30 min. there, 22hrs back

Sometimes even four days off can make the world to your sensibilities. Since I was in desperate need of any sort of vacation, our four day trip to Arizona was just the ticket. Although it wasn't all a trip about fun, it was time away from work and a chance to get out of town. Since it only takes 30 minutes by plane, flying there is great (technically it's 2 and half hours, but you gain two hours). Anyways we got there around 8:30 am and in traditional Patrick style, we made our first stop Dunkin' Donuts. Really who can resist having breakfast at 6am in Austin and again at 9 am in Phoenix.

Claire and I got there early Friday so we could start sorting through Dad's stuff. We made fast progress of it. We found some really funny stuff, some sentimental stuff, and just some downright odd things. But we made better time than Maren expected us to and so we had time to enjoy some Mexican food for lunch and got to go out for a treat for dinner. Some great sushi from Sushi Creek. I will have more on Sushi Creek, later, in my other blog.

Russell and Joni got in late around 10 and since they drove 17 hours they were exhausted. As were Claire, Maren, and I. So we hit the sack as we had a long day of packing and sorting on Saturday. We got up early enough to finish dividing up things between the siblings and then took off to watch the newest additions to the Patrick clan: Edward play football, and Sydney entertain in general.

We all enjoyed the amazing 70 degree weather and the chance to hang out together outside.

Claire even got to re-unite with her best friend Sydney. They played Hide-and-Go seek as well as held hands and ran down hills. HA! I think they both have become fond of each other. It does make me smile though to see my family get to be close even when we all live so far away.
After the game, in which Ed's team had a great fourth quarter comeback to win, we headed to Paradise Cafe to grab lunch. Apparently they claim to be famous for their cookies. Well being skeptical like I am I doubted the "amazingness" of these cookies. I will man up, and say I was wrong. They are probably the third best cookies in the world. Of course, Mom's will always be first, then Blue Baker, then probably the chocolate chip from Paradise Cafe. I digress. We finished up lunch and started loading 2 couches, 2 mattresses, 10 or so totes of stuff, 10-15 large pieces of art, a dresser, a recliner, a LARGE chair, 2 end tables, 2 lamps, a bicycle, and a grandfather clock into a u-haul trailer and Russell's pickup. It was probably the most amazing packing job ever seen. Thanks to Claire who could climb around that u-haul trailer like a monkey.

For dinner we go to enjoy San Tan Flats Steakhouse. This was one of the first places I went with Dad when I visited him over the summer. For that reason it holds a lot of sentimental value, being one of my last memories with him. So I really wanted Claire to get to go to this place and to share it with Maren, the kids, and Russell and Joni.

It really fits my Dad. The open fires for roasting marshmallows, dancing, great steaks, and country design just really seem like something Dad enjoyed. So it was a bittersweet experience to be there without him. Of course the weekend wasn't without those bittersweet moments anyways.

Getting to talk with Maren about her memories of Dad is something I will always Cherish. Sharing in tears, may be hard, but the sharing part is what means so much. I always have room for more in my family and I can proudly say that I have a great family in Maren, Sydney and Ed out in Arizona. It was good re-hashing memories about Dad, and remembering them while looking through his belongings. Plus the Grandfather clock he left me looks amazing in our house and stands tall and proud like Dad.

Sunday we woke at 5:30 Texas time and hit the road for what turned out to be a 22 hr drive home. We took shifts with person asleep in the back and three riding up front. The eastern half of Arizona is beautiful, as is the western half of New Mexico. Plus in the middle of nowhere in western N.M. is Pie Town. Yes, that's right, a real place called Pie Town. You guessed it, they have pie shops.

We sampled some amazing peanut butter pie here before returning to the drive. We stopped south of Albuquerque to meet up with Dillon and give him his stuff. That was close to the last of the beautiful scenery.

We drove out of the scenery and into the west Texas flatland. Dropped some stuff off with Nashee' and Danielle in Lubbock and continued on to Fort Worth. We arrived at 3 am, exhausted, sore, and grumpy. It was well worth it to spend time with siblings and family. Monday morning we drove our Enterprise rented Mini-van full of stuff back to Austin.

This weekend we head back out on a quick trip to Tyler to visit Claire's family. So more to come on our weekend getaway adventures.


Anonymous said...

Tiff's Treats!! That's a local Austin cookie that might replace one in the top three ranking!

I'm glad you guys had a good trip to Arizona. . . it sounded intense but good. :) We're heading to Tyler this next weekend to visit some friends. It should be fun!

Sara said...

Glad you guys made it safely back!

Mmmm... Blue Baker...

Did you ever have cookies from Texas Cookie Cutters on Harvey Road? Mmmm... those were my favorite ever - better than Blue Baker's in my opinion.

Chance said...

HMMM...more cookies to try. I haven't had Tiff's or Texas Cookie Cutters but will have to try both. I also have been reading about the new Cookie Lounge in Austin. They have 6 or 7 different types of doughs and 30ish mix ins. You pick your dough and mix ins and they bake them fresh. It's definitely something Claire and I want to try.

Claire said...

Chance's top three cookie ranking is by NO means Mine. He left out a lot of places: Kevin's Cookies, Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, plus Mrs. Denman's special chocolate chip cookies - just to name a few. We may have to battle about this. Hrm.

Beth - Tyler?!?!?!?! Who did you go see? Do I know them? (probably). Lol.

Brooke said...

i must say... i had to laugh out loud at the thought of claire climbing around like a little monkey :) glad you guys enjoyed your trip - and claire - i agree.. my moms cookies are some of the best :) but i havent had any of the other ones you named.. haha.

R.A. Ray said...

Totally agree with Blue Baker's cookies. Best non-homemade chocolate chip cookies available.

Claire said...

@ Brooke - I really was a monkey. I loved it. I'd load things in moving trucks for a living if I didn't have a bad back.

@ RA - Its been a while since I've had a BB Choc Chip cookie. Oatmeal Raisin in unstoppable.

...I miss Sydney. I freaking love that kid. And pie from pie town. Peanut Butter Pie is calling my name!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like ya'll have been busy!! Glad you were able to enjoy time with the families too! Hope all is well!

R.A. Ray said...

Chocolate chip > oatmeal raisin. FACT.

Claire said...

Okay, Robert Adam, - - - I mean DWIGHT.

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