12.18.2013

Thanksgiving Trip Day 4: Black Friday

Before the long drive to Arizona in the truck, we had planned to spend at least one day on our trip in Mexico. You can drive from Mesa to the border at Nogales in less than three hours. And then it's about three more hours to get from Nogales into Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora. Steve wanted to go to Hermosillo, but Nogales would have been enough of an adventure for the kids, who have never been to Mexico. (Read this awesome article on Nogales. . . maybe we will start going there for dentist appointments.)

I told Rachel and Lucy that I was going to invite the Garzas to go with us. "But Chloe won't want to miss shopping on Black Friday," they confidently told me. (It took some brief persuading, but my girls ultimately agreed that Mexico was better than Black Friday shopping.) As it turned out, the Garzas ran out of time to get passports for their kids and decided to wait till next time for a Mexico trip. And then, it turned out that we didn't end up going either. But I love how Rachel and Lucy thought they had Chloe, who just turned sixteen, all figured out. Rachel and Lucy are big Chloe fans. And rightfully so, she is pretty fabulous. There was that one day Rachel was using my phone to look at Instagram. "You have more friends than I do so yours is more interesting to look at. . ." And then there was a dramatic, "Whaaaaaat?!? You don't follow Chloe Garza?" (Now I do.) 

Rachel fully assumed that Chloe would have elaborate Black Friday shopping plans, complete with sophisticated maps of which stores to hit and extensive lists of deals to buy. Imagine their surprise when they found out that Chloe had never been Black Friday shopping. Never. We offered to take her, but then she ended up getting a babysitting job and decided to earn money, rather than go spend it. Crazy girl. 

Anyhow, it all worked out because Grandma Gloria went with us. (Before our trip, Rachel and Lucy had asked if Grandma would go shopping with us, and I really wasn't sure how kosher things like that were. . . It appears that senior missionaries can actually do whatever they want!)

We are fairly casual Black Friday shoppers. It's less about being an aggressive shopper and more about the tradition of going shopping and snagging a few deals. We left around 9 or 10:00 am and went to Old Navy (where the whole store was fifty percent off), Sports Authority (buy one basketball, get one free), and Kohl's (where Lucy found some great shoes, but the line was too long, so we gave up). Overall, I felt like the stores were a lot less crazy than they are in Utah. Gloria thinks that there are just so many more stores there that it gives the deal chasers more options of where to go. I was tired out, but we ended up going to the mall so we could go to Bath & Body Works. And then Grandma Gloria bought the girls these cute shirts from Aeropostale:  


After shopping, we went back to Richard and Gloria's for lunch. Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. Less pressure and more relaxed. . .  sometimes they end up tasting better than the real deal on Thanksgiving.

A few hours later, we met up with Slade and Carissa Flitton at Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles:


Slade and Carissa live in the Pinetop-Lakeside area, but were in town for Thanksgiving with Slade's cousins. And they told us we could not miss out on Lo-Lo's. 


"This ain't your momma's chicken". . . and. . . they serve Kool-Aid!!!


Of course, I had to order some "drank": 


Kool-Aid at Lo-Lo's is ordered by the color, not the flavor. Our server didn't actually know what flavors they were, just that I could choose Red, Blue, or Purple. 


It actually seemed like most of the people in the restaurant were drinking Kool-Aid. Who would have thought?? 


And by the way, the Kool-Aid was so strong, that we did some mixing with the waters on our table and turned my super potent quart of Kool-Aid into about three quarts of regular strength Kool-Aid.

But the real reason we went to Lo-Lo's was for the chicken and waffles:


And the mac & cheese. . . and the grits (which are really good when eaten with fried eggs):


The boys were all relatively quiet because they had so much food to eat:


We had a great time. . . we miss seeing those guys more frequently. 

Later that night, we drove to Phoenix to go see the lights at the zoo. Steve and I actually drove to Phoenix. . . we were following the directions on my phone and ended up all the way downtown before I realized that I had looked up "Phoenix", instead of "Phoenix Zoo". 


It was dark, so I didn't take very many pictures, but it was absolutely shocking to see how many people were at Zoolights. Hoards and hoards of people at fourteen bucks a person. Not all of the animals were viewable at night, but the kids still had a good time. Well. . . good enough. 

Here are the two obligatory group pictures I got of the kids: 


I wish I had a good picture of Austin and Adam with the overpriced lightsaber swords that they bought before we left the zoo. Because it was pretty much the best part of Adam's trip. Heidi and I talked about what a different life those little boys have than our older kids. But the more I think about it, my girls were plenty spoiled. . . just in different ways. Rachel and Lucy had private swim lessons, took gymnastics, have played kickball, softball, basketball, and get to run in all sorts of fun races. Adam hasn't gotten to do anything like that because I'm too concerned about overbooking our family's schedule . . . (And it turns out those activities that the girls participate in cost way more than Adam's ten-dollar sword.) 

There are definitely benefits and drawbacks to each birth order position. . . but just as Angela reminded us at Learning Circle last night, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." I probably need to get that framed. . . 

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