Sunday, June 28, 2009

St. Louis Zoo

Last weekend, when it was bloody hot, we went to the St. Louis Zoo. It was a first-time experience for Jack. We pet the sting rays or at least Mike and I did. We also fed them. Jack just wanted to splash them which is a big no-no.The little punk below threw a stick at the peacock while his parents just stood by. How nice.Show off hippo. Freaked out the little kids because he swam so close to the glass.Mike is attacked by a killer roach and manages to live and tell about it.Why is there an elephant Buddha at the zoo?We didn't have the patience to see everything. We walked around for four hours and then headed home. Did I mention how bloody hot it was?


My best friend from school is a Sister of St. Francis of the Marytr St. George. She is allowed to come home once a year. Last year, I missed her, but not this year. You see the date correctly. This was the Sunday after we came back from our trip. After getting to bed after midnight, I was dead tired. But I learned that I could spend about an hour with Leah on Sunday so I headed home and Jack met Sister Mary Mediatrix for the first time. We had a wonderful time together but it went by so quickly. I'm glad she is so happy but I sure miss her.

Vacation Summary

Summing up the trip...

Jack did very well on three out of four planes. As far as I could tell, he didn't seem to have any pain in his ears from the pressure. It made me wonder how well Maggie will behave on a plane. Of course, our flights were pretty short, less than 2 hours each connection. So, you really can't compare a long flight to a short one and we have no idea how old Maggie will be when we receive our referral.

People are actually nice to you in airports when you look like your arms are going to fall off from lugging extra baby stuff and your stroller and baby look like they might get stuck in an elevator.

You can change a diaper in a plane bathroom...including a number two.

Going potty on a plane experiencing turbulence is not fun. Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake your booty. Shake it dry.

Traveling with extra support (mom) is super nice. It makes me wonder who I can sucker into going with us to China. I love you mom. Wink. Wink.

Driving during rush hour in Phoenix is not such a fun thing...especially with a child who is experiencing serious melt down in the back. Nothing would make him happy. Constant crying. We managed to get safely back to the condo thanks to mom and Mike's navigational skills.

Jack will flirt with any girl in any state. He just has that effect on the ladies.

I still get sea sick. Thank goodness for my aunt's dramamine.

I loved taking a vacation with my husband and son. When I went to Cabo San Lucas on a chamber trip a couple of winters ago, I kept thinking, I wish Mike and Jack were here. It was nice that we could all be together. It was also incredibly nice to hang out with my best girl friend, mom, during the trip.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Friend's Referral

One of my friends recently received her referral for China. I'm so happy for Frank and Lizette. Like the rest of us, they have been waiting soooo long. Share in their good news here

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coming Home

Wow, it was incredible to take a week off from reality. That hasn't happened in a long, long time. On Friday evening, mom and I squeezed in a game of pool. It was a tie. We both equally stank, although mom is normally a much better player than me.Before leaving Saturday morning, I tried to drown down as many drinks as possible that remained in our condo. I'm talking a little wine, soda, mostly water. I was liquid logged. I also tried to eat a bunch and not let it go to waste. Well, whatever I could force down went to my waist instead. We fed the ducks which was a nice last activity.
We were able to switch our seats to the last row on the flight to Denver. Being stuck near the bathrooms has its dis-stink-tions, but it meant that Jack could have his own seat and we didn't have to pay for it. With Jack sleeping on me, it also meant I had to wait to go until almost the end of the flight when the crowd of throne mongers had gone and left the area. Being a straight shooter was a little tough in the john when the turbulence kicked in. It was horrible. I stepped outside the box and the steward advised me to hang onto the seats as I made my way back.

So, we survived and had about a two hour wait in the Denver airport. But, lo and behold, our plane and another had experienced mechanical issues. They were going to take extra time to figure out what they were going to do. So, we switched gates and after hanging out a bit our pilot explained how our plane had mechanical issues but that he had accepted it.

Apparently, there were some cabin pressure issues but we would fly at such a low elevation that we would be okay versus the folks who were flying to Las Vegas. Uh, hello? Were there no other planes laying around the tarmac? And, even though the pilot explained he had no concerns, there was a back-up cabin pressure system, etc., I wasn't sure what to do. Mike asked if I wanted to get a rental car. I was so tired and really didn't look forward to a long drive home. On the other hand, I didn't want to take any chances. But our luggage was headed to our next airport, so we got on the plane to hell.

At one point, the steward asked the passengers not to congregate for a long time in a big group. So, now we were on board with terrorists? The turbulence out of Denver stank. My prayers were answered when we touched down. As people were preparing to leave the plane, the crew asked us to be careful on the big step off. I joked and said we should just slide down the inflatables. We arrived home around midnight that evening. I was zoinked.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lazy Day in AZ

We were all so exhausted when we returned from Flagstaff. All that get-up-and-go. We chilled out on Thursday. I made a couple of small things including a small clay container/dish/whatchamacallit. I also sucked up the courage to enter the pool. I love swimming but the pool was a little chilly. Apparently, the pollen from the palm trees dirtied the water so it had to be cleaned out. It was all fresh and probably with no pee in it until Jack jumped in. :)Boy, aren't those legs below something sweet? So pale, they almost glow in the light. If I'm ever lost, the blue light special shining from my veiny legs will light the way home.We also checked out the ducks at the condo.It was a wonderful, relaxing day.The next day we headed to the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa.The museum had a cool dinosoar display.The real alligator that never moved.We think Jack missed his playmates back home. He met a cute little girl ironically named Maggie and they had a great time chasing each other in the museum.No, Jack. That's not a squatty potty.They had a cool, old jail manufactured in St. Louis. No comforts here.Was this sign meant to be a joke? Dry heat is still hot.They had this cool projection so you could be in an old time movie that was filmed in Arizona. I think this one is called "My Bleeding Heart, Dried-out Eye Balls and Dehydrated Soul." Mike and I went on a date Thursday night to an Italian restaurant named Cafe Roma. The owners are from Italy. Antonio is the chef and his wife Anna is the hostess. The food was wonderful but too much to eat. Pictures from Italy and their adventures decked the hallway leading to the bathrooms. It was a very cute place. We topped off the evening at Cold Stone Creamery. Mom was great during the entire vacation, watching Jack so we could take little breaks. Thanks Mom!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More Arizona Adventures

On Tuesday, we headed to the Grand Canyon. Grandma and I stayed on a shuttle bus for an hour while Jack slept. Meanwhile, Mike headed into the canyon with a couple of my second cousins. He snapped these shots on his way down and up.The Grand Canyon was beautiful, although I feel we didn't see much. A person needs to arrive early in the morning to catch most of it or come back a second day.According to Mike, it's tradition to stack a pile of rocks once you've been down to the canyon, so here's his pile.The Grand Canyon is beautiful and surreal. The foreground looks real while the background almost looks like a painting in one of those old musicals. Simply amazing.We headed back to Flagstaff that evening and headed to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument on Wednesday morning. It was a site my cousin and her family talked abouts seeing so we thought we'd check it out before heading back to Phoenix.Tuesday and Wednesday were chilly days in the area. I wore a long sleeved shirt that I bought at the Grand Canyon.
None of my pictures do this place justice. The blackened lava reminded me of the island Mom and I visited during our trip to Hawaii.Here's some information on the Sunset Crater: the volcano erupted in 1065 AD. There is evidence that the ancient Sinagua Indians were able to flee before it erupted. Archaeological digs revealed that the wood used in their structures had been stripped, perhaps taken with them as they fled.From the Sunset Crater, we visited the Wupatki National Monument. My mission during the Arizona trip was to see the Indian ruins. On this trek, this was the only ruin we saw. After our time at this site, Mike was crabby and Jack was suffering a meltdown. Oh joy!Ancient wood.Ancient bird poop?On our way back to Phoenix, we stopped at Slide Rock State Park in Sedona. It was cold and we were too chicken but there were plenty of other brave souls. The place is famous for its smooth rocks on which people slide. Jack stepped a toe in it. Of course, he would have liked to dunk his whole body in, but we'd had enough and headed back to Phoenix.
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