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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Birthday in the Wild West

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

~Wednesday, February 16, 2022~

Day 612

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🥳 to a man I am so proud to call MY man. My life would not be the same without you. After all these years you are the KING of my heart, the love of my life, and the man of my dreams! Happy Birthday babe!

With the dog and Jeff still asleep, I snuck away to the store to pick up some last minute birthday items and a stop at Starbucks for a well-deserved favorite beverage of Jeff’s…..a Chai Tea Latte with one pump of mocha. Unfortunately, they were short-staffed so my 30-minute errand turned into an hour. 😠

By the time I got back, Jeff and Sadie were on a walk, so I went to work on decorations and the birthday cake while trying to whip up a celebratory brunch…..Eggs Benedict, the breakfast of champions! Without trying to sound too boastful, I think it was one of my best. And Jeff really appreciated it.

Once we made our Tucson itinerary list a few weeks ago, Jeff had his heart set on visiting Tombstone on his birthday. Even though it appeared to not be an ideal tour day we went ahead with our plans. It took us about an hour to get there and in hindsight should have brought extra layers of clothing. Tombstone is 2,000 feet higher in elevation than where we’re staying in Tucson. Soon after we arrived, the weather worsened with wind, part rain, part snow, part hail and temps dropping to low 40’s.

Since the weather wasn’t conducive to watching the outdoor gun reenactments at OK Corral, we knew it to be a good excuse to return another day (hopefully Sunday). We still enjoyed stepping back in time, walking the main thoroughfare of town, Allen Street.

With the rain, we managed to stay pretty dry by the many covered wooden sidewalks. We also took shelter in any store we could find open. One of them was the Birdcage Theatre that in Tombstone’s heyday ran 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from 1881 to 1889. Reputed as the “wildest and meanest place in Tombstone”, the building still displays 140 bullet holes to this day.

We also checked out Big Nose Kate’s Saloon with waitresses dressed in eye catching finery.

It was formally the luxuriously furnished Grand Hotel which was very short-lived due to a fire in 1882. The only surviving relic was the bar originally located in the basement at the time of the fire and now sits near the main entrance to the bar. It was kind of hoot to be sitting at the same bar that Wyatt Earp, his brothers and others originally sat. We enjoyed the live entertainment and a few mediocre beers before heading back home. Hopefully we’ll be back on Sunday to tour more of this historic city and the nearby town of Bisbee (per a recommendation).

Tombstone was one of the last boomtowns, founded by prospector Ed Shieffelan in the late 19th century. But with silver prospects came outlaws. As we toured Allen Street (the main street of town), we tried to imagine the successes of mining, the store keepers tending to their goods and the all too common shootouts between outlaws and the good guys. The Boothill Cemetery has about 250 occupants of those who contributed to Tombstone’s history…..miners, gamblers, ladies of the “red-light district” and cowboys buried with their boots on; thus the name. We also found out that the 1993 movie “Tombstone” was NOT filmed at this location as most people think. It and countless other TV shows and movies were actually filmed at the Old Tucson Film Studios, right near Saguaro National Park. Established in 1939 for the film “Arizona”, it grew into a favorite tourist attraction until COVID changed all that. Evidently, they couldn’t keep up due to falling tourism and are currently looking for a new company to lease it.

For Jeff’s birthday dinner we decided to just eat in with a delicious home cooked meal……Filet Mignon, garlic mashed potatoes and a spinach salad which meant another trip to the grocery store. But the menu had to be modified a bit when Jeff found that each 7 oz. filet was an insane $22.00 each. That must have been one special cow. So on a whim, we switched over to a Rib Eye Salad

with baby greens/blue cheese/almonds/red onion/green beans/kidney beans/tomatoe and croutons. A bottle of Proseco was a nice accompaniment. To top off the evening, it was chocolate on chocolate cake

and presents…….thanks mom for the Amazon giftcard and Yeti baseball cap. And I guess I scored on my gifts to Jeff based on his happy reaction……..a DriFit long sleeve hiking shirt and a cushy Lazy Bear outdoor chair.

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