Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tucson Day Trip

For no real reason, we decided to drive to Tucson yesterday. I kinda wanted to take my car on a long highway trip to see how it does for highway mileage. So a little after noon, we gassed up the Passat and headed south. My Passat drives better than my old Audis on the highway. It has that European "gee, we're just dawdling along" feel at fairly high speeds. If felt like I was going slow but as I went to go by the car in front of me, I look down and we're doing, well, let's just say a tad above the speed limit. My Audis always felt like they were going fast. The Passat is just serene. It's similar to the feel my parents' Peugeots from the 80s had. Unlike most Peugeot traits, that's a good thing.

The trip down was uneventful. We got there a bit before 2pm and made a pit stop at the Wal-Mart at Cortaro Rd/I10 for batteries for my camera and nature breaks. We used to take Cortaro Rd to the Omni Tucson when we did weekend trips to Tucson for a few years. Really nice resort with great customer service. We were upgraded to better rooms on two of of our three stays due to fairly minor problems. Hopefully we can visit again this year or next.

After Wally World, we headed east on Ina to La Endantada shopping mall. I felt like visiting the Apple Store. We looked longingly at the iPod Touches and 3G iPhone (they were sold out, btw). We were both hungry, so I hijacked a MacBook Air and perused Chowhound for a place to eat. We settled on the Wildcat House at 1801 N Stone. One person said it had good burgers and was cheap. I checked its website and the menu looked good, so we headed down.

Wildcat House is a huge bar that I'm guessing caters to UofA crowd. It was described as "cavernous" in the thread I saw and that's very apt. We ordered a 1/2 lb burger for me and a tri-tip sandwich for Tara, each with fries, at the window for $14. You order your drinks from the long bar in the back. We got two huge glasses of Coke for $2/each and waited for our name to be called. We took a seat at one of the massive wooden picnic tables on the large tiled dance floor and passed the time watching the Red Sox take it deep from the Yankees. It was painful.

After what seemed like a somewhat long wait, our order was up. I dressed my burger at the topping station and Tara scrounged a couple plastic ramekins for ketchup and Thousand Island dressing (she like TI on her fries). My burger was really good. Nicely charred but cooked to my medium-well order. The fries was beefsteakish, thick cut and nicely crispy on the outside, soft, but cooked, on the inside. Way better than a fast-food burger combo. Tara really liked her tri-tip sandwich. The only downside was they had a huge breeze blowing that cooled us nicely, but also chilled our meals faster than normal. Not a huge deal. We really enjoyed the food and for only $18, it was a definite bargain.

We hit a Marshalls on the way out. I'd found some shirts that I liked at the ones around Phoenix and wanted to see if the Tucson store had any. They didn't, so we headed back to the highway. I wanted to grab a drink from our cooler in the trunk, so I happened to stop in the parking lot of a donut shop. We'd passed it on the way in and thought it was closed, but it was actually open. I hadn't planned on going inside, but the smells were too tempting. Tara and I went in. She didn't want anything except a Coke. I got a couple glazed donuts, a glazed twist, and a maple long john. At which point Tara decided she wanted a plain croissant. The lady behind the counter got all that and then took the bag to the far end of the counter and put something else in it. She came back and told us she'd put some glazed donut holes in. I tried one and it was like glazed crack. Perfectly cooked, great texture, and the perfect amount of glaze. She gave us ten and they were gone before we hit the city limits. The place is called the Donut Wheel, and it's on Ina just east of the I10, next to a Circle K. The other items were nearly equally good. It's a definite to-go place on our next visit.

On our way back we stopped at the new shopping mall in Casa Grande. The Marshalls there had several shirts my size on clearance, so I snagged a polo and two tshirts. After that, we made our way back to the Valley. All in all, it was a fun little trip with the added bonus of finding some pretty good food.


Andy said...

According to my car's trip computer, I'm averaging 32.8mpg.

Next time you hit Tucson, you'll have to try Yoshimatsu. Patty and I tried this place a few months ago and loved it! Uunfortunately, I haven't posted about this trip yet on my blog... Anyways, it's like a Japanese pub, or izakaya. Very unique, especially for Tucson. ;-)

Yankee1969 said...

Mine shows 25.3mpg. Do you have the CVT, DSG, or Tiptronic? If I did the speed limit, I might have gotten better mileage. :)

Since we're still low on fundage until we get a few of Tara's paychecks under our belts, "cheap" was the primary motivation. We'll definitely put Yosimatsu on our Tucson list, though. :)

Andy said...

2.0 Turbo CVT

Yankee1969 said...

That's the difference. The CVT gets way better mileage. Not an option on my Passat, unfortunately. I had a loaner Audi with it and liked it.