Greetings to all of you incredible RNs coming to the RN Patient Advocates Learning Intensive to begin your new careers utilizing all of your skills, knowledge and experience in a creative and empowering new way. Soon you will be here in the beautiful Southwestern desert, although you will be surprised at just how green this desert is. We will be up in the mountains north of Tucson and beginning our days looking at a vista very much like the one above. You can see forever………..
Travel to the C.O.D. Ranch: What I recommend most is sharing the rental of a car between several of you. This will cost each of you much less than taking a shuttle (see below) and give you the option of leaving the Ranch to go explore on your afternoon/evening off. You will be free after lunch on Saturday, September 10, for the afternoon and evening.
Shuttles: you can choose to fly into Phoenix or Tucson. Tucson is closer though and the shuttle is less expensive. The Arizona Stagecoach shuttle from Tucson costs $90 each way (down from $98) and is best shared as you can see. You will have a ride of about 1.5 hours to the Ranch. You can make a reservation at:
The Arizona Shuttle from Phoenix is actually a charter service since the Ranch is not on its usual route. You can access them at www.arizonashuttle.com
We will be posting here a list of recommended places to visit and information about how far they are, directions, etc. This is an area rich in cultural and environmental attractions along with some interesting arts venues/shopping.
You will have Saturday afternoon and evening off to explore the Tucson area – rich in cultural diversity, filled with many world-famous sites to visit, such as:
The Biosphere 2: This is only about 4 or 5 miles from the Ranch. This one-of-a-kind facility sits on a ridge at a cool elevation of nearly 4000 feet and is surrounded by a magnificent natural desert preserve. Come experience the remarkable Biosphere 2 which Time Life Books recently named one of the 50 must see “Wonders of the World”. See why visitors from around the globe journey here for this unique adventure not found anywhere else. Discover real-time research on the future of our planet as it unfolds in the specially designed mini-world. Starting at the visitor center you will get a first look at our new exhibit “Phoenix Mars Lander” which landed on Mars in the summer of 2008.
The visitor center also houses numerous other exhibits and multi-media displays along with a Bookstore and Cafe. You won’t want to miss our new feature movie showing in the main theater which describes the past, present and future of the project. Your entry into the Biosphere is led by a tour guide who takes you inside and under the glass. The beautiful trail system takes you on a once in a lifetime tour that lets you smell our ocean and see a tropical Rainforest up close. In addition to escorting you through the upper Biomes, your interpretive tour guide takes you through the basement “technosphere” and into the amazing lungs that help the Biosphere system breathe. Your tour will conclude in the custom-built underwater ocean viewing gallery where you can explore the million-gallon ocean and its real coral reef.
The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
(note from Karen: this is an amazing place, totally unique in the world and is, indeed, world famous. There are 3 different eating establishments there as well – from sandwiches to scrumptious meals of local cuisine. There is even an aviary with only hummingbirds in it! If you enjoy nature, this is a must. The ride there, though over an hour away, is through some very pretty country. You could go here for the afternoon and then on into downtown Tucson – think old adobe buildings – for an acoustic band evening located in the courtyard of a local artist community.)
For a half-century the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has enchanted millions of visitors with its exhibits of live animals in astonishingly natural settings, while intriguing and instructing them with fascinating educational programs. At the same time, the Museum has gained a worldwide repute in the scientific community as an institution committed to researching and protecting the land, plants, and the animals of the Sonoran Desert region.
The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.
In a nutshell
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place! Exhibits re-create the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert Region so realistically you find yourself eye-to-eye with mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters, and more. Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. There are almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert.
We are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and are a member of the American Association of Museums.
San Xavier Mission – White Dove of the Desert
A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797.
The oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. It is a place where visitors can truly step back in time and enter an authentic 18th Century space.
The church retains its original purpose of ministering to the religious needs of its parishioners.
Strolling the grounds of the three centuries-old San Xavier Mission is like stepping into a Willa Cather novel; it’s a peaceful respite whispering with ghosts. Sitting only ten miles south of bustling Tucson, the mission still manages to exude an otherworldliness, boasting an updated Moorish facade, original bells, and a captivating frescoed interior. After you’ve absorbed the history and viewed the artifacts, wander into the courtyard and take a moment to light a votive. No religion required: just a willingness to extinguish the chaos of the modern world with a single match.
The Mission is 9 miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona just off of Interstate 19. Take exit 92 (San Xavier Road) and follow signs to the Mission.
There is no admission charge to visit Mission San Xavier. Some 200,000 visitors come each year from all over the world to view what is widely considered to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.
Old Town Artisans and La Cocina Restaurant
Tucked away in one of Tucson’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods, Old Town Artisans is a one stop shop for interiors, accessories and gifts. It takes up an entire city block, so you can bet that winding through the maze like shops, you’re bound to find something!
More than just jewelry, pottery, stained glass, furniture, and an art gallery, the 1850s adobe building is packed with history too. Plan to spend some time there, appreciating the architecture, original flooring, and intricate design work you don’t see many places.
Plan to hang out in the lush courtyard in the center of Old Town Artisans, an area home to La Cocina Restaurant.
This is located next door to the Tucson Museum of Art, so if you enjoy art museums, this is for you! Plan a journey back to the Ranch, though, of about an hour and a half (perhaps less with little traffic).
Water water……..wherever you go in our wonderful Sonoran Desert, remember to bring along plenty of water. Even when it is not hot, you lose moisture because it is so dry here. Hydrate!!