As I opened the suitcase that contained our clothes and various paraphernalia from our trip to Phoenix, the very distinct smell of chlorine hit my face. E and I splashed in Grandma Hilda and Grandpa Benny's backyard pool one last time before I packed our bags to head home. I miss it already. We were ready to come home though, we had spent a week in the heat, ate at all our favorite spots, I stayed up late watching David Letterman, and guiltlessly finished a girly fiction book and 4 magazines. Not to mention reconnecting with family.
D's grandparents have welcomed me into their lively clan with open arms, and of course they adore E, their first great-grandchild. I count it a blessing to have grandparents again, when D and I were married, only my mom's father remained then, and his health was fleeting. Benny and Hilda were married before they turned 20, and started a family right away. They are both hard workers and have a colorful past and I so enjoy listening to them tell their stories. Benny built their home back in the 60's, and a good chunk of their land is dusty ranch, as he was a roper back then. So the air is fragranced with the smell of horses and the earth baking in the scorching sun. Most of Hilda's siblings live right there in Phoenix, and 2 of her 3 children also have rooted there, making these visits somewhat of a family reunion. Our visit was dotted with coffee dates with aunts and uncles, and we even attended church on Mother's Day at the church D's uncle started 12 years ago. Because the weather was so hot, we mostly stayed indoors, venturing out only (armored in 50SPF) to play in their backyard pool, nestled among the palms and a few orange trees,
for a quick trip to the zoo,
and a few mall excursions.
*We surprised E with a visit from her dad.
He just happened to be passing through Arizona on his way to LA while we were there. We met up for hugs and kisses, a tour of the very slick tour bus, and some dinner. It wasn't much but it meant so much to all of us.
We really had a nice relaxing time, and Hilda just spoiled us rotten with new clothes, toys, meals out, and just plain old hospitality. It was great to get away, to be with family while D was on tour, and soon we'll all be together again.