We returned home to AZ for a couple months. Home is now a relative term, considering home is wherever we park. But we claim AZ and will always return. In my opinion, the winter and spring are really the best time to be there. Coming from all the cold, it was refreshing to be in the warmth, sun shining down on us, bare feet in the grass at the park.
The main reason for us going back to Tucson, was a glass show and Flame Off that Jeff was a part of. It’s a competition held at Sonoran Glass School, which is where he learned to blow glass and he has participated in numerous glass competitions there. This year he was asked to MC a part of it as well. As always, he had a blast creating his piece. All the artists’ pieces went up for auction. And as always, we enjoyed watching him compete. Seeing all the other artists’ work was fantastic! We LOVED looking at everyone’s creations.
For the majority of the time we were dry camping in the desert at a little spot called Snyder Hill. It’s on BLM land, free to use and very convenient of a location. We were maybe 5 miles away from our old house. We were greeted every evening with a show of colors during sunset and the starry sky. We met a family of 4 travelling full time for a while in a VW bus. All of the kids became instant friends and it was nice to see them play almost daily. It was a nice reprieve from their time in TN with barely any kids to play with. They were sad to see their little buddies Jackson and Colton leave.
We took a trip up to Kitt Peak to view the telescopes, take in the views and check out the solar telescope. It had been a while since we were last up there. Years. And we learned from a docent at Kitt Peak, that the solar telescope will be closing next year due to funding. The largest solar telescope in the world. It’s used not just for solar viewing. We’re glad we got to see it once last time. Lilly was very bummed at this news. And so were we.
There was a lot of snow up on Mt. Lemmon, the mountains that border Tucson to the north. So we borrowed sleds and headed up the mountain to find a sweet sledding spot. We didn’t even have to drive to the town at the top to find great packs of snow. The girls had a blast sledding, making snow angels, and Violet’s favorite; eating the snow. Some snow got into Lilly’s boot, which hurt her and she swears she’ll never going sledding again because of that. But I think she’ll change her mind.
We celebrated Violet’s birthday. We always open gifts 1st thing in the morning and then the bday person gets to choose what to do for the day and what to eat. She chose to see Moana (again), play at the park and eat Subway. Easy peasy. My friend made her an amazing Moana cake too.
At one point during our visit we ended up with our friends Anna & Zach at a county nursery where we were invited inside to look around. They take care of plants that are momentarily displaced with road construction. They also grow native plants for local parks and green spaces. The kids asked if they could help in the greenhouse and were given a baby Saguaro cactus for volunteering. Each of the saguaros were just 3 years old. I was so proud of them for volunteering.
We went to one of our favorite places: the Sonoran Desert Museum. We no longer have passes to get in and my friend Brianna invited us to come along and use some passes she had. We also went to Saguaro National Park west side so that Violet could earn a Junior Ranger badge since she was too young when Lilly earned hers there. My friend Jackie met up with us for a late breakfast and park day. Time was also spent at our friends Carmin & Will’s home for dinner and playtime. We went to a birthday party at our old neighbor Rochelle’s house and our friend Teresa invited us to another party at a Peter Piper Pizza. The girls were in heaven! We sure missed all of our friends: kids and adults alike. We didn’t even get to see a fraction of our friends in Tucson. Next time we’ll have to aim to see more.
During the Flame Off we were allowed to park and stay next to the school. That was very nice and very convenient. While Jeff had his glass show, the girls and I were able to walk downtown for ice cream and a visit to the Children’s Museum. I’ve always loved the old adobe homes in the area around the school so it was nice strolling the street lined with them as opposed to zipping by in the truck. We spent one afternoon at the Gem Show. Apparently it’s the largest of its kind, in the world! The girls also received their first ever haircut (small trim) in their life. Not counting them cutting it themselves 😉
Our boondocking came to a screeching halt when we fried our inverter. The new one that was less than a year old. Less than a year of use. Lots of money. Ugh. It drained the life from our batteries, which were almost a year old. I may as well been blowing my nose with dollar bills. This happened while Jeff was swamped with the glass show and competition. So he couldn’t help with anything. We spent the evenings via camping lantern. Thankfully it wasn’t hot or cold outside so we didn’t need to worry about the furnace or A/C. It took a few days for me to get someone out to look at the trailer. Finally we learned what exactly was fried and set up a plan to have it fixed. But we couldn’t afford it right away. We toughed it out. And it ended up taking over a month to have the money for it. We already had an appointment to get our awning fixed, which ended us in a night at a hotel. With a pool! The kids didn’t mind the cold water. I received a new tattoo, a Christmas present I had gifted myself months prior, and covered a part of my existing arm tattoo.
Once we got the RV back we headed up to the Phoenix area to see my mom and family. And to wait on our RV power repairs.