When we go to Mexico we always take an extra week or so to visit Arizona as well and spend time with Chris’ family too! This Arizona trip was great and we were able to do a lot of fun things!
When we flew in to Arizona we had some time to spend in the Phoenix area. Chris wanted to take Brianna rock climbing and they wanted to climb at Camelback Mountain. They decided on climbing The Praying Monk. Chris and Brianna woke up about 4:30 in morning to make it there around sunrise. They had a small hike to make, then a small wall to climb before they were even able to climb The Praying Monk. The Praying Monk isn’t too hard of a climb and the hardest part is a 5.7. (They climbed up the East Face and Chris repelled down the South Face.) They both really enjoyed this climb and they both said they wanted to do it again sometime.
While they were gone the kids and I spent time with Nadine and Grandma and Grandpa Tanner. Ashley and her husband Everett also came over to see us! It was fun to visit with them! Once Brianna and Chris made it back it was fun to hear about their climb. I could tell Everett really wanted to go, but he had school that morning so he couldn’t’ go this trip. Chris had a few climbing trips planned to do with his family so we knew everyone would be able to climb at some point! (Chris wanted to be sure everyone got to climb as much as they wanted, but he wanted to make a priority to take Brianna on a good climb. Brianna loves climbing, but she is also leaving on a mission soon and won’t be able to climb for a few years!)
After climbing Brianna had to hurry off to class, but the rest of us went and ate at Fore Father’s (A cheese steak place we love!) Ashley and Everett had class after that and they left and it was about time for us to head to Thatcher as well. We didn’t want to get there too late since we were leaving for Mexico early the next morning!
We got back from Mexico Tuesday night, but we got home pretty late so we weren’t able to see Chris’ family until Wednesday. Wednesday morning my grandma fed us all breakfast and had my cousin Tassy and her family come as well. It was so great seeing them and having a good chunk of time to visit with them! I’m so glad my grandma made time for us to come see them and feed us as well! I have the best family!
After breakfast Chris took the kids to his parents house and I went with my mom to find out what Lara is having. It was so fun to be included in her sonogram and I was so excited to find out she was having another GIRL! Emma is having a girl as well the month before Lara is due so it will be fun to have those two girl cousins be so close in age! Plus Remmy will be a great big sister to a little sister! Thanks for including me in this Lara!
After the sonogram I met up with Chris and the kids and Nadine and we went to lunch at R&R. We were able to see Preston for just a few minutes, but they were busy so he didn’t have much time to visit. We weren’t sure when we were headed back to Mesa (then to Payson, then to Mesa/home) then so I didn’t even say goodbye to anyone really, but sadly that was the last time we saw everyone! So sorry guys! That was really lame of us and if I knew we were leaving the next day for Mesa I would have said goodbye to everyone better!
Thursday, Chris and the kids and I loaded up and we headed to Mesa. (McBrides were going to be out of town, my family was busy working so we decided to just leave that day.) When we got to Mesa Chris dropped me off at a pedicure place to go with my mom to get a pedicure for my birthday (My mom was working in Mesa that day!) then we were able to meet up with my cousin/friend Lindsay! We met up for dinner and we had a great time catching up! She is one of the people I miss most since moving to Washington!
My mom dropped me off at Chris’ grandparent’s house and she headed home. When I got to the Tanner’s house Ashley and Everett were there as was Brianna. It was so fun talking to them that night! I’m glad I get along so well with his family! (I really am lucky that my favorite people are my siblings, their wives, Chris’ siblings, and their spouses!) That night Chris’ parents were going to get there with his brother Michael and some of them wanted to go rock climbing the next day. Chris knew of a few places he could take everyone, but since he hadn’t done those routes he wasn’t sure what to expect so they decided to climb The Praying Monk again! This time Chris and Brianna took Michael, Everett, and Andrew to all go along!
That day before rock climbing we were able to eat breakfast at the bakery Everett works at, which was delicious. While people were climbing, or at school, Nadine and I ran some errands and were able to visit and hang out some, which was great! Later that afternoon Nadine and Bryan had some errands to run and I was able to spend some time with Kerby (Andrew’s wife), then Ashley came home from school and all three of us were able to visit. It was great visiting with them and again I love them dearly and I feel so lucky!
Later that night we went to eat at Cafe Rio and while we were eating there the rock climbers came back and were able to eat with us. I think they all had a great time climbing The Praying Monk and it was so fun to hear all about it!
After dinner we loaded up and we headed to the Tanner’s cabin near Payson (Forest Lakes). The Tanners were so gracious to let all of us go up and hang out at their cabin and I am so glad the Tanner’s were able to be there as well! We sure love them and miss spending time with them! We all got off on a late start since everyone was rock climbing, so we got to the cabin super late, but Grandma Tanner had all the beds ready for us. It was great to get there and have everything ready for us!
Everyone had a great time climbing so we decided to go climbing at Bear Canyon Lake near Payson. It wasn’t too far from the cabin and it had some easier climbs so everyone could try it out if they wanted. (5.4-5.7)There was a small easy hike down to the lake where we would be climbing and a nice area for the kids to run around and play while they weren’t climbing. We got there and it was in the sun and a bit warm and I could tell people weren’t so into it. But once people started climbing and shade came out people started to have more fun. We packed a lunch here and we were able to spend hours here! Most of the same people that went to Camelback climbed, but we had a few extra people climbing here as well. The kids loved showing off their skills here. Ashley decided to give it a try. (She had climbed in Washington last Christmas but didn’t like it much, but decided to give it another go. She realized that climbing really isn’t for her, but she did a great job!) I think the most surprising climber was Grandma Tanner and she did amazing! It was so fun to see her grand kids get her all set up in her harness and helmet and see Chris belay her up! It was definitely a highlight of the trip!
I decided not to climb this trip since there were so many that wanted to climb, and I can go whenever with Chris, but I did help belay some. It really was fun and Chris set it up so a few people could be climbing/belaying at a time! I think it turned out great and I would do this again for sure!
Sunday we went to church near the Tanner’s cabin and we spent the rest of the day just hanging out and visiting as a family. Grandma Tanner is so good at birthdays and had a cake for Ryan, Brianna, and Me. We also opened some presents from all of them and we definitely felt the love! Later that evening we helped clean the cabin, then we all headed back to Mesa. (All Chris’ siblings had school on Monday.) Bryan and Michael had to head back to Thatcher for school and work Monday. Nadine came back to Mesa with us because she was taking us to the airport Monday evening.
Monday we wanted to do something fun with the kids so Grandma Tanner had the great idea to go to the Heart Museum for kids. The kids LOVED it! (They still talk about how bad smoking is for your body!) We left there before we saw everything because Brianna and Ashley were done with class and we wanted to spend as much time with them as possible, plus we were all hungry for lunch and were dying for some Texas Roadhouse. We all loaded up to eat at Texas Roadhouse, it was fun to have lunch with everyone and have extra time to visit. After we ate it was time to get all our stuff and go to the airport.
It’s always so hard to say goodbye, but we had an amazing trip and we were able to do so much! I am so glad we had that time with both our families and doing the things we love in Arizona! Even though it’s hard to say goodbye we were all looking forward to being home and breathing in that fresh Washington Air!