Sunday, March 17, 2019

Arizona Thanksgiving I

Right after B's birthday we headed off to Arizona for our annual dose of winter sunshine (since the sun disappears at the advent of autumn in the Pacific Northwest).  We flew out of the Bellingham airport because Allegiant airlines started flying direct from Bellingham to Tucson.  There was a prison transport plane using our gate, so there was a lot to see while we waited.  Our flight got moved to a different gate, but the airport was small enough that we could see all of the gates from where we were sitting, so it was not a problem.  
Off on an adventure! 
Tucson is the land of nonstop cousin and grandparent fun.  These are PVC pipe mini-marshmallow guns.  We had to play with them in the wash because the marshmallows bring ants into the yard. 
We celebrated Rachel's birthday.  I can't believe she's eleven.
Eloise and Grandma Knight planned a Thanksgiving 5K together.  Rachel designed a logo, and Grandma put it on t-shirts for all of the kids. 
Grandma picked a route: a section of Julian Wash near her house is 3 miles long from one road crossing to another, so the kids didn't have to cross any streets.  They had so much fun.  3 miles was a little bit long for some of them, but Jacob rode a bike with a trailer up and down the route handing out water and giving rides to a couple of the smaller kids.  Megan rode most of the way.  Sammy went every inch under his own power on a borrowed pedal bike.  Not bad for a kid who had just learned to pedal three weeks before.  Eloise and Peyton would yell, "For PIE!!" and take off running for a little while, and then they would slow down again.  Sammy scraped his leg on a small palo verde tree when he tried to stop by using the bush to brake.  This sometimes works in Washington, but all of the vegetation is hostile in Tucson.  Fortunately he was just around the final turn from the end of the race, and Colette was waiting at the end with turkeys made of oreos. 
My kids loved this race so much that they decided that we should have a race for every holiday. 
B and Ryan got up to their usual antics.  Those little turkey heads. 
We had Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Knight's new house, which is only a few blocks from Colette's house, and then the kids spent a lot of time burning off their dinner in the back yard.  It didn't take long to wear everyone out after the race in the morning.  Fortunately, we can all relax with crazy animal videos with Grandpa. 
Friday we left the kids with their relatives and went to the temple.  Todd consented to eat food truck food, possibly for the first time ever, and he didn't die!  We were a little overdressed for the food truck shack after the temple. 
Later we went to Dan and Katie's house.  We stopped to pick up some Friday pizza on our way over. 
Lashley was in town from New Mexico for a family event with Tania's family.  He was there with their newest addition, two year old Finn, recently adopted from China.  It's fun to get the guys together. 
The kids wanted to do some star gazing, since Grandma and Grandpa moved out of the city, and Tucson skies tend to be clearer than our west coast cloud bank. 
Saturday was Annie's baptism.  We took the opportunity to get some family pictures.  Here are Kent and Annette with all of their living posterity. 
Here they are with the grandkids. 
It wouldn't be a day in our family without an Eloise selfie, here with Peyton. 
We had a cookout at Colette's house after the baptism. 
There are a lot of parks in Colette's neighborhood.  We played in this neighborhood park while Todd napped. 

One thing that I had heard a lot about, but never done, was Colossal Cave, just east of Tucson.  It was very cool. 
It's a dry, dormant cave, but you still can't touch the sides of the cave because hands rub off the mineral deposits. 
We all thought this was a pretty cool place to see. 
It might have been a little too amazing.  Jared was so busy looking around that he forgot to look where he was going, missed a step, and stopped his fall with his face on the handrail.  A good chunk of a front adult tooth chipped off.  He was not pleased. 
We went for a desert hike after we saw the cave.  Sammy had to go back and use the bathroom before we got to the scenic overlook. 
Eloise loved all the girl time with her cousins.  Annie taught her how to play Chinese checkers. 
Disregarding the school days that would be missed, we went ahead and stayed in the sun for another week after Thanksgiving.  Eloise's teachers sent her with a vacation packet, which she loved filling with ticket stubs and drawings of things she did on her trip.  Jared spent part of his vacation keeping up with his class in math, and creating a powerpoint book report.  I was pretty jealous of the Campbell kids, who get out of school at 2:30.  They have so much more afternoon left than we have when the kids get home at 4 every day.  On the other hand, they have year round school, so their school year starts the week after the fourth of July, so I guess there are tradeoffs. 

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