It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do to refresh and replenish the body, mind, and spirit. Staying at the Soluna Hotel has proven to be my oasis on the road and I highly recommend it. It's like staying at home.
This morning I dragged myself out of bed (it's a me thing not a road thing) and headed out to meet the sunrise. Finding the same spot as last year, I had rays of sun across my left shoulder striking the façade of El Paso High School as I photographed it again, this time without the gray skies to contend with. ¡Mucho mejor!
I headed downtown to see the progress made on the plaza that had been under construction for at least a couple of months at the time of my visit last year. Couldn't believe my eyes! STILL under construction. It's a freakin' park, people! So far, it's been over a year since they started it and it's scheduled for completion in the fall. Over thought, over engineered, and under facilitated. Word on the street is, no toilet facilities. Yikes!
But, I found a little coffee shop right on the plaza called the Coffee Box. GREAT coffee! Very nice lady running the place, too. I'll have to find out who owns it. It's built with two railroad container boxes staggered lengthwise. An outside stairway leads up to an art-filled seating area. Very cool idea. And they don't gouge you for a cup of coffee like the green logo guys. Hope they're very successful.
Ran into another shooter, Christ Chavez, who was downtown shooting a ground breaking for an Artspace (live/work spaces for artists) and he recommended a diner up the street on Mesa for breakfast. I was out of sunlight by 9:30am so I headed up the street for a mordida. . . a bite.
Although I can't say the breakfast was very good — surprisingly — I met and had a great conversation with a young man named Joseph Cyr. He teaches French and Spanish in Tucson and he writes part-time for Afar.com, an Arizona travel guide. At least, his part of it is about AZ.
Joseph gave me a lot of tips on what to see and where to eat in Tucson and surrounds. So expect some of those to show up in the next couple of days.
As we were eating and talking, who walks in but my friend, Christ (seriously, he goes by Chris to avoid any confusion) and his buddy, Mitsu. It's like old home week. You know, I've been accused of being a people person but it's the camera that gives me carte blanche to start a conversation with virtually anybody. Without it? Not so much.
Staying at the Soluna Hotel is always refreshing. Just as it was last night. And it was all the more enjoyable because of the owner/operators of this little boutique hotel, Josephine and Julia, mother and daughter, who were most accommodating and helpful. Not to mention curious about my road trip. I think I've found two new fans. Yay!
Time to check out and hit the road. Goodbye Soluna Hotel and El Paso. Hello Tucson.