We leave to go home tomorrow morning. M. and B. have it the worst since they have a morning flight and need to be at the airport at 5:30. We will be not much farther behind them. We plan to leave as soon as we can in the morning. That 'soon as we can' thing is fairly flexible because it takes a while to load up 13 people and all their stuff, especially since no one will be wanting to leave. Our vacation has been wonderful and for the children, has been as close to experience Christmas every day as you can get. (I bet you think I'm exaggerating... I'm not.) It's just hard to leave that kind of fun. It's especially hard for some people to leave that kind of fun and I've already taken multiple deep breaths so as to regain my patience, and I'm not even dressed yet. Yes, it will be that kind of day.
I think what I need to do is to focus everyone on the fun ahead of us. We have decided to take an extra day home and spend tomorrow at the Grand Canyon. This is to the great annoyance of M. and B., because it is the first time we have ever taken any of our children there. B. has even offered to skip four days of classes and ride squished in the back of the van in order to see it with us. (He will be flying home with M. Do I feel guilty about this? Yes, a little bit.) We also are trying to meet up with friends who live near there and with whom we spent three weeks in Vietnam when we adopted K. I'm looking forward to it.
But first, we have to get through the day and also repack everything. What is it about travelling that causes the contents of every bag and suitcase to explode across the place you're staying and also increase in volume? My goal is to only leave a small box of belongings behind for my mother to ship... I know better than to expect to not leave anything. I don't think that can be done.
So, while I comfort children and do laundry and pack suitcases (sounds like home, huh?), you can enjoy some of the pictures from out outing yesterday. We went to Pueblo Grande, which is an archaeological site in Phoenix of a Hohokam settlement. I'm not sure how interested the children were, but J. and I both agreed that we think possible we both should have become archaeologists. (I have several lifetimes of careers I think would be interesting... how on earth can people ever get bored? There is so much to learn about and be interested in.)
We then had lunch. Please, please restaurant people, if your restaurant is not busy, no one is waiting anywhere and many tables are empty, when my family enters do not act as though you are doing us a favor by seating us. We are paying the bill after all. By the reaction of the host at the restaurant yesterday, you would have thought that we all had disgusting illnesses covering our entire bodies. His attitude contained that much distaste. By the end of the meal, it seems as though it was not the size of the party, but the number of children that was the initial problem. This opinion is based on the gushing amount of praise we received about how well everyone behaved. We're used to a little bit of this and certainly don't mind it, but there is a point when it becomes a wee bit too much.
After lunch we visited the Hall of Flame and saw many fire engines. Guess which museum was the biggest hit? If I could put a life size fire truck in my backyard, I'm pretty sure my children would never come inside.
At Pueblo Grande:
And the Hall of Flame:
K. would have stayed here all day had we let him.