Arizona Day Two!

So after another amazing night sleep, we were up early again and off! We started out by getting the kids dropped off at school and headed for a place called Cave Creek. It turns out it is very touristy and there is a lot of amazing antique, keepsake, food and wine and just cute shops! Of course we loved it. But in our eagerness to get there, most of the shops were still closed. So we went out for breakfast.


We stopped at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral. It was very interesting little bar and restaurant. Just standing on the deck and looking around was beautiful.


I am in love with the view of cactus and palm trees at this point. I have a zillion pictures just of them. But I digress. Back to breakfast. This place was pretty cool, especially after I realized they were Steeler fans also!


It was decorate pretty neat, cowboy boot on the ceiling, all kinds of Steelers pictures and memorabilia.


Things were just hung every which where. It was quite interesting.


This guy hung out on the bar behind where I was sitting. Pretty strange. But the food was amazing and cheap.


I got the Southwest Omelet with breakfast potatoes. It was really delicious. Madelyn had eggs, toast and bacon. Jenny got some amazing French toast. After we were stuffed most of the shops were starting to open up and I was looking forward to walking this off!


The first place we went was the town dump. It is basically old storage units that are rented out to different venders to sell their wares. There was so much stuff and we spent a lot of time wandering through the different things.


There was so much to look at! I took a lot of these pictures so that I could show them to my friend Lisa and see if she can make any of these things. I think they would look so good in my yard. Of course while we are doing this Madelyn had to have a little fun!


We think maybe we should live in Malfuncion Junction! What a perfect name for the craziness that was beyond that gate. We laughed a lot again today.


Then I saw this sign and decided that we had to see what it was about. I am not sure the prices really said BLOWOUT, but whatever, it was an amazing store to look around. We were being really careful to not bump into anything until…


This guy came around the corner. He apparently lives in this store. Well ok, not sure I would pay $500 for the bed covering he’s been laying on, but again, whatever.


The walls and shelves and every nook and cranny was covered with beautiful hangings and knickknacks. All western and all beautiful and all very pricey.


There were a number of these skulls decorated and absolutely stunning. I really wish I was more artistic. We continues through a number of other small stores through out the entire strip. One area was called Frontier Town and they had it all set up like a small town with a wide variety of shops with a wide variety of things for sale. We mostly just wandered and looked, but I did find a couple cute things for the boys and my nieces and nephew. We sampled anything from fudge to olive oils to wines (well not Madelyn) and looked at clothes and décor that cost more than our cars. We ended up behind one store and couldn’t believe how much stuff they had stashed back there! All pots. Hundreds. I just stood in one spot and turned four times and took a picture all the way around me.


I couldn’t believe how many there were and they were unloading a semi. Unbelievable.


Found this gem behind the pots. For only $195 it can be yours!

We found a lot of things we had to check out behind and hidden from sight.


I was surprised by how much stuff was just sitting outside and had been forever. Of course when you don’t have winter weather like we do in Iowa, I guess you can leave things out!


These were so cool. They are cactus skeletons. They feel like wood but are what is left after a cactus dies and they are very beautiful. Of course you can buy them as well! Overall it was a really fun day just wandering and looking at all kinds of crazy different things. I couldn’t believe how much stuff they had crammed into such a small area.

After we finally got done looking in the shops, headed back to get the kids and take a nap! All that wandering and looking was pretty tiring. Madelyn and I are not believing the beauty just on the sides of the roads and the amazing temperature, which my cousin kept saying sorry it wasn’t sunny or warmer. We thought it was near perfect! See you again tomorrow for Day 3!



Arizona Day One!

Because I never leave the area, I am going to break this into a few posts. Madelyn and I had the most wonderful time visiting my cousin Jenny and her family in Arizona. I should have done it years ago and this will definitely not be the last time. We left from Des Moines on Tuesday, March 21st.


We arrived at the airport in plenty of time so we decided that we should eat before we left. We had some snacks and then waited at the gate for the flight.


The plane got there and I could hardly contain my daughter. Her excitement was definitely contagious and I realized I was really looking forward to going. After getting everything ready for me to go I was pretty tired, but now that I had everything ready, I was a lot more relaxed.

Finally on the plane!


Finally after a couple hours we see Phoenix lights! Of course after leaving Des Moines it seems HUGE!


My cousin meet us outside in the warmth and we headed straight to her house as it was almost 11 pm in Arizona.


Her house is beautiful. This is my room for the week. I wish I could have brought this bed home with me. So the traveling part of the trip was done. We went to bed and got some sleep so we could get up early the next morning. Of course the fact that they are 2 hours behind home made that pretty easy.

Legacy Academy, Avondale

The morning started by saying Hi to Jenny’s Kiddos and Hubby. They then had to leave for school. But our plan required us to meet Jenny’s daughter Emily at school for a field trip to the capitol building!

New Capitol Administration Building
Madelyn and Emily

We meet up with Emily and her group around the back of the new building at the Old Capitol. They have a beautiful courtyard with a number of memorials and statues that we walked though while Emily and her group did a scavenger hunt.

There were a lot of different ones. I could have spent the day reading each of them and enjoying them.


We enjoyed this part of the field trip with the kids. Of course the scenery and weather sure helped make this an amazing first morning.

After wandering around the courtyard we spent a while going through the Old Building Museum. Lots of interesting history in that building.


I didn’t get a lot of pictures in the museum, but we enjoyed going through the different sections and looking around. When the kids headed off to have lunch, Jenny, Madelyn, and I headed off to continue looking around Phoenix.

We were already downtown so we decided to check out a museum that Jenny had heard of.


As we drove towards the museum with the windows down, enjoying the fresh air and the temps creeping towards 80*, I personally enjoyed the building and different architecture.


Just in the middle of downtown is the Rosson House Museum. It is an old house, that is full of history and has a really interesting tour. It was so cool. But I love history and old things! If you want more information, check out The Phoenix Heritage Square. Other than walking through a newly poured concrete square, much to dismay of the workers (in our defense we were talking and excited), the tour was amazing.

The staircase was breathtaking as you walked in. It was ordered and brought in pieces.


The rooms and the stories behind the families that lived in this house and the super cool Gibeon doors and porches, beautiful furniture and the effort taken by the historical society to match up as much of the furnishings, floors and walls with the way it actually was breathtaking. We had such a good time enjoying this museum.


I thought this was an amazing place and such a cool start to our trip. We then headed for the most exciting part of the day for Madelyn.


Yes, Mexican Sushi. This was divine! Of course, I love sushi and Mexican food both. It was a neat mix of both. Fried with rice in them, but the meat is steak or chicken with sushi type sauces. Just yum.

Then we headed to pick up the kiddos from school and headed home before Chase had football practice.


Emily and the ever evasive Chase.


They were so happy to have us at their house, and I have to say that I was so happy to be there with them!


Chase and Diesel

If you trick him, you get a chance to see his face! So we headed off to his practice.


On the way to his practice, we got to pass the stadium the Cardinals play at and where the Final Four and Championship game were going to played the next week.


Chase and his buddies at practice. He’s #8


Putting in work!



Of course we were just in awe of the temperature as evening started fall. It was nearly perfect weather.


Then we had this crazy silliness going on. Who knows what happened but we sure had fun and lots of laughs. After practice we headed back to their house for supper and bed. We had an amazing first day!