That quite possibly was the shortest week I've ever experienced - which is a GOOD thing. The family thoroughly enjoyed spending a week in Arizona. I am ever so thankful to my parents for letting us crash with them while they were spending their own two weeks relaxing in the Phoenix area. I'm sure we completely 'put them out', but they acted like it was the best thing that could have ever happened. And we DID really enjoy spending the time with them, so I'm sure they felt the same way.
Quick synopsis of the trip:
Friday was a late night into Phoenix. Rental car place (Hertz) was a small zoo (with 20 or so customers waiting to be helped by two agents). It actually took shorter than I expected to get the car - and then we had an easy drive to the place my parents rented.
Saturday was a day at Goodyear - the Reds' spring home. We watched a minor league game (in which a fellow SP alum was playing). My dad even got to share a conversation with Kurtis after the game. I drove back and picked up my wife, and then the six of us went to the Reds major league game that afternoon.
Sunday was our foursome's family trip to the Grand Canyon (or as my son said: "The big hole in the ground"). It was a pretty cool drive through elevation, and the canyon itself was splendid. We got there around lunchtime, so we ate in the Arizona Room. It was good food, but the treat was being seated by the window (pretty cool view of the "big hole in the ground"). Kids even got souvenirs (a plush pet and a necklace ... and okay, Dad (me) got a shot glass, too).
Monday involved my masters class sitting right in the middle of the afternoon (3pm in Arizona), so we took advantage of our MN Zoo membership and paid half-price to venture through the Phoenix Zoo for a few hours in the morning. Highlight might've been the giraffes, but they did have some pretty cool other animals - like a rhino, lions, golden eagles (a pair), and even ... prairie dogs :)
Tuesday brought us some visits from family - namely my wife's aunts and uncle. We took the kids to an organic lunch at the Pomegranate Cafe with one aunt and then headed to a couple parks. We met more family at the second park - a railroad park that had a couple nice playgrounds (including an 'old west' theme at one) and a small train that the kids took a ride on - through a tunnel and over a bridge.
Wednesday was all about going to Hohokam Stadium. We got there early and my son even got Casey Coleman's autograph. Then Samardzija pitched a great game, the Cubs won, and we stayed for the enter game (thanks to my dad picking up tickeds behind home plate and in the SHADE). Go Cubs! This is our year! ... maybe ;) My parents met up with some friends after the game, so this was our (my wife and kids') night to enjoy some tex-mex, which we brought back to the condo and enjoyed thoroughly.
Thursday was supposed to be our last day to relax, so we dove into the pool (my wife and daughter a couple times) - not really a 'dive' of course. Our friends who live in Scottsdale actually had their baby on Thursday morning, so we got a chance to visit with them at the hospital on Thursday afternoon. Lily is such a cute bundle of joy. And we got to meet Max, her older brother, as well. The day was beautiful and we even ended the evening with a couple quick games of 'knuckles' - a new card game my son introduced to us all this week. (We had been playing it all week, along with a few other trips to the pool - which was a bit chilly - but included a nice warm hot tub, as well).
Friday was an early morning, but we were all up-and-at-'em and had a safe trip to Sky Harbor. We relaxed with some early-morning-munchies from Starbucks, Burger Kind and Cinnabon. Then we had a fairly quick flight home.
Arizona was very very good to us. Between baseball games (3), the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix Zoo, autographs, a pool (with a hot tub), a new baby, old friends, and time with family, I'm not sure what was my 'favorite' ... but, you know what? ... I'll take it ALL. :)