Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Love this Girl

That is all. Full post about our awesome weekend later, but for now, full of many happy memories :). 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our New Addition

We made a big purchase this week! It's something we've talked about for years, and it's so surreal that this beautiful piano is actually ours. We've already spent hours practicing on our lovely new addition :). So. Much. Fun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

While we've been very happy with our membership with the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, we decided that we wanted to branch out and check out another local garden, a bit more out of town. We certainly weren't disappointed. 

Boyce Arboretum is due East of where we are, about 40 minutes away. We were struck by how much is was like just going on a hike, with the benefit of perfectly planted surroundings and beautifully maintained trails. 

We were thankful for the beautiful weather (especially compared to our 100+ temps this week). 

There were a lot in bloom, including some poppies. 

 What we most enjoyed, though, was how everything was nestled beneath these huge stone walls. It certainly felt like the ideal of what you'd imagine as the wild west.

Of course, there were more blooming cacti, which are just wonderful. I came into living in the desert more or less hating cacti, but I can't help but feel some affection for them when I can see how pretty they can become. 

Ed, being Ed, wanted to go off down some of the more narrow paths and explore. 

This trip also encouraged our budding appreciation for golden barrel cacti (so much so that we now have two of our very own!).

What I am most impressed with, with desert plants, is their verticality. The height that so many gain when in bloom is astounding. 

 In search of narrow trails, we soon found another that fit the bill, the "high trail" that was up above the park. We'd seen others hiking, and sought it out for ourselves.

It did not disappoint. 

Finally, I got to have a trail experience that I'm familiar with. Beautiful and accessible single track. 

We were up high above a creek bed that did even have a little water in it, once we got further up. 

Once we crossed over the creek, we began heading back up again. 

I thought these signs were super cute for restricted areas!

I could not get over the perfectly groomed nature of this trail. Why can't they do this in other places in Arizona?

 As we headed back into the main part of the park, we got to see some more pretty blooms.

The classically funny Beduoin (sp?) tree.

More lovely barrel cacti.

As we were headed back, we were very excited to spot an unusually exciting creature. 

A Gila Monster! 

He headed into hiding pretty quick, but was pretty awesome to see. Funny that we still haven't seen a rattlesnake or scorpion since we've moved, but we've seen a gila monster. 

By this point, it was definitely warming up, so we decided to end our visit, even though there was still so much more to see. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

A few weeks ago, Ed and I decided to take advantage of the local events by taking my coworker's recommendation and heading to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. We were promised yummy food and our money going towards funding the arts. It was a win, win. 

It was another beautiful afternoon (we've been having a lot of these lately), and we were thrilled to be outside enjoying it. While I have no pictures of this, the crowd was, well, interesting. Everywhere we looked, women with bleached blond hair, huge heels, and very trendy revealing clothes. In other words, what I imagine people in LA wear :). Apparently this is a good taste of Scottsdale night life, which made me very glad we do not live there. 

Drinks were pretty expensive, but they did have one that I was intrigued by. 

It promised to be similar to a German Radler, that I loved so much on our honeymoon. The verdict? Not enough of a beer flavor for Ed, but I thought it was lovely and refreshing. After we drank it, we ended up refilling it with water, as it was still warm out and we didn't want to pay to buy a bottle of water. Worked pretty well!

Just sitting in the shade and people watching was lovely.

Ed got inspired by the landscape while we were there and had me take some photos. We have since become the proud owners of two golden barrel cacti. 

The flowers were spectacular. And, we were amused to see Kale blooming among them! Just like in our garden. 

We found a nice bench and just sat and relaxed. It was such a beautiful setting. So beautiful, in fact, that we were nicely asked to move out of the way for a little while so that a couple could have some maternity photos taken. We were happy to oblige. 

While we had some good food, we were soon ready to move onto dessert. Some pistachio and almond ice cream was perfect. 

The fountain was lovely ambiance, and we enjoyed watching all the little kids playing around in the water, despite the very clear "keep out of water" signs. Did not seem to deter them or their parents. 

To cap off the night? A lovely salted caramel cake push pop. Something trendy and tasty and perfectly reminiscent of our afternoon.