On our last day in Scottsdale, we had the best morning...we had the opportunity to meet another World Child family that brought home a little girl and boy from Vietnam. They also experienced a long wait so we had lot in common. Through the yahoo group Nancy posted about living in Arizona to my surprise and I contacted her to say we there for a short trip.
Tess and Jude were born right around Tori's birthday as well. Nancy brought the kids to play at the Westin where we were staying. The weather was not great, so we spent the first hour playing in the water fountain at the hotel. The kids loved playing in the water and picking out the rocks. They were soaked when they were done, but boy did they have fun playing in the water!
They also were intrigued by the staircase.
As the weather cleared, we took the kids out to the playground where they had fun on the climber as well as running around the play area collecting flags that were used to mark off things (oops). They had a great time playing together and Nancy and I enjoyed sharing our stories of our journeys since bringing our children home. Nancy took these great pictures of the children.
Phoenix Highlights...The first day we spent exploring the shops and restaurants around the Westin Keirland Resort. There was a great shopping center just around the corner where we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We also had a nice dinner with the folks from Mike's board in the evening. Tori's fascination with water fountains continued as well.
Today we were able to go to the Phoenix Zoo during Mike's afternoon break. Tori really enjoyed the zoo and her rides on the crocodile carousel and the real camel.
After, we went to climb one of the smaller mountains called Hole in the Wall aka Eagle's Eye (our name for it). We all climbed to the top of the mountain, including Tori...she loved climbing to the top and exploring the area. What a view of the city!
Sedona was absolutely beautiful...filled with one impressive landscape after another. We spent the first day driving in from Phoenix and getting our lay of the land. We visited some shops, art galleries, and I had a tarot card reading just for fun.
Pink Jeep Ride
On Sunday we had a great lunch at the Wildflower Bread Company, did a little shopping and we took a Pink Jeep Tour to get closer to the beautiful red rock formations of Sedona. Sedona is known for it beauty as well as the spiritual beliefs of many gained from nature and the forces around it. It was only 46 degrees outside so had to bundle up for our jeep ride, but it was worth it. Tori was a trooper; she loved the bumpity bump bump of the jeep once we hit the dirt roads. She was laughing her famous deep belly laugh the whole time we were bumping around. She even managed to fall asleep for the last 45 minutes.
Tori loves fountains and needs to stop and watch any we saw.
We had a great visit with Ashley last weekend. They have done a nice job on setting up their apartment with a movie theatre theme. Debbie & Chickie were also in time so we got a chance to see them as well. This weekend we are off to Sedona and Scottsdale Arizona, Mike has a conference he's attending there so Tori and I get to go along for the fun. Nick is staying home due to school. I can't wait to see the beautiful red rocks that Sedona is known for.
Tori was at gymnastics today having a grand old time when she walked up to Mike, who was talking to a mom who just shared that her little guy was not talking much, and said "unbelievable!" The poor mom just shook her head and said "Dad that's unbelievable."
Also when Tori first went into Ashley's bedroom and saw all of her stuff was gone, she asked "What did you do with Ashley?" We explained she went away to school. I did worry she might think that when she went to school the next day all her things would be gone when she got home.
I love Christmas morning and all the kids really enjoy it too. Ashley and Nick love to open their stockings, for years they have said it's their favorite activity on Christmas morning. Tori noticed that Santa ate the cookies and was so excited to see her new table and chairs. She also liked zipping around the house on her new mini scooter. Nick got a neon Monster energy sign for his room and Ashley got sewing embroidery software to help her expand her online business.
We spent Christmas day in Charlotte visiting family, then flew out the next day to Buffalo to visit with our family and friends there. Boy was Buffalo cold! We had one day of blowing snow which is always fun driving in. We were back in time to celebrate the new year.