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Happy New Year to everyone-I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and had a great start to 2011.

My husband and I left on the 23rd of December for our trip to visit our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons in Anthem, AZ. We arrived in time to surprise the boys at their pre-school. Our older grandson, Dylan nearly bowled me over running to give me a hug and kiss. Amazing the strength a 3-3/4 year old boy has when happy! Aidan, our 2-3/4 year old love bug, started showing off his shoe flinging skills.

Once to our daughter's new home, I was given the grand tour! Steve had been there a couple of weeks before-so he knew the lay out. Very nice and thankfully one story. It was a beautiful 65 degrees too. That night we went to a local hamburger place that resides in a 1950's gas station-Big Earl's Greasy Burgers. Thankfully-it was fun and not a bit of grease in my veggie burger or the onion rings I shared with my better half.

Friday-we got to watch the boys. It was a pretty nice day so we took them to breakfast and then to the nearby outlet mall-which was boasting to be the home of the "nation's largest Christmas tree". It was pretty darn tall.

We took turns watching the boys play at the park area and shopping, brought them home for 3 chapters of one of the Junie B. Jones books they asked me to bring and a nap. When they got up, our daughter walked in and we all went to the Super Wal-Mart to get a few things for dinner and the last pieces of clothing for our trip to the Grand Canyon, Polar Express and Deer Farm experiences.

Christmas Day was warm-so we walked up to the park and let the boys ride their new truck/bike and play the afternoon away. While my daughter and I prepared Christmas dinner-our son-in-law went with my husband to see True Grit.

We left at day break Sunday, had breakfast in Flagstaff (don't ask-not much in Flagstaff on a holiday) and continued on to the Grand Canyon.  

This is where things started to get FREEZING cold. We had rain and light snow. The canyon was gorgeous-our first time. But I hate the cold (you try being arthritic in snow and wind)-so we want to go back during the warmer parts of the year. At the hotel-they thankfully had an indoor (and very toasty) pool area. The boys swam and I used the hot tub. Later we took a ride through Williams to the train station.

At 6:30, we were all sitting in our train car at the Polar Express-yes, just like the book and movie. The one hour trip to the North Pole was worth every penny when we saw Dyl and Aidan's face light up as Santa walked in and gave them a fairly large jingle bell.

Dinner was at a cute and decent pizza parlor. Next morning we ate at a very nice restaurant, the Pine Country Inn. Named appropriately, I must say. Floors, chairs, tables, ceilings-all Pine. Food was good too.  

On to the Deer Farm. Now the original plan was that my best friend from middle/high school and his wife were going to join us for this part and we would try to have some coffee or lunch with them before going home-however, my son-in-law's boss had other ideas-so my being able to see him and introduce him to our daughter and grandkids never happened.

Bummer-he did get to meet our son and daughter-in-law when we came last February for the boys' birthday.

The next morning, our son-in-law went to work again. Our daughter still had the day off. My husband had to get on the road-I was staying behind to take care of the boys for the rest of the week.

Wednesday through Friday proved interesting-seems the bad weather came down from the mountains! In one day we had extreme winds, heavy rains, both light and hard hail and topped it off with SNOW! Yes, snow in Anthem.

Brrr.

New Year's Eve-I watched the boys and missed my husband. On Sunday-still freezing, we bundled up the boys and took them to the park after breakfast out. It was my husband's birthday-54. This was the first time I missed being with him for both events since we met in 1980-so I was both happy to be with our daughter and family and very blue about not being at home with my one-and-only.

Monday night our daughter and grandsons dropped me off at Sky Harbor Airport-only to find out that my flight first had been delayed by an hour and 15 minutes, then cancelled. I was put on another flight and finally made it home by 10.  

Nothing says love like a warm set of arms and a hot whirlpool in your own bathroom waiting for you.

The rest I leave to your imagination and again wish you all a very happy, healthy and hopefully prosperous 2011.

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