We needed a trip. We've all been aching for some sun and time away. I've pretty much been tethered to the house since N came along, and it was time to introduce him face to face with his Arizona family. D's grandpa really gave us a scare a few weeks ago, he ended up in the hospital with a very serious blood infection. We could have lost him. Thankfully he's slowly recovering, and we really wanted to see him. The timing was fortuitous; E had a week-long break from school, and 3 round trip stand-by airline tickets made their way into our hands. D flew in from his European tour on the evening before Valentine's Day, and the next morning we were back at the airport and on our way. I know I've written several times about just how special this place is, but I am amazed every time how effortless these visits are. E would rather be down there among the animals, climbing fruit trees, and splashing around their pool than anywhere else. Every night at dinner she would let out a content sigh, and say, "This was the best day of my life!" N had a nice time too, although chose that particular week to exhibit an impressive bout of separation anxiety, and I was lucky to hand him off to anyone other than his dad without his brow furrowing and a tearful "Mamamama," tumbling out...oh, and did I mention teething? They're coming, but really taking their sweet time, and he is u-n-c-o-m-f-o-r-t-a-b-l-e. Our nights were periodically and abruptly interrupted with caterwauling at the loudest decibel. And we're even still trying to fight our way back to our former restful nights. Even with all of the good must come bad, but it was not enough to inhibit me from extending our trip another 3 days. D flew back to get some work done, but the kids and I hung around to walk the zoo, go out for doughnuts and squeeze oranges. It was really nice.