Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Touring Tourist Tucson

Now onto the second half of our Tucson trip. As I mentioned before, we did a lot of Tourist Tucson once Kevin showed up.

Monday was Labor Day. We went out to the Old Tucson Studios. I can't even remember the last time I was out there. This was a perfect day to be at the studios, it was one of the least hot days, and there were very few people to wait in line with. To be authentic, we all tried on Cowboy hats. We all look pretty good, I think!

We took a tour of the facilities and they told us all about the many movies that had been filmed there. Lots of old westerns and a more modern one that Kevin likes, The Three Amigos, with Chevy Chase. The most fun of the day though, was experiencing the rides with the girls. This was their first "amusement park" and they had tons of fun! Makes a trip to Disneyland even more appealing (if that is even possible).

We rode the antique motor cars several times. We all got a kick out of that, but especially Avery.

We also rode the carousel and the small train that went around the park. Such fun!

Tuesday we drove to the top of Mt. Lemmon. The 74 degree weather was an extremely welcome change and the view was incredible! The picture at the start of this blog post is of the view. Avery's only complaint about the trip, was that she didn't see any Lemons. :) As you can see, Claire mostly enjoyed just getting out of the car.

More of the gorgeous view. I may be a little biased about these next 2 pictures though.

On our way down the mountain, we stopped in the little community on the mountain, Summerhaven, and enjoyed a fantastic pizza! We also got rained on while enjoying our lunch. It was the first rain storm we can remember Claire experiencing.

On Wednesday we visited with Grandmom and Granddad again at their new apartments and took a tour of the entire facility. Avery was especially excited to see an orange tree. I think it almost made up for not having lemons on Mt. Lemmon.

One other touristy activity we got to do while in Tucson, is one of my favorite things. Gaslight!! I don't have any pictures of that evening, but it was a hilarious show called Wizard of the Rings. Kevin, myself, Mom and Dad all got to go and laugh and eat hot fudge sundaes! So much fun.

Thursday we began the long trip back to Austin. We decided we had experienced enough of Claire's screaming in the rear facing car seat and fixed that problem before we left Tucson. So this is the view we had on the way home. We took it in 2 days and were very glad to be done traveling when we got back.

That's all for now. After a bit I will post the 1 year birthday celebration pictures. Thank you all for a wonderful trip to Tucson!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tucson Week 1

The last week of August and the first week of September, we took a trip to Tucson. A multi-purpose trip, but much of it was to introduce Claire to family she had never met out there. The first week, just the girls and I were there and Kevin joined us during the second week. Because I have sooooo many great pictures of the trip, I will have to post this in 3 parts... Week 1 (mainly visits with family) Week 2 (Touring Tourist Tucson) Claire's Birthday (lasted the whole 2 weeks!).

 After traveling with Grams and Bob-Bob from Austin to Tucson in a trip that lasted 3 days, we were very glad to get to out of the car. Avery and Claire spent plenty of time amusing themselves and looking like the picture above (yes, Claire is tearing up a Kleenex).

One of the first things we did in Tucson was introduce the family to the newest member. Monday night we all met at Julie and Carl's for dinner. Here we are with Grandmom and Granddad. I think they might both be a little bit excited to see us.

It is always fun to visit with Julie and Carl. We were especially glad for the timing of this visit since they were off to Hawaii the following week!

During the week while we were not out and about visiting people and places (or shopping), we found all sorts of new things to amuse ourselves with at Nana and Papa's house. Here Claire and Avery are discovering the joys of a rolling/spinning office chair (thanks Grams).

Of course there is always cooking and baking going on. You can see that Avery has really taken a hands on approach to learning Nana's icing-making technique.

Another favorite activity there is SWIMMING! We all came back from Tucson 3 shades darker because our frequent dips in the pool. Great Fun!!

And for Avery, a must with this side of the family is bubbles! She loved this machine and before the end of the trip figured out how to get to the back porch and turn on the machine all by herself.

As I said before, the purpose of this trip was to visit family. We took a lovely trip to the other side of town to visit with Great-Aunt-Carolyn, and Great-Cousin (?) Carol. The girls were showered with gifts and love and in accordance to Carol's request, no pictures of her will be seen here.

What a gorgeous group this is. Claire also got to visit again with Samantha and Courtney (sisters in all but blood) on this trip.

We spent several mealtimes enjoying Grandmom and Granddad's "home cooking". In their new apartment complex they have a wonderful dining room. Each meal came with 2 courses and a dessert. They even served grilled cheese sandwiches, so it was ok in Avery's book too.

One night, the subject came up of Papa's "broken" ear. Avery, ever the concerned granddaughter, was determined to figure out what was wrong. Of course the concern might have something to do with not hearing her request for more chocolate ice cream.

And last, as I said we spent several afternoon's shopping. While we once again traveled home with at least double what we packed, the shopping was never quite as fun as the playgrounds in the mall. All in all, these girls had a absolute blast in Tucson.

Part 2 Later...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Just after Kevin's birthday Grandpa and Grandma took the whole family to Schlitterbahn. It was Avery and my (Tonya's) first visit. If you notice someone missing in these photos, Claire stayed with the other Grandparents all day, which was fantastic for everyone!

 The first 30 minutes or so were a bit uncertian for Avery. Between the water splashing in her face (which she hates) to the many, many people, and the huge water slides, she was pretty sure this was not the place for her. However, Daddy's presence and the slides below changed her mind completely!

After that initial newness, she could not get enough of the place. She eventually rode these slides by herself over and over and over.

Here we all are enjoying lunch together. Somehow Aunt Amy missed out on the picture taking. Hmmmm.

We also found a kiddie section where Avery really had some fun.

I think this last picture pretty well sums up how Avery felt about Schlitterbahn. She did a great job. We were there from 10:30 -5:30 nonstop and she was the last one out of the water at the end of the day. We all had a great time!

When we got home, Claire was sooooo happy to see all of us, but mostly she was glad to see Avery. She voluntarily hugged her about 5 times. It was extremely sweet.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Many Faces of Claire

How time flies! Our little Claire turned 11 months old on July 30. Just for fun I took some pictures of her in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard and thought I would share. She is such a character, usually she is full of cheer and smiles, but she has also taken to making some silly faces. She is so much fun and we are enjoying her blossoming personality every day. Enjoy!

She is definitely enjoying the newfound freedom in being able to get around all on her own. She is not walking yet, but has taken a step or two by herself. Meanwhile the crawling gets her absolutely anywhere she wants to be and climbing is a favorite activity.

I guess we better start preparing for her 1st birthday! Hard to believe!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Avery!!

 Avery turned 3 on June 30. These are the pictures of the multi-day extravaganza! We began on the 30th with special pancakes from Daddy, blueberry pancakes that Claire very much enjoyed.

Followed by cupcakes made specially by Mackenzie.

At Avery's request we headed to Uncle Mike and Aunt Debbie's house to swim and apparently to wear "birthday glasses"!

For lunch we met Kevin at Avery's favorite restaurant, Chick-Fil-A, where she loves to play on the playscapes. Being brave enough to go down the big slide is new for her.

That night the whole family took a field trip to Baskin Robins where Claire enjoyed more of Avery's ice cream than Avery did.

Avery had a great day, the only problem with the day, according to her, was that we did not have a party. However, the following Saturday we remedied that problem.

We invited over some friends, decked out the back yard, passed out party hats, provided all Avery's favorite foods (burgers, chicken nuggets, "ma-cheetos", etc), made a cake and had a proper birthday party.

This year from Daddy and Mommy, Avery received a scoot bike. Basically a tiny bicycle with no pedals or training wheels.

We also had a water balloon fight that the kids (of all ages) got a huge kick out of. Here Avery has just thrown a balloon at Daddy.

Claire was a good sport through the whole crazy day. Although she was not a fan of the party hat.
On another note, our precious and quickly growing Claire turned 10 months old on the 30th as well. She is such a happy and friendly girl. She currently has 3 teeth, crawls, pulls up, has an amazing smile, and is quickly on her way to walking. She also loves eating "grown up" food. It is amazing how fast she is growing.