Sunday, October 22, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Happy St. Patrick's Day! Our fun Mom instilled in all of us the love of celebrating holidays and making them fun and special for our family. Karin does a wonderful job carrying on that tradition with her family, she always sets up a fantastic St. Patrick themed breakfast for her kids every year, I was super happy to be able to enjoy it this year!

Lucky charms and pistachio muffins



Irish soda bread


rainbow fruit with whipped cream clouds


Green milk




Such a happy little leprechaun 


Thomas' music group had a special lunch and show at Organ Stop Pizza, one of our favorite places to go when we visit Gilbert. His music directors had rented out the entire restaurant for their students and their families, we got bottomless pepperoni and cheese pizza, root beer and lemonade. We also got a very special, private concert from the extremely talented organist. All the kids had a complete blast, as did us adults :)





After lunch, we went to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie! I had been so excited for this movie to come out, I was so happy to get to see it on it's opening day! It was even more wonderful than I was hoping it would be, they did a marvelous job with the casting and the new songs they added in. I already can't wait to see it again!

After the movie, Ben took V through the arcade and had fun pretending to play all the games with her, she was in heaven.



For dinner we went to Lo-Lo's for some southern comfort food. Chicken and waffles is one of my all time favorite meals, whenever I see it on a menu I automatically know it's what I'm going to order. I had heard for a long time that Lo-Lo's has some of the best chicken and waffles ever, so when I heard there was one in Gilbert, I couldn't wait to try it out.

Bethy shares my love of everything southern, especially food, but the rest of the family isn't too familiar with it. The thought of savory fried chicken served on sweet waffles was beyond baffling to them, so bless their hearts for appeasing my need to try this place out when they don't quite understand all the hype.



V and her many admirers 


We got a lovely table outside and it was perfect weather, not something I say about Arizona weather too often this close to summer ...



So. Many. Delicious. Options. 


I'm only a fan of mason jars as drinking glasses at true southern restaurants, none of that hipster wannabe stuff. 




These two handsome boys got the red velvet pancakes with cream cheese syrup to share.


Glorious, simply glorious. The perfect meal.




Beth got another favorite southern meal of ours, shrimp and grits! Take a look at that biscuit!


After dinner, a large portion of our group went to the Sleuth Box escape room. Ben had picked this as his activity for his special day, and we were all just as excited as he was! I have done a handful of escape rooms, and this one might be my favorite. It was challenging, but not too hard, we made it out in almost record time, the setting was so immersive and detailed and there were so many fun surprises that none of us expected.

The clues are so fun and imaginative,  I couldn't stop taking pictures of all the neat stuff we found to help us solve the mystery. However, we were asked not to post any of the photos we took of the actual clues as to not spoil the fun for anyone who might want to check it out, totally understandable. So, I have only included photos of us unlocking boxes that are always in plain sight or looking around the room, I didn't want to spoil any of the surprises in case any of you want to go check it out.









On our way home from the Sleuth Box, we realized we never properly celebrated pi day! (March 14 ... 3.14... ya dig?) so we stopped by the store to pick up some delicious pies. Their bakery was completely out of pies so we had to buy frozen ones which we had to cook for like an hour, but it was worth it!



Celebrating pi day with the fam at like 12:00 am with pies straight out of the oven, so much fun! V was definitely all about it.



Where ever she goes, she's the star of the show ... singing ittsy bittsy spider with aunt Karin and cousin James



Friday, October 6, 2017

Arizona Museum of Natural History


Karin is such a fun mom, she knows of every museum, aquarium, farm, etc. in her area. If there is anything fun for kids to do, Karin knows about it! One of those fun things is the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa which we made sure to visit during our stay in AZ.



This museum is well known for it's fun dinosaur exhibits.



Pretending to be in old fashion movies.



Panning for gold!


























There is a flash flood every hour in one of the dino exhibits, we made sure not to miss it!










V found a cute little friend from the gift store to take home


After the museum, the Burtons took us to one of their favorite Mexican food restaurants, Mangos, which is just a 5 minute walk from the museum.  Our party of 13 took up most of the restaurant, it's a small, family owned place and their food is phenomenal! Mexican food isn't my favorite, I don't hate it, but I am rarely in the mood for it, so I am a pretty tough critic and this was by far the best Mexican food I have ever had! It is so fresh and flavorful.