Gabrielle Giffords sweet homecoming weekend

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

TUCSON -- It's been an amazing month for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Last weekend she released photos of herself looking healthy and radiant.

On Wednesday she was released from the Houston hospital where she's been undergoing rehabilitation for five months, and now she is home in Tucson for the weekend.

A Giffords' staff member tweeted: "Wheels down Tucson. Gabrielle & Mark looking forward to a beautiful weekend.

Doctors say the visit is a key step in her recovery process, but the people of Tucson say it is equally important to them.

"Symbolically for her to come home after what has happened to her and the community, it's just a very welcome homecoming," said Tucson resident Francisca James Hernandez.

At Raging Sage, a coffee shop in the midtown section of Tucson that makes what are said to be the Congresswoman's favorite scones, baristas were excited to hear their regular customer was back in town.

"I'm thrilled, I'm just absolutely thrilled that she's actually coming back to Tucson," said store manager Kay Quinn, who has served Giffords many times.

At the Safeway shopping center that was the scene of the January 8th shooting where six were killed and more than a dozen others were injured, including Giffords, news was slowly spreading that Giffords was back in town.

"It's a signature of hope, it helps us heal. Here we are at the Safeway where everything happened, really we just want her back," said Robert Morrison.

Giffords is not expected to make any public appearances during the visit.

Her husband, Commander Mark Kelly, said in a statement the visit,  "Is sure to be very emotional."

"We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," said Kelly. "Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery."