Katrina's Mom, Carolyn, has wanted us to visit her new home in Arizona since she moved down there 2 years ago. It just never happened until this past weekend.
Carolyn informed us of a new airline offerning twice a week flights from Eugene to Phoenix - Mesa airport. We really wanted to visit her since we hadn't been yet and because of our future move to Italy. We were able to get pretty good airfare with Allegiant Airlines....about $400 for all three of us roundtrip.
Allegiant only flies this route twice a week, on Thursday and Sunday afternoons. They basically fly from Phoenix to Eugene then fly right back. We caught the Thursday evening flight and arrived in Mesa at 8:30pm. This airport is only a 45 minute drive from Carolyn's home and the Eugene airport is only 45 minutes from our home. It doesn't get much more convenient than that.
We had a great time visiting. The change in weather was actually very nice. We left a warm 60 degree day in Oregon and arrived in a warmer 80 degree evening in Arizona. The daytime highs over the weekend were sunny and 90's.
On Friday we drove down to Tuscon to have lunch with some of the family. Of course we had to stop for some 'photography moments' while driving each way. These 'moments' were trying on my patience several years ago, but over time I have come to appreciate Katrina's skill and knack for photograhy. I understand the need to the right lighting and setting up the right shot. Even Brandon is much more patient these days.
On Saturday we visited more of the relatives. Most of them live in Anthem, a preplanned community in Florence. They all have beautiful homes of various sizes. All are built with a stucco southwest look to them. I loved the neighborhoods and was amazed at how many trees and plants there were. In the afternoon we visited the community center. They were having an open house with a BBQ, swimming and kids games. It was pretty hot, so we hung out with family in the lifeguard office.
Carolyn had let us drive her golf cart to the community center. Brandon thought that was just too cool. After hanging out at the open house for about an hour, we decided to explore the neighborhoods in the golf cart. Several family members suggested we drive around the golf course since it was closed for the day. Katrina drove as we whizzed around the golf course paths getting wet from the sprinklers. Most of the sprinklers were on my side of the cart which made Katrina slow down and try and get me even more wet. Brandon thought this was very funny. We ended up driving around the entire 18 hole course before heading back to the house. I think this ended up being the highlight of the weekend for Brandon.
Saturday evening Carolyn hosted a family BBQ. Lots of good food and birthday cake for the second day in a row. Katrina turned 38 on Friday. It was great to see so many of the Katrina's extended family. They are always fun to hang out with.
Our visit ended on Sunday. Carolyn took us out to a Mexican restaurant for lunch before dropping us off at the airport. We said our goodbyes. We arrived home in Corvallis by 8pm. It was a quick and efficient weekend visit to the desert of Arizona.