Manuka's Place

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Arizona and the New Year!

I'm back baby!! Rode into town yesterday afternoon and it feels good to be home. I'll get into the Arizona trip in a bit but first off, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. I hope you all had a wonderful time this holiday season. I enjoyed Christmas this year but it was a bit different. This was my 36th Christmas on earth and my first one I did not celebrate with my Dad. It was a bit strange to not hear him give the order of opening gifts or arrive like Santa Claus. Josh and I did not really know what to do so we reverted to our childhood and went to a movie on Christmas Day. That used to be our thing as a family. Way before it was cool and hip, Dad would load us up in the car and head out to the Cinedome. We were usually the only ones there other than the poor saps who had to pop the corn and take the tickets. This was good bonding time. We never had to fight for a seat and we could be loud in the theatre without getting into trouble. Those were the days. Back to this year.... Josh and I also drove around Long Beach looking for some food establishment to be open. Finally we gave in and had a holiday fest of the "Jack-In-the-Box" variety. Nothing says Christmas like a Jumbo Jack with cheese, some fried tacos, a jalapeno popper or two and of course an eggroll. Next year I have decided that I am making my Grandfathers muscacholi for dinner. I got the recipe from my Aunt this week.

So Jill and I headed out to Arizona on the 28th. Sounds easy but let me tell you Jill in a car is like B.A. Barakus in an Airplane. (If you don't get it think A-team & Mr. T) To put it mildly, Jill does not like road trips. I on the other hand like being out on the road. We left at about 10:00 AM and headed to AAA to get some maps of Phoenix. They turned out to be very handy indeed but more about that later. Then we hit the road. I downloaded an audio book for the trip to make Jill a bit more willing to go. All was going well. We stopped at In-N-Out burger in Palm Desert and had lunch and then off across the Mojave. We made a pit stop at the Flying J truck stop at the boarder. I think truck stops are cool. You can get tapes cheap. One time I bought the best of the Jackson 5 for $2.50. What a bargain. We saw some cool stuff but not cool enough to buy. We got into Phoenix about 5:30 local time.

All the wedding stuff was good. Not much to mention. The rehearsal was fun. The ceremony went off without a hitch. The reception was a blast. But when we got out to our car the back window had been smashed and Jill's bag had been stolen. Man what a bummer. Thank God no money was lost and no credit cards were taken. The people at the Golf Club where the reception was were not helpful at all. All they told me to do was call the police. I called them and they took over 4 hours to call me back. Then they did not have time to come out or to fill out a report until the morning. You know that feeling you get when nothing goes your way? That feeling like you want to take a shower and wash the yuckie feeling away? Well that was pretty strong now. We got back to the hotel and then walked across the street to get Jill a new hairbrush and other items that were in the bag that was stolen. I then got on the horn and started calling places to get the window fixed. There was no way I was driving back across the desert with a garbage bag for a window. No luck finding a place at 10:00 at night so I tried to get some sleep. Woke up at 8:00 and by 8:30 I had found a place near downtown Phoenix that could fix my window (those maps came in real handy). Right when I got there the Scottsdale police called and I gave them the info for the report. In about 20 min. they had a new window and I was on my way. If you ever need a new window when you are in Phoenix go to ProGlass at Thomas and I-17. They were great. We shall see if anything comes of the police report. I guess it could be worse. It is just stuff after all (don't tell Jill that right now, she was rather attached to some of the stuff that was stolen). Jill and I just relaxed the rest of the day.

That night we met up with a bunch of people that were in town for the wedding to celebrate New Year's. We met at a place called the Sand Bar. I bet that place would have been super cool if I was 22 and single. But the last time I checked I am a bit older and a bit more spoken for. (Both good things mind you). Well after a few drinks I was feeling better and we sat and shouted at each other over the loud music for about two hours. We watched the ball drop kissed and then promptly headed back across the street to the hotel. I think I was in bed by about 12:30. Am I getting old or what? Darn kids and their loud music!!

Sunday morning found us on the road to Glendale to visit my Uncle John and Aunt Vi. It was great to see them again. I have some great childhood memories of visiting them and my cousins, Kiersten and Jen. Kiersten has three girls of her own and they all came over and we had dinner, talked about the good old days (gads... I am getting old), and played some games. It was great. I also got some old family recipes. When I was little I used to remember the "Adults" indulging in something called "Slush". I always wondered what it was and now I can't wait to try it. My aunt gave me the recipe and let me tell you you will be slush if you have too much. It is a frozen concoction with quite a bit of "spirit" to it. I will try it out and let you know how it goes. My uncle also scanned a bunch of family pictures for me. I will share some of them soon. I will need to clean some of them up in photoshop.

The trip back across the desert was uneventful. I will say the Toyota Prius can make the trip in one tank of gas. That is a little less than 11 gallons. I love it. Well sorry for the long boring post. Back to the grind in the morning. I have a lot to do in the next couple of days. Talk to you soon.

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