Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend Fun

We had a really great weekend, minus one or two hitches. We were all packed up and heading to Phoenix to spend a couple of days with my Aunt Stacey and Uncle Dave when we stopped to grab something to eat, and the Jeep overheated in the drive-through. We thought we’d pull around to the front and turn it off for a few minutes, but she still wouldn’t start after we finished our lunch. By this point, Penny was starting to get desperate from the heat, so I carried her across the hot asphalt to a Petco that was, thankfully, in the same general area. Jon met us inside a few minutes later (after burning his hand on the hood of the Jeep) and we just hung out in the cool for about 45 minutes before Jon was able to fire her up. We made it back home with no problem, but we were starting to really worry about our planned weekend of fun… We didn’t feel like putting ourselves at risk of overheating somewhere between Picacho and who-knows-where, and ending up on the side of the highway in 110 degree heat. But we had been looking forward to this weekend for a while. Jon’s always out of town and this was a rare weekend we were going to spend together, swimming and shopping and visiting with family. Finally, we decided to wait a couple of hours for it to cool off a bit, then take the Mazda, which has no air conditioning. It’s worth it, though, because that thing gets about 40 miles to the gallon, as opposed to the Jeep’s ridiculous 14(ish). We loaded up on bottled water and took off. It really wasn’t too bad, and I poured water on Penny to keep her comfortable.

When we first got there, we changed into swimsuits and jumped into their pool for some night swimming. Penny was on the other side of the fence, trying to figure out what to do with herself. She’s not used to a yard, so she was kind of awkward for the first little while – anxious about us in the pool, but excited to have room to run around. She ended up sticking her head through the pool fence bars a few minutes at a time, then running around and barking her head off at all the sights. Stacey and Dave’s old Jack Russell terrier, Harley, came outside for a few minutes to check things out, then got sick of Penny trying to play with him, and ran back inside. He’s such a sweet, round little thing. He looks almost like a cartoon – his little face is always so happy and he looks like he’s smiling all the time. And he knows a couple of tricks, one of which Jon has dubbed the “Can o’ Beans”. He balances and holds his front feet up to beg, but he’s so round that his whole body rocks back and he sits on his butt with his feet sticking straight out in front of him.

And he’ll sit like that for as long as you hold the treat over his head. So hilarious. Anyway, we slept in the next morning until about 8, then just kind of had a lazy day. Jon made some phone calls to friends and family while I read a book. Stacey and Dave were nice enough to let us borrow their Lexus to take to lunch, then afterwards they treated us with a trip to the movie theater to see Kung Fu Panda, which was actually, surprisingly, really good. I wasn’t expecting to like it, but it was just overall cleverness and fun. I really can’t knock it. And the absence of potty humor (typically infused into all kids movies) was a plus. I don’t remember rolling my eyes a single time.

Then that night, we all went to eat at a fun, wild west themed restaurant in north Scottsdale, way the heck outside of the city. On our way back to the car, Jon spotted a javelina wandering along the old rickety wooden walkway of the building. It’s the first one we’ve seen that wasn’t fenced into some sort of enclosure. I’ve heard enough horror stories about those things feeling threatened and goring people to death with their tusks, so I was maintaining a safe distance (read: I made sure there were other people that were closer to it than I was), but when this guy walked into the light of an overhead streetlamp, then turned to face us, I admit I got a little nervous and started to take a few steps back. In that exact same moment, a wild-eyed, crazed black devil of a cat came bolting out of the cactus that was between us and the pig, and my heart pretty much stopped. For about one-tenth of a second, I honestly, truly thought it was an angry javelina coming for my femoral artery. This crazy cat came right at us, then spun and almost ran into the javelina, then skittered away into the shadows. My heart was racing for a good minute afterwards, and we all had a big laugh at my terrified reaction. So IMAGINE HOW EXCITED I WAS TO DISCOVER that Jon had been taking a little movie of the pig with his phone AT THE EXACT MOMENT that the cat appeared! I couldn’t believe my luck. Seriously, within three seconds of the event, I was already planning out my blog post about it, only to find out (the next day) that Jon had caught the whole thing with his phone. So I watched the video……..…and was really disappointed. It just doesn’t do it any justice. For starters, it's way too dark to even see what's going on, and it's just not as exciting as it was in person. Although if you crank the volume and listen carefully, you can definitely hear me gasp, then say "oh my gosh, that scared me! I seriously thought it was a javelina! ahhh..."

I wish I had screamed bloody murder, so you could see how startled I was, but as it is, you’ll just have to be content knowing that it was A LOT scarier than it seems in the video. You really only get a fraction of the drama. A clip of my face would have been way better.

Sunday we went to church, then had a yummy dinner of grilled chicken, fruit, and a salad with peas. I LOVE peas in salad. Really, there may be no other salad ingredient better than peas. Except maybe strawberries. My mom makes a killer strawberry salad. I attempted it once, but I put way too much poppyseed dressing in it, and haven’t tried again since. Apparently I give up very easily.

Anyway, after dinner we just visited until the sun went down so we could begin our drive home. We hosed Penny down, stuffed her in the back seat, and away we went. I wish I could say our trip home was uneventful, but we got stuck in traffic for a good hour just outside of a little town called Eloy. By the time we got to the accident site, things had started moving along better, but every single news van in Southern Arizona was lining both sides of the street. There were a bunch of these huge, tall temporary spotlights set up so they could get a better shot of the accident - an overturned bus about 50 yards from the highway. I just felt sick to my stomach after seeing it, and we hurried home and made it back just in time for the 11:00 news. And not a SINGLE WORD was mentioned about it. The news here SUCKS. This isn't the first time that I've experienced a big newsworthy event and been disappointed in the local media. I was on my way home from work a couple of months ago, for example, and the entire city was being consumed by some huge could honestly only see about a half-mile in any direction, and ASH was falling from the sky...and there wasn't a single mention of it on the news. What?! And once, the main vein from East to West in this city was closed...completely shut down, and not even the TRAFFIC section of the local news said anything about it. It took me two hours to get to work that day because thousands and thousands of vehicles were creeping down back roads between o-1 mile per hour. No mention of it. Nothing. Anyway, so I wasn't too surprised that local news had let me down YET again. This morning, though, it was all over the papers - a bus carrying 30 kids home from a church youth group trip to California overcorrected and went off the highway. Thankfully, only three or four of the kids were considered in critical condition, and I heard later today that they were all being released. Scary, though, huh? Anyway, so sitting in traffic for an hour on our way home from Phoenix was our second hitch in the weekend. We ended up getting home way past my bedtime, and I fell asleep without taking a shower first. Kind of gross, considering how sweaty I was.

And that was our weekend. In general, it was perfect. Other things on my mind today include:

1) Why did Jon eat so many doughnuts at work today that he doesn't want to eat dinner?

2) What are we going to do with Penny at Christmas? She's too big to be a carry-on, and storing her under the plane is cruel. They say most dogs arrive at their destination foaming at the mouth because they've worked themselves into a nervous panic. Options include kenneling her for over a week, or renting a car and driving it up. According to Avis, there's no additional charge to take one of their cars to Canada, we just have to sign a waiver.

3) Speaking of Christmas, how early is too early to start thinking about Christmas presents? This year is HALFWAY OVER already.

4) Speaking of presents, we bought new couches and they arrive tomorrow! Pictures to follow, I'm sure.

5) I'm sorry for how long this post was. I'll make up for it later on by posting a few really ugly pictures of myself. How's that sound?

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