Family Visit from Utah: OdySea Aquarium & Butterfly World Exhibit in Scottsdale, AZ
Odometer (Legend): 552,002
Over the weekend, I gained a greater appreciation for two things: moms and minivans. When you’re entertaining 3 kids under the age of 6 years old, you start to realize just how much of a challenge it can become to make sure everyone’s fed, happy, and playing fair. You also look for any way possible to ease the burden of travel logistics. My brother Payton and his family visited for 4 days from southern Utah, and their 2013 Honda Odyssey EX-L was just the right ride for their family on such a 14-hour round-trip journey to Phoenix.
And we drove that Odyssey to OdySea. This Scottsdale aquarium opened last July and is home to 500 species of sea life, living in over 2 million gallons of water. I guess if our desert ever runs out of irrigation water, we can always drain the fish tanks!
Our favorite feature of the aquarium campus, though, was housed next door in a place called “Butterfly World.” A 3-D movie educated us on the butterfly life cycle, and then we were permitted to enter a greenhouse-like atrium which is home to over 3,000 butterflies of various colors and sizes.
My niece Vivienne was thrilled that two butterflies perched on her colorful clothing. Her younger brother Rex didn’t have any such luck and was peeved that they weren’t attracted to him. And the youngest, Locke, must not have received the memo about “don’t step on the butterflies.” He’s only 1 year old, and his primal instinct is to step on any insect within leg’s reach. And, he did. When we left Butterfly World, it was home to 2,999 butterflies instead of 3,000.
On Saturday, we spent our energy on a short hike at Papago Park near the Phoenix-Scottsdale border. The place was bustling with hundreds of other families taking advantage of the perfect weather, but we made our way to the summit at “Hole in the Rock” and enjoyed the view. The afternoon was spent at the Clarendon Hotel, a boutique hotel in central Phoenix that has a great pool facility. We called dibs on a cabana and soaked ourselves in the long hot tub while listening to relaxing music. My brother had a celebrity encounter too: He recognized Geoff Rowley, famous skateboarder, enjoying the hot tub with us and struck up a conversation. Geoff was in town for the PHXAM event.
I had to make sure everyone was well-fed, so our dining destinations were carefully selected. I introduced my brother and his family to Los Dos Molinos on Camelback Road for Mexican food on Friday night, we ordered Spinato’s Pizza on Saturday, and I took them to Zookz for breakfast sandwiches on Sunday morning before the Odyssey started its return trip to Utah.
Thanks to Payton and Kali for bringing the kids down to spend a few days with me! I’ll be finding miniature toy frogs in the couch cushions and closets for a few months yet.
Here is a 10-minute video introduction to my garage that my brother put together for his YouTube audience.
(Forgive my error on stating the GS 6-speed sedan was offered in 1993-94. You all know it’s 1994-95!)
And 4 minutes’ worth of random scenes from throughout the weekend on my own channel.
Locke ‘riding’ a little motorcycle
Viv enjoying the backyard swing
Rex standing next to an orange tree in the backyard
Ready for our 3-D movie at Butterfly World
In the courtyard at OdySea just before grabbing lunch
Dinner at Los Dos Molinos Uptown
Breakfast at Zookz
Hiking at Papago Park
Locke, Vivienne, and Rex playing in the backyard
Couple other random pics from recent weeks. My friends Todd and Josh have two Teslas!
My friend Kevin picked me up a “Chiriaco Summit” bumper sticker. More on that soon!
Have a great week!