My recent trip to Arizona was a ton of fun! It was the perfect length considering it was over 105 degrees every day and there wasn't much you could do outside for an extended period of time (except hang out in the pool-- which I did a lot of). My grandmother (dad's mom) came with me and spent most of her time staying with her siblings that live out there and her son, my Uncle Dave. I stayed the entire time with one of my friends from college, Jane, and her family-- which includes her adorable daughter Collette (who turned one yesterday).
When we landed, my Great Uncle Rich and my friend Jane met my grandmother at the airport. Uncle Rich and Aunt Barb live on a ranch as the caretakers of the owner's house. They have a pretty great gig going on there as the owners don't come very often in the summer. The view of the desert is great.
The architecture inside the main home is beautiful and is very typical Southwest style.
And who wouldn't love this pool?
There is a dude ranch on the property where you can go and stay overnight to have a true Southwestern cowboy experience (it's one of two still operating for tourists in Tucson). However, my Uncle and Aunt don't have to worry about taking care of any part of that.
After a delicious lunch of cashew crusted salmon and chicken stuffed with goat cheese, Jane and I headed back to her house to relax and unpack. The next day, we met up with my grandma, Uncle Rich and my Great Aunt Pete (short for Perdita), as well as my Aunt Pete's daughter at my Aunt's cabin up on Mt. Lemmon. The drive up made this pregnant lady a little motion-sick, but once it was time to eat a delicious lunch, I was feeling much better.
I went to Arizona four years ago and my Aunt's cabin was unfinished on the interior. In 2003, forest fires swept down the mountain (later found out to be caused by a careless hiker's cigarette). This is the view from the cabin's porch and you can see that there is still a lot of construction going on. Not to mention that it's pretty bare.
The interior looks fantastic now and it was a perfect mountain retreat.
Saturday was spent mostly in Jane's pool, but we did venture out for a bit to the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. The museum showcases some incredibly intricate miniatures-- including miniature instruments that played tiny crystal goblets. As a girl who loved playing with dollhouses, I really appreciated everything in the museum. Pictures weren't allowed, so I don't have any to share.
Sunday was pretty lazy as well. We went to church and then satisfied my In-N-Out burger craving (animal style of course). I got hooked on these burgers the summer during college that I spent in Los Angeles. Thank good some experienced patrons of the hamburger joint told me about ordering animal style. It's not on the menu, but the workers all know what it means-- special sauce and grilled onions + all the regular fixings.
Monday brought a short visit to the beautiful San Xavier mission.
It was hot though, so we also spent more time by Jane's pool and then I got to visit with a few more relatives in the afternoon-- including my Uncle Dave (my dad's brother), who lives about an hour or so outside of Tucson. Eight years ago (I think that's how long ago it was), he was diagnosed with cancer and given about a year to live. God answers prayers and my Uncle is still with us today and at his most recent doctor's appointment was cancer-free.
Then came Tuesday. After 5 hours of flying I got to see my handsome hubby and sweet girl. They clearly didn't get bored without Mommy at home. My mom and hubby remembered to send me pictures of Cate often (the following pictures are phone pics), which helped me to not miss her quite so much. Just kidding-- I still missed her like crazy. On Friday they went with my parents to Coney Island, where Cate took her first paddle boat ride in the evening after swimming all afternoon.
Sunday brought a lunch date that was just Cate and Daddy after church.
And on Monday night, Eric and Cate took in a Reds game (until it was delayed due to rain-- they ended up winning). Eric even remembered to stop by Target and pick up a Reds shirt for Cate since she hasn't been since she was a baby.
I was glad to be home, but also happy I got the chance to have a little vacation by myself. Because let's face it, I probably won't have that chance again for a few more years at least. Tucson is absolutely beautiful if you ever get the chance to go-- but don't go in the summer because man is it hot!