That Time Kenny Surprised Us All

Can you imagine it?  Twelve hours alone on the road with a restless toddler?  That's what Andrea was going to do with Cade, right on back up to Utah.  Brave, right?!  

But first she planned to visit her brother's family in Glendale for a couple days, then of course head down to Sahuarita to hang with us.

The morning she and Cade arrived at our door we were ready for a fun-filled weekend.  As the toddlers got reacquainted, Andrea asked me to help her get some things out of the car.  I barely reached the driveway when someone sprang out from behind a bush, arms outstretched like a flying squirrel.

"AAAH!!!!"

For the briefest of horrible moments I thought Andrea had brought her brother down with her, and she'd forgotten to tell me he was fresh out of an insane asylum.

But it was KENNY!!!!!  Surprise!!!!

He had surprised Andrea by flying into Mesa {yay! No more driving alone!}, and then they both surprised me!  Naturally, we decided to all surprise Roy.  And that was a sweet reunion fit for a Nicholas Sparks novel.  Those guys just love each other--I've accepted it.  

Scanning through these pictures, I realize there's very little proof Kenny was actually here.  But he was.  We just ended up doing a lot of "girl's trips" and "dude's stuff."  {Yes, I used the word 'dude' to make it sound more manly.  It's a brotherly love, people.}

So while the boys went golfing, we took the kids to the Desert Museum.


It's basically a zoo that focuses on the flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert: bobcats, javelina, barrel cacti, scorpions, gila monsters, cholla, mountain lions, etc.  AKA- plants and animals that can kill you.

Kidding!  I mean, all those creatures were there and safely behind glass, but the desert has a lot of beautiful and harmless things living in it too.  Like tortoises, humming birds, jack rabbits, and elf owls.

I'm not an animal lover, but I remember going on a field trip here in third grade {or was it fourth?} and realizing what an amazing and unique place we live in.  So this museum holds a special place in my heart, and stoked my Arizona pride, which I was glad to share with these guys.






The mountain goat was a particularly interesting animal for these boys.  The guy must have been having a bad day, because he kept rushing down the cliffs and bashing his horns against the metal door.  Cade kept asking him to do it again, and by-golly if that goat wasn't obedient.



Cade really wanted to get up close and personal with the rattlesnakes.


And Camden… he wanted to get up close and personal with the glass.



This is me trying to catch the unprompted and spontaneous baby hand-holding, but I got caught and only captured the tail end of it.  Nothing is cuter than babies holding hands and leading each other around.


Petting the coyotes.


Cade's all, "This one doesn't look so good.  Have some water, buddy."


There was an aquarium, a newer addition to the museum that I'd never seen before.  I guess it was cool, but I wasn't buying the back-bends the museum was doing to try and relate it to the Sonoran desert.  Let's be honest, I don't need any fingers so count how many oceans I've seen down here.  0.

Maybe I've just been spoiled rotten by the aquatic life of Newport, where Roy is from.  I suppose we have the Colorado River, which does eventually run into the ocean. Oh wait no, that river runs dry now.  Well… good try Desert Museum.  

However, Camden did love this weird looking urchin because of an alphabet book we have at home.  He kept pressing his finger against the glass and squealing, "Ouch!"


Camden tripped on the path, Cade sat in a puddle, but at the end of the day the disasters were minimal and the experiences were memorable.  A great day at the Desert Museum.


The next morning our run was almost like a continuation of exploring the desert.  Andrea wanted a picture of her with a saguaro cactus.


Then we headed out to my parents house.  My cousin, Cody, was having a baby shower, so Roy and Kenny were in charge of entertaining the toddlers.  They took them to Agua Caliente Park {speaking of bodies of water drying up in the desert} during the party.  Then we spent the rest of the afternoon jumping on the trampoline, playing with the dog, and running around the yard.



That night we went to Trail Dust Town with my parents.  This place was built from a movie set of an unfinished Glenn Ford western that was abandoned in the 1950s.


Camden loved the vintage carousel.  I loved that it was from the 50s.





So there's this jail cell for people to pose in…


And every time I see this picture I laugh.  Sorry Cade, it was hilarious.  Look at your face!  Hahahaha!


No one knows why he was so terrified of the jail.  Or if he even knows what a jail is.



It's safe to say this adorable "choo choo" was a hit with the kids.  And the little old train conductor was so cute in his overalls and cap I couldn't stop smiling about it.  We went for a ride around the perimeter of Trail Dust Town, through some tunnels, and a spooky graveyard done up for Halloween.





Then we had dinner, and hurried out to catch the western stunt show.  I thought the kids would love the gun fights and jumping off the rooftops and such, plus it was a slap-stick comedy.  Perfect.  Or maybe perfect for 8-year-old boys.  Oops.  
At the first explosion of fire Cade lost it, poor guy.  It was loud and hot!  And then whenever the characters started throwing punches and shoving each other around, Camden would start to cry and I would have to reassure him that they were just playing pretend.
Mom fail.


Oh, there you are, Kenny!  Proof that you were there.  And proof that this is the cutest old man in history.  {I told Roy when we are old we are getting jobs at Trail Dust Town.}


Thanks for surprising us, Kenny.  We are blessed to have such incredible friends.


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