Friday, November 25, 2011

Dallas Zoo with Addie and Asher

We visited the Dallas Zoo.

We saw giraffes.

Lions up close.

And elephants.

Heather is riding an elephant.

Asher loves his Papa and his mom.

Riding like a lady.

Riding like Addie.

Asher rode a different type of pony.

We tried to get a picture of the four of us, all smiling. But you can see it was tough.

We had a late lunch at Mike Andersen's Barbecue.  Craig said this was the best barbecue in Dallas. Bob agreed. Addie and Craig shared dessert, a double chocolate cake.  Heather and I decided we should go shopping and let Papa and Craig babysit.  Women will understand why. (That much chocolate makes children hyper.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Craig giving Addie last minute instructions.  Craig had a scholarship for soccer in college, but he won't coach Addie's team until she is older.

So 8 months pregnant Heather coaches.

Asher came to root his sister on to victory.

Addie scored the first goal and yelled, " This one was for you grandma."

Going through the victory tunnel. 

Since this was the last game, the girls had a pizza party.

Plus cupcakes that looked like a soccer ball.

I do have to tell you that toward the end of the game, Addie got thrown out of the game.  She couldn't catch up with a girl on the other team to take away the ball, so she grabbed her shirt and threw her down.  Her mother the coach, threw Addie out.  Her dad the soccer player told her it was a great play.  Anything to stop the other team from scoring.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Family Time in Dallas

We arrived in Dallas in time to join Addie at her Family Chapel for Thanksgiving.  Addie was the line leader.

Mommy and Asher had to go out to the hall. Asher was too loud for chapel.

For all my teacher friends, did you know if your students but a bubble in their mouth and their hands behind their back.  They can walk down the halls at school without waking the infants.

That evening we went to see Addie sing with her choir from church, doesn't she look angelic!

Here she noticed that she was getting her picture taken, so she posed for the camera.

This picture shows how she was most of the performance.  She was doing the pee pee dance and picking her nose.  Don't you just love toddlers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Second Site: Kartchner Caverns

The next day we headed to Katchner Caverns State Park.  We had a 2:45 tour but was told to arrive an hour early.  This was an amazing tour.  Made up for yesterday, but they do not allow pictures, so I'll try to describe.

In November 1974, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were exploring the limestone hills at the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains.  They were looking "for a cave no one had ever found" and found it.  The two kept the cave a secret until February 1978 when they told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner.  Since unprotected caves can be seriously damaged by unregulated use, they knew the cave had to be protected.  They decided to approach the state park to see if they were interested in acquiring this outstanding resource.

State Parks leased the property on April 29, 1988 and acquired the Option to Purchase from the Nature Conservancy in July 1988. Acquisition of the Kartchner property was finalized on September 16, 1988.  Overcoming more than 10 years of unforeseen challenges in research, planning, construction, legislative threats, mining concerns, and legal issues, the upper caverns were ready to open to the public. 

Kartchner Caverns photograph

This is the Discovery Visitor Center.
Kartchner Caverns photograph
The workers wore protective shoes to minimize the impact on the cave.
Kartchner Caverns photograph
These are Tubular Straws (also called Soda Straws) hanging from the ceiling.  
Kartchner Caverns photograph
The cave started forming spelothems approximately 200,000 years ago to the present.  Kartchner is a iving cave with deposition and solutioning going on today.  This is the Big Room which is 50 feet high and 90 feet wide.
Our tour was one hour and 45 minutes long.  You could take no camera, jackets, or bags of any kind.  The conservation effort here was fantastic.  All the pictures in this blog came from the Arizona State Parks: Kartchner Caverns website.

Back home, we were walking the dog when we came across this beautiful moon ascent.

We love Arizona and it's many landscapes and moon ascents.  Today is our son's birthday.  He is 36 today.  We love you Scot and are incredibly proud of you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two Sites near Benson, Arizona

We stayed at Benson last fall on our way to Texas.  We stayed at the Escapee Park named Saguaro, it is a very nice park with a great view, as the sites are terraced just enough to see the mountains from every site.

We had planned to stay two nights, we wanted to go to the Kartchner Caverns.  We called to make reservations that day, and were surprised that all their tours were full.  We scheduled a tour for the following day, extending our stay to 3 days.

Last time we were here, we visited the town of Brisbee and went to see the Sandhill Cranes.  This time we took a trip to Tombstone, "the town that wouldn't die."

At first we took a trolley to get an overview of the town.  The trolley driver talked us into buying a double ticket, so that we could see the gun fight later in the day.  Never, never let anyone talk you into buying any  thing.  I thought I knew that, but I learned that lesson over again today. The trolley ride was an hour long commerical for all the museums and other paid attractions in town. 

After the trolley ride, we headed to the gun fight.

There were two stages, probably for the summer tourists.

Old mine shafts.

I had to become a cowgirl.  Addie don't you think I look like Jessie.

The stage for the gun fight.

The sheriff, the only good guy, but also the town drunk.

The Sheriff introduced the red shashed bad guys.

This was awful.  I mean a w f u l !!!!!! It was 45 minutes of agony.

We left the theater and started looking for a place for lunch.  We ran into the Earp Brothers on the street.
This is the Tombstone that you have heard of with a rich Indian and Cowboy history.  Unfortunately it has been commericalized beyond belief.  We do not recommend Tombstone to anyone.  We even decided not to have lunch here, figuring that the food could be as bad as everything else.  This town should be allowed to die.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tohono Chul Park Mom's Favorite Park

Friday we headed to Mom's favorite park, Tohono Chul.  Bob loves it too and has spent many mornings birding here.

This beautiful stone greets you as you enter.

This cactus garden had a new addition. This sculpture was done by Kioko Mwitiki a Kenyan sculptor, who uses trash metals to design beautiful things.

This is the palos verde tree.

A wall of pots that have been turned into a fountain.

Courtyards in the park make for beautiful settings for weddings or pictures.

This is a nightblooming Cereus.  It blooms once a year at night.  Not the same day each year, the gardeners watch the buds carefully, to notify members of when it will be in bloom.

According to Wickipedi, this is what the flower looks like.

A small stream runs through the park.

A favorite desert creature.

Bob says the hummingbirds love this plant.  We don't know what it is called.  For all our friends who think you can't have flowers in the desert, enjoy.

I think the rocks even add beauty to this garden.

This Moorish Garden is dedicated to Mary Kiefer, who was a neighbor and good friend of my mom's.  I wish Mom would have lived to see this.

This is a pomegranate bush.  It has petite pomegranates.

This apple is the type that Eve used to tempt Adam.  Not too tasty to humans but by the amount of holes, insects and birds seem to like it.

Another example of Kioko Mwitiki sculpture.

A visiting lizard.

More flowers in the desert.

They were beginning to decorate for the Holiday Lights, which we attended with Mom last November.  This visit has been bittersweet for me.  I still love Tucson, but sure miss visiting mom while I enjoy this area.