Last Wednesday nite, Jackie and I tootled off to the airport. She laughed at my little bag. I tend to travel light. Jari and I have been known to share the same size bag for days. Jackie's family was all in Washington for her grandpa's funeral and somehow I had managed to book a flight that flew thru Portland. So, she flew there with me and was met by her dad. We had some seriously good giggles on the flight. :)
After landing in Phoenix to a beautiful 82 degrees, Jenny and the girls picked me up and we headed straight to Ikea. I have never been a big Ikea shopper, but when you can't get there ... the "want" list grows incredibly. I managed to get the few small things on my list ... and they even managed to fit into my bag on the way home! Off to home and pool time for the kids, visiting for Jenny and I. Believe it or not ... this water is cool. Even for the Alaska blooded girl ... I went in one day, but didn't stay long.
Friday was graduation day. The reason I went to Phoenix was to share in Ronda's graduation celebration. Ronda has accomplished the incredible feat of pharmacy school ... and many of us flew to town to celebrate. My camera decided to have a battery issue on Friday so I have no pictures from the ceremony itself. Will have to connive some of those from someone. What fun! Ronda knew of many of us coming to town, but she didn't know everyone was coming. Super fun to watch her surprise.
After a post graduation lunch at Ajo Al's, a quick dip and burn in the pool/sun, a much needed nap ... we headed over to Mike & Roxanne's for the evening party. Isn't this lab coat just the cutest thing? Ronda's niece, Candy, pulled that one together with handprints of the great nieces and nephews. Lots of visiting that evening. For that matter ... all 5 days long! So many faces from different places that I hadn't seen.
I really should have just walked around like paparazzi taking pictures of everyone ... but I didn't. I visited folks and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Saturday I borrowed Frans' "little white sports car" and headed up to Prescott. Mummu and Pappa were in Minnesota, but I wanted to see Martta. Once again ... not nearly enough photos. I did manage this one. Once upon a time when Jari & I were dating and first married, Prescott Valley had only 2 places to eat out. This was one. The other was Tastee Freeze. If we wanted anything more than ice cream, we tootled off to Prescott for Pizza Hut ... and we often did that with Bruce & Jodi ... who I didn't get to see. :( I had to call Jari on the way to Prescott with a great revelation. This was my first trip up that hill since we moved away. I was really amazed at how small the mountains had gotten. Ain't that just silly?!
Martta, who turned 89 years old last month, is still asking for recipes. Visiting her in her room was another trip down memory lane. Reminded me of the many visits I made with my aunts when we were young. Spending time visiting the elderly was such a big part of my childhood. My kids are certainly missing that. I'm so glad I was able to see and visit with her.
I wonder how many times I've stopped at this corner in the last 20 something years. Good ol' Cordes Junction. A frequent stop for munchies through the years on the way to and from Prescott/Phoenix when you couldn't keep the eyeballs open anymore.
After a stop in Cordes Junction, I made my way to visit Jeanette Wuollet and went out for dinner with her ... followed by coffee at Greg and Caroline's. No camera along. No pictures. What else is new?! Visited with them along with Ben & Maggie. I think I have the cure for Maggie's flying so we can get her up here to visit. I'll have to let them know what I came up with. Don & Jeanette were down for the graduation as well and I was able to visit with them as well! So much visiting and catching up ... I did miss my niece Lindsey's birthday party that evening. Time is flying and she is certainly growing up! Another late night ... a run to the airport Sunday morning bright and early to bring Alyx who was next winging her way to Minnesota ... church on Sunday morning with so many folks I was able to share a quick visit with ... and so many I missed seeing ... delicious burger bbq and then a quickie nap before hitting it again. Jenny is only 2 1/2 weeks from delivering daughter No. 6 and must have been exhausted after all this running around. I owe them big time!
Kierstyn, Toni, Alanys and Trina loves. My baby is nearly 13 ... won't be long and all these little ladies will be all grown up. They sure are cute ones!
After another short nap ... off to do it again for the evening. Some of the gals in town for the long weekend rented a vacation rental house on the west side of town. It was perfect. A great place for girls to gather and hang out ... without disrupting households. (Other than leaving hubbies all at home!) Jenny and I spent Sunday evening over there. We are spread out all over creation it seems. It is so much fun to see a face and feel like you've just seen them yesterday. Doesn't matter if it has been 5 years since you've seen them. It never feels like it. We certainly did some trips down memory lane. The group got much bigger than this by later in the evening ... am so glad I went!
One more stop at Sonic on the way home. This is totally deceptive. It was pitch black dark when we stopped at Sonic, but had to add this. Jenny craves ice when she's pregnant. Sonic has some wonderful soft ice ... even I took up ice munching while I was there!
Monday it was back to the airport and home again. A flight that changed planes in Seattle, tho' it wasn't supposed to. Naps on each leg of the flight. Remembered where I parked my car at the airport. Yippee!! Came home to cloudy and 68 degrees ... and home. So much fun to go. I certainly needed a break. No stress. No work. Check the worries with the luggage and just don't pick them up at your destination. Just play and have fun with friends. I'm doing this more often. :)
Today my parents will be here sometime. They've been traveling by car and tent heading this way for at least the past week. Can't wait to see them today and hear about their travels. They'll be here for the next 9 days or so ... and I'm still on vacation from work until next week. Hoping to play with them and show them a bit of our world up here.