Been a while since I last posted a blog entry. Since I just got back from a vacation, I suppose that's good enough reason to put one up. Better get to it before I forget all the juicy details.
First off, getting there. Took a flight to and back with a stopover on each one. I had no complications with my tickets, the flights themselves were smooth and uneventful, I had plenty of time in between flights to get my things together before the plane left, and my baggage arrived on time and in tack. Having said all that, it was still a chore, mainly due to all the waiting. Wait to get checked in, wait for boarding, wait for disembarking, wait, wait, wait, wait. There's not much to do, other than sit around. I had my handhelds with me but an hour into my first flight I got a headache and had to stop. Trying to get some rest was also a problem since there's not much room and it's hard to get comfortable. Still, I made it there and back again, safe and sound, so it's really just grumbling on my part.
So, once I arrived in Phoenix, my brother was there to pick me up and drop me off with my parents. All my family members now live in Arizona, so it made more sense for me to go out and meet them than the other way around. One last hurrah before we part ways again.
My parents now stay in a retirement resort, where the people are friendly and there are activities almost every day to keep busy. Shuffle board, pickle ball (a combination of tennis and racket ball), and indoor swimming are all available. I spent most of my time here, enjoying the company and the weather.
Oh yeah, the weather. Most days it was brightly sunny, with hardly any clouds. Temperatures ranged from 50 - 60 degrees during the day but plummeted at night to 30 and below. They aren't kidding when they say the day and nighttime conditions are drastic when in the desert.
When Christmas finally rolled around, we all gathered at my sister and brother's place. We exchanged presents (I got some nice My Little Pony collectibles), ate like it was Thanksgiving, and watched The Interview. Yeah, wasn't expecting to see that, given how SONY was determined to keep it locked away, but they changed their minds and released it via streaming. Funky. As for the movie, it was about what I expected. Wasn't as stupid as I thought it would be and had some good funny moments. Though James Franko acted like a weirdo the entire movie.
Christmas day, we all piled into my sister's car, drove about 400 miles north and got to see the Grand Canyon. The elevation was over 7000 feet so naturally, it snowed. However, once we got to the canyon, it had cleared up and we got to see the gorge in all its glory. But it was still cold.
One oddball experience were all the tourists. This we expected, but what we didn't expect where all the Asian tourists. I guess since this side of the US is closest to Asia, they all decided to travel here. Whatever, it was weird, but at least they knew how to handle a camera when we asked them to take a family picture.
We gorged ourselves on the nearby restaurants, though I didn't try any exotic dishes. Mostly stuck with stuff I was familiar with.
Got to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in IMAX 3D. The IMAX made all the difference since I saw the movie earlier in the month in 3D on a normal theater screen and didn't find the 3D all that great.
That's about it! I have pictures to add to the gallery once I get them from my folks. Check them out once they're posted!