After a crazy weird week (and a few days) the trip I planned some time in advance to go visit my friend Claudine down in The Valley was a welcome
escape get away. I kind of started the weekend with Acker Music Night in Snap Snap, and while I did not enjoy the crazy crowds some of the streets do...It was a fun first year. Larry was amazing...and has me wishing I could have live music in the shop all the time.
The next morning I was up and dashing down the hill to get an early start on a whole weekend of...well, nothing. Claudine was amazed I was planning to be off and running so early, but there you go. I got down there just in time to avoid the weekend of rain that washed all of our snow and ice away...and started the weekend by helping decorate Claudine's tree. It's mighty beautiful now...which is a little more than I can say for my own tree seeing as it has not one stitch of ornament on it (I'm waiting for Rozz to come over. Or Christmas to be over...whichever comes first)
One of the few things we planned during my journey down South was a trip to the Phoenix Zoo for their annual Holiday Zoo Lights. This is when they decorate the zoo all up in lights and finery and you can walk around through everything...
(look out javelina..there's a wolf behind you!)
(the plains of whatever...)
A rattle snake with a moving rattle...and a scorpion with a moving stinger.
There was also a 3-d centipede with moving legs which freaked me out to no end...I could hardly look at it. I'm not a big fan of centipedes seeing as I live in AZ and I have found them quite a bit. For some reason, they just make me a little edgy...I feel the same way about scorpions and rattle snakes, but these two looked a bit more festive to me.
That could have been the margarita talking however...
One of the displays that made me chuckle the most was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with a rather large and menacing black widow spider hanging behind him.
Seeing as the light show took place in the zoo after hours (which still makes me wonder how all the animals in residence feel about hundreds of people tromping through until 10 pm every night for a month or so) most of the light displays were of animals at the zoo.
It's been a while since I've been to the Phoenix Zoo, but if this is where the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man lives, I may have to venture back soon.
Although, I thought they pretty much annihilated him during Ghostbusters in the 80's.
(he's still looking a little peeved about that)
I think this was our favorite lighted sculpture (well, I also liked the monkeys that were swinging from the trees, but they were super hard to get a descent picture of) a 3-d peacock.
This particular display had a lot of people clamoring to get a picture with the colorful bird. Problem is, unless you have a very specific kind of camera...there was way too much flash going on...which made most people look frightened and the peacock non-existent. I, on the other hand...brought the Canon 10-D and true to me not knowing how to work the camera very well, just turned dials and buttons all around until the shutter sounded normal when I pointed it at something.
But, it seemed to work out pretty well.
The Zoo Lights was very fun, and I recommend you going if you're out this way...
Now, there was a heck of a lot of shopping (got all mine done...with trips to IKEA, Anthropologie and Sephora) running fun errands, strolling around, laughing, and eating going on this weekend...but one of the highlights was a total impromptu trip to Target on the way to Zoo Lights so Claudine could purchase an early gift for herself.
(again, this could have been fueled by the margarita)
We ran in...returned something and walked out 15 minutes later loaded down with bags containing a wii and Guitar Hero and a couple of other extra must haves. I don't know anyone who has a wii and Guitar Hero, and if I do...they're not fessing up, and if they did I would probably just scoff and act superior and a bit not interested. So, I really had no idea what the big deal is.
I do now.
Claudine made short work of setting the system up...and because she thought ahead buying and extra controller and Gibson guitar...we could play together. Which still made me roll my eyes...because we had big plans to go eat and a make your own bloody mary bar...and here I was, totally stuck sitting on the couch playing a video game. I'll let you in on a little secret. I am absolutely horrible at video games. I'm way too emotional and I gesticulate too much with my body and my hands, so I don't do well with stationary video games...but the thing about the wii is that it's totally made for people like me (and Claudine was sweet enough to let me decorate the guitars with all the stickers that came with the Gibson...isn't that nice?!?!)
Which means it was insanely fun, I did well, it was one of the best highlights of the whole weekend...We rocked it hard! And this was before she named the band the Hey Hey Hey's and went on tour (and my fingers are sore from all the bass playing I did)
And I am putting a wii on my list to Santa this year...
(with Guitar Hero too Santa...or The Beatles Band kit...either one would be fine.)
Although I'm going to have to figure out where to put a drum set...
But really, it would be totally worth it.
This was a great way to really ease into the rush of the holiday season for me...and now I'm ready to really enjoy myself.