Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arizona Vacation

Well, after last winter, we vowed to get into some sun to help us make it through the cold and the snow of Chicago.  This year Krista organized an awesome vacation to Tucson.  Her friend Terri was taking her family, so we went too.  Both of them went to school there, so that is the connection.  We stayed at a great resort in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains on the north side of Tucson.  The Wyndham Westward Look resort.  big place with clusters of rooms.  beautiful night skies, although we probably didn't spend enough time looking at them because everyone was so tired every night.  Vacation is hard work!

Arthur's first priority was to get in the pool.  It was very windy for Arizona, so not great swimming weather, but the kids had fun anyway.
 Sunset the first night.  Pretty long day of travel, so everyone was in bed soon after sunset.

Krista took us to her all time favorite breakfast place, Frank's.  The kids loved it so much we went back two days later.

 This is a panoramic picture from our awesome new camera.  Doesn't look that special on the blog, but it is really amazing.  since it is an SLR camera, it takes rapid fire shots while you move the camera and then it just stitches them all together.  pretty fancy.
 On our first full day we went to the Desert museum over Gates Pass.  this place is really amazing.  apparently it has grown since Krista was there.  so many great things to look at.  again it was super windy, so that wasn't great, but at least it wasn't a million degrees.

 Arthur digs sherbert

 Arthur and an otter

 The next day we actually went right back to the same part of the desert.  This time we visited the Saguaro National Park.  Very cool.  i mean, arizona has a lot of saguaro cacti, but this park had even more.  we even went off roading a bit to shorten the drive home.


So you probably didn't know that the world's largest gem and mineral show happens in Tucson every year.  I can't even describe to you how big this thing is.  Imagine a tent the size of two football fields.  Full of rocks and art using rocks.  boxes and boxes and shelves of every mineral you can think of.  Now imagine a city with about three dozen tents like this.  And a convention center.  and hotel rooms.  and random parking lots with trucks and RV's.  that's how big it is.  we went to one tent for thirty minutes and had enough.

We took the kids to a restaurant named Bison Witches that makes the world's greatest sandwiches.  I've only been to Tucson once before, but i had been to this place.  Unfortunately for a table for five, we had to sit outside with the smokers.  it was loud too.  so the kids were not happy about it.  But we all suffered through and had a great time.  I broke down and for the first time ever pulled out my smartphone to show the kids a video at a restaurant dinner table.  For Shame!
The next day we met up with Terri and Nagu and their three girls.  Terri and Krista knew each other from grad school in Arizona.  We all went on a cool tram ride up Sabino Canyon.  what a neat place!  Everyone walked down from the top, but Arthur really wanted to keep riding the tram, so i rode down with him to the visitor center.

There was a beach in the canyon

 Turns out there is an elementary school near Sabino Canyon named Gridley.
 Here we are on our last day in the Pima Air and Space museum.  Huge place.  The kids were kind of struggling at this point in the trip though from being so tired (many missed naps).

 This is the oldest Blackbird in the world.  only 15 left.  pretty neat to see it.  

Hitting the reset button at the pool.
After some time at the pool we went down to the campus at University of Arizona to play with Terri and her family.  My friend James drove down from Phoenix and spent the afternoon with us.  It was great to see him, we haven't gotten together in about 7 years.

 The beard is completely out of control.  I think it will be coming off soon, although i get a lot of positive comments about it.