Gobble Gobble!

We spent Turkey Day weekend at Eric & Casey's. Casey's sister Gina, her husband Tim, and their son Luke, were visiting as well. We met them all at the wedding, but this was a great way to get to know them better. We had fun throwing tennis balls for the dogs, playing Mexican Train (a new domino game that I loved!), and building toy towers for 2 year old Luke to gleefully knock over.
Casey & Eric are great hosts and our dinner was fantastic! Everyone lent a hand and there was way too much food. But, leftovers are grrrrreat, and I made a turkey sandwich for breakfast (twice) :)
On Friday we went out for another trail ride on the quads. Check out the dust beards we had going this time!
Thanksgiving in Phoenix

Patagonia and Sonoita Trip

Last Saturday, Paul and I took a day trip down to Southern Arizona to take a hike in Patagonia Lake State Park and visit the Sonoita Creek Wineries. This spot was actually recommended to us by a few fellow Mt. Lemmon hikers that we chatted with when Paul's parents were here visiting. We looked up more info online and thought the hour and a half drive to a new hiking terrain with local wineries close by would make a nice Saturday trip. Our 5 plus mile hike was beautiful, relatively flat and covered many different landscapes - dessert/dry, a creek with cottonwood trees, and a forest with windy trees. The highlight was definitely sneaking up on a group of munching cows twice! Unfortunately our hike went too long for us to make it to the wineries in time but we still bought a local bottle at a general store and now have an excuse to go back!
Here are the photos.
Sonoita Creek

Mom & Dad Time

I am a lucky guy. I have a wonderful girlfriend who can handle hanging out with me pretty much all of the time. I am also really lucky to have some awesome friends and family to visit and add some extra personality to our two ring circus.
Having my parents visit us was a lot of fun. It had been awhile since the summer heat of the finger lakes when we waved goodbye in our Penske moving truck. I missed them.
Getting from Rochester to Tucson via airplane isn't as easy as one might hope. I appreciate this now as I look for flights home for Christmas. Mom & Dad opted to fly into Phoenix, its a bit easier.
Friday was a relaxing day. We went for a long walk along the river trail, got some groceries, planned our feast (its a Gillio tradition!), and sipped some drinks while soaking in the hot tub. On Saturday there was a bicycle street fair with tons of people selling new and used bikes in preparation for Tucson's big bicycle event "El Tour". Anyhow Sarah bought a new-to-her bike! Its a cool yellow & blue, we'll show you some time. After that search and bartering fun, we headed to the Sonoran Desert Museum. Don't miss the photos below! There were lots of cool animals, hawks flying just inches over our heads, and Sarah got to meet her fear incarnate in their beautiful mountain lions.
Guadalajara Grill is starting to recognize us. All of our visitors have been brought there, but who could blame us with salsa made fresh at your table, awesome chile verde, and BIG margaritas! We made sure to take some leftovers home. This time we didn't forget them in the car :)
What Gillio get together would be complete without a hike? Mt. Lemmon provides fantastic scenery, and on Sunday we even hiked a bit further than planned. We passed thru the bare lone poles of the 2003 forest fire around 8,200 ft. and then down to a cool creek bed that saved the trees on the opposing side from the flames.
For our final dinner Mom & Dad made some home-made gnocchi in a delicious red sauce with mushrooms, aspargus, & steak tips. MMMMmmmmm good! I love my parents cooking!!!
Saying good bye was sad to do, but I'm excited to see them again for Christmas. Thanks for visiting, love you guys!

Check out our photos!
Mom & Dad visit AZ

Sabino & los Muertos

Fall weather is awesome in Tucson. On Saturday, Sarah and I took a National Forest shuttle into Sabino Canyon and got off at the end of the road, about 4 miles in. From there we hiked uphill to a trail that follows the canyon just below the eastern ridge. The abundance of deciduous trees may lead one to think there's a river below, but the creek at the canyon's bottom isn't flowing above ground at this time of year. The views below from our trail at 3,500' were fantastic. Most of my photos don't illustrate that foliage, but rather that terrain around us in the higher, and drier zone with majestic Saguaro cactus.
Sabino Canyon
This evening we headed downtown to watch the Dia de los Muertos Procession. The procession is an adaptation of the traditional Mexican festivities to honor one's deceased relations on All Souls Day. It's held the week following Halloween here. Despite the skeletons, the event is a festive celebration with much dancing and music, akin to a Carnival parade.
Dia De Los Muertos

Cute Kid Quotes

Here is random assortment of adorable quotes from the past few weeks:

“You know what I learned? I learned that if you don’t wash your hands, you get sick. I learned that from Sid the Science Kid. He knows everything ‘cuz he’s the science kid.” ~ Tea

Annabelle to Miss Sydney whose hair was in many pigtails and bungs on Crazy Hair Day, “You look as beautiful as a rose.”

Me: "Rowa, what is something that you like a lot or are interested in that you want to learn more about this year?" Rowa: I wanna learn where everything is in the whole world!”

After taking a Spanish class that met for one hour, once a week for 6 weeks, Tyler counted his friends in Spanish, Tyler: “Uno, Does, Tres, Quatro!” Tea: “You know Spanish?” Tyler: “Ya, it was the last day Friday and now I know it.”

Me: “Wanna make a puppet?” Haley: “A boyfriend puppet?” Me: “What?” Haley: “Well, my girl puppet is lonely.”

While a few of us were looking at a globe together: With great distress, “Miss Sarah, Talya’s spinning the whole world!” – Logan A few minutes later, “Tyler took the Earth to the rug and now we can’t explore it!” - Logan

At the playground, I was taking a few kids to the bathroom and Sydney told me that Rowa had said that she needed to go so I told Rowa I was taking a group and to come with us. Rowa replied, “I don’t need to go anymore.” Me: “Are you sure?” Rowa: “Yea, it went back up as food.”

San Diego Halloween

This weekend we visited Sarah's sister, Elka, in San Diego. Everyone always talks about how nice it is in San Diego and I was really curious to see for myself if the city was worthy of that praise.
IT IS!!!
San Diego is a gorgeous place. We strolled a bit through Balboa Park, we rode the roller coaster at Mission Beach, dipped our feet in the cool Pacific waters, and experienced the stunning views in all directions.
On our way into town Sarah got ahold of her good friend Nate Ladd, from Tufts. So getting to hang out with him was an added surprise bonus. Thanks again for dinner buddy!
We dabbled in some Halloween festivities, we got to visit Elka's church, we had some killer brunches, and absolutely enjoyed our trip.
We're looking forward to visiting again, thanks Elka!

Belmont Park coaster

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San Diego Halloween