Saturday, August 23, 2008

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

We got back from Arizona late last night. We had a great time despite the heat. All you Arizona haters out there, you don't know what you don't know. Phoenix and the surrounding areas were really nice. It was very clean and well manicured--even the older "ghetto" parts that we drove through were relatively clean.

It's a really pretty part of the country (keep in mind that I'm used to seeing flat gray land void of vegetation). I love the cartoonishness of the Saguaro cacti. Arizonians are really protective of them too. Many of the more elderly cacti had little braces propping them up.

I had my eye out for Dick's. Mark promised I'd see Dick's all over the place, but I spied nary a Dick. I did see a Jo-ann's Fabrics.

We ignored everyone's advice and went to the zoo. We're tough Las Vegans, our bodies are used to the heat. We can handle it. But I didn't take into account that I NEVER leave my air-conditioned house and walk around Las Vegas, doing all the touristy junk.

The Phoenix Zoo

(Notice that I'm listening to my iPod to drown out the sounds of children's laughter, birds chirping, animals groaning in the sweltering sun, etc.)

We got there very early, when the heat wasn't so bad, and we pretty much had the entire zoo to ourselves. When the pavement started to sizzle, we went back to our hotel and went swimming. Our hotel was a really big spa/golf resort type hotel. They had 8 pools, and 8 hot tubs. One really nice area had five neat pools and hot tubs, and a huge water slide. It felt like a water park, but without the crowd.

View from our hotel balcony:

It was really nice when the sun went down. I love warm summer nights. I sat out on the balcony and read for hours, while Anthony played board games with the boys and watched the Olympics.

Homer in his chrysalis:

The next day, we got up early and I took the boys swimming while Anthony packed up our car. We didn't bring much with us, in fact, we forgot to bring tons of stuff, including Homer's swim suit and enough clothes to last us through Friday. Homer had to swim in his pajama shorts, I had to re-wear the same shirt I had sweated in the day before, and the kids had to re-wear their dirty shorts. Ah well.

Then we took Michele Bailey's advice (yes, I got your comment just before we left--thanks!) and took the boys to the Arizona Science center. It was really fun! We loved it! They have a Chronicles of Narnia exhibition there right now, that had tons of real props from the movie (we weren't allowed to take pictures of any of it, though). The boys loved it. We didn't have time to see everything we wanted to see, so we'll definitly go back.
(And if you're reading this Emperor Ryan, we'll for sure give you a call and drag you and Sue along with us next time. Although your comment came suspiciously--perhaps conveniently--late. Hmm.)

Here I am, kicking Cord's butt at a wheelchair race.

After the museum, we met Emily (my cousin) and Rob Matson and family for dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe. It was really loud in there, but we still managed a good visit. Her kids are super cute! Ren and Kennedy actually argued over the privilege of sitting next to their mom. Um, why don't my kids ever do that? Her baby Rachel was terrified of all the jungle sounds and growls, and spent the entire time cowered against her dad. It was really cute. Emily is about to have her sixth baby and she looked SO good! How is that fair?
Thanks for meeting us Emily, and answering our neverending string of AZ questions!


Katie or Tom said...

what was that green stuff blocking the view from your balcony?
Glad you had a good time, but it sounds like you are interested in moving to Boise now. I knew you would change your mind...
Oh, as far a "clean" ghetto goes...I haven't seen a really clean ghetto since the Esplin family photo shoot. Take that Jenny!

Sam, Shel & Co said...

Hey, I'm glad you had a good time. Totally forgot about the RainForest Cafe, that's about a mile from where I grew up, but it wasn't there when I lived there.

I loved growing up there, but I was in the East Valley (Tempe/Mesa) and don't know much about Phoenix itself. I was born there, but we moved to Tempe when I was four.

I'm a heat wimp now, so I don't think I could live there again, but I'd live there over Vegas. I'd probably rather be in Tucson, though, not so big. The Valley wasn't that big when I was a kid.

Amy Thurston said...


Landeelu said...

What's with all the Boise State t-shirts?

Sounds like a fun time was had by all the Esplins. Just so I can jot it down in my "Future Travels Tips & Suggestions" notebook... Phoenix= indoor activites?

Got it.

Amanda said...

You guys are good sports when it comes to heat. No thank you...
And yes, you are a better person than me to wish to end world hunger. It never even crossed my mind.

Cristin said...

boy oh boy, it sure looked hot. You know, the Portland area isn't nearly as hot and we have tons of stuff to do inside and outside. We have even been having rain...too bad you missed it....
Looks like fun and how lucky are you to go see The Matson?!

Emily said...

It was so great to see you guys!!! Thanks for taking the time to meet up with us. Your boys are so cute and it was fun to catch up! I'm holding out hope you will move here.

Krissy and Jason said...

oh the fun weekend trips! I almost always forget stuff too when we go somewhere. So i need an update, was this just a fun trip or are you thinking of moving there? Not that it really makes a difference but my vote(along with your bro and sis)is for Boise!

michelle said...

Cute shoes ya'll are wearing.

Glad you had a good time. AZ is a fun place to visit. I usually travel to Chandler a couple times a year for work. But boy is it HOT there!!!