Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Arizona Vacation, Take Two

We had what I like to call the "do over" vacation a few weeks ago. After missing our chance last November to visit Arizona because of the nasty influenza virus, we rescheduled for a fun-filled germ free vacation in February!

We really love Arizona for many reasons...

First and foremost is getting to see so many wonderful family members whom we love dearly, but a close second would have to be this...


(and the warm sunshine pouring down isn't too shabby either)



The first half of our vacation we were treated like royalty at Connor's aunt Marylou's home in Scottsdale. Her ability to make her guests feel so at home and welcome astounds me. I wish I had an ounce of that skill. She fed us the most wonderful meals, lent us her SUV for the entire week, and even surprised us with Valentine's Day Baskets the likes my kids have never seen. She's a sweetheart.

The boys had many opportunities to play with their "Arizona cousins" Miranda and Kennedy who happen to be 11 years old and perfect companions for Nick and Nolan. They had so much fun shootin' hoops, playing hide and seek, and just being kids.

Connor's uncle Lloyd has a yard filled to the brim with wildlife. He feeds almost everything that crosses the property line. You never know what you're gonna see walking across the back patio... quail, coyotes, even javelinas are frequent visitors to their pal Lloyd's door.

Here's a little rabbit munching on some celery left behind.

Marylou and Lloyd took us into downtown Scottsdale one day. We went out to lunch and did a little shopping where we encountered this lovely trio of chairs. My boys thought our home could use a little Southwest flair complete with
antler armrests and cowhide upholstery.

Nick made the mistake of asking why the garbage cans had bars over them... Connor of course had to show him that it was to deter people from throwing kids into the cans.

We also had a nice evening at Connor's cousin Lisa's home in Phoenix. For some reason she was able to escape my camera's viewfinder... But here's a picture of Marylou watching the kids play at the neighborhood pool.

Please notice that my son is the only one crazy enough to jump into the UNHEATED pool. It was a huge pool, and Nolan was the only nut job in the water. He loved every minute of it!

While dining on a delicious Valentine's dinner comprised of a myriad of red foods (including a stellar red velvet cake made by the twins) we were treated to the sights of hot air balloons flying overhead. It was really neat, this one was close enough to see and hear the fire used to keep it afloat.

The second half of our vacation was spent with my parents. Within an hour of arriving on their front steps my boys found some really cool geckos running around the front yard. My boys are ALWAYS finding lizards... I seriously do not know how they do it.

My parents threw Nolan a belated birthday bash and treated us to lots of fun while we were with them. I just wished I had taken two weeks off instead of one... there just never seems to be enough time.

We ventured into the White Tank Mountains to check out a waterfall. It was a lovely Spring hike among the cacti. It's fun to walk across terrain that we rarely get to see, very pretty.

In this park, there are many petroglyphs from hundreds of years ago scattered around on giant boulders. It was fascinating to see the symbols the Indians used to represent their surroundings.

We also hopped in the car to go see Montezuma's Castle, an old cliff dwelling high above a lovely river filled valley. You can't tell from this picture, but it was quite large. Large enough for several families to inhabit.

My parents taking time out to pose for their annoying camera happy daughter.

After the cliff dwellings, we headed even farther North to Sedona. The red rocks and cliffs were unbelievable. They almost don't look real. I was really camera happy in that town... I have a ton of pictures of red cliff walls.

In Sedona there is a cool park called Slide Rock. The river cuts through a crevasse of red rock to create a natural water slide. It was too cold for us to give it a go, but apparently the place is teaming with people slip sliding down the river in the summer.

In the summer months the amount of water decreases quite a bit creating a perfect water slide. The boys would have LOVED to try it out... maybe someday!

Love this guy! It was fun hanging out with my parents for a little while... I wish they had never moved away.

We knocked a few golf balls around when we weren't hiking. Dad swears he never uses the mini-golf courses in town... But he beat the pants off of all of us on two occasions. Makes me a little suspicious of what he REALLY does in his spare retirement hours.

This lovely gal is a treat to sit next to at the dinner table. My Grandma Ruth (AKA Grandma Salty) is a kick. She's so lively, funny, sweet, and entertaining. I hope to reach the age of 90 with as much vitality and good health as she has. LOVE HER!
Visiting Arizona in February is like fast forwarding to Summer for a little while. The weather was in the mid-70's every day with hardly a cloud in the sky. We saw many lovely sights and spent countless hours talking with our loved ones. It was a wonderful do over for sure!


PRP said...

I'm so happy you guys got your trip! I felt so bad last November...

Now that Brad's dad lives in Tuscon we'll have to go check out Arizona for ourselves. It looks beautiful!

secondsister said...

I'm so glad you got to visit. MaryLou loved it! We are going to try to go again in April. Your pictures are wonderful! I'm glad you are camera happy. Colten was so sad that Nick & Nolen weren't there to swim with him. Your wonderful family always brings fun with them wherever they go!!

Mary Lou said...

So glad that you enjoyed your trip to Arizona....ALMOST as much as WE enjoyed having you here. It was so quiet and lonely inour house after you left, and the girls were very sad. Please don't wait so long to make your next trip down to see us.
We absolutely LOVE having you and your family here.
Love you,
Mary Lou