I’m not a woman of many words, but I’d love to document this trip for myself and give y’all a chance to feel part of this inspirational week too!
Two years ago, I planned my first trip to Tucson, tacking it in the end of a two-week work trip in Vegas. In hindsight, if you spend two weeks in Vegas, you’re just asking to get sick... shaking hands at trade shows, sharing germs on slot machines, surrounded by cigarette smoke, and your immune system preoccupied with getting any alcohol out of your system, it’s just a cesspool. Oh, and if you just learned your pregnant in Sin City, that might make you sick too 😆. Anyway, my last Tucson trip was spent quarantined with the flu and holding my secret baby news until I could get home tell my husband in person. This trip was different.
Even being quite out of shape, my wanderlust carried me almost 12 miles in and around Sabino Canyon.
My good friend Amelia helped us stay on the trail and helped me cross creeks, much like a Girl Scout escorting a hesitant elderly person.
”Wait, but I thought you were here for gems?”
I am, I am. I am very inspired by the desert and had to share our outdoor day. We spent one full day hiking and the other two at the show.
You may imagine the Tucson Gem Show to just be one big flea market sprawling across a city with no end in sight, or at least I had. The only show we attended, despite our best intentions, was G&LW. I’m not fact checking myself on the numbers but let’s say there was 200 vendors there, and I took us 2 days to comb through that for our purposes, and then outside of G&LW, there are 25 other shows the same size set up in different locations around the city.
Vacant hotels fill up with vendors in each room, empty parking lots flood with trucks and tents of vendors and locals selling their wares. There’s an African Art Village (which Amelia got to attend after my flight took off)
and a Native American Arts Village and all sorts of good spots we didn’t make it to.... “next year!” It is SO. MUCH. FUN. but it is also a decision-making inferno. From junky things, to the finest things, you can shop it all. I have to come with a budget (yuck, but necessary), a list is customs I‘m working on, and a list of things I hope to find that I can’t simply order from an online vendor at home. I came back with a lot of turquoise this year!
Oh, and let’s take a second to remember the turquoise that was completely out of reach Financial reach.
I also came back with some sterling rings, natural agate, pretty druzy pendants, African trade beads, and lots of ideas for the future. It was awesome.
Until next year, Tucson ✌️
I’d love to hear experiences from others who have been, or would be happy to answer any questions for someone who wants to go! 🌵