Monday, February 23, 2009

Places to Go and Things to AZ!

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of having my brother, Daniel visit us! He was here for a business trip so my new SIL (sister-in-law) was not able to come. We missed you Vanessa (and Milo too) ;) !

We had about a day and a half with Daniel so we tried to cover as much Arizona ground as possible although we were limited in what we could do with Nathan. We did quite a bit though for our short window of time, here's a recap...

Friday Night - Drive by of Paradise Valley. If you visit us there's a good chance we'll take you to Invergorden Drive to see this view of the valley.


Quick stop and unguided tour of the Waldorf Astoria Biltmore Resort, one of Phoenix’s first resorts, built in 1929. Frank Lloyd Wright served as the consulting architect, the Arizona Biltmore is one of the only existing hotels in the world to benefit from his influence. It is an acclaimed landmark that has been graced by U.S. presidents and celebrities whenever they visit Arizona. And I shamelessly admit, it's a great place to take pictures!


Daniel didn't get to play Golf BUT he did get to play Croquet! Nathan played his own version.

Last stop for the night...dinner at Claim Jumper.

...for only $2.00 more you can get the full rack of ribs....

Saturday - We had to work around Nathan's nap schedule, so we stayed close to home base in the morning. We went to the park and let Nathan run around, while Greg & Daniel threw the Football at the Basketball goal. You read it right. Here's a snapshot of what I'm talking about.

Quick lunch outside at Queen Creek Olive Mill...short sleeves, in February!
Yes, I'm rubbing it in again. I can't help it, I LOVE living here!

Here's Uncle Daniel making Nathan giggle...soo cute!


Our next stop was our primary excursion for the day, we went to Canyon Lake and rented a boat.

This was also a first for Nathan and while I wish I could say that he really enjoyed it, I would be lying. As the boat motor revved up and we started to float away from the dock, Nathan was literally stretching out, reaching for the pier, crying. It didn't last long because we were quickly in the middle of the lake with water on all sides and it seemed like Nathan realized in his little mind that he was stuck here, he abruptly stopped crying and became very quiet. This was his facial expression during the first half of our boat looks like he's got a bad taste in his mouth and now I wonder if he was feeling some motion sickness...

Daniel, on the other hand, enjoyed the boat ride immensely!

Some scenic pictures...nice shot, Daniel!

These pictures are for perspective.
See the boats that I outlined in red in these pictures?
That's how big the canyon is when your in it!


When we got as far as we planned to go, Greg slowed the boat down and we sat idle for a few minutes. We were able to loosen Nathan up a bit and got these pictures.

Our group shot...

Nathan was back to all seriousness though when Greg revved the motor back up....

...and then he just went comatose on us.
He shoved his face in the lifejacket, closed his eyes and went to sleep!
Daniel joked that he was just trying to block out this bad experience, I don't doubt it!

When our boat ride was over and Nathan got his land legs back, he was just fine!

We made a stop at Goldfield Ghost Town, on our way out of the canyon.
Here is an excerpt from Goldfield's website (edited by me for briefness):

"Atop a small hill between Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains, the settlement of Goldfield got its start in 1892 when high grade gold ore was found. A town soon sprang up and on October 7, 1893 it received its first official post office.

This “official” find, coupled with the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine in Superstition Mountain, led new miners to the area. The town boasted three saloons, a boarding house, a general store, brewery, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and a school and about 1,500 settlers.

Goldfield’s bustling days were quickly dashed when the vein of gold ore started to play out and the grade of the ore dropped even more. Just five years after it began, the town quickly died when the miners moved on, the post office was discontinued on November 2, 1898, and Goldfield became a ghost town."

Now it's a tourist attraction, with actors/actresses playing parts and
a lot of artifacts and remnants from the town.

I happened to get this beautiful shot of Superstition Mountain from Goldfield but
Greg and I are actually able to see this mountain from our house.

By the time we left Goldfield it was time to eat, so we headed to Waldo's BBQ for dinner.

Just some of the funny signs in the restaurant.

Here was the sunset as we drove home.

That was our visit with Daniel, my brother and
just a taste of what you could expect should YOU
come visit us in beautiful Arizona!