Arizona #3: Yuma Today (and Yesterday)

With my dad, who now owns a spot in Yuma (congrats, dad!), we visited the Yuma Territorial Prison, right on the now-border of California (aka the Colorado River). It’s a gorgeous spot, and the exhibits are amazingly hands-on and done with a clever sense of humor!

Right outside the former prison (now a State Park) on the banks of the Colorado River. Warden Grandpa Jerry and his guards.


(wo)manning the guard tower
Checking out a cell. Actually, back then, 1876 - 1909, the prison was a pretty comfy place compared to where the law-abiding folks lived. Prisoners had electricity, clean, plentiful water and 3 meals a day.


Hmmm. Some crazy days, solitary confinement doesn't sound TOO bad to me...


The exhibits really make the prisoners vividly come "alive." Caroline's favorite was this young lady. Julia and I chuckled at the man who did several stints in the prison for "a nasty habit of killing his girlfriends."
It was 90 degrees out, but we all got CHILLS at the Dark Cell, solitary confinement for misbehaving prisoners. One guy did 102 days here. No light, just bread and water. (No TV?!) After that, he was "a model prisoner."
It WAS creepy in the Dark Cell.

Other indelible images from our time in Yuma:

Lovely church.
Downtown/Old Towne Yuma - one of their high school teams' is still called the "Crims." Playing with pride!
Sheep shearing tool from Cousin Harris, now on display at the great restaurant we enjoyed!
The view from Grandpa's AZ home. Lovely foothills.
The view from Grandpa's bedroom window. A little different than the view from his MN bedroom -- especially in January!
Pretty much our view of Caroline. We LOVED Grandpa's pool!
awwww - me and my dad

Arizona #2: Scottsdale, Sedona

Our #1 reason for spending Spring Break in Arizona was to visit my parents, who both now winter there. Both were INCREDIBLE hosts! Both are also teachers (semi-retired and still substitute in both MN and AZ), so our glorious time in the sun was also filled with learning time (of course!).

So what would YOU do if this motley crew showed up? This was during our Scottsdale day.

Starting with Scottsdale and Sedona, some of our lessons:

History and Archeology lessons ~ Montezuma's Castle isn't what its finders originally thought.
The girls weren't thrilled by the time we got to Montezuma's Castle, but the look on their faces when they rounded the corner and saw this amazing ancient dwelling was SO WORTH the grumbling.
Botany/Horticulture lessons ~ Little Caroline, especially, LOVED the saguaro and other cactus and all the info about these amazing plants.
Gourmet Cooking lessons ~ from Auntie Carol at their exquisite Scottsdale home. Homemade hot fudge (just typing it makes me drool.)
Yes, of course we lunched.
Wild West/Zoology lessons ~ Can you imagine coming to the AZ territories with a burro, wagon and just your pioneer spirit? Quote of the day: "Not me. I'd have stayed in Boston." -- Auntie Carol
Cool place to spend part of an afternoon!

Geology lessons ~ Especially in Sedona.
Art lessons ~ The sculpture outside the Pink Jeep pick-up point!
Outdoor Adventure lessons ~ hiking in the red rocks (with lots of geology and botany mixed in!)
Smart, feisty, GORGEOUS students - they took the rumble seat for our jeep ride. Brave, too!

Me and my mom : )

Architecture lessons ~ Chapel of the Holy Cross (where Auntie Zoa once served!)
Sometimes, God already created the best architecture. (okay, Alltimes.)
"Let's call Dad and see if we can buy this pad." Ah, Sedona real estate...
Mineral lessons ~ the story of Jerome, a former booming mining town. Gorgeous drive from Sedona back to Wickenburg.


Arizona #1: Spring Training

Baseball fans beget baseball fans. Gram Donna, Cara, Julia, moi.

Our first stop after a smoooooooth plane ride to Phoenix: Spring Training baseball at Surprise Stadium, the Texas Rangers (*Josh Hamilton, sigh*) hosting the San Diego Padres. Perfect start to our Spring Break vacation. Some images:

Time to teach our young ladies how to travel, Girl-Style!

Grandma Donna scored us sweet seats!
The Anthem on trumpet ~ chills in the hot AZ sun.
Former Twin and current manager Ron Washington, one of my faves.
Smile, Josh. We are!

After a couple nasty fan injuries (broken bats should not land on ladies’ heads; line drive foul balls are not meant to be caught bare-handed), Caroline offered some wisdom, “I think we should go now.” The starters were all done, and we were ready for more adventures in the AZ sun.

Nice scenery, part 1.
Nice scenery, part 2.