We took a last minute trip to Arizona for Chinese New Year to see family, friends, go to doctors and dentist appointments, and pick up our dog Clark and bring him to China. It hadn't been that long since I had been home. The kids and I enjoyed 3 weeks in sunny Arizona this past summer, but Jonny hasn't touched U.S. soil for almost 18 months! I was very pleased to see Jonny reaction being back in Arizona. He realized that he really missed AZ and the beautiful weather! We will see how he fares when we go back in mid-September this year and it is still 100 degrees F!!!
One of the greatest parts of our trip home was that my Dad flew out in the dead of winter from Nebraska to see us. It was great for him because he works for the Department of Roads and most of his winter is working nights, plowing snow. It was perfect timing as the Midwest was hit with one of the worst winter storms all year.
The kids had a great time with their Papa Steve and I think my Dad definitely has a huge fan in Angus! My poor Dad was drug all around Phoenix with us to doctor’s appointments and shopping sprees. He was a good sport about it and just kept laughing at us. He thinks we are completely crazy with our busy schedules.
We had a few other great memories of our trip. I was able to go wedding dress shopping with my friend Pam. Pam and her fiancé Murray are getting married on October 5 of this year and Pam has asked me to be a bride's maid. I was over the moon with her asking me and our whole family looks forward to the trip to see 'Auntie Pam' get married.
While my Dad was in town he so graciously hung out with the kids while we went to a potluck dinner at our friends Kelly and Brian's house. There were about 6 couples and our friend Jen. It was a great evening and wonderful be with our old friends! It was also really great to catch up with our friend Jen, who moved to Chicago around the time we moved to China and now has moved back to AZ. Jen is one of the funniest people I know and it was great seeing her again!
Another night we were able to get our old babysitter to watch the kids while we had an adult night out with our friends Joe and Jill. We went to one of my favorite places to eat in AZ, Havana Cafe! If you have never tried this extremely yummy place I highly recommend it! If you do take my advise you definitely have to try the Calypso Chips with Black Bean Dip and the Frittatas de Frijoles Negro with Calypso Avocado Dip.
Another highlight of our trip was meeting up with our kids' friends. We were able to have breakfast and then a playdate at Toy Town with the Clark Clan . Gemma was very excited to see her friend Carson, she had made him a Valentine Card in China and remembered to pack it in her backpack and bring with on our trip back home. Toy Town has also changed since we were last there. They have new owners and have added a great toy section featuring Melissa and Doug toys. They are great wooden toys like puzzles, play food, etc. I couldn't resist the sushi set for the kids equipped with Velcro chopsticks! We were also lucky enough to meet our friends Brooke and Julie for a playdate at Toy Town. It was great for Angus to meet up with a couple of his friends and so great to see how much the boys have changed since we last saw them. Also, it was great to see Brooke and Julie's new babies!
On one of our afternoons we had the pleasure of meeting our friend Thuong for a glass of wine at our favorite wine bar Postino. The company was great along with the food and wine. What I wouldn't do to have that bruchetta in Chengdu!
On one of the days my friend Annette and I met our friend Jeanette for lunch at a really yummy Thai restaurant. I thought I would be a Thai food snob after our trips to Thailand, but I was so impressed with the food. It was really great! After our lunch I had some shopping time in with Annette, who is the queen of shopping.
The Friday before I left a bunch of my girlfriends got together to attend a Martini and Manicures fundraiser that our friend Ger Follmer was putting on. It was really great and they raised a ton of money for breast cancer research! I couldn't believe how many people were there!
All and all between doctors appointments, shopping trips, and getting together with friends we had a wonderful trip home. It was just great seeing everyone and catching up. We are looking forward to our trip back to the US in the fall, either semi-permanently or for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary and Pam's wedding.