Over Labor Day weekend, Lonica and family talked us all into a camping trip up north and out of the heat. We have come to avoid traveling on long weekends because the traffic in and out of Phoenix is so awful. We decided to brave the potential lines of cars just to have a little reprieve from the heat. (August had been the hottest on record.)
We found a great little spot and set up camp. We all loved just sitting around and eating and reading. I think Raquel was the only one who wanted some more action.
We had fun building campfires, roasting marshmallows, getting dirty, and playing with Amelia and Millie.
After one night of babies crying in stereo in the middle of the night, Raquel and Dave packed up and headed home. The rest of us toughed it out and had a much better night the second night. The weather was perfect and even the traffic wasn't bad getting home. We will definitely try it again over a long weekend.
The end of September my mom came to stay. It was the first time she had meet Amelia and Millie. Those two darling girls quite captured Grandam Joan's heart. She taught Amelia how to play "two little birdies" and Amelia was fascinated that the birdies would hide in her ear or on her bow or in her mouth. Sorry the picture is so blurry - none of them turned out.
We had to take some four generation shots. Don't we have some beautiful women in our family?
I think my mom was tickled with her trip, at least we hope so, so she will come back again soon.
We had to throw a little dancing into the mix as well.
Over October break Garth and I took sometime and went to Winslow. Yes, I know not a travel destination high most people's list, but it should be. There is an old 1930's hotel that is slowly being restored and it is will worth the trip.
La Posada was built by the Santa Fe railroad and opened just when the Great Depression hit. It was designed by Mary Colter and is a beautiful old hotel. It was closed in the 50's and the railroad used it as offices and destroyed some unique features.
In the late 90's a couple purchased the hotel and began restoring it. Garth and I's room was recently completed, but the wing our room was in is still under construction. They have a famous restaurant that has wonderful food and a man playing an acoustic guitar the echos through the Spanish styled halls. We watched the train pull up and people get off to spend the night, just like they did 60 years ago in the hotel's hayday.
The couple live in the hotel and the wife has an art studio there as well. One of the big halls is her gallery and to say her art is very interesting is an understatement. She has had showings of it in the Smithsonian and some of it is still there. In this picture, she has a self portrait next to Gaddafi and Hussein.
We headed to St. Johns and I talked Garth into going by the petrified forest since I'd never been there.
It really was quite amazing to see the huge trees that had completely turned to stone, and now were so beautiful.
This tree, in the picture below, was actually a bridge. Due to some careful photography angles, you can't see the cement that now supports the bridge. It wasn't always like this though. The history of the petrified forest tells that just 70 years ago there were many more trees, but due to souvenir hunters much has been destroyed.
I really got a kick out of the stories and letters that were told and displayed at the visitor's center. I guess there is a curse on anyone taking petrified wood from the National Park, and there were numerous letters from people returning the rocks they had taken hoping the curse would be lifted, and their lives could return to normal. Needless to say, I didn't take any rocks.
Two weeks later it was Halloween and our family had one little Curious George monkey who had to carry her tail ,
and one little strawberry who never pulled her hat off.
Both of them came over to our house to go trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. Here is Curious George with the Man in the Yellow hat.
Here you can see our little trick-or-treaters along with my new front door that hasn't been stained yet.
It didn't take Amelia long to figure out that at each door people were giving her candy. Millie had just started to walk the week before and she would slowly teeter up to the door. Amelia was much quicker and would have grabbed a handful of candy for herself and then grabbed another handful for Millie. Amelia would proceed to dump the candy in Millie bag and knocker her off balance with the weight. It was quite the sight!
At every house we got quite the comments on how cute they were, but how could we not - just look at those darling girls. No one cared that Amelia had taken half their candy.
Two weeks later it was Millie's first birthday. Yes, she was one on 11-11-11! Her master cake decorator mother, made her this birthday cake that looked just like her favorite taggy blanket. You can see part of the blanket at the bottom of the photo.