Day 159 – 2/5/21 Butterfly Wonderland and Papago Park – Phoenix, AZ

We had fun at Butterfly Wonderland, some mazes, Papago Park and the Hole in the Rock today.

Brr… Kind of a cold morning, at least for here.  It was in the low 40s in the early morning, but it warmed up quick after the sun rose.  I’m seeing the weather in Sheboygan is crazy, lots of snow and temps dropping a lot today and over the weekend, -10 with wind chill of -50… Yikes. I’ll take the 40s for a few hours here.  I did get both space heaters going for about 30 minutes to get the temp nice and cozy, then turned one off, and turned the last one off another 30 minutes later as the sun was out.  I’m hoping we’ll go explore the area today.

I got Bia up, she got going, finished all her work and even organized her box of things before 11.  Then she was allowed to be on her phone outside, so Bella could finish her work inside without distractions.

Bella woke up on her own about 15 minutes before I was going to wake her up anyway.  I helped her get started, got her books and such, her breakfast, and she got going.  She had the regular work, and the reading from a few days ago.  She did a great job today, and got it all done and caught up just before lunch, no complaining or fighting, so it was great.  She then joined Bia outside.

Carol was not feeling great, so she worked on editing videos most of the day.  She made lunch, then late in the day went to Trader Joe’s with the girls, and made Gyoza for dinner.

I worked on posts, put some more ideas on what we can do around here down, talked to an industry buddy of mine, and was actually able to publish a post.  I went for a run around 10am, and had a nice run.  There is a trail that runs parallel to some open water acquaducts nearby, so I ran there.  It was great.  Only ran into 3-4 people, only one with a dog on the other side of the water, so I didn’t have to worry about having a mask on all the time, or dogs barking at me.  hahahaha… After I got back, I put the screen up again as the sun was hitting the trailer strong and then we worked on getting lunch ready.  Carol baked potatoes, and we tried to finish some other leftovers we had in the fridge.  

Carol said she didn’t want to leave the trailer today, she is not feeling good, and wants to stay around.  I sat down with the girls and made a few plans, we made a list of what they’d like to eat in the next few days as Carol wanted ideas.  We also decided what we’d do today and then the girls got ready to go while I showered.

We went to Butterfly Wonderland first, since I knew it’d be indoors and the sun was out and strong.  We are about 20 miles from there, and we got there in about 25 minutes, and traffic was low, so no problem.  This whole area is mostly flat, with some mountains far back depending on where you are, it’s dry and there are lots of cactus.  When we got to Butterfly Wonderland, they had a mirror maze and a laser maze right next door, and the girls saw it and asked if we could go there afterwards.  The addition of those on the price was not too bad, so I got both right away.  We went to the butterfly place first. 

It is very cool there.  They had a 3D show the girls did not want to watch, as they were excited to go into the area where the butterflies are just flying around.  Then we went to a room where they have all different cocoons, and everything on the display is alive.  That was pretty cool.  Some cocoons were pretty big, some very shiny, some looked like cloth, it was just all very cool.  Then, after they checked out the different cocoons, we got the briefing as to what to do and not do inside the butterfly room, and were allowed in.  To get in, you go through a double door area, you need to make sure one is closed before opening the next ones as they don’t want butterflies to escape.  As soon as we stepped in, the girls were in awe… butterflies flying everywhere. 

The space is a big square area, with some walking paths, a pond in the middle, trees and lots of mist.  As we walked in, Bia was a little afraid of the butterflies and was trying to avoid having one land on her as much as she could.  Bella was a bit afraid but was not going crazy, and soon enough a butterfly landed on her head.  It was gone quick, and I didn’t even have time to take a picture.  A little later a butterfly landed on my shoulder, and again, was gone before I got a picture.  The girls were having fun though.  They gave each of them a pamphlet with all the different butterflies they have there, and we wanted to spot them all, so they were walking around, finding new ones and looking for their names on the paper. 

It was very cool to be there.  Some butterflies there were huge, and some were smaller.  There was a big blue shiny one that was really cool.  We then each picked one we wanted to find before we left, and we walked around one more time looking for them.  We found the ones the girls wanted to see, but not the one I wanted to see, so we sat down by a bench for a few minutes before we left, to see if any would fly by. 

No luck.  At that point, Bia was more scared of one landing on her than excited to see a different one, so we left.  On the way out, they tell you to make sure you don’t have any hitch hikers with you when you enter the double doors area. :). I asked if the girls liked it, and they said they loved it. 

Next stop, the mazes next door. The first maze they wanted to go was the mirror maze.  They were excited to be in one as they never did one before.  We had to put plastic gloves on before going in, which was a good thing as you really need to have your hands in front of you so you don’t smash your face on a mirror.  The girls started going in front, and were enjoying the illusion the mirrors gave of a clear path when there was actually a mirror there.  hahahaha… It was fun watching.  We stopped for a picture when we hit a spot that seemed to be right in the middle of the whole place, then they continued.  Then, we got to a spot where there was a curtain, and that’s where they had me go in front.  As one of them opened the curtain, they had some creepy sounds and it led into a hallway that was dark, with some fake giant spider hanging from the ceiling.  It freaked them out enough they didn’t want to go into the hallway. Hahahahah…. So, I asked them to pick a door as there were 4 doors to choose from.  I picked the first one on the right, and they ran in there with me, but it was a dead end, so they ran back out.  The second door was just a wall.  The third door was it and was the exit, they ran out scared of the hallway hahahahah… they loved the maze.. and were so excited.  Bella said her legs were shaking hahahah. 

Then, they wanted to go to the laser mazes.  They chose the one where the three of us could play.  That one we had to hit the lasers and block all of them, then hit a yellow button and start over and score as many points as possible.  That was really fun, we were just running around hitting the lasers and having fun. 

After that one they wanted to do one more, so they both did the dodging lasers one, where they have to hit a button each, and to get to the button they need to avoid hitting the lasers.  I was outside watching from a TV screen, and got some pics and video of them doing it.  That looked fun.  They finished the challenge and only hit two lasers each.  They really loved the mazes, and said they’d love to be back.  Bella said she had so much fun her legs were shaking. Hahahaha.  They were super excited.

From there, we went to Papago Park and the Hole in the Rock.  The girls were not too excited to walk around there, but I told them only after we did that, we could do the next thing they wanted…. So, we walked around, checked out the park, and went to the Hole in the Rock.  They thought it’d be far and difficult to go up there and said they didn’t want to go, so I said we should at least walk around the entire rock first, and when we got to the other side, they saw we were almost all the way and just had a few more steps to climb to get to the hole, so we went there. 

That was cool.  Awesome views from up there.  We found a spot to sit down and enjoy the view for a few minutes.  We took some pictures, each girl took some selfies of the three of us, and we kept going.  That was a nice stop and I enjoyed it, it is an iconic landmark of the area, so it was nice that we made it there. 

On our way back to the truck we took a different path by the water, and the girls liked seeing the ducks and tried to feed grass to them… hahahah they were not fooled.  By time we got back to the truck, we had walked just about a mile. 

Then, we went to the place they wanted to go next… Starbucks! Hahahah… The girls had been wanting to try Starbucks as some of their friends told them it is so good, so they’ve been asking for a while.  Well, today is the day.  We went to one and walked in, and I told them what the choices were, and recommended they get a Frappuccino.  So, they each picked one. Bella got the something Cookie Crumb, and Bia got the Caramel, both DECAF.  They were excited.  I ordered, and when they asked for the name…. I put the order in for Bob, which is my Starbucks name hahahaha… and when they called Bob, both girls ran to get their drinks.  The place was empty, so there was no-one else there.  We walked outside and they tried their drinks… and LOVED IT!  They were so excited to be having their Starbucks and loving it.  They were talking and talking, they tried each other’s drink, and talked more… more babble means more happy.  They asked if from now on, we can do Starbucks as “prize” for a great hiking day, and Bia even said she’d replace ice cream sometimes with Starbucks.  Wow!!!  I asked them later what the best part of the day was… and they said Starbucks aahhahahahaa. typical.

After we got back, the girls went to the store with Carol to get some groceries.  They told Carol about their day and how excited they were about their drinks.. hahahaha.  When they got back we had dinner, then watched some TV, and then went to bed.

It was a really nice day with the girls checking out the Butterfly Wonderland and Papago Park.

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