Best, worst and most ambivalent bits of Xmas/New Year trip 2015-16

Best Cocktails at Hotel Congress, John Dillinger’s old hangout
Worst Coffee at IHOP
Best Seeing a coyote, dozens of pronghorn antelope and thousands of sandhill cranes in the wild
Worst Seeing open carry in a pro-gun diner that advertises, with a crossed guns logo, that they never call 911
Best The Border Patrol checkpoints that couldn’t be bothered to stay open in the rain
Worst The Border Patrol checkpoints that just waved us through because we are white
Best Hiking in the Chiricahua mountains, where Geronimo and Cochise hailed from and held out
Worst Visiting Fort Bowie and Apache Pass, site of the Bascom affair and instrumental in the defeat of Cochise, Mangas Coloradas and the Chiricahua Apaches
Best Not having food poisoning
Worst Having some kind of contagious bug with the same kind of symptoms
Worst Having the plane from Chicago to Tucson cancelled because of a mechanical failure, only to have its replacement cancelled because of a mechanical failure and then its replacement cancelled because of a mechanical failure
Best Getting a working plane from Chicago to Tucson
Best Accidentally teaching baby Eli, who at that point had not even worked out it was possible to walk backwards, to moonwalk
Best Walking in the footsteps of Glenn Ford at the ranch where the original 3.10 to Yuma was shot
Best Taking break from the Roger Moore series of Maverick (after the episode written by CL Moore as Catherine Kuttner) to watch the first half of James Garner’s return in Bret Maverick
Best Somehow missing the Marty Robbins museum
Best The extraordinary tortilla in which my otherwise very ordinary burrito was wrapped at Mi Casa
Best Finding occasional traces of an American cuisine that does not feel it necessary to include mediocre American cheese melted onto or into it
Best The name of the Quantum Mechanics Nail and Hair Parlor
Best The crazy second-hand bookstore hidden away in ranch in the middle of the desert
Best The lovely and crazy old lady who runs the crazy second-hand bookstore hidden away in ranch in the middle of the desert
Best Her dog
Most ambivalent Finding oneself thousands of miles from Bristol talking to a woman from Cardiff who was equally dismissive of Arizona’s attempt at a torrential downpour
Most ambivalent Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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