AZ 2006

Arizona in spring has always meant two things - NOT hotter than hell and baseball Spring Training.

Now, since Randy’s sister Brenda and brother-in-law Dennis have moved there, it means reasonable temperatures, spring training and great people to spend time with - a good troika indeed!

Brenda and Dennis are the proud parents of a one-year-old devil dog Bichon Frise named Kramer.  He is a riotous, ear licking, elbow-attacking, fluffball cutie-pie.  We had alot of fun with him.

Update - October 2006 - Kramer has a new sister!!! Kassidy, who will be going home 16 Nov 06!!!  See below for first photo...

When we could tear ourselves away from Kramer, we headed to the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix, which has one of the best collections of Native American arts and crafts anywhere, from prehistoric to traditional contact era to modern contemporary.  We bought a beautiful black pot made by a potter from Mata Ortiz, Mexico.

I think we need to go to Mata Ortiz and find some more of this gorgeous pottery!

Spring means the beginning of baseball season (something cheered by Janet and bemoaned by Randy). We went to the ballpark in Peoria, AZ, which is a joint facility shared by the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.  On this day, the Ms were playing the San Francisco Giants. That is Jamie Moyer out there on the mound, a veritable youngster at 43.

 The only disappointment to the day was the truly awful selection of spring training paraphenalia offered for sale there.  We walked away with NOTHING, no t-shirts, no sweatshirts, no caps, not even a pair of socks - do you know how rare that is?  Hopefully next time we go to spring training (and yes, Randy, there will be a next time), there will be a better selection!

Our last day there, we headed to the Phoenix Zoo. Gorgeous location, with an emphasis on animals that can “take the heat”.

Although you will notice that we are all wearing jackets - it was sunny but not all that warm, especially when the wind whipped up!

After the zoo, we headed over to one of our absolutely favorite restaurants, Maggianos, for dinner.  Wonderful Italian food, served family style and always plenty left over to take home for the next day.  Good stuff!

If we were ever to consider getting a small dog, it would probably be a Bichon Frise because they really are cute and cuddly. This is Kassidy, the newest member of the Smalle family!

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