Caution, picture enormous…scroll at your own risk.
Last week the family packed up at the unholy hour of 4:30 am, and stumbled into the family truckster to go to the airport. Even though some of us severely lacked coffee, we were all excited to be getting out of miserable, grey, rainy Seattle. The destination?
While it wasn’t predicted by the weatherman to be particularly warm, only the day we arrived would we meet up with a temperature in the 70′s, as in 70 degrees, but at least it wasn’t rainy Seattle. The resort we stayed at is huge, and there are many, many activities on site that thrill the big and little kids among us alike. Five pools, a waterslide, a lazy river, a waterfall, tennis, mini-golf; essentially a child themed mecca of fun. I didn’t manage to snap any lazy river pictures for several reasons. A) I didn’t bring either camera or phone to the pool area B) it was barely 70 degrees while on said long lazy river. Essentially, it was too cold to document such frolicking as that which can be found on a lazy river. I actually didn’t take any pictures of the resort at all (which is weird for me).
Day two dawned nice and…cold, we could see our breath in the air as we left the hotel. Not exactly what we were expecting but since it was scheduled to rain anyway, it seemed like the perfect day to drive the Apache Trail and head to Tortilla Flat – population 6, like, literally, 6 people. As we started up the trail something very bizarre started to happen. Something that is so rare, people actually don’t know exactly what to do when it happens. It started snowing.
Yes, snowing. In Arizona, you know, the desert.
Have you ever seen a snow covered cactus? I have now. We were all laughing in disbelief that the weather we left behind at home had followed us straight to Arizona. And it was in fact, really coming down. This wasn’t some small event, like a couple of flakes, maybe a dusting. By the time we reached Fish Creek past Tortilla Flat on a very narrow, winding dirt road, there was enough snow on the ground to make a snowman, or snowballs, or possibly if one possessed such a thing in Arizona, enough snow to go sledding. You know it’s a big event when the locals are standing outside snapping pictures in amazement.
At Tortilla Flat Restaurant (the only restaurant along the trail, the only town at all (of 6 people) on the trail, the waitress said she hadn’t seen snow in years. It was a rare thing indeed. And it was probably because we were visiting. We are gifted at bringing weather wherever we go.
You’re welcome Arizona.
It might have been rare but the scenery was beyond beautiful, snow or not. It’s hard to describe how many different colors dirt and rock can be but let me say, there are many, many shades of brown/red/tan. I’ll just let the pictures show you what I cannot describe with any amount of justice.
After an exciting day like that you’d think we would go back to the hotel eat dinner and go to bed. But oh no…we went bowling. Yes, bowling. The kids love bowling. Papa and I like bowling. So why not go for pizza and bowling at Via Linda Lanes?
Why not indeed.
Day three consisted of a small little thing called Reds Spring Training.
Not that we were excited for that, or that it was the main reason for the trip in the first place.
Up close and personal with Joey Votto? Check. Brandon Phillips? Check. Todd Frazier? Yep, him too.
If you ever have an interest in baseball, and can go to spring training, run don’t walk. Because it is such a fantastic thing to do. You can get so close to the players and watch them hit, slide, field, etc. They sign autographs (and I don’t know about other teams, but the Reds players are so awesome about greeting fans, taking a minute to thank the people who stick around through thick and thin, you really do feel like it’s this exclusive little club and you’re a part of it. Being within feet of a baseball hero also helps, especially if he’s easy on the eyes. Just saying.)
If you know my obsession with Mickey Mouse, and my giddy 7 year old reaction to entering Main Street in Disneyland, you’ll get a sense of the emotions swirling around me on Spring Training day. I believe I actually squealed.
I am not ashamed to admit it people, I do love baseball.
The pictures show a little of the wonderful things we were able to see Thursday morning. (Please ignore the blurs in some pictures. My camera kept focusing on the chain link fence and I had trouble telling it to stop.it.)
Now that probably seems like the perfect vacation, no? But wait there’s more!
An RV show and mini-golf. Oh, we know how to ‘do’ vacations. There was an RV show going on in the parking lot of the stadium complex (which is separate from the training facility). Why not? we asked ourselves. Why not indeed. One day we’d like to do a multiple state trip in an RV, say from Seattle to the Grand Canyon. It’s always good to see what you might be looking forward to space-wise. A rental 23 foot RV sounds lovely, but just how big is that in reality? Well, now we know.
I also took some images with my phone via Instagram. Not as good, but still fun.
It was a great trip, and I’d go back to Arizona in a heartbeat, literally. I might have even left a wee bit of myself back there just in case I need an excuse to venture around again. I always wanted to go to Arizona, and now I have.