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

Shark exhibit

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!

And my ILX trip to Willcox was featured in Arizona Driver Magazine‘s March-April 2017 issue!

Have a great week!

14 Responses to “Family Visit from Utah: OdySea Aquarium & Butterfly World Exhibit in Scottsdale, AZ”

  1. I love this “episode” Tyson! You sure know how to take care of your guests and family. Your garage is wonderful and the living room is looking great too. It’s a real home 🏡🌞

    And finally, YouTube took me on a little journey…. I had a great time watching Payton build that 2JZ motor.

    Happy Spring!
    Pam

    • Thank you, Pam! This episode strayed a little from my usual blog content but I felt like it was worth sharing. Always fun to have company around the house. I’m subscribed to Payt’s YouTube channel because I think he’s nuts with the effort he’s putting into that IS300, but it’s awesome! Happy Spring to you as well 🙂

  2. You have been dying to get that song in one of your videos! It works perfectly here! And I saw Peeps, the marshmallowey goodness. Looks like it was a full action packed fun weekend!

  3. Peeps noted by this Peep-lover as well. So many memories made for the Hugies! Holy cow — do you know how to host or what?? Your revolving door on Georgia Avenue will need some WD40 to keep it rotating smoothly. Awesome post (and my favorite part was the buffterfy count post Locke’s visit). Tee hee!

    • Yeah, we tried to avoid making contact with any of the staff members at the butterfly exhibit in case they wanted to examine the bottoms of any of our shoes…

  4. Road trips are fun, but getting together with family is better! Must have been a great weekend. Sounds like your niece and nephews had a good time, and that shark photo was cool! I really enjoyed the video tour of the garage. My only complaint- you went to Mexican and there were no food photos! What did you guys order? 😆

    RIP little butterfly. We hardly knew ye…

    • Seriously, I slacked off with the food pics. Shame on me! My usual go-to at Los Dos Molinos is just a chicken “burro,” with red enchilada sauce. Deliciousness! With a side of guac, please.

  5. Oh that NSX!! Stunning. You are so lucky.

  6. Brad Heffran Says:

    Haha. A plate of food was featured in that magazine piece about the Willcox trip. You must have insisted! 😀

    • Haha, you know me! Food is a critical component of any worthwhile road trip! Or in some cases – it creates a purpose for the road trip entirely, like when we recently drove to that “desert bar” in the middle of nowhere just to say we’d had a burger there. Give me a destination with a menu 🙂

  7. Midnight Mystery Says:

    That butterfly story was the best read I’ve had in a long time!!! How’s the Ody? The only “Mom Mobile” that’ll put a hurting on a sports car, haha!!!

    I’ve been off of here lately, I’m glad to see what’s going on…

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