Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Western Style Fun

Savannah is in Illinois and we have been coordinating her schedule from Phoenix. She's played some indoor soccer, spending nights with friends and plans a visit to school. We have been eternally grateful for our family and friends for
welcoming and caring for her back home. Meanwhile back at the ranch...

We took the two stuck in Phoenix to one of the family attractions available here in the Phoenix area. Checking the cyber world of references we found Rawhide an old western themed street with burro rides a mechanical bull, a stagecoach, a train and several shows. Rawhide is owned and operated by the Gila River Indian Community. It strikes me as a little ironic how the native community has a western themed town with only a handful of references to the people who initially settled this land. It was nearly an homage to the people who trespassed the territory and later claimed it for their own. The natives have gotten to cash in on the western theme now, everything inside the park was traditionally priced high. There was free parking and no admission into the street but no outside drinks or food were allowed. The employees were extremely friendly and helpful so given the chance we would return to the area. The kids have already asked to go back. We should go back on a different occasion as this weekend's event was a little unique.
On exploring the events going on we found AGRA to be hosting a rodeo on this weekend. Another click of the mouse reveals AGRA stands for Arizona Gay Rodeo Association. Traci and I questioned a family trip into an environment dominated by alternative lifestyles and decided to go anyway. The couples walking around the park were homogeneous in their gender. We thought we might have to answer a few questions like, "Why are those two cowboys holding hands?"
But, the kids really didn't notice. We were relieved not to have to have that discussion at this time. I'd rather not have to have any sexual questions of any kind for a few more years! The children had a great time. They rode burros and panned for gold. We all took a train ride and a stagecoach ride. We saw some gun fights and gun slinging tricks. We ate at the steakhouse enjoying rattlesnake appetizers and some nice steaks. I chose not to wear Sophia's pink hat during the day even though she aked me to put it on severl times. It was the gentleman in the black leather chaps with the bright yellow pants on highlighting his bum that steered my decision on the hat. I didn't want him to think I was trying to upstage him.


Leaving the steakhouse Sophia saw the band playing on the road side stand. The band would ask for kids to come up and play tambourine or a blow up guitar for duration of the song. Sophie desperately wanted to get on stage and play with the band. As she stood up on the platform an enormous smile broke across her face and she rattled maracas the entire length of the song, never breaking her smile. The only problem with the whole experience was the song ended and she had to get down.
So she begged to go again this time joined by her brother Shane. She grinned and grinned the smile of someone experiencing the resolute arrival at her true destiny. She was disappointed when dad pulled the plug saying we had to leave.

Sunday was going to be a trip north to watch the football game with some friends. They called and reported their son had the flu, the same flu that had run through their entire family in the past week nearly putting some of them in the hospital. We pray for their quick recovery.

We ended up at the train park in Scottsdale, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. They have a few train engines, large scale train rides, a carousel, and playground equipment.

Shane and Sophia ran around the park playing on the equipment, fought a little to keep the sibling thing real, and rode the train and carousel. Traci went to Lisa's after the park. I was able to catch the last five minutes of the Arizona Cardinal's victory then Shane, Sophie and I swam a little and settled in for the evening. The weekend has passed again. We plan to stay close to home for the next few weeks. Savannah will be playing soccer on Saturdays.

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