We are big fans of Rick Braun, smooth jazz trumpeter, and every year he does a New Year’s Eve show at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson. Well COVID be damned, we booked the trip back in the early summer of 2020. We’ve done trips with Rick before, including two European river cruises. Now realize that this was in the lull after the Delta variant, and we’d just gotten back from a trip to Glacier NP at the bottom of the COVID trough. So we signed up for NYE and booked flights. Well, we were feeling pretty good about this until Omicron came along in the late fall. The show itself was vaccine-required, but we had some trepidation when we set off, even tho Pima County AZ had implemented an indoor mask mandate.
Well, we are now 3 full days past our return flight, and are feeling like we made it safely, no symptoms of Omicron. We are well past the NYE concert/dinner/party, which was our biggest concern.
Travel still feels a bit odd, but we flew 1st class which gave us more room. We had a long layover going out and stayed in the Delta Sky Club in ATL. The party was at the JW Marriott Starr Pass, and after that we had an AirBNB on the northeast side of Tucson.
Here’s a shot from the back door of the AirBNB
We hiked in the west and east sections of the Saguaro National Park
We drove up into the mountains to enjoy the snow that fell on NYE
We did some hikes almost out the back door of the AirBNB
We visited the wine country of Southern Arizona (who knew that there were great wines between Tucson and the Mexican border!?)
All in all, a great trip to the Southwest and fun to travel again. Cross our fingers we escaped Omicron! Vaccines and boosters and masking! Here’s to more travel in the future!