Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trip to Arizona: Tubac and Tumacacori

Today we headed south of Tucson toward the Mexican border to visit Tumacacori National Historic Park and Tubac.  Tumacacori was Ethan's first-ever visit to a church, and even though it is a Spanish-style mission ruin, it is very impressive.  Ethan even went inside his first ever Ki, a traditional Pima Indian dwelling, and it was amazing how much cooler it was inside the mud walls compared to outside -- at least 10-15 degrees cooler!

Ethan inside the Ki

This is what the nice and cool Ki looked like. 

After exploring the mission and grounds, we were about to head up to Tubac to look at some art when we realized that my diaper bag was out of diapers (uh oh!).  We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, with the closest real grocery store or drugstore over 10 miles away in Rio Rico.  So we decided to take a chance and see if the small "gourmet and specialty" grocery in Tucac would have a small pack of diapers.  Well, we were lucky because they did (and it worked out for us because we knew we'd need to buy some more diapers to get through the trip anyway).  So Ethan is now in Size 3 diapers. :)

Once we got Ethan changed, we headed into the shops at Tubac.  It is always so much fun to look at the beautiful and creative things for sale there!

After we got back to Tucson, we headed to Anne and Steffan's house for drinks, snacks, and lots of catching up (somehow, we ended up not taking any photos though, sorry!).  It was a fun day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trip to Arizona: Casa Grande Ruins and Tucson

Today we left Sedona to head down to Tucson where we'll spend most of our trip.  We'll spend a few nights at Sangita's house before checking into the Westward Look Resort for Leslie's wedding.  On the way out of Sedona, we stopped for a few more photos of the beautiful red rock formations.

Playing with Cayne in our hotel room.

We had to stop for In N Out burgers on our way through Phoenix...after all, no trip to Arizona could be complete without Mexican food and In N Out Burger!  We also stopped at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  Ethan got his first slathering of baby sunblock there -- even though technically he's not supposed to have it until he is 6 months, I decided the sun was just to hot and bright to risk sun damage, even though we weren't outside with him for very long.

Ethan inside the Salado Indian ruins.

Then we headed the rest of the way to Tucson and introduced Ethan to Sangita, who made us a delicious Indian dinner!  Sangita completely doted on Ethan and he soaked up all the attention!  It will be a fun few days!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trip to Arizona: The Grand Canyon

Ethan's first National Park!
Today we left Sedona early in the morning, driving through Oak Creek Canyon to get to the Grand Canyon, Ethan's first National Park!  We stopped at the scenic overlook of Oak Creek Canyon for a few photos before continuing up past Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.

Oak Creek Canyon

Once we got to the Grand Canyon, we stopped for pictures in front of the entrance sign (of course!) where Ethan was as popular with the other tourists as wildlife!

They were excited as if they had seen a little bear cub!

We went to a few overlooks and then found a bench overlooking the rim for a quick picnic lunch before taking a few pictures and heading to the visitor's center for our passport stamps.

Patches of snow were still on the rim!

Another tourist admiring the "wildlife."

The view from Ethan's stroller
A PERFECT spot for lunch!

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument to see the volcano and walk along the Lava Flow Trail accessible portion -- it was a really neat walk.  We had planned to go to Wupatki Indian Ruins and Walnut Canyon but by the time we finished with Sunset Crater it was already 5:00 and the other two sites were closed so we'll have to plan on seeing those some other time.

Cayne at Sunset Crater

Lava Flow

Ethan on the Lava Flow Trail

The San Francisco Peaks are in the background

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trip to Arizona: Montezuma Castle and Sedona

Ethan sleeping at Montezuma Castle NM.  
Today we drove from North Phoenix/Happy Valley to Sedona, where we'll be staying two nights at Amara Resort and Spa.  On the way, we stopped at Montezuma Castle, Ethan's first National Monument.  We bought ourselves an annual National Parks Pass and got Ethan his own Passport Stamp book.  For him, we got the 3-ring binder "Explorer's Edition" -- hopefully he'll enjoy visiting the National Parks as much as his parents do!

Cayne got to see his first ever Native American ruin and I think that this cliff dwelling stayed his favorite ruin throughout our trip.  We also headed to Montezuma Well, where I had never been before and enjoyed walking around the spring and seeing the cliff ruins.  Not quite as easy to digest was the fact that the spring water is mainly CO2 so gilled fish can't live in the anaerobic environment, meaning that the "well" is full of leeches -- yuck!

Leech-infested water.  
With one of the Sinagua ruins overlooking the Well. 
Daddy pointing something out to Ethan.  
Cayne liked how the snakes are told to stay on the trail.  
On our way to Sedona, we also headed to Tuzigoot National Monument, another first for me.  I had a disagreement with our GPS over how to get there after reading on the NPS website not to follow my GPS to Tuzigoot because it will tell me to go on a road that doesn't exist.  Well, we should have listened to the GPS, because it would have been right and we wouldn't have ended up on a dirt road (before quickly turning around)! Tuzigoot was really neat to see as well, and Cayne got to climb to the top of the ruin.

Relaxing at Tuzigoot.

Cayne inside (at the top) of the ruins.  

From Tuzigoot, we had about a 50 minute drive to our hotel in Sedona so we made a leisurely trek there, enjoying the views along the way.  Our room is really nice with views of the trees along Oak Creek (the hotel was right on the creek) and we had dinner in the hotel restaurant tonight -- duck schnitzel for me and salmon/sundried tomato pasta for Cayne.  It was delicious!!!!  And the views from the restaurant of red rocks and Oak Creek were wonderful!  
Our baby is a great road-tripper!