Getting to know Tucson

stephen Get to know Tucson Leave a Comment

Many of the passengers of our executive transportation service are new to the Tucson area, and they tend to have questions about the desert environment. So we here at Diamond Transportation would like to offer our guests the opportunity to get to know Tucson a little better by learning about the inhabitants of the Sonoran Desert.

When you visit Tucson for the first time you are likely to be struck by two things: The phrase, “Tucson: It’s a dry heat,” really means “Ever wonder what instant mummification feels like? Visit Tucson!”

I'm okay with this

or maybe “Tucson! It’s like the inside of a toaster!”

And while you’re standing on the sidewalk, shoes melting all over the pavement and wondering how you took off from Minneapolis and landed on the warm side of Mercury, through the heat-warped desert air you’ll notice a few large, friendly locals waving at you. You’ll also notice they’re green and have far more arms than you’re accustomed to. Maybe splash some water on your face (the immediate, hissing evaporation is perfectly normal) to clear your eyes and head. Those aren’t people, or aliens, or products of your flash-fried imagination. They’re cacti and special ones at that.

The Mighty and Noble Saguaro Happy Saguaro Waving at You! Hello!

Known as the saguaro, these spiny giants are only found in the Sonoran Desert. They live up to 200 years and grow very slowly; they may only grow an inch in their first 10 years. It takes about 100 years for a saguaro to reach 15 feet, and when fully grown they can attain heights over 40 feet. The tallest ever measured was 78 feet tall.
They have anywhere from 0 to 25 arms (it’s unknown what causes this wide variance), are covered in spines that grow up to 1mm per day and can absorb so much rain water that their trunk visibly expands. They can weigh up to 2 tons when fully engorged.
We’re quite fond of our saguaro and harming one is illegal in Arizona. Cutting one down is a class four felony. And really, why would you hurt one of these guys? They look so friendly and polite. But now that you’ve gotten acquainted with the star of the Cactaceae family here in Tucson, it’s time to meet the less savory members of the clan.

The Villainous and Wicked Cholla Don't pet this

This is the cholla. It looks so fluffy and inviting, like a pile of chubby little teddy bears covered in rabbit fur! Is it a plant you can pet? Is this some kind of kitty-cactus hybrid thing? Oh, look how it seems to tremble and jump out at you as you pass. I think it wants a hug!
Obviously, that’s a lie. It’s a cactus, a mean one, and it wants to murder you. That fluff is a blanket of blood-thirsty spines and that trembling is what happens when the cholla is stirred by the wind or the slightest brush and signals the end of your pleasant day.
Cholla are six to fifteen feet of loosely connected branches covered in spines. They are referred to as the “Jumping Cholla” due to the ease with which these branches detach and catch on anything that passes by. The branches are covered in ½-inch to 1-inch long hollow spines that will curve when they contact moisture, essentially turning them into fish hooks. So yeah, maybe don’t actually pet them.

The Tasty but Kind of Shady Nopal

If the saguaro is the friendly one, and the cholla is the jerk, then the nopal is the fun one that gets you into trouble. Also called the prickly pear due to its fruit, the nopal is made of flat, spine-covered paddles. The fruit of this cactus is bright red and is a local favorite in many recipes. It is also covered in faint, feathery spines that aren’t always apparent to the uninitiated or inebriated. Oh yeah, did I mention these can get you drunk?
Prickly pear fruit is known for fermenting while still on the cactus. It’s fairly obvious when it happens, as you exudes a definite aroma, so there’s no real need to worry about accidentally consuming fermented fruit. Also, it would likely take more than just a couple pears for a fully grown human to feel the effects, but for the local bird population, these fruits are like little thorny wine kegs.

The Sometimes Helpful, Occasionally Deadly Barrel Cactus

The last cactus on our list is the unassuming barrel cactus. They’re generally short, stubby, and round although some can reach heights exceeding nine feet. They begin blooming in late April and produce a bright yellow, lemony-tasting fruit that is covered in spines and high in oxalic acid, which can cause diarrhea and in high enough concentrations, kidney failure. There’s not really enough in a few fruits to cause any problems, but don’t eat this stuff regularly.
Certain species of barrel cactus are less round and more cigar-shaped, and these can develop a pronounced southward lean as they increase in height and age. This is caused by slower growth of the southern-facing side of the cactus, which in turn reduces the surface area that contacts the midday sun, mitigating sun damage and water loss. Even the cacti in Arizona are trying to escape the heat.

Now that we’ve talked about the cacti (cactuses is actually correct as well, so go with whichever you prefer), let’s talk about the trees here. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Now they aren’t covered in spines too, right?”

Of course they aren’t. Don’t be silly.

They’re covered in thorns.

Willcox Wine Country Spring Festival is Coming Up. Need a Ride?

Stephen Pedersen Local Events Leave a Comment

Food, friends, wine – sounds like a great weekend, right? Featuring food from Dante’s Fire in Tucson, live music, and 16 local wineries, the Willcox Wine Country Festival is held every Spring and Fall about an hour east of Tucson in Willcox, AZ.

Thousands flock to historic Railroad Park for this biannual event, recognized by Fodor’s Travel as one of the 10 best wine festivals in North America. In addition to the wine tastings, local artists, crafts, and food are all featured, and entrance into the event is free. Tasting tickets can be purchased at the gate or on online as can seats at the Benefit Wine Dinner and Reception, the proceeds of which go to benefit the Northern Cochise Community Hospital.

We at Diamond Transportation would like to encourage responsibility in all the revelers and suggest that you secure lodging or safe travel arrangements before you find that perhaps you’ve enjoyed all the wonderful Arizona wine a bit too much to drive home. And if you’re looking to make this incredible event even more spectacular, then we’d love to make that happen. Our executive transit vans can bring you and 13 of your friends to the event in style and get you home safely, and our minicoaches are available if you are brining a small army of wine enthusiasts.

What’s that? You don’t want to share, and you’re going alone? Well, we have several luxury sedans you can choose from. They all have black leather interiors to sink into and rest after a long day of wine and music, sun shades for comfort and privacy, and best of all, if you do decide to bring someone else with you, they all seat up to three passengers and have plenty of room for your wine festival impulse purchases.

Diamond Transportation’s professionally-chauffeured luxury car service could be just what you need to turn a fun night at the Willcox Wine Country Festival into one worthy of a story you can one day bore your grandkids with or use to fill everyone at work with dark, bitter jealousy.

Have a question or want a quote? Click Here!

2018 Better Business Bureau Torch Awards Announcement!

Stephen Pedersen Announcements Leave a Comment


At Diamond Transportation, maintaining honest and equitable relations with the people and businesses of our community is not just a nice goal, but rather it is an indispensable ideal. Integrity is first and foremost our watchword, and it is the true metric by which we measure our prosperity. Yes, as a business, it is literally our job to turn a profit, but there are many ways to do that, and we choose to do so in a way that rewards and enriches you, our customers, coworkers, and community. We owe everything to you, and it is our responsibility and pleasure to treat you as such.

That is why we are so honored to announce that we are finalists for the 2018 Better Business Bureau Southern Arizona Torch Award for Ethics. This award is given out once a year to the business that best demonstrates their dedication to ethical business practices, including truthful advertising, honest dealing with their customers, vendors, and neighborhoods, and a presence that inspires others to do the same. It is both uplifting and humbling to be considered for this award, and we would be so very happy if you would join us in this celebration.

All finalists will be recognized, and winners will be announced at a dinner and ceremony held at Casino del Sol on Friday, April 20, 2018. The reception begins at 5:30 and dinner starts at 6:30.

We are Finalists for the 2018 Limousine, Charter & Tour Operator of the Year Awards!

Stephen Pedersen Announcements 1 Comment



Every year Luxury Coach & Transportation Magazine gives out six awards for Operator of the Year, one for each of the designated categories: 1-10 fleet vehicles, 11-30 fleet vehicles, 31-50 fleet vehicles, 51+ fleet vehicles, motorcoach, and global/international. This year Diamond Transportation is an Operator of the Year finalist for the 11-30 fleet vehicles category, and we couldn’t be prouder.

Finalists are rated on their commitment to providing excellent and memorable service to their customers, on maintaining an impeccable fleet of vehicles, outfitted with the latest technologies, on their unimpeachable training and safety standards, on their media and marketing savvy, and on their involvement with the community and the industry.

Our amazing staff works extremely hard to ensure every client is treated like visiting royalty and that their experience with Diamond Transportation is as safe and efficient as it is luxuriously comfortable. Succeeding in our mission, hearing the delighted reviews our clients, and receiving their enthusiastic promises to return to us is a great reward in and of itself, but for our work to be acknowledged by our peers and industry, to be recognized by LCT for our efforts, is truly an honor.

Win or lose, we know that going forward we have responsibilities as representatives of the executive car service community here in Tucson and around the globe. The confidence shown us by industry leaders honors us, but it also tasks us with maintaining the standards that won us that recognition in the first place. This only further invigorates us to exceed the expectations of our clients, of our affiliate partners, and of ourselves.

Airport Transportation Service for the Flight-Weary Traveler

Stephen Pedersen Airport Car Service Leave a Comment

Flying can be a nightmare, a packed, painful nightmare. The air is stuffy, almost claustrophobic, immediately reminding you that you’re about to leave the earth in a long flying coffin, and that if it doesn’t come back down the right way, you aren’t going to need a regular one. The cabin is pressurized for your comfort, or so the flight attendant says, but it feels more like it’s pressurized as an experimental interrogation technique, testing the compression resistance of your ear drums.
I think they're trying to kill me.

Leg room is cramped at best, elbow room is nonexistent, the seats hardly recline, and if you do put them back, you run the risk of catching a pair of knees, a virus-fueled cough, or at least an angry grunt from the person behind you. Sleep is next to impossible, and the moment you do finally drift off, turbulence hits and you’re jolted awake, heart racing but swelling with pride because you feel as though you just survived your first near-death experience.

Finally, you touch down on the tarmac twenty minutes late (of course), and you’re hit with conflicting desires to stand up, lie down, do some cardio, sleep, get to work, and hit the bar. But before anything else you take a deep breath of clean, uncirculated air. Then it hits you. You’re still at the airport. You’re hoping, pleading that your airport transportation service won’t be as painful as the flight. Relax. You booked with Diamond Transportation.

Like this but in a car.

Like a timely and valiant knight on a gleaming black steed (or inside one in this case), your professional chauffeur will whisk you away from the horrors of air travel and bring you to your destination in the style and comfort that you are owed.

Luxuriously comfortable seats with ample legroom that you can recline in without incurring the wrath of someone behind you? Check.

Climate controls that obey only your commands? Check.

Wifi access so you can entertain yourself, get a jump-start on work, or tell everyone in your social circles how awesome Diamond Transportation is? Check.

Safe, courteous, prompt service that will make you wish flying cars were real, so your chauffeur could just take you the entire way across the country next time? Check.

Televisions, DVD players, room for a dozen friends, and a bar? Well, that depends on the vehicle. You can always inquire with our dispatch for details, but the moral of this story is that while there is little to be done about the annoyances of air travel, Diamond Transportation’s airport transportation service can help you recover from it.

Reserve your airport car service or find other ways we can make your day better.