2. NO SQUEAKY TOYS ON AIRPLANES!!! This should be a law. I am not bothered by babies or children on airplanes. Sometimes their parents drive me nuts (seriously, lady, control your child's feet - his rhythmically kicking the back of my seat is NOT just like a massage chair), but I'm ok with the kids themselves. The couple directly in front of me and Ross on the flight to Arizona had brought a six-month-old baby and a squeaky toy. When the baby cried, they would wave it at her and squeak it relentlessly. The harder she cried, the faster they waved and squeaked. Did they try to feed her? No. Did they try to show her a book? No. Did they try interacting with her (Itsy-bitsy Spider or any other baby-rhyme that would involve moving her hands around)? No. Wave and squeaky-squeaky-squeaky-SQUEAKY-squeak. I wanted to violate the clear baggie's ziplok closure and pour 2oz of hand sanitizing gel on their heads.
3. My sister graduated nursing school! Her pinning ceremony was beautiful. Her school has a tradition of reading a statement written by the nurse summarizing her or his feelings upon reaching graduation as the nurse receives his or her pin. When everyone in the class has been pinned, all the nurses in the audience - new graduates, teachers and advisers, plus any observers who are nurses, stand in a circle around the room for a candle ceremony. The light is passed from nurse to nurse, signifying the transition of knowledge across the ages and the sharing of knowledge within the diverse nursing community.
4. A friend I graduated high school with now lives in Phoenix and was able to meet up with us. We had a good time catching up, even though he brought along incriminating photos of us as teenagers in the '80s.
5. We found the most gigantic Saguaro cactus any of us had ever seen! Granted I don't get much exposure to such plants in NJ but Mom's been in Arizona over ten years now and likes to hike in cactus country. Still, I got all touristy and took a zillion pictures of it. I even made Nurse Kat stand in front of it, to show scale - she's about 5'4".
6. We went to the Casa Grande Ruins, America's oldest condo complex which is located in what's possibly the oldest planned community. It was pretty cool to see. It was not at all cool outside - the temp got up to 105°!
7. My mom's house looks great! In the last year, she renovated the entire place; new floors, fresh paint, new window treatments, all new kitchen. She did a ton of the work herself, too - it was an enormous undertaking. Worth it, though, as her house is now decorated exactly to her taste. Color me very jealous of her progress...especially the kitchen.
8. We hiked on the gorgeous Peralta Trail in the Superstition Mountains.
9. We met a desert tortoise at the Casa Grande Ruins. He's shown here, parked half under his dinner. I think his head is toward the wall. He did stick it out while we were there but not for very long. He is a very recent addition to the Ruins environment - he'd only just arrived on the day we went. I was astonished at how long the boys stood watching the tortoise do nothing. They were (mostly) still! And (mostly) quiet! Makes me think a porpoise might make a very good pet around here...
10. My sister got her first real live, not student-nursing related nursing job! Actually, this happened a few days after we got home but I'm late to blog about the trip so it gets to be included.