Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Company's Come and Gone ; 0 (

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I don't know what happened to the previous blog post I wrote, but I spoke about all the excitement of preparing a cozy bedroom complete with a fresh picked bouquet of sweet peas, a welcome basket full of Homemade Granola Bars, chocolates, fresh fruits, and an iced down cooler with fresh squeezed orange juice, Baked Rice Pudding and bottled water.
Sisters in the Kitchen

My dear sister, Jill and her wonderful husband, John came for a visit. This was their very first trip to our beautiful state. They arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA by train. The temperature was 13 degrees F. and there was a fresh 12-inch blanket of snow on the ground and 8 more inches fell as they slept that first night in their hotel room. John maneuvered the mountain passes like he'd been driving them his entire life! (Back at home in Michigan, their temperatures were an unseasonable 80 degrees F.) 

Jill and John were able to experience the diversity of our state, first with a snow storm and then their drive down through two mountain ranges and into, "The Valley of the Sun" for bright blue skies, lots of sunshine, trees leafing out and citrus trees all in bloom. They had never seen a palm tree before. And they got to meet all our crazy pets! Libby, our blue and gold macaw, and Evergreen, our Eclectus, put on quite a show. John's favorite was as we were heading to bed last night and Evergreen was saying, "peeky peek", in his little Minny Mouse voice and Libby was saying, "I Love!" in her husky voice.
Standing under our Date Palms.
Today we took them up in the largest county park in the United States. It's located a few miles from our home in the White Tank Mountains, the ones we see from our back yard. We took them to see the giant Saguaro Cactus, stag horn, jumping cholla, barrel, and strawberry cactus and all the different desert trees, and plants. Then we went to the new White Tank County Library (YouTube) located at the park entrance. The back wall of the library is made up of glass windows for a panoramic view of the desert plants and mountain. At the front of the library are benches and native plants in flower and a panoramic view of the complete Valley, including downtown Phoenix, Cardinal Stadium, and Camelback Mountain. There is also a gift shop with live displays of several of our native rattle snakes, gila monster, and scorpions!  Yuck!

John and a Saguaro Skeleton

Feeling small among the giants.

From left to right:  Staghorn Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Jumping Cholla.
Stately Giants, home to the Cactus Wren and Gila Woodpecker.

Examining where an arm fell off a Saguaro Cactus.

Back home for grilled hamburgers topped with sauted onions, mushrooms, fresh, homegrown leaf lettuce and tomatoes on Homemade Hamburger Buns coupled with two helpings of Homemade Potato Salad!

We had such a lovely time! It's always so much nicer when company comes and stays at your home!  We really got to spend quality time together, talking, laughing, sharing meals and our daily lives, with cats, parrots, chickens and all!  They're back on the train tomorrow for two days of "clickity clack".  We made so many wonderful memories during our short visit together.  After lots of photos, parting hugs, kisses and waves, it seems a little too quiet . . . Over at Julie's.

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