Wednesday November 27…A huge storm hits the city of Winnipeg and wind chill temperatures dip to crazy winter levels.

I need to get out. I have comfort in knowing that in one day I will be leaving for a week plus of Arizona golf in Tucson and Phoenix.

We, my Free Press buddy Ron Delaronde and I, meet at the airport a couple of hours ahead of time.

Once past customs we are in the holding lounge with an unbelievable number of people we both know together or individually.

They are not going for just an in and out holiday. They have homes and condos in the area and are going back for a short or long pre-holiday stay.

Am I the only person who has never been to Arizona.  From the conversations I am beginning to believe that might be a possibility.

We land uneventfully in Phoenix, pick up our automobile rental, and begin the journey to Tucson for our three night stay at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort complex.

It is connected to two of the finer golf tracks in the area the Ventana Canyon and Ventana Mountain courses.

We arrive at the resort about 10:30, both of us famished.

It is U.S. Thanksgiving and as we drive everything seems to be closed. Even McDonalds are closed…I thought they never took a day off.

After we check in we go to find the hotel restaurant…closed a half hour ago.

We get some input on some restaurants that may be open. They were not. So our meal consisted of what was available at a gasoline service station a few kilometres away.

I thought I did just fine.  It was Thanksgiving so I chose the frozen turkey dinner, which after zapped up at the service station, tasted just fine. As hungry as we were sawdust would likely have tasted fine.

But golf starts today the 29th. And our first game is scheduled for 11AM on the Canyon Course.

This was really fun. It is an excellent golf course with loads of views and interesting holes.

They tell you not to trust your eyes as no matter what all greens flow away from the nearby mountains.  That takes some time to get used to but it tends to be true and after a few catastrophes we are making a few good putts.

A highlight was the Lynx that watched us from the sidelines on one of the holes.

On the course there are not many water hole challenges but there is sand and cactus everywhere.

All in all it was a great day highlighted by a few brews and excellent tasting fish and chips at a nearby restaurant called Risky Business.

Tomorrow we really look forward to the mountain course.

For this trip I have a neck safe from Eagle Creek where I keep my passport and extra cash.  I use a PacSafe RFID protection wallet and wear a Tilley Hat for sun protection.

Believe me today it was needed. While we expected warm weather the 100 degree shift in temperatures was dramatic.

I was even warmer than usual today with the highest temperature reaching over 75 F.  The forecast was for 72 and the rest of the week is forecast for about 68-70F

This is a fine resort here at Loews Ventana Canyon.  Our room is large with two Queen Size beds, a balcony with an excellent mountain view, and with just about every facility you would expect at a quality resort.

If you are interested in coming here contact me at Use the same email if you have other travel questions.

I will answer them and you can read them after that in my weekly column that runs in the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturdays.

We then post all the columns on our website at  Check it out if your looking for the best in travel accessories, travel clothing, and luggage.

Safe Journeys always,


Ron Pradinuk