The Big Day

After 2,883.3 miles, we arrived at our new home.  It was a really big day.  It was June 27th.  It was Max's first day on the job.
The movers came with all our stuff.
 Karlie and Hailey were wrestling and Hailey knocked out Karlie's upper tooth that had been loose.  Blood was going everywhere while I was trying to simultaneously direct four men where to put our belongings while also trying to keep the kids entertained.  Mind you they had no toys, no TV, no computer and no food.  Good times.  Thankfully my mom arrived to rescue me around 1 pm!  I was just about to pull out my hair when Karlie lost her tooth.  LOL
 It also happen to be our 13 year anniversary!  We had planned on our 10th Anniversary that for our 13th we would go back to our honeymoon spot since at the time Hank had just been born and was just getting off his oxygen.  Funny how life doesn't go the way you planned.  We ended up at our own resort.  We have named our new hut the Oasis.  It is my escape from the death, desert.  In our backyard I can pretend I am in Maui. :)
 13 has always been a lucky number for me.  It was my number in volleyball in high school and has always brought good times rather than unlucky ones.  I am hoping this is our lucky 13th year.  Through all the trials and tribulations of life, it has always been good with Max as my partner.  Without him, I am nothing.  He is the love of my life.  There is no one in the world I would rather be with than him.  Thus, I have followed him to the desert.  Together we can do anything...


 When it was time for us to head toward Arizona we drove to southern California where Max's extended family lives.  John and Cheryl were kind enough to host us for a delicious dinner where Dave, Terri, Scott and Lucy joined us.  It was such a nice evening visiting.  The kids terrorized their backyard and were able to release pent up energy while we got to chat and relax.  Unfortunately, I completely forgot the camera. :(  Thanks to everyone for taking time out of your week to see us!  Now that we are just 6 hours away, I imagine you will be seeing a lot more of us.  The kids LOVED the beach and were rather bitter that we made them leave.
 There isn't much to say about the drive from California to Arizona but hot and dry.
 We had to stay at a hotel for a few more nights before we could move in.  We needed to fulfill our Build a Bear promise that didn't work out in the city.  Hank was thrilled to get a Jedi bear.
 Hailey found a puppy.
 Kaitlin chose a lovable bear.
 Karlie went for the blizzard bear to keep cool! :)  We were hoping to start our new life with as much positive association as possible.  Bears and pools were a great start!
 Ready, set......

The kids had a blast at the hotel.  It was a real hardship on Max and I too. LOL  Forced vacation.  We literally had nothing to do but relax and be a family.  The hotel even included a breakfast and dinner.  No cooking, no cleaning, no planning for more driving, just playing and enjoying each other.  It was a wonderful zonie initiation. (a term for Ari-ZON-ans, first used by people in San Diego for those who flee the desert heat for the beaches in the heat of summer).

San Francisco Treat

It was smokin hot at the Villa during our visit. Temperatures reached above 100 which is a pretty rare event. To keep cool Pops had the girls get in the fridge.
We took a jaunt into the city one day to try and keep cool. I had planned this as one of our outings and hyped it up to the kids. I imagined walking the Pier, seeing the seals, riding the cable cars, visiting the chocolate factory and taking them to the build a bear Max took me to when we were 16. I had grand visions of being the ultimate tourist and foolishly thought the kids were old enough to enjoy the sights of the city.

At about Pier 10 of 40 my overblown bubble popped. The build a bear had closed down and the kids were over the walk.
It was a very long walk.
But it ended with a bowl of chowder! Some of the best clam chowder I have ever had.
Everyone was a fan.
We ate every last crumb.
Even Hank enjoyed the chowder chow time.
During our road trip the kids watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I excitedly told them when we got to California we would get to visit the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory. I think they were a tad disappointed with visions of Oompa Loompas and chocolate rivers in their heads that there was just big vats of chocolate and no Willy Wonka to greet them.
So they played by the fountain with Max and Pops.
They would be lowered like a ballerina to touch the fountain. One foreign tourist asked if we were doing a religious performance or just for fun. LOL
We did have a fabulous chocolate banana split!
I was really hoping to ride the cable cars but the lines were long and the kids were pooped. Luckily we will have many visits to the Villa ahead of us where we can make it happen. Instead we jumped on the electric bus back to the ferry. This was Hank's favorite part of the day. Go figure!
We walked through the market and got a hearty laugh out of this sign. Tasty salted pig parts. Now we are talking! While it wasn't the day the kids or I had imagined, it turned out to be a pretty nice way to escape the heat wave and eat some tasty San Francisco treats!

How Hailey Spent Her Birthday

Hailey had a fun birthday at the Villa this year. She had the quite the adult breakfast. Since it happen to be Father's Day, Anna had planned salmon and bagels and for a special treat she got Pops caviar.
The kids all enjoyed the salmon and bagels, however, Hailey was the only caviar fan.
We always try to let the kids dictate the menu for their day and Hailey's favorite breakfast of all time is creamed eggs. So we had another round of breakfast for brunch.
We went for a water expedition. Hank loved riding in the kayak with Max.
My big girl paddled herself all around the estuary.
Anna booked it!
Pops and I ferried the little ladies around. It was a fabulous rendezvous!
During nap time Anna gave Hailey a manicure.
In the afternoon the boys played bocce ball. Hank did throw a ball and break one of Nana's big pots. Sorry!
Paella for dinner!
Anna gave Hailey one of her horses from her childhood collection. "Phoenix" has become the leader of Hailey's herd of Breyer horses. :)
It was a busy and long day. In typical Villa fashion, dinner wasn't until 9 pm and we didn't the kids to bed until 10:30. Karlie was trying her best to hang in there.
It was a grand day for a grand girl!

Warm Welcome???

I have to say that our Arizona welcome has been warm. The week we moved in were record breaking hot days. I think my car was having a nervous break down. That read 126 degrees! I don't know if it was really that hot, but I do know it went above 120. Even the locals were saying how hot it was. When it is that hot you just can not be outside. It made leaving all the doors of the house wide open for the movers particularly enjoyable.
All of the dessert's finest creatures came to welcome us as well. Thus far we have had 3 live scorpions in the house. One in Karlie and Kaitlin's room. I am not happy about this welcome. We had the pest control come the second day we were here and he said we have to kill their food source because the poison doesn't work very well. We had a cockroach and cricket infestation. After he sprayed there were hundreds of dead cockroaches surrounding the house. Thankfully the birds came and cleaned up the mess.
The bug man said the best thing to do for scorpions is to go hunting for them at night. He said to get a black light and they will light up like the fourth of July. Sure enough, they look just like this.
Our fearless scorpion hunter gang. The found 10 of them. Max's boots served as the lethal weapon.
If cockroaches and scorpions were not enough, this snake came to greet us on our doorway the third day. We are unsure what type he was. His tail rattled back and fourth and was swollen but we couldn't hear any noise. One of the movers offered to kill him but he slithered away. I hope Mr. Snake doesn't feel the need to make a return visit. He is not welcome.
Apparently Max and I have a curse of bringing record weather to Arizona. When we came for his interview in February they had the "40 year freeze." Then Tuesday the haboob of the century welcomed us. It was raining dust for hours. Here are some pictures I found on the net.
You should follow this link to watch a video of it rolling in. Remarkable. Just wish I wasn't here when it happened. The Haboob of 2011!
Our robot tried in vain to clean the dust out of the pool.
Dirt remained to hang in the air all day and it was recommended you stay inside. It was so thick we couldn't see nearby mountains. I felt a bit like a nuclear explosion survivor. However, it did make for a pretty sunset. I appreciate the warm welcome we have received from Arizona, but I am not interested in being friends. I would appreciate it if they would all back off. :)