Family Happenings – Visit To Parents in AZ

Rebecca and I took a trip to the Phoenix area this weekend. It’s a trip we make once or twice every winter. My parents are “snow birds”. They make an annual migration from their home near my birthplace, Chicago, to the warmer environs of Sun City West.

We always take the van so we can steal away in the evenings and have some privacy. They have a fold out bed in the computer/laundry room but ….. believe me the van is much more comfortable.

It used to be we would take them on an excursion to “see the sights” but my parents aren’t as mobile anymore. The trip to Sedona was the last real excursion we took and that goes back to 2004. They are eight years older now and far less mobile.

My father turned 88 years old a few months ago. His doctor gave him six months to live a few years back. He’s getting more frail, no doubt, but “rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated”. He’s home-bound now – not that he was ever the adventurer – and my mother is his primary care giver. Mom turned 83 recently but you wouldn’t know it the way she runs  around with all of her social and charity work.

In putting together this post I realized just how few pictures I have of my dad. I counted 15 in my entire photographic catalog. The photo above with Destiny from 2007 is my favorite. She’s now five years old and makes regular appearances in this blog.

Sunday AM breakfast after church is a ritual. My boys, Kyle (on the left) and Doug joined us last year and will join us again in March when we make another trip to Sun City West.

I bought tickets for all of us (except Dad) to see the Angels play the Texas Rangers at their preseason stadium in Surprise, AZ – just a few miles down the road. We used to go to an Angels home game in Tempe every year but that involves a cross-town drive and traffic is just horrible in and around the city.

We usually arrive on Friday evening – it’s a 370 mile drive down I-10 thru the desert and 120 miles into AZ. We’ll spend a couple of hours catching up with Mom – Dad is usually in bed by the time we arrive. In the photo above Mom is checking out a bevy of new photos of grandkids and great grandkids. The iPad is such a great tool for that.

Her dog Max lives on her lap and is always nearby. Mom pampers that dog beyond belief.

Saturday was spent working on Mom’s new computer. Rebecca helped her set it up and reload the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Her prior computer was something like six years old. Mom hasn’t caught on to the Internet age quite yet but she does use her computer to track bills, investments and her charity work.

Here’s a nice shot of Rebecca with my Mom. That’s our van/get away in the background. This photo was taken Saturday early evening on our way to a restaurant. Dad didn’t go – no surprise. I haven’t seen him out of the  house in over a year.

Funny story – we left for dinner at 4:30′ish expecting we would easily “beat the crowd”. No such luck. We checked out the Red Lobster – one hour wait. So we headed to Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Surprise. Well, surprise, surprise there was a 45 minute wait there as well. I’m telling you – that area is hopping with people everywhere.

I dropped Rebecca and Mom off at the front door and then went to park. On the way thru the parking lot I was nearly run over by an elderly man in a hurry to find a Handicap parking space. Oh well – what are you going to do?!?

We left as usual Sunday. Traffic was very light as it usually is in the Winter months. Take this same trip in the Summer and all bets are off.

We stopped at a Rest Area on the way and I couldn’t help myself – I had to “scratch the itch” despite the dearth of photographic opportunities. I just love taking photos and have to “get my fix” regularly. What can I say?

Join us for our next Road Trip Adventure to Joshua Tree National Park. In the meantime, check back for our weekly Tuesday Photo Tips. Better yet – be updated automatically when we post Road Trips or Photo Tips by “friending” our Facebook site.

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