Freeze. Thaw. Repeat.

We survived our frozen Good Friday, and even Easter Sunday didn’t bring much of a thaw. That finally came on Tuesday night, when the two oldest kids and I took a flight to Arizona to visit my parents (who retired there from Seattle a few years back). Mrs. Yeoman Farmer stayed behind to tend to the animals, and was particularly on the lookout for newborn lambs; we figured they’d all arrive once I drove off the property and wasn’t around to help — but for once that didn’t happen. Anyway, our youngest (aka “Forest Puppy”) said he preferred to stay here and have MYF all to himself for a few days.

All I can say is: now I understand the attraction of the whole Snowbird thing. And if I can talk MYF into it, I want to retire to some place like Tucson. Never thought I’d say this, but the sunburn I got the first day out there, and still have now, feels GOOD.

We arrived late Tuesday night, walked out of the airport, and it was suddenly shirtsleeve weather! And then the kids did not stop talking to my parents (even to take a breath, it seemed) the entire 45 minute drive to their house. We had all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, and were intending to fly back Friday morning — until American Airlines cancelled all those flights, which had ripple effects on us; our flight was delayed so long, we would’ve missed our connection had we taken it. They could’ve gotten us out of Tucson later on Friday, but couldn’t get us three seats on any connecting flights back to Detroit. Rather than take my chances getting stuck someplace like Dallas with two kids with severe food allergies, we spent an extra day in Arizona and then came home Saturday. My apologies for the blog silence; the whole past week and a half has gone by in a blur.

Our kids being rabid Chicago White Sox fans (they refuse to transfer their loyalties to the Tigers), a Spring Training game at Tucson Electric Park was a must. I bought the tickets over two months early, so ended up with some excellent seats: just to the right of home plate, about 20 rows up, still behind the safety screen. And the most amazing part? The seats were just $15 each. TEP was a wonderful ballpark — we essentially got to see a major league game in the intimacy of a minor league park (and at minor league prices). And because this was one of the last spring training games before opening day, the players were primed and ready to go. We just wish they’d hadn’t insisted on trying out the third-stringers in the bullpen, because the Sox squandered a comfortable lead and ended up losing to the Brewers 12-10.

Thursday, we spent several hours at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum — a definite must-see attraction. It’s like a big preserve cut out of the desert, with walking trails and interpretative signs. There are also caves and other things; it’s like a cross between a zoo and a botanical garden. One of our favorite attractions were the Javelinas, a bizarre animal that looks like a wild boar (but they are not related to pigs). We watched them for quite awhile, and they were fascinating.

The kids also enjoyed the raptor free flight demonstration — they had an owl, a hawk, and some kind of raven. Very interesting, but by that time (11am) it was already starting to get quite hot.

I’ll have some additional posts over the next few days, with some additional thoughts about the trip and the community where my parents live. Suffice it to say, we had a wonderful trip…but are also glad to be home. Even though it’s again dreary and rainy, at least the snow is gone at last!

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