Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Snapshots of Snowbird Land, The Greater Phoenix Area // Spring Break // March 2013

Is anybody else out there just absolutely crazy about their families?

Gosh I love mine.


I really think that grandparents {in my case, grandmothers}are the thread that keeps the family quilted together.

So I did what typical 22 year olds rarely do, spent my spring break with my grandma and her boyfriend on their "RV Resort" in Arizona.

.. and you know what? I think it was the best trip that I have had in a long while!

We got there and grandma and bob took us out for pizza in Mesa. After that we went back to the trailer and got ready for a night playing bingo.


I have to tell you, that bingo is a total workout for the brain! Especially when you have been driving for hours and days through two time zones. We played a bunch of different games, each with a different pattern to win like (sevens, floating chevron, blackout, regular bingo, T's etc). We also had these fancy bingo blotters that stamped the color on the space that was filled. 

Pretty nifty! We didn't win anything but we had fun!

All of the people near us were really nice and rooting for us to win, which was sweet. Most of them had adorable northern/Canadian accent too. It was nice to see grandma and Bob around their friends and looking so happy!

I kept the 'boards' because they get thrown away and I wanted them for memories/because they look neat. One lady suggested that I laminate them and turn them into placemats! Who knows, but I'm excited to find out!

That was the end of our first day with grandma and Bob.

On further exploration of the resort we found a small library, a heated swimming pool, a room with pool tables and a room filled to the brim with puzzles. Tons and tons of puzzles. So not only do they have a full social calendar between family and friends, they have plenty to do on their own time too! :)


On day two, we went to Goldfield Ghost Town for a day of Old West fun. It had a gorgeous view of the Superstition Mountains!


We shopped on the main street of the ghost town and I found a great pottery store. The man who makes the pieces was there and very nice. He even gave us a free small piece of pottery! The prices were right and the goods were legitimate, not touristy which was refreshing. We bought this magnet for our fridge! It is a Zuni bear, which upon further research symbolizes being a protector, and possessing courage, physical strength and leadership. I love the colors, and I always love learning about symbolism and other cultures!


I had never seen large cacti up close, check out how huge these things are! We did several desert units throughout my school days, but seeing these giants in person was amazing. They also vary a lot in shape. I started imitating ones I passed, Kyle caught this one on camera. :)

This one seemed to be the biggest here though! Photo credit to Kyle.

After than we spent some time panning for gold. This wasn't actually panning for gold, but it was still fun. You get a pre-filled pan with sand and added small polished semi-precious stones in it (rather than scooping up dirt and panning it), and are taught how to pan for gems and gold.

It took a long time and was fun. I found some pretty polished stones but I don't think any of my golden pieces are actually gold. You get a tube to put your pieces in, but once it is full you have to pay for a bigger one. So I say, bring a Ziploc and save your $1-$3 extra per person!

There were many other attractions in the Ghost Town (a reptile exhibit, acted out shootouts, a mystery shack, a train, horseback riding, and a mine tour) but we kept it simple. We had a really nice picnic lunch with grandma and Bob before we left, complete with ice cream.

Then we drove around the superstition mountains, which are beautiful and then stopped at the Superstition Mountain Museum.

The museum itself was not quite what we had in mind. It had a lot of interesting information ranging from geological to the history of the superstitions behind the superstition mountains. However, some parts of it seem a little dated or underdeveloped. For those of you who watch Gilmore Girls, it reminded me of the Star's Hollow Museum. For major history buffs or Elvis Fans (a chapel from one of his movie sets is there) it would be a very interesting place to visit.

That night we had dinner with my family that lives in Arizona year-round and played Farkle. Have you ever played it? It's a fun and simple dice game. I ended up winning, which is pretty unusual for me!

The next day Bob was sick, so grandma was taking care of him while we drove around Mesa and Apache Junction. We stopped in some antique and second hand stores to look for treasures. Their second hand stores are MUCH nicer than the ones we have here in town! They are huge and filled with TONS of good stuff! I found these two pieces at the Goodwill and they were just $2 each. Apparently I was on a red and white kick! Not sure how I will use them yet, but I really like them!

We went to the famous In N' Out Burger for lunch. It was PACKED! No seats inside or out even at 1:00. So we ate in the car. It was indeed fast like the name suggests, but the food wasn't anything all that special for us. It was ok. Certainly better than McDonald's or Wendy's or something... but not better than 5 Guys, which is our favorite fast food burger place. The shake was the oddest thing. It wasn't even cold, so we are guessing it's made with some kind of mix and milk rather than soft serve or ice cream. Again we told my grandma where we had gone and she agreed that it wasn't anything special for her either.

Then Kyle had some time to himself while Bob rested and grandma and I did a bit more shopping. We ran to places that she needed to go and also stopped by a Christian bookstore. I got a copy of a resource guide called Women of the Bible for some at home study. Then we went to Kohl's and I ended up finding some shoes on sale. With my grandma's senior discount it ended up being about $80 for two nice pairs. (Disclaimer: I am not a shoe person. I rarely buy them and I stick to the ones I love on a regular basis, so it seemed justifiable to buy a few new pairs!)

It's fair to say that I have an obsession with gold sandals... and the glitter makes it all the better for me. Luckily it was warm enough in Arizona to wear them! I also got these Nike's. I bought my last pair of tennis shoes in 2008... so it was time! :)

We spent more time with family. We saw their homes and they invited us to dinner. We heard old stories of family and war, Vernon fought in WWII and earned a purple heart as well as a silver star! We also met their furry friend Diva. She was a funny little dog. Very energetic but very sweet. She and Kyle had a rousing game of chase.

The next day my second cousin Judy took grandma and I to thrift and consignment shops in the area and I came out with lots of loot! This will have to be a separate post, so stay tuned!

We took our time while we were with my family. We swam in the pool, played games, went to a pancake breakfast and met grandma and Bob's friends. It was really nice to relax for several days after so much driving and sight seeing. Kyle and I played lots of Blokus To Go in our downtime, which was really nice.

One of our last meals out was a yummy Starbucks breakfast with grandma on a swanky outdoor patio. I have never seen a Starbucks with such a patio! It had long cushioned couches and ottomans, tables with umbrellas and chairs.. I was searching for the fire pit!

As you can see, we had a great time relaxing and "rooting around" with grandma and Bob. Grandma got to know Kyle better, I got to know Bob better. We did some great thrifting and some major recreation and relaxing. It was definitely a nice middle portion of our trip!


What has been your best family vacation? What is your favorite way to spend time with your family?

All for now,

Alexandra

28 comments:

  1. Great pictures! Looks like you, your grandma and her toyboy ;) had a great time.

    Israel | Peace and Harmony in the Ba'hai Gardens

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    1. Thanks Bianca. It was a really nice break from the usual. Sometimes you just need a laid back time with those you love. I think diversity in travel is really important. :) -Alexandra

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  2. That puzzle room looks amazing! I love spending time with my grandma and family as well and after nearly 11 months on the road I am sure missing them. Thanks for sharing

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    1. I hope that you get to visit your family again soon. It is definitely hard to be away from them. The puzzles were so great. I didn't have time to do one. And really, I'm not sure if I'm even good at them. But I just thought it was great how many there were. Capturing the character of the place was really fun for me. -Alexandra

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  3. Looks like you had some great quality time with your family, Alexandra! Moments to cherish!

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    1. Els, we really did. It's such a nice type of trip, after you've been spending lots of time on the road and in hotels. I love adventuring to see new things, but sometimes this can be the right kind of trip too. :) -Alexandra

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  4. Always nice to spend some time with family :) ps I LOVE your gold sandals!

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    1. Thank you Hannah! I wish I would have bought 2 to be honest. :)

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  5. What a cute post! Looks like an amazing time spent with family.

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    1. Thank you Alli. :) It was a much needed type of trip.

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  6. The ghost town looks like so much fun to visit! I went "panning for gold" when I was little with my class at school. I still have that little tube of gold flakes on my desk at home!

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    1. It was fun Jessica! I loved the pottery shop the most. It was so fun to watch and the pieces were beautiful! I would have loved to have gone horseback riding or something but I didn't want to keep my family there for longer than they wanted. Perhaps next time. :) So sweet that you've kept yours this long! I am excited to display mine somewhere as a little memento. ;) -Alexandra

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  7. That cactus is crazy!
    A quick low-key weekend sometimes is all you need. Cute post!

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    1. Thanks Muriel. I was so surprised by how huge and also different the cactus were... it was fun to see. :) -Alexandra

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  8. Aw looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I'd love to visit Arizona more, I was born there and lived there until I was about 3 but I don't remember it at all. I know there are some beautiful places to visit and I've never seen the desert. Plus I'm jealous you had In N Out... I've been craving that forever!

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    1. We did. Arizona was sort of an unexpected gem. We didn't really have the hugest interest in visiting, but when my grandma moved it was a great opportunity. :) The desert is so miraculous the first time especially that you see it. Just red earth in general is really breathtaking in it's own way. Or at least it was for me. ;) We didn't really love in n' out... but we sure tried it! :) -Alexandra

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  9. Looks like you had a lovely time with Grandma and Bob. Love the gold sandals!

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    1. Thank you Brianna, we really did have a lovely time. And thank you I LOVE these sandals. Wore them today! :) -Alexandra

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  10. You certainly got up to alot. Sometimes a holiday with family is so much more fun than jetting off all over the place. It's comforting and relaxing.

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    1. We really did have a good time. It's nice to relax and enjoy your family!-Alexandra

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  11. Have to agree with an earlier comment on that puzzle room! At first I thought it was a library of books but that is a lot of jigsaw puzzles that would take quite a while to put together. Love finding Starbucks when you are on your travels. I know it's a chain and many prefer local establishments, but you can't beat a good old Starbucks drink and cake!

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    1. I had to take a photo! It was just so unbelievable! How fun to imagine the people who love putting them together. :) And yes, sometimes Starbucks is the answer to a caffeine craze, or breakfast binge. ;) -Alexandra

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  12. Looks like you had a great time with your grandma. I used to travel with my grandma too, but she's too old now. Your post made me remember how lucky I am to have my grandma still with me.

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    1. That's so lovely Margherita! Grandmothers are so special. I am glad to have so many great experiences with my grandma too. I am glad this brought back good memories for you. :) -Alexandra

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  13. It looks like you had a great time visiting family! The Superstition Mountains look great and the giant cacti :) I'd love to see more of America. Great photos, thanks for sharing

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    1. It was very fun. I loved seeing the superstion mountains because they are so different that other mountains I've seen. Very cool. The cacti really were so much larger than I figured they would be. It was really fun to see in person! I hope that you get to explore America more someday soon. :) -Alexandra

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