Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Mom took Autumn and I to a cute tea shop in Carefree, AZ. We had a fun time trying to be fancy, even tho Autumn and I aren't quite the "fancy-nancy" type. A tea trip to Scotland wouldn't be turned down by us tho.
Speaking of Scotland, mom also took Autumn and I to a Robert Burns celebration - was fun for Autumn to get to see the Scottish Dancing and eat some traditional Scottish food and of course, listen to bagpipes!

Brendan and Alec have gotten a few golf games in together. Not as much as Brendan would like - poor guy has temptation staring him in the face EVERY day as he looks out over hole #9 from his office/bedroom window!

We spent a day in Scotsdale checking out that area and also took the kids to a Phoenix Coyote Hockey Game. Brendan and I have been enjoying running around our complex -- trying to at least keep a decent base of 20 miles in/wk.

Brendan & I went on a last minute wkend get-away to Vegas - stopped and checked out the Hoover Dam as well. We met up with some friends from Rochester for one night & part of the next day. I wasn't very impressed - guess it's neat to see, but once is enough for me. We found some really nice shopping away from the strip - so spent a good portion of one day away from the hustle and bustle.

The kids are doing great at school. We celebrated with a 50% party - they chose to go to Culvers with Grandma & Grandpa. They are looking forward to getting back into the regular public school system next year tho - they miss the socialization and we can totally understand that! They've been playing guitar quite a bit - so fun to hear them play & sing together (sometimes with Brendan & my dad as well!)

We bought a yoga DVD (physical exercise is lacking for our kids in AZ)and bought mats for our family. (guess I could mention, I could probably learn some yoga techniques to CHILL a bit...hard not to let my mind race with our uncertain lifestyle!) We've projected the dvd up on the wall and have spent a few nights doing yoga together. that's the good news for January....we're still living, working, and most of all PLAYING together quite well after being together 24X7 for 5 months.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arizona Happenings

It's been over 2 months since I made a post. Guess I have some catching up to do!

In December we finally got to be the host (after so many months of being the guests) to Nate, Jana and Aurelia, who came to visit from Rochester! Was really fun to see them again. A couple highlights were a hike to the White Tank Mountains and The Phoenix Zoo.

We spent X-mas in Flagstaff - had a family day skiing and enjoyed being in Brendan's old stomping grounds (he went to NAU for one semester of college).

Something I'll remember about our 2011 New Years Eve in AZ, was waking up at 12:05am and hearing what sounded like many girls hooting and hollering. Here it was the coyotes howling like crazy in our backyard! We hear them quite often in the evening, but they must have been really worked up with all the new years partying as their howling was really loud! Different kind of 'noise maker' this year.

For New Years we went to Sedona, AZ. Had a fabulous time soaking in the beauty of the red rocks. We managed to fit a yoga class (first time), a trail run and "the best hike ever" (according to the kids) all in one day.

The kids LOVE going to Grandma and Grandpa's to play pickle-ball. They've become quite the players.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home Sweet Home - pro tem

My parents had been looking for a campground in the Phoenix area and we've done a fair amount of looking ourselves, but most everything is 55 and older -or doesn't accept children! So, being the FLEXIBLE people that we've become, we had to move on to plan B....

We started looking for rental homes and ended up getting a home on a golf course in Coyote Lakes Area in the city of Surprise. We're about 20 mins from my parents (not that far in miles, but there's a boat load of retired people down here and the traffic is bad!) Mom, if you're reading this, it's not that the retired people are bad drivers, it's just that's there's a lot of you! :)

The house is unfurnished, but thanks to my parents and the homeowners, we are pretty much set for furniture and accessories. It's amazing how much stuff we had in the camper and trailer too. It feels awesome to have more space, and the kids are excited to have the Wii hooked up. Now we can have company the next four months too!!!

We won't be able to save up like we had planned - and I'm going to have to curb the desire to buy for the house (how convenient it would be to buy new dishes now & acquire some new decor items!). Mom and I will just have to hit the estate sales!

Good-bye Napa, hello Arizona

We couldn't leave Napa Area without visiting a recommended Bakery in Yountville- so we grabbed some goodies for breakfast! Yountville is a cute little town.

The only pic I have of our campground in Napa.

From Napa we drove down thru the San Joaquin Valley, which was an interesting drive thru farming country. We wished there would have been signs at all the fields so we would have known what all was being grown.

We drove around the outskirts of LA and on to Palm Springs and spent the night there. The next day we met up with my parents for lunch and eventually got settled in at campground on Lake Pleasant (about 1/2 hour North of Phoenix). We stayed a week here. It was a beautiful spot, but we didn't want to be so far out of town for the whole winter.

San Fran Pics - Day 2

We learned why it's called the 'Fog City' ...driving across the bridge into town was really mystical.

On the ferry to Alchatraz

Coming from a couple who doesn't care for museum's very much, we found this super enjoyable and would highly recommend the audio tour. I actually wanted more time and the kids were just soaking it in.

I like that you can see his reflection in the window - don't you love my high-tech photography? We've looked at camera's numerous times, but can't make up our minds, so the cell-phone camera is documenting our trip.

Overall, we loved this city - glad we made time for it. The fresh clam chowder in a bread bowl was pretty good too!

In case some of you were reading a prior post about the man who would frighten the tourists - Here's 'the rest of the story'.
On this 2nd day in town, we were walking back to our car and Brendan was in the lead. A man sitting on the sidewalk jumped out from behind his branches and caught Brendan off guard. He leapt in the air and all of us about killed ourselves laughing. So, yes, I ended up having to go back on my words and 'gave the man some money" for scaring people. How dumb, yet how funny. Maybe you had to be there.

Friday, December 2, 2011

San Fransico - Day 2

We took off a few hours early on Tuesday afternoon and headed back into San Fran for a tour of Alcatraz. We all loved it. Pictures coming soon.

Logging some phy ed hours...

One evening we took the kids to the outdoor skating rink downtown Napa.

One afternoon we took the kids on a bike ride. There were some difficult areas and a lot of hills. Not sure if they'll take us up on our next off-road biking suggestion.

We went back another afternoon to the same park, but went on the steeper trails and hiked (where Brendan & I had ran on T-day). Unfortunately, I saw a sign posted at the entrance that said a mountain lion had recently been spotted in the area, so the kids and I weren't really into the hike. We sang songs to keep him away & kept asking when it was time to start going back down!