Our usual practice at Christmas is to visit Pat's parents, John and June Jarvis, in Kerrville, TX, then take a few days trip somewhere in Texas. For 2000, we decided to meet in Tucson. Pat and I had stayed in the Arizona Inn before when we were on a hiking and birding trip, so our attire did not include the coat and tie suggested for dinner at the Inn. This time we came prepared.
The Arizona Inn was built in the 1930s by Isabella Greenway and is run by her granddaughter now. The Inn consists of 86 rooms in one and two story pink adobe buildings scattered over 14 acres. The only major change since the 1930s is the addition of air conditioning and a banquet room in the 1970s.
Landscaping is Southwest style - palms, cactus, Mediterranean cypress, fruiting orange trees, lots of other foliage, and a lawn of rice grass that is newly seeded every year. This is definitely not a low water usage facility, but it is better than most resorts with a golf course.
The Inn was originally in ranch land two miles from the edge of town, but is now surrounded by a quiet residential neighborhood. Every evening we were greeted by the who whooo, who who of a great horned owl. Some evenings we got to see him fly between trees, generally preferring the height of the royal palms.
See the oranges?
Knowing that most restaurants would be closed Christmas day, we made reservations well in advance for both Christmas brunch and dinner. The brunch was a buffet with turkey, prime rib, lamb chops, salmon, and everything else from soup to nuts. We were still full when it came time for our dinner reservations, so we approached the dining room with trepidation. The menu was prix fixe - your choice of turkey, prime rib, lamb chops or salmon! Pat explained our situation and was prepared to ask if we might get a later reservation when the hostess suggested that we could get a light supper at the pool house. Even there, in addition to the regular menu. there were specials of - you guessed it - your choice of turkey, prime rib, lamb chops or salmon.
This big, beautiful Christmas tree is in the library, where tea was served every afternoon for hotel guests. It is replaced mid-season with a fresh tree to keep it looking good. A Christmas eve cocktail party with hor d'ouerves was also held there. Just some of the details that make this resort special.
My brother Jim and his wife Ellen drove down from Phoenix to visit,
as did Carol and her husband Steve. Carol is the daughter of Vic Crump, John's friend since childhood.
Update 2005: John passed away in 2003, and in 2004
June moved from Kerrville to Cleveland to be near us.
For reservations go directly to the Arizona Inn website at http://www.arizonainn.com/
For more about us, our homepage is http://www.stevebottorff.com
E-mail us at
Copyright 2001, 2005