Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kim's version of family vacation-Day 1

I know we've been back from vacation for about 10 days now, and I'm finally posting about it. So sue me!!! On second thought, don't! It won't do you any good as I'm broke.

Our vacation officially started on Sat 8/15 with a trip down to Lakeside to our Grandson Gunner's 2nd birthday party. In case you missed it, I posted about it here. This was our pre vacation vacation.

Isn't Gunner a cutie pie? Anyways, back to my story. We were on our way down to see Gunner when we were rear ended on the freeway. Seems if we are going to be rear ended it happens when we are on vacation. The last time was 3 years ago when Mike & I were rear ended on our honeymoon while in Vegas. Luckily this time, the damage wasn't as great as we didn't rear end the car in front of us.

The guy who hit us pulled up next to us & told us we didn't have any damage. But Mike insisted that he pull over. So once we pulled over we could see there was some damage. And that's when he told us that someone rear ended him and that pushed him into us. Yet, the other party magically disappeared. And he didn't even bother trying to stop them to get their insurance info, he was busy trying to convince us that we had no damage.

It doesn't look that bad, but the bumper is cracked & needs to be replaced. The estimate is $800.00. Plus my lower back started hurting a few hours later. By the time we left Gunner's birthday party I couldn't even walk I was in so much pain. Luckily I had some left over prescription ibuprofen & some vicadin. But even that didn't help the pain much the first night. By the next morning the shooting pains had diminished and I was able to walk without crying (mostly). I didn't go to the doctor before leaving on vacation as it was the weekend & I didn't want to sit in Kaiser's urgent care for 6-8 hours. And I had laundry to do. Plus I knew all they would say is to take pain pills, apply ice & heat and rest. I was already doing those things. I would go to the doctor when I returned from vacation if my back was still bothering me.

So by Monday morning my back pain was more of a dull ache which I could handle, so we left for our trip to Cave Creek Arizona. And why were we vacationing in Arizona you might ask? Especially since we went there last summer. And the temps are well over 100 degrees? Well, Mom & Dad decided they liked it there last year so they wanted to return this year. Since we knew the condo could accommodate all of us, and we didn't have any money to go anywhere else, they kindly invited us to join them in Arizona. All we had to pay for was gas & food. And the temps would be well over 100 degrees if we stayed home. We opted for change of scenery.

Our goal was to leave home by 7am on Monday morning. But we didn't actually leave until 8:15am, which is still good for us. Usually we leave about 2 hours behind schedule. We drove to Hemet & went through Lamb's Canyon to hook up with interstate 10. As we were coming out of the canyon & heading into Beaumont we noticed a pickup truck that looked a lot like Eric's. As we pulled up next to it, it was Eric. I wish I had taken a photo. I thought it was funny that we would see Eric on our way out of town. He normally works in LA but he had a job in Beaumont that morning. We waved to each other & he asked us if we were leaving for vacation & we said "yes". We then left him as we decided to stop & get some breakfast at Jack in the Box in Beaumont.

We then got on interstate 10 & headed east towards Phoenix. As you head east into the California desert you will find lots of windmills on the side of the freeway.

These windmills are huge & they are everywhere. Since Brandon was already with Mom, Dad & Jodi on the first part of their vacation to Utah, it was only Mike, Jesse & I in the car. It was nice not having to be packed to the hilt.

I always take photos of us in the car on our vacations. Here is my self portrait.

Jesse sat right behind me. It was hard getting a photo of him. I just pointed the camera in the back & snapped a shot. Got him first try.

Mike is always the driver. He can drive for hours and hours as long as he has pumpkin or sunflower seeds to munch away on. Here he is eating a pumpkin seed. We buy them in bulk at the grocery store. Much cheaper that way.

Yea!!!! We are in Arizona!!!! But we still have a few hours left to travel.

Once we reached Phoenix we took interstate 17 north. They have some cool over passes in Phoenix. In fact, Phoenix has nice freeways. But you definitely don't want to speed there. They have speed cameras everywhere. And their car pool lanes were nice as well. They were only car pool lanes at certain times of the day and week. And you could travel in and out of them at anytime. Sure beats the car pool lanes here in California.

Our ultimate destination is Cave Creek which is a small touristy town north of Phoenix & Scottsdale. It's about 30-40 minutes from Phoenix & right next to Scottsdale. We stopped about 4 times on our trip. Normally we wouldn't stop so many times, but with my hurt back, plus we had to eat breakfast, plus we had to get gas (we forgot to fill up prior to leaving & the first place we stopped in the middle of nowhere was $3.19 a gallon so we only put in $10 and drove until we found gas for $2.79 a gallon). And the 4th stop was Cracker Barrel. I love Cracker Barrel store. They don't have them in SoCal, so we had to stop at the first one I saw in Arizona. Didn't buy anything (too broke), but I love to look around. They have some neat Halloween stuff that I wanted but couldn't get. And no one was offering to buy for me. Boo hoo! I should have taken photos, but I was too busy oohing & ahhing that I forgot.

We finally arrived at the condo around 2pm. Took us about 6 hours with all the stops. Brandon, Mom, Dad & Jodi had arrived the day before. They were playing domino's when we arrived. Here is Brandon being silly.

Here is Mom at the condo.

Me at the condo. Don't I look like I just traveled 6 hours with a back ache? And did you notice my red hair? I colored it red a week before leaving. It has toned down quite a bit since then.

And here is Dad.

Jodi, smiling away as always.

For dinner we decided to go to the Horny Toad restaurant in town. They have all you can eat beef ribs on Monday Night. The boys love ribs and we liked this restaurant last year so we decided to splurge & go.
Brandon getting out of Mom & Dad's truck getting ready to go into the restaurant.

Here is everyone inside the Horny Toad restaurant. Mike, Jesse, Brandon (who is hidden behind Jesse), Jodi, Mom & Dad. I am taking the photo.

Here is Mike eating his "all you can eat" beef ribs. He was the only one who ended up ordering them. Jesse & Brandon got burgers, dad got 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, mom & I got salmon and Jodi got chicken fajitas. We were all so hungry that I didn't get any photos of the food except for this one of Mike with one of his ribs. This year the food wasn't as good as we remembered it from last year.
Brandon at the restaurant.

Mom with Mike & my body in the back ground.

Outside the restaurant. Funny name for a restaurant. I remember catching horny toads as a kid. I think it is now illegal to catch them in California. But then isn't everything illegal in California now? Well, except for medical marijuana, but that's another story.

Saguaro cactus outside of the restaurant.

Don't ask me what kind of cactus this is. It was also outside the restaurant. There is cactus everywhere in Arizona.

After dinner we went back to the condo & played domino's the rest of the night. Can you handle all the excitement? That is why I am only showing you one day. Tomorrow I will show you all the fun and exciting things we did on our 2nd official day of vacation. I know the suspense is killing you, but you will just have to wait. Or if you would, "Hold your horses".


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