who has a strained relationship with their father, or if you’ve lost your father, I hope this day isn’t too difficult for you. To all the cat dads, people dads, dog dads, lizard dads, dads of any creatures, and moms who are both the mom and dad, Happy Father’s Day.

Today is also National Arizona Day. I live in Tucson, AZ that’s why I’m mentioning it. In 2017, National Day Calendar began celebrating each state in the order they entered the Union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. Arizona became a state on Valentine’s Day in 1912. With the addition of Arizona, the 48 states in the continental US were officially joined together. We’ve got wildfires, a pandemic, and riots/protests. Also, it’s over one hundred degrees and it’ll only get hotter through August. And I don’t plan on moving.