Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Great Valenta Christmas Adventure Part 3

The  Great Valenta Christmas Adventure
A.K.A. An Arizona Christmas and a San Diego Wedding
Part 3

Ahhh, the third and final installment of Loretta's Little Trilogy. :) 

With the reception over and Jordan and McKenna headed for Santa Barbara, clean up began. I have never seen more boxes, totes and bins of "stuff" in one place as there were that night! It surely came down faster than it all went up but it took a lot to get everything hauled back to Sue's house. It all got stacked in her garage to be gone through another time. 

During the clean up a woman came up to me and said, "You don't know me but I'm Michelle and I stalk your blog!"  HAHAHAHA! It was funny and awkward all at the same time! She then added, "Well, like 6 of us stalk your blog."  
Uh-oh. I for sure didn't know what to say then! She said that they all knew McKenna and watched her grow up and that they had to know who she was marrying. Then she added, "But you're funny so it's okay!"  Well, *that* made me feel better! :)  

The next day we attended church at Sue's Ward before making our way back to Arizona. Once back in Arizona we stayed a few more days there before heading back home. We were able to see a few more sights and visit some friends during our last few days.

Mesa Temple

The girls in front of the Mesa Temple

I like big cacti and I can not lie! :)

Tim and I taking a selfie in front of the temple

Some pretty funny pictures I took of an unsuspecting Annah....

Oops...she's on to him... :)

Mesa Temple Lights

In the evening we went back to the Mesa Temple with Tim and Lisa, Jeff and the kids to see the spectacular display of Christmas lights. It was so beautifully decorated!


Annah and Abigail in front of the temple

  Uncle with the nieces :)


 Family photo in front of the temple!

Visiting Friends

We were able to visit Lyle and Carol Coltrin who had lived in Kentucky but moved to AZ about 7 years ago. Lyle was a counselor to Tim when he was Bishop in Nicholasville and Carol taught several of our kids piano lessons, including Abigail and Annah. It was so fun to see them again and for the girls to show Carol how they have continued to play the piano. It was a proud moment for the girls and for Carol! :)

Abigial and Annah with the Coltrin's dog, Pedro, who they
 played with as a puppy in Kentucky!

Band Practice
The night before we left Arizona Jeff took us to his good friend Mike's house for "band practice". Oh what fun that was! Mike has his whole garage converted into a music studio that has all sorts of equipment and instruments begging to be played...drums, pianos, and guitars galore! 

Abigail on drums :)

Jeff doing what he does best!

Annah, Lisa, and Tim and Tim the younger in the background!

Lisa, drummer girl! This girl can drum!!!

Jacob...not so much but he was a good sport!

Now playing the piano, THAT he can do! :)

Annah on the "shaker thing" and Abigail on bongo drums

Tim gives the drums a whirl!

Jacob, Tim and Annah

Abigail getting into playing the blue guitar!

Annah on drums

Tim and Jacob

Annah on the pink guitar

Mike (who is a fabulous piano player!) and Jeff

The "band" calling it a night

Farewell Arizona

The next morning we got up and said goodbye to Jeff (sniff, sniff) as he headed off to work. A while later we were packed and ready for the road again. 

It began to rain that morning, something that we've heard is a rare phenomenon in Arizona!

We didn't really give the rain much thought until we were heading north toward Flagstaff and higher elevation. The rain turned to snow and traffic slowed and came to a stand still for over an hour.

The trip to Flagstaff that normally takes about 2 hours turned into 4 hours. By the time we arrived there was about 6" of snow on the ground and it was still coming down. The interstate heading West to California was closed but heading East it was still open so we continued carefully on our way!

Ringing in the New Year on the Road

Somewhere USA on New Year's Eve...um, who's driving??

St. Louis, Missouri
The evening of January 1st found us in St. Louis. We were a day later than planned and decided that after 3 days on the road we all needed a descent night's sleep and a shower. We found a hotel room for the night and the next day we made our way to downtown St. Louis and headed to the arch.  

Nearly 20 years ago we made a move from Imperial, Missouri (a little south of St. Louis) to Kentucky. It was a hard move for us having been in Missouri for 7 years and thinking it would be our "home" forever. Since making the move we have not been back to see the arch and with Abigail and Annah being born in Kentucky, they had never been there. Being so close we HAD to go!

As much as the girls wanted to go to the top of the arch, Abigail was very nervous. This was pretty much the look on her face the whole ride up and down!

I had taken some video of Abigail in the "pod" that carried us to the top of the arch but it was having trouble being viewed on the blog. :( Maybe I can work on figuring out why and post it later. 

At the top...

The sign of a great photographer (Annah)....she'll do 
anything to get a picture....

Of her parents! :)

The St. Louis Arch celebrates its 50th anniversary this year on October 28th which just happens to be Miss Annah's 16th birthday!

Calling it a day in St. Louis and 6 hours from home!

It was a pretty epic two week trip for our family. If I could change one thing it would be to have had Andrew with us on this trip. We got to see family and friends; to be there for Jordan and McKenna's wedding and make lots of memories! What a Christmas to remember! 

1 comment:

davidjoanpeffley@gmail.com said...

What a trip and what humor, I would not blame anyone for stalking your blog, its one of the most humorous things I see often. I remember the trip to the arch with you...it is a real ride to the top.