Sunday, December 8, 2013

Trippin' for Turkey

We typically take advantage of my parent's Arizona/Mexico snow-bird status come April when we're ready for some sunshine and change of scenery. But I decided I really wanted to be in Arizona for the Thanksgiving holiday and my reasons were two-fold: a) I haven't spent a holiday with my family since I moved to Montana, specifically a Thanksgiving holiday since before finishing college; and 2) ASU always plays U of A the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I hadn't been to that game (or *a* game) since leaving Arizona. My mom, eager to cook the Thanksgiving feast for more than two people, was more than enthusiastic. The timing in the end, however, worked out a little wonky as the scheduling of our house-closing happened the day before leaving for Arizona. We joked this would be the worst vacation ever since we'd just be antsy to get back and set up our new home, but after being so busy since October, the trip turned out to be a nice way to relax before diving head-first into yet more busy.

Our flight out of Billings didn't leave until 8pm so we at least had a day to enjoy our new place. I'll admit, when it was time to leave for the airport, we were sad and didn't really want to do it, and vaguely worried throughout our vacation that the house was a-flame, or under 8-feet of water. But once we were actually in Arizona, we were able to relax.

 Some of us more than others... (eating Jicama (hick-a-ma) in Grandma's bed)

 Cheering the Packers to a...tie?

 No one can make eating bacon cooler.

 And she knows it.

Catching some rays after raining the first three days.

 Since it was close to Christmas and my mom is always saying she misses seeing our faces as we open up her presents, she sprinkled some Christmas in between Thanksgiving. Zoey is modeling a few of her presents - one of two Disney dresses and one of six pairs of high heels.

 No lessons required.

 She got some Princess shades to round out the ensembles and I needed to document the moment.

 The resulting photo.

I got some things, too. :-D

No, there aren't any picture of Jacob and I; we, almost literally, did absolutely nothing. There were several days when we didn't even leave my parent's condo. Zoey and her grandparents were the busy one's, Zoey taking full advantage of their undivided attention and them loving how popular they were. She had specific things she liked to do with each - cuddle with Grandma in the morning, followed by splashing in her bathroom sink, snooping through her closet, and general inside-oriented play. With grandpa it was walking around the complex, trips to the pool, and playing in the garage.

 The Dynamic Duo.

We did leave the house but only for the grocery store, book store, and restaurants.

Cute picture. Not so cute when she does it. Zoey is a great child, and while having her bratty moments, is the furthest thing from a brat. Spending a week being spoiled by your grandparents and being given a certain amount of leeway by your parents is bound to have an affect on anyone, though.

We opted out of traveling to Mexico this time because my mom wanted to cook the Big Meal in Arizona so the trip would have been too tight. Zoey and I ended up having a few days where we didn't feel well so I don't think we were quite up to it anyway.

Thanksgiving dinner was great, just as I remembered from my childhood. We were pretty comatose by 8pm so, even if we wanted to, any sort of Black Friday shopping was out of the question. Pretty soon they'll come up with a way people can eat their Thanksgiving dinner *while* shopping (and by "shopping" I mean shooting, stabbing, and slugging each other over parking spaces, televisions, and game consoles).

 My contribution to the Thanksgiving feast was breakfast. Growing up, Mom always got bakery or something equally easy because she was too busy to make breakfast, and it would have hogged valuable stove and/or oven space. I offered to whip up my Crock-Pot Breakfast Casserole this year, which cooks for eight hours over night, feeds an army, and will keep you full until the next massive meal of the day. Mom was worried we'd have too much food but she ended up going back for thirds. ;-)

 Using what I got my dad for Christmas last year - a toaster that toasts your team logo on your bread - we tried to invoke Packer voodoo. It didn't work. Magic is no match for Aaron Rogers.

We didn't do the other thing we had planned, either: go to the ASU/UofA game in Tempe. It landed on a day we weren't feeling too great, and it was sold out, so not the complete end of the world. I'll make it to a game one of these days...

After having a tight schedule in the beginning, it was just the same as we headed back home. While Billings had fair weather the entire time we were gone, temperatures were scheduled to drop dramatically and start snowing only hours after we were due home. While our flight was on Travel Advisory - up for re-route, delay, or cancellation due to weather - we lucked out and made it home with nothing more than a minor delay. We landed just as the snow got heavy and got home just as the temperature went from 26-degrees to 7. 

The rest of the week, temperatures never got high enough to reach zero so it was perfect that we didn't want to leave our new house anyway.

 Since the terrible weather - and subsequent icy roads - started within moments of us being home, it was too cold and nasty for us to drive up to Columbus to get the dogs, or for someone from there to drive them down here so they spent a couple extra days at their Grandparent's house. Once they came home, I guess I didn't need to worry how well they'd adjust.