Fun in the Sun City West, AZ

Our first full day in sunny AZ was jam packed with fun for two reasons. One, Reese and Harper needed to get out and run around after being trapped in the car from Telluride, CO to Sun City West, AZ. Two, and it was my 38th birthday!

Luckily, the Great Aunt Nancy and Kimba had already scouted out the perfect playground at The Surprise Community Park. The park featured a five acre urban fishing lake, basketball courts, volleyball courts, playgrounds, and 16 pickleball courts. Apparently, pickleball is the favored sport amongst Arizonans. Maybe pickleball will pick up some national recognition now that all major sporting events have been suspended due to COVID-19.  The other night on our local news, the sportscaster talked about dogsledding in Breckenridge…dogsledding.  Anyways, that’s neither here nor there.

Reese and Harper flocked to the water and were fascinated by the nearby wildlife.  Birds were begging for bread crumbs and four turtles got comfortable on a warm rock that poked out of the water. The water and wildlife became a distant memory once the girls caught a glimpse of the huge playground.

They both burned nearly 5,000 calories in an hour by sliding, running, swinging, hanging and hiding on absolutely everything. The adults exceeded the kids calorie burn by chasing, sliding, running, swinging, and hanging with them. After an hour of extreme exercise, it was time to head back to the G.M.’s house for some lunch and an afternoon rest.

After the noon snooze, we headed to Nancy and Kimba’s house for a birthday party. Reese and Harper were occupied with some fun activities that Nancy prepared, while Rebecca and I were in the backyard learning about the unfortunate fate of an old cactus. Nancy prepared a delicious lasagna for dinner and a yummy carrot birthday cake.

The next day, it was time to celebrate Nancy’s birthday. In the morning, Reese and Harper got to pick oranges off of the G.M.’s three orange trees. The backyard smelled so citrusy in the warm, spring breeze. I have never had the opportunity to eat a fresh orange off of the tree.  It tasted incredible! Luckily, we got to bring about three dozen oranges back home with us.

We worked up quite a sweat picking oranges, so we headed to the pool at the golf club. We were the only ones at the pool. I don’t know if that’s because it was only the middle of March or COVID-19. The pool was nicely heated and felt like warm bath water. Reese and Harper leapt into the water from the edge of the pool, I pretended to be a shark, and we played with some foam noodles.

A good way to measure how tired Reese is whether or not she takes an afternoon nap. If she naps, you know she’s running on empty. Well, after skiing, driving, park playing, and swimming, she was running on fumes! These days, a Reese nap is like finding toilet paper at Costco during the Coronavirus pandemic. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, EUREKA! The adults had a great time lounging and enjoying some adult beverages in the backyard underneath the orange trees.

Later on, Reese and Harper woke up and we made them pose for the picture at the top of this post. That’s why they look so rough! “How did you sleep? Ok, stand here and smile right now!” Then, it was time to celebrate Nancy’s Birthday with some Honey Baked Ham and Nothing Bundt Cakes. We all gave her the new Amazon Echo Show 8. Since the date of this post, she’s only asked me for help twice. I’d say that’s pretty darn good!

All good things must come to an end sometimes and it was time for us to head back home to Colorado. We left bright and early around 5:30 A.M. and drove to the nearest Starbucks for a couple of venti’s and breakfast sandwiches. I took us north back through Navajo country, into Utah, and then Colorado.

We are so glad that we decided to add a few days and a thousand miles on to our trip by going to Arizona.  We’ll surely go back again soon now that we know that we can all handle the drive…mainly me and Rebecca.