Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vacation in Arizona!

Jon and I went on a quick vacation to Arizona to get some sun and to celebrate his birthday. It was a surprise trip for Jon - he knew we were going somewhere (he had to request the vacation time at work) but not where. I did all of the planning.

At the airport. Trying to drown out the anxiety of not knowing where we're going.

Surprise! We're staying in the Tonto National Forest...

at  the Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch.

 It was beautiful. 

 We did some hiking around the grounds...

 and appreciated the vast change in scenery from Seattle! 

 We don't have cacti in Seattle! 

 We hiked to some Indian Petroglyphs. If you look carefully, this one is kokopelli. 

This one is a chief's head. Wait, I'll rotate it so you can see it better...

Now do you see it? It's a profile view. He's either smoking a pipe or has a word bubble coming out of his mouth? Don't worry, I wouldn't have seen it if our host hadn't explained it.

The view of the Saguaro Lake and the dam from our hike. 

 Selfie with Cactus! 
 Ok, more cactus. We were kind of impressed by them. I didn't realize there were so many different shapes and styles of cacti.

Four Peaks in the distance. 

My favorite spot was these adirondack chairs by the river. 
I think this will be my "happy spot" for quite a while now. 

 We went to an awesome Mexican market in Mesa, Pro's Ranch Market. It was incredible, I felt like I was back in Mexico. Here we are with Ranchie the Bull.

The view from our chairs by the river at sunset. Do you see the red and yellow paragliders? 

 Cactus at sunset. We enjoyed sitting by the river until sunset... then the bats started flying around and we decided to make a run for it! 

The next day we explored a few more parks and did a few more mini-hikes.

Selfie with butte.

 Doesn't this look like one cactus giving another cactus a piggy-back ride?

 I like big buttes and I cannot lie. 

 We even waded in a river, looking for the wild horses. They must have been close because we saw fresh horse poop, but the only wildlife we saw at this spot was lots of fish. Do you see them?

 Cacti and buttes.

 The view from Water User's Park. I'm not sure, but aren't we all water users?

We caught the Mariners vs. Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Our view from our lawn seats. It was really nice to sit on a blanket, enjoy a cold drink, and watch baseball. It felt like spring.

 Later, when the sun on the lawn got to be too much for us, we moved to these shady seats. 
It actually felt a little cool in the shade! 

 View from the stadium.

The next day, we went to the brand new Cubs Park in Mesa. It's a beautiful park.

 Cubs mascots through the years. 

 Outside the stadium, you can see the practice fields and the players warming up. 

 Inside, they have a marquis like the one in Wrigley Park. Happy Birthday Jon! 

 Inside the stadium, they did their best to recreate a real Chicago atmosphere. We had Old Style, the real Chicago beer we enjoyed at Wrigley in 2012.  We could not get real deep dish pizza but we did enjoy a Chicago dog, dragged through the garden. 

 One thing not Chicago-authentic? The temperature! 

While at the game, we overheard some people talking about the nearby "Ostrich Festival" and of course, we had to check it out after the game.
It was more like your traditional fair. Less emphasis on ostriches than I expected, more emphasis on food on sticks and deep fried food. Like deep fried burritos...

Bacon wrapped corn dogs...

and deep-fried everything else!

This being an Ostrich Fest, you could also get Arizona Ostrich Burgers. Right next to the stand selling ostrich feather dusters and other ostrich feather paraphernalia. Talk about using every part of the pig.

Oh, and speaking of pigs... 
We paid an extra dollar to see Harley, reportedly the world's biggest pig. 

Here he is, in all of his, umm... glory?

We also saw bulls...

and baby goats (I think they look like Olive. Or maybe I was just homesick for my baby!) 

And this Holy Goat. (Isn't that part of the Holy Trinity?)

Don't forget the Pig Races! Each of the pigs had a color.

 I was rooting for Green Eggs and Ham! 

Olive stayed home with Olivia, her Rover-sitter. I knit up this Michigan hat during our trip for Olivia who is a Michigan alumni.

I finished it just before it was time to head home. 
At least we had some nice views from the plane during the day...
 of mountains...

 and the Grand Canyon...

 and of Mt. Rainier! 

Sweet Home Seattle! 

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