Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Fun in the Sun!

My winter coat "bargain"

L to R: Sonja, yours truly, Jan, Pat

Linda picking lemons from Sonja's tree.

L to R: Linda, Pat, Sonja, yours truly. This incredible saguaro cactus is a few houses from Sonja's.

Childhood friends, L to R: Sharon, Judy, Joanne

Childhood friend, Wayne

L to R: Jan, yours truly, Linda, and Pat

Saguaro cactus: did you know the saguaro is at least 75 years old before it grows it's first arm?

One of the Superstition Mountains

Organist at Organ Stop Pizza. This is the largest Wurlitzer organ in the world.

L to R: Gloria, Linda, Jan, Pat, and Shannon

Pat's French toast at New York Jewish Deli

Inside De Grazia Gallery in the Sun

One of the few B/W paintings of De Grazia

View of Phoenix atop South Mountain

Junior race track

Ruins at Casa Grande National Park

Sky diver

This unique building houses the sky diving simulator.

For the past 6 days I have been enjoying being with my family down south - in Arizona. Last Wednesday, my sister and I flew to Arizona. On a separate flight, our cousin, Linda, flew in from Chicago. Pat and Pudge picked us up at the airport and our nice vacation began.

On Thursday, we drove south to Chandler, where we spent a good part of the day with our childhood friend, Sonja. We had a great time walking through her community, admiring the cactus and flowers, and citrus trees. Sonja invited us to pick lemons, oranges and grapefruit from her trees. Later in the afternoon, 6 others joined us - some of which are also childhood friends. Sonja and her friend, Lynette, served us a delicious dinner, complete with home-made lemon meringue pie and banana cream pie. We sure enjoyed ourselves.

Friday, Pat took us to an orphanage that boasts of a very nice thrift store. She frequents this often and has found some very good bargains. What did I find? A beautiful, winter-white, wool coat from a good designer - Kristen Blake. The cost: $2.50. Yes, that's right. It is very pretty. For dinner we went to the Organ Stop Pizza. [We went there last year with Aunt Liz and Gemma.] It was so enjoyable! Linda hadn't been there before, and she said she really liked it. Not only is the pizza good, but the organist is AMAZING! He takes requests and incorporates them into beautiful medleys.

On Saturday, we took a road trip to Tuscan, where we toured the De Grazia Gallery in the Sun. Since spending winters in Arizona, Pat has fallen in love with his work. She has many of his pieces framed and gracing her walls. I must say I like his pieces, too. The ones of the children are my favorites. On our trip down, Pat's friend, Shannon, did the driving. She took us on a state highway through the desert. What a picturesque drive. I really enjoyed sitting in the front where I conversed with her. For lunch, we happened onto a Jewish deli and devoured a delicious meal.

On Sunday, Pudge drove us to South Mountain. Part way up the mountain, we stopped at a race track - a track for children. It was really fun. I met a race driver - Brandon - who was 5 years old. I cheered and cheered for him when he was competing. He came in 2nd. Leaving there, Pudge continued to take us up the mountain - going to the top, where we were afforded an amazing view of Phoenix and the surrounding communities. We could see for miles! Coming part-way down, we stopped to eat the picnic lunch Pat had prepared for us. Following this, we headed to the dessert again, through an Indian reservation, to the Casa Grande Ruins. This was very interesting. Lastly, we stopped in Eloy, Arizona, where sky divers from around the world come to drop from planes at 13,000 feet. We were fortunate to witness 7 divers cascade to the ground. We also went next door to the sky-diving simulator where we watched a couple experience the weightless feeling. Very interesting, but not for me!

I flew home yesterday, nursing the head cold I dealt with during the entire vacation. Today it was "back to work."


MamaD4 said...

Great pics Donna! I'm wondering, was the lemon meringue pie you mentioned made with lemons from their own trees? That sounds SO good! I would love to have citrus trees right outside the house.

I think you should have gotten out on the racetrack yourself!

DD4 said...

Yes, Sonja's friend, Lynette, made both pies. For the lemon meringue, she doubled the amount of lemon juice. Her crusts were "from scratch," and were delicious! What a treat!

Yes, so many have citrus trees, and they generously give them to others. Sonja had a wagon in front of her home, filled with "free" grapefruit.

We had delicious oranges at Pat and Pudge's the entire time we were there - large ones, with NO seeds!

E Manders said...

What a fun trip! Thanks for sharing! I can almost 'feel' the sun through your pictures! :)