Sunday, February 13

yes. i now own Fu dogs. pictures tomorrow.

Carved horn skulls and an inlaid stone cross.
The Annual Tucson Gem Show is in town!  The Gem Show is the largest gem and mineral show in the United States and is actually comprised of more than forty shows set up throughout Tucson.

We're among the faithful who make the long trek up the Frontage Road adjacent to I-10 every year, where all the hotel rooms have been turned into shops and every gravel lot turned into a vast sea of giant white tents. We have such an awesome time at the Gem Show. It's like the circus for people who are afraid of lions. All the spectacle, none of the crazy teeth!

And the Gem Show vendors don't limit themselves to the purveyance of gems. They purvey, of course, minerals. And dinosaur eggs. (Yes! People want these!) Meteorites. Billions upon billions of sparkly beads. Jewelry, rocks carved into turtles, giant statues of Buddha, lifesize carved giraffes, baskets, more trinkets than you can shake a walking stick carved like a Pacific Northwest totem pole at, sets of carved wooden ducks, Moroccan lanterns, African masks, tubs of shea butter, statues from Indonesia, soaps, and carved furniture. You can buy incense, piggy banks made out of coconuts, Tibetan prayer flags, textiles from India, rugs from Pakistan, fluttery dresses and scarves, knit hats shaped like zebras, paper parasols, Navajo rugs, antique pistols, rhinestone-studded purses, amethyst geodes bigger than people, carved ironstone Fu dogs, the world's tiniest fold-out knife for one dollar, fossil marble sinks, and pants.

This afternoon, while gazing at my future Fu dogs, I overheard a girl on a cell phone describe the Gem Show thusly: "It's like Portland on crack." I'm not sure what that means, but for some reason it sounds about right.  
A vendor from Tibet demonstrates how to make
a singing bowl sing.

Tibetan singing bowls.

Greek food:
chicken and vegetables with couscous and tzatsiki.
Also bonus lamb bits! 

Pistachio baklava.

Pausing in our trek along the Frontage Road to prove we were here.

The African Village show.

Inside one of the giant white tents. 
They're set up right over the vegetation. 

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