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Tucson weather, tips & other anecdotes


#1
   I called my hotel in Tucson yesterday and while I was speaking
with them I asked about the weather. It's not as warm as I thought 
it would be. 

betty brought up an often inaccurate idea about tucson: winter does
not skip arizona. last january 24th we got off of the plane into very
florida-like weather - the rest of the day it was walking shorts to
visit our brokers, etc. while they set up. that night it snowed. next
4+ days brought rain &/or snow. we stood downtown & watched snow
storms in the mountains (it was a slow day). it never got back up to
florida temps before we left on february 13th. bottom line: just like
backpacking, think layers of clothing instead of heavy items. you
will be going in & out of warm venues so take a tote or bookbag with
straps to stow what you won’t need indoors, as well as your
’treasures’. don’t think light colors if you plan to do heavy-duty
’under the tables & into the piles’ type rock hunting because you
will pick up smudges along with your bargains. my partner & i poked,
crawled, dug without regard to smudges. we still laugh about one
drizzly late afternoon walk down congress st. to the italian
restaurant: he with his backpack (full of $5000+ worth of ruby,
sapphire, emerald & opal beads) & his hiking stick (you can’t take
mace on a plane), me in an ultrasuede trenchcoat, slacks, tevas & the
biggest gucci tote made (full of pearls). as we passed a homeless
lady in one of the bus shelters, she looked us over as kindred
spirits, smiled at me & said “nice purse, honey.” tucson moral: there
are times to be elegant & times to be real; know the difference if
you want to get the best out of your trip.

here are some other hints: print up & take labels with your address,
a small pocket knife & a roll of package tape - if you have to have
something shipped you can seal the container & attach the label
yourself; safer than sorry! for every purchase pick up the seller’s
business card & write what you bought & price on the back if you
can’t take a tiny stapler - some of the invoices or receipts do not
have company names on them! every evening sit down & make a list of
what you bought & price as you take it out of the bag/tote - keep a
running tally of what you’re spending. put as many items as possible
in the room safe or ask the front desk about using their safe -
bundle your stuff in opaque taped up bags before storing it in
theirs; thieves know you’re there to buy etc. take
snacks! never go gemstone shopping on an empty stomach, you might
pay a higher price for something when you have low blood sugar. take
an army/navy surplus duffle bag if you are a serious rough (rock)
buyer & don’t want to have everything shipped - it’s tough as nails,
rolls up on the way there, holds a lot of rough & can be checked
through on the flight home. another baggage suggestion: KNOT strips
of same color bright ribbon to the handle of every piece of your
carryon, checked luggage, duffles, etc. - they were cloning luggage
long before dolly the sheep.

big tip: you do not need a rental car in tucson! they have the best
bus system anywhere! there are 100 cars for every available
overpriced parking space at every venue. the first trip my partner
gave me a choice: rent a car & spend at least an hour every day
looking for a space & run the risk of someone breaking into it or
use the $500+ rental & parking fees to buy more rocks. the bus
drivers have schedules & you can buy swipe cards for multiple
riding. it was great - lost a few pounds & saw more!

so - if you see a tall blonde & a curly haired ukranian guy with a
hiking stick in tucson - say “hello” to …

…ive


#2
    betty brought up an often inaccurate idea about tucson: winter
does not skip arizona. last january 24th we got off of the plane
into very florida-like weather - the rest of the day it was walking
shorts to visit our brokers, etc. while they set up. that night it
snowed. next 4+ days brought rain &/or snow. we stood downtown &
watched snow storms in the mountains (it was a slow day). it never
got back up to florida temps before we left on february 13th. 

While southern and central Arizona do occasionally get cold snaps
(like every other part of the country), winter high temperatures
typically range from the mid-60’s (Farenheit, of course) to the
mid-70’s. In the six years I have lived in Phoenix, I have seen it
snow once and lasted an entire hour. Temperatures in Phoenix and
Tucson are very similar, although Tucson is sometimes about 5 degrees
cooler.

Winter is one of the few times of year that we get occasional rain,
so bring a rain coat just in case. And as others have suggested,
layers are always a good idea. Usually a light jacket and slacks will
suffice. Do bring skin moisturizer, as the air is very dry.
Sunscreen is also a good idea if you are going to be spending time
scouring any outdoor vendors. Drink LOTS of water. It’s easy to get
dehydrated without realizing it.

Is Arizona like Florida? Yes and know. I’ve seen it snow in northern
Florida in March. And it can get cold here, too. I’d forget the
shorts and the parkas. Anticipate cool (not cold) weather, but be
prepared for a change in weather, just as you would anywhere else.

See ya soon,

JoAnna Kelleher
Pearl Exotics Trading Company
GLDA Show, Feb 6-11
Radisson City Center Hotel
Promenade Room, Booth# 5


#3
Is Florida like Tucson? 

Being from the east coast, the first time I traveled to Tucson I was
expecting it to look like Florida. What a surprise! Florida is
green and humid while Tucson is brown and dry. It did take a little
getting used to before I fell in love with the place.

Diane Sadel
http://www.sweetgemstones.com