Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Happy Thanksgiving

Pit Stop: Grand Canyon

We never planned on seeing the Grand Canyon, but finding out that it would be a slight detour on our way from Phoenix, and knowing we might not get this chance again soon, we decided to put our National Parks Pass to use again this year, and stop at....THE GRAND CANYON!
From Phoenix, we drove to Flagstaff, and from there we followed the signs to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Wow! This was the most crowded of any Park we'd been to and we would soon find out why.
Wow! We walked along the overlook trail, with this amazing view unfolding along the way.
See those people out there on what looks like death's corridor? Those are all my loved ones. I'm sure it was more terrifying to watch them than to be with them. My heart weakened with each step that took them closer to the edge.


Drove to a few other viewpoints on our way out of the Grand Canyon.

Eventually made it to the Highway through an Indian Reservation that would connect us to Page, Arizona, our half-way point.  The drive added only 2 hours to our already long drive, but it was worth it to see this!

Phoenix - filled Day

 Our first day in Phoenix was full of wedding celebrating. Day 2 we packed with sightseeing and family events. The itinerary was as follows:
The soccer game of 7- year old little cousin in Scottsdale.
 Desert hike
Early Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant
Night at the family friendly comedy club
I don't know if we won or lost the soccer game, but the important thing is we were all there for the "tunnel of victory." The parents form two lines, raising their arms to form a tunnel for all the kids to run through.  Who wouldn't feel like a winner after that?!
After that event it was on to the desert hike.
This hike, Camelback is in the middle of the Phoenix metro area and provides an awesome view from all sides. Most of these hearty youngsters (my nephews and nieces) and my own kids went on further to climb the towering boulders. The hike took us 2 hours at a snappy pace, and lots of water (thanks to my nephew for giving me his)
For the Norwegian, the desert scenery was a stark contrast from her Northern clime. We were all loving 80 degrees in November! 
 We had our early Thanksgiving at Cracker Barrel and then headed to the comedy club.
This picture just makes me happy. I think it is because palm trees and Christmas are in the same scene, plus some cute kids.
Comedy club, Jesterz, was a first for us. This was a family-friendly, audience participate kind of comedy club. We had a great time. Our hotel was next to a huge shopping mall, Superstition springs. We wished we had more days to enjoy all the city offerings with our fun Phoenix family but it was a quick trip!

Getting There is Half the Fun

It's always good to break up a 9 hour drive, especially when you have 5 kids in a minivan.
We stopped at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park near Kanab, Utah
We took off our shoes and ran for the hills--vast, rose-colored mounds of the finest sand imaginable
Tumble down, race up, repeat.
As the only other tourist in the park observed, "Your kids are gonna be whooped for wherever you're going next." That was the plan!
We arrived in Phoenix right during rush hour. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Birthday Boy and a Bride

  What an eventful day. We enjoyed the beautiful wedding of my beautiful niece in the Mesa, Arizona Temple.
It was also the birthday of Man of the House.

Our girls were flower girls for the 2nd time in their lives. The first time was for the bride's sisters, 2 years ago in California. 

After, we ate at Tia Rosas, a family favorite for Mexican food. The birthday guy got a margarita glass full of fried ice cream with the works, compliments of the chef.

Reception was lovely. Girls had fun with the photo ops. There was a flash mob dance, catered dinner, dancing--which our family can't resist--at least my generation, and of course wedding cake!

What a beautiful day, Nov. 20, 2015.