PHOENIX   April, 2001

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  The Wyant Family Visit  

Since Sara's spring break coincided with Cindy's spring break, Dave and Cindy invited Greg, Maggie, Sara, Ralph and I to visit them in April. We were pleased to hear that Greg and Maggie were planning to go because we knew they would have a good time and they had never seen Dave and Cindy's new home....but all of us. Would it be too many? They assured us it wasn't so we joined the crowd and it did seem like a crowd. We were met at the airport by them with both of their cars and it took both cars to transport us all week. Cindy turned her car over to Greg to drive and we were able to stay in touch with two-way radios.

Dave and Cindy have a beautiful southwestern style home with four bedrooms. Until we came it was a two bedroom, computer room, storage room home. The storage room contents were moved down the street to a storage facility and a rollaway bed was put in the computer room for Sara, making it a four bedroom house again. We were all very comfortable and in this beautiful comfortable home was more food than we could possibly eat. Somehow Dave and Cindy knew our favorites.
We ate and then ate some more.
The "Wash" behind the house.
He knew danger lurked here.

The "wash" behind the house is a small creek when it rains but since it is nearly always dry, there are a lot of plants in and around it, some of them landscaped like a park. There are about two miles of paved walk on the bank of the wash and we took advantage of it for walking and biking.

Monday we left for a two-day stay at Grand Canyon with plans to hike the Kaibab Trail half way down into the canyon on Tuesday. This is a three mile 2000 foot descent and, of course, a 2000 feet climb out in three miles. It could be tough.

Going down is pretty easy

Or is it?.
Cedar Ridge, time for a snack

Cedar Ridge was a welcome stop. We spent about fifteen minutes there eating snacks and talking. Also, there was a restroom nearby. Because of picture taking and stopping to enjoy the views, it took longer than we thought it would to reach this point which was only half way to our destination.
Bottom of the canyon view
Beautiful views

We finally made it to Skeleton Point. From here you can see the Colorado River and the little green patch that is Phantom Ranch about three miles away. The views were fantastic. We had reached our destination and all were in a happy mood. We rested and ate more of the snacks that Dave and Cindy provided. Dave set the video camera on a tripod and made a silly scene that looked like he first climbed up over the rock and then fell off with us all just waving "Goodbye, it's been nice knowing you". We were having such a good time and hated to leave but knew that we still had to get out of there on our own two feet.

Struggle, struggle.
We all made it.

As if this hadn't been enough excitement, the next day on the way home, we went through Oak Creek Canyon to the town of Sedona situated amid buttes and monoliths of red-hued rock. It is a center noted for contemporary and traditional arts. We saw some of this art when we went to Tlaquepaque, a Mexican Spanish-style village for lunch. While we were waiting for a table, we looked in some of the shops but didn't have the thousands of dollars it took to purchase something. However, we did enjoy the lunch. It was very good. We then made reservations for a sunset jeep trip into the rocks.
Us in Barbie's jeep
Devon took our picture

The pink jeep ride was fun. Devon, our driver called it "Barbie's jeep" and was quite entertaining as he told us about the flowers and rocks. Sara liked it best when he went fast, bouncing over the rough terrain. This was another good day, too. We headed for Phoenix.

Thursday one of the infrequent rains came to Phoenix and, yes, there was a small amount of water in "the wash". We had to check it out. We had a nice visit with Cindy's parents and all went out to eat at the "Sweet Tomatoes" restaurant, one of our favorites.

Some of the cacti were in bloom
Sara and a barrel cactus
A hike in the desert

Friday, after packing for the trip home, we took a hike in the desert, then had a cookout. After dinner we finished the day by playing a game of "Crazy 8s". Dave put a CD of jivey Big Band music in the player and he and Cindy did an impromptu "Happy Dance". Others caught the mood and danced a little, too. It was a perfect ending to a perfect vacation. Dave and Cindy had done so much to make it that way. They are a very special couple whose upbeat happy nature makes you feel good just to be with them.