The state of Arizona has a beautiful and colorful past that can be witnessed through its historic landmarks. Among these magnificent landmarks are the Missions.
What are missions? Missions are structures built by the first Spanish missionaries or priests to come in the area. They housed the Spanish missionaries who came to spread Christianity in the Americas, and are about two or three centuries old.
How did these missions came about? Well, centuries ago, Spanish priests, particularly a Catholic priest named Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, established more than twenty missions in the area called the Pimeria Alta, which means the upper lands of the Pimian Indians that is now known as Southern Arizona U.S.A and Northern Sonora, Mexico. Unfortunately, due to several factors, only four of those structures have been left intact and these are the San Xavier del Bac Mission, San José de Tumacácori, San Cayetano de Calabazas, and Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi.
Who was Father Eusebio Francisco Kino? Father Kino was born in a small village in Segno, Italy on the 10th of August in the year 1645. Actually, his parents named him Eusebio Francesco Chini, which was later changed to its German version Eusebio Francisco Kino. This change might be because he studied in Austria, a country in which German is the national language. He belonged to a rich family and was sent to a Jesuit school and later on to Hala, near the German border. When he was in his middle teenage years, he got seriously ill. While he was sick, he made a promise to himself that if he survived the illness, he would become a missionary. After he recovered, he fulfilled his vow and became a priest. He was then assigned to help spread Christianity in Mexico in the year 1683. He started building missions across Pimeria Alta from 1687 until his death at Sonora in 1711.
One of the oldest remaining missions in Arizona today is San Xavier del Bac Mission. It is fondly called by some as the “White Dove of the Desert” because of its white facade. It was first built about 3 centuries ago and it is still amazingly beautiful and functional. Even today, it is still used as a church. Years later, San José de Tumacácori and Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi were both built in 1691 while San Cayetano de Calabazas was built in 1756.
Where specifically can these missions be found in Arizona? San Xavier del Bac Mission can be found near the city of Tucson. It is a little over 8 miles from the city. The three other missions can all be found in the Tumacácori National Historical Park in Santa Cruz Valley. The park is also near Tucson and is quite a popular tourist spot. All four Arizona missions are quite popular because of their sheer beauty and historic significance. Hundreds of both devotees and the “simply curious” sort visit these magnificent historic places every day.
When you live in the eastern areas of this country, the idea of traveling west can be very exciting. There so many great places that many of us often dream about one day that we would like to see. I’ve always dreamed of being able to go and see the Grand Canyon. I really didn’t think that an Arizona travel guide was necessary, but I’m Sure glad that my husband and I chose to take one along in spite of my lack of interest.
While I knew that this state of Arizona offers some spectacular Grand Canyon views, I had no idea that some of the other wonders can be explored. Until I read through the Arizona travel guide that we took along on a trip. As our guide mentioned, the state is really a big amusement park for adults and kids alike, built of natural wonders and full of fun activities that are suitable for people of all ages.
I love the idea of visiting the state that takes me to another scenic adventure. The State of Arizona travel guide offered a fair amount of information about the towns that seem to take you back to the old days of the West. This romantic idea is accompanied by some of the most up-to-date, luxurious resorts and hotels that you can imagine.
Combining the old and the new is a great way to offer comfort and relaxation while still giving people the amenities that most vacationers crave in this rough and rugged adventure. The sense of adventure as well as some of the important lessons that you can be learned when traveling to the state of Arizona is a benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Arizona travel guide offers a fair amount of information about man-made railroads, lakes and reservoirs that are certain to be a areas of interest to the average visitor. There are also many organized functions that can offer ways to fill in the empty time while on the trip. You would have a hard time imagining that these will be necessary for most people. The many brilliant museums, dude ranches and other old town areas described in Arizona travel guide makes the idea of staying less than seven days almost an unthinkable thought.
It’s always amazing how one piece of literature can peak so many different areas of interest. Not only am I going to see one of the seven wonders of the world I’m also going to have a number of other memorable experiences on my trip to Arizona.
I’m really looking forward to fulfilling some of my childhood dreams of finally being able to go see the Grand Canyon and enjoy the surrounding scenery. After reading through the majority of the Arizona travel guide I have come to the realization that there are so many things in this state that can be hard to see on just one trip.
There is nothing more rewarding for parents than spending quality time with the kids on a family vacation. Snapping pictures, exploring and discovering new territories while blazing new trails can make for great family fun. After all, isn’t that what a family vacation is all about anyway? Just being together, sharing, laughing, talking – creating some of life’s most memorable moments. All too often though, the hopes of a rewarding vacation or day trip with the kids can slowly dwindle into a day of frustration and disappointment. The kids get hungry, then they’re thirsty, they get tired and cranky, now they want to argue and of course the ever proverbial “are we there yet”…coming from the back seat of the car feels as though it will forever be ringing in your ears. Is this bonding? Well…in a sense – yes.
Certainly, years from now when the kids are grown you can reminisce and laugh about the trials and tribulations of the family vacation and day trips you used to take. But wouldn’t it be more rewarding knowing that you can actually have fun with your kids in the present moment! Why wait until they’re all grownup to reminisce about the good ol’ day trips gone by.
When my family and I take an Arizona vacation or go on a day trip we like to think about bonding with the kids in the present moment. Have fun now, talk with the kids now and share in that hilarious belly laugh now – so that when we all get home we can immediately begin to reminisce about the fun times we had on this family vacation.
No matter where your travels may take you and your family the following travel tips will help get you there with your peace of mind in tack so that you can enjoy all of your wonderful “present moments” with your family.
Advice and Tips for Arizona Travelers and Vacationers:
– Check Your Vehicle: A breakdown could spell disaster for a fun filled day. Whether you are in your own car or a rental, always take a look before you start. Make sure the tires look properly inflated and check the windshield washer fluid. Fill your tank. You can always go to Arizona Day Trails to find out where to buy fuel in Arizona for the least amount of money.
– Pack a Cooler: Purchase a small Styrofoam cooler available in any grocery or convenience store for just a few bucks. Pack it with bottled water and a few light snacks. Avoid sweet drinks because they tend to dehydrate you in the Arizona heat. Water will keep you hydrated and feeling good. Keep a box of crackers and Nilla wafers handy because they are easy on the stomach. And drink plenty of water during your day. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.
– Dress Properly and Comfortably: Flip flops and sandals are great around the hotel or pool, but on your Arizona day trip wear durable, comfortable footwear. Pack some sunscreen and wear hats. It doesn’t have to be a Stetson; a baseball cap will do fine. The Arizona desert can get cool in the evening and downright cold at times so keep jackets handy.
– Keep the Kids In the Loop: Rotate seats in the car so everybody gets a window. Let the kids help decide things like where to have lunch and spend time at the things that interest them. When our son was 8 or 9 years old he could spend what seemed like all day observing reptiles and other animals at the various places on our day trips. It wasn’t necessarily our idea of heaven but today he is a Biologist preparing for his P.H.D. in Zoology. Who would have guessed? So let the kids pick a place or two to go visit. With a little guidance from you, you may be surprised to find a P.H.D. in your kids too.
– Create Family Memories: Pick up small mementos along the way to remind the kids of the places they’ve been and the great things they have experienced. You don’t have to break the bank. It’s the small things that make a difference and are great conversation starters with your kids!
– Take Lots and Lots of Photos: When you get back home and are sitting around with the kids, looking at your photo collection, it will hit you. Arizona is so amazingly beautiful- sometimes it just doesn’t sink in until you see it in print.
– Don’t Try to Beat the Clock: You can only move as fast as the slowest one in your party. Different size families with kids of various ages travel at different paces. Your family may want to spend more time at one place or another or at one particular activity. Go with the flow and enjoy. Arizona’s wonderful places have been around a long time and they will be there tomorrow. Believe me, you and your kids will be happier enjoying the things you get to do than having the day become a nightmare by trying to rush.
– Travel Safe: If you are doing all the driving remember to give your eyes a rest. There are plenty of scenic areas to park and stretch your legs. Take advantage of them. You are going to see some of the most amazing natural beauty on Earth. Take the time to drink it all in. July and August is monsoon season in Arizona and afternoon thunderstorms occur regularly. Be prepared, they usually only last a short time.
– Talk and Laugh a Lot: Talk to one another about the things you are doing and the marvelous sights you are seeing. It’s a great time for the kids to use their imagination and express themselves. Listen to them. You will learn things about each other that may surprise you and you will be better off for the experience. Laugh, laugh and laugh some more! Leave your stress and cares behind and have fun. You owe it to yourself and your kids. Life will be waiting when you get home.
– Bend the Rules: Extend bedtimes. Take an evening dip in the hotel pool. Have that extra ice cream cone. Whatever it is that is different from the everyday. Step outside late one night with your kids and look up at the sky. The night sky in Arizona is filled with stars to wish on so get out there and look up! City dwellers will be amazed.
We hope you keep these hints in mind during your visit to Arizona or wherever you and your family may travel. My wife, Ronnie and I have spent over 30 years traveling throughout Arizona and have found these tips to be true for our family. We know they will be true for yours too.
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