Friday, March 15, 2013

Vacationing in Arizona, Part 2

I'm back from Arizona and want to record the highlights of my trip. First of all, I had a wonderful time - spending time with Pat, Pudge and my sister, and also with friends from my youth. I flew down on Wednesday, the 6th, arriving mid morning. Pudge, bless his heart, came to the airport to pick me up. He's so good about doing this.

I left this 

for this. 

The change in the weather was winter/summer. It felt great to be without my winter coat, boots, and mittens! To see flowers blooming this time of year was a real treat for my eyes. I enjoyed sitting on the patio, soaking in the warmth. After getting settled, we took off for Sunshine Acres, a children's home in Mesa. I wrote about this in an earlier blog entry. We shopped in their thrift store and the boutique. The items in these stores are from donations that cannot be used by the children or the homes in which they live. Currently they have 70 children - between kindergarten and high school age. They live in homes – 10 children to each home; 2 to a bedroom. Each home has house parents. The houses they live in are beautiful, and have been totally donated - furnishings and all. We got to meet a few of the girls in one of their homes. One of them took us to her room to show us a pet she was keeping. These are kids that are not wanted by their parents and have been in foster homes, where things didn't work out. At Sunshine Acres, they are being lovingly cared for and are given opportunities to grow and learn. Outside one of the homes, we saw these darling footprints — made totally from stones. I just love them!

This non-denominational institution is a mission I intend to support. If I lived down there, I would become a volunteer.

On Thursday we went to the Music Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Wow! What a place! We saw instruments of every kind from nearly every nation - both old and new. For instance, many, many countries have a bagpipe of sorts. I never knew that. We wore head sets and when we approached a section of instruments, the TV screen would turn on and we were given samples of music played on the particular piece. It was fascinating. 

We saw how a Steinway piano is made.

This unusual horn has four bells.

In one section, we got to try out playing various instruments. Here's Pat playing a guitar.

I got to try out a harp – something I have wanted to do for a long time.

We had lunch here 

and dinner here - at Organ Stop Pizza, one of my favorite places in Mesa.  

Friday it rained, and rained. Oh, my! This doesn't happen very often in Arizona. We spent the day shopping in a few stores. At a thrift store, I bought a bunch of used movies. We watched a few in the evening. Saturday it was windy and chilly, but that didn't stop us from going to Pat's tap dance show, Thanks for the Memories - a Tribute to the USO. This was just wonderful! I loved all the numbers. Here's a photo of Pat posing for me at the conclusion of the show:

Sunday we went to a nearby church where we met a few people we have known since childhood. We grew up in the same church and have many memories of our youth group and church camp. After the service, we gathered for brunch at a local restaurant.

L to R: Janet, Judy, yours truly, and Connie

Janet, Sonja, and Judy

In the afternoon, we toured a few open houses in the community. One house had three fruit trees in the backyard - lemon, orange, and grapefruit - all heavily laden with ripe fruit. I picked this lemon. Wouldn't it be something to have these fruit trees in your yard?! I can't imagine.

Back at Pat's, Janet relaxed on the patio.

And then Pat "waited" on the golf foursome as they approached the 6th tee box.

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