DONE with my touring of the City of Angels. Short it may be, it was fun. Thanks to my gracious and untiring hosts Nenette and Vince, who took time to show me the sights and splendors of Los Angeles a first-time tourist should see.

There is more to see, enough for this traveler to see on the next visit.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Another plane ride awaits; another new place to visit. This is exciting and true to the Dalai Lama's must do of visiting as much new places as you can, one a year is good but like the old adage goes "the more, the merrier" still applies.

It was time to head a little to the West, the next state to be exact -- Arizona. Driving it "won't be too far" any local would say but if someone sends a plane ticket your way, just say than you and hop on the plane.

I didn't know what to expect but one thing is for sure, I was quite excited to see my brother and his family on the new place they now call home in Tucson aka "the Old Pueblo."

Tucson, county seat of the Pima County south east of Phoenix and at one point, the capital of the Arizona Territory, is derived from the Spanish name of the city, Tucson, from the O'odham name Cuk, which means "base of the black", since it's adjacent to a volcanic mountain.

From the plane, it is indeed surrounded with mountain ranges. Four to be exact- the Santa Catalina, Rincon, Santa Rita (where Mount Wrightson, the area's highest peak at 9,453 feet is) and the Tucson Mountains.

But I am not into mountain trekking on a first visit. I would do fine with the city tour. Again, just like much of the US, you need a car to go around. Tsk, tsk, they make tourists too dependent on hosts who will have to take time off to show the visitors around.

My brother was more than happy, so was pretty Iya, my niece, to show me their place. It would be a geographic tour of the city.

The downtown area holds attractions like the 1919 Hotel Congress, the 1929 Fox Theater in Art Deco and the 1896 St. Augustine Cathedral. Not to miss in the old Pima County Courthouse built in 1928 and now included in National Register of Historic Places.

The Old Main, University of Arizona is at the central area along with the Arizona Stadium and McKale Center, the Tucson Botanic Gardens, Reid Park the largest park in Tucson, the "ugliest street in America" (in the 1970's) Speedway Boulevard, and the most important spot of all, the 4th Avenue Shopping District, where much of the local retail business thrives.

The banks of the Santa Cruz River and the foothills of the Tucson Mountains, the Saguaro National Park West, Sentinel Peak (aka the "A" mountain where the giant A stands in honor for the University of Arizona), the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Old Tucson Studios are all in the Western part of Tucson.

The North and Northwest is where the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains (where the famous Mount Lemmon stands) and where the posh and wealthy reside in their multi-million estates and shop at the Tucson Mall and the Foothills Mall where the most upscale boutiques are. Expect the golf courses and resorts within reach as well.

For addressing your appetite, you would want to be at the East side where the restaurant row is. And for a view of retired war planes, head to the Southeast where Davis-Mothan Air Force Base is.

The unexpected is where the excitement really is. It was not until I got to Tucson that I found out that this is as exciting as the major cities of the US.

I am glad I made it here. I have to thank the universe and the Lord for granting me this chance. The San Xavier Church would be a good place to do that. Want to see it?

(Credits. Wikipedia for the great shots!)