Friday, January 11, 2013

Family Visits

Pretend that this post popped up about two months ago. It's that never ending struggle to try to keep up with our new life here.  This past week has been a mix of yucky and great. I've had a cold (or, I really think 2 colds) since Thursday. The first one was super mild and almost gone by Sunday. Then, I woke up Monday with a sore throat, and things just went downhill from there. I came close to taking the day off (with a student telling me that if I sounded really bad and if I wasn't better in the morning, she ordered me to stay home and get better :) ). The silver lining, though, was that my kids behaved really well for me because of it, which was just wonderful. I'm finally closing in on the other end of this cold (I'm not wheezing with every breath and completely stuffed up any more), so I'm hoping tomorrow will be one of the last days of this!

In any event, this has been sitting in my draft box for ages and I finally have the energy to finish it. Someday, hopefully this year, I'll have everything updated. 

So, let's rewind to the end of October. 

My parents decided to fly in for their anniversary weekend, which has become a bit of a tradition, 

We didn’t want to waste any time during their visit, and so headed straight to our first destination after picking them up from the airport: The Desert Botanical Gardens. 

My mom has always been a huge fan of the southwest, and all the plants it entails, and both my dad and mother-in-law love all things gardening, so it seemed like the perfect choice. My dad also shared on the way over that he had been here around 30 years prior with his own mother, which made it even a little more special. 

He’d actually had his pictures taken with one of these plants on that very trip, so of course we had to recreate it the best we could. 

Wandering around, it was fun to see the huge variety of desert plant-life, and to gain an appreciation for their special kind of beauty:)

While we were there, we decided to take the opportunity to partake in a seasonal exhibit: the Monarch Butterflies. They were just beautiful, and everywhere. 

We were happy to find a Berlin garden for Sabine, though it seemed funny to have Berlin Agaves

One of my favorite parts of the gardens was going through a “walk through history” that took us through different living areas of different peoples who have inhabited this area. 

And of course no trip would be complete without pictures with our famed cacti found only in the Sonoran Desert.

After a couple hours, we were wiped out by the heat and the walking, and so headed for some refreshment in Scottsdale. 

We enjoyed some great tacos and margaritas, and especially being out of the sun. 

We also enjoyed walking around historical Scottsdale.

Once Sabine left the next morning, we headed out for our big weekend event - the UCLA/ASU game. We were a family divided, especially since Ed had strong ties to both. So, I donned an ASU visor and Ed, his UCLA had and a yellow shirt, which he figured would work for either side. 

We headed to the very top of the stadium, which offered a great view of the field, if also a little vertigo, as the stadium was very steep. Once we got started, we were given a great, close game. I couldn’t quite decide who to cheer for, generally cheering for the team behind until they got caught up, then switching sides. It was hard to resist cheering for UCLA, though, as my mom is quite the energetic UCLA fan and was very vocal about her support. She was well rewarded, as UCLA pulled out a win in the last couple of minutes!

This may have been the first football game I actually watched (apparently I brought a book and read through the last one I went to with my parents), and I did start understanding the game. Maybe someday I’ll become a football fan. 

After the game, we continued on what has become a bit of a tradition with our parents, and took them out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary. We were even surprised with a personalized menu for them! We went out to Cork, probably our favorite fancy restaurant choice on the outskirts of Chandler. 

It was so much fun to show both of our parents around our new home town, and share our new life with them. Hopefully it won’t be too long before they are back out again. 

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