Arizona 2018:
Day 2 - Mesa


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Arizona 2018: [Day 1 - Mesa] [Day 2 - Mesa] [Day 3 - Mesa] [Day 4 - Tucson] [Day 5 - Grand Canyon West] [Day 6 - Grand Canyon] [Day 7 - Prescott]

Monday, December 24, 2018: We headed back to the other side of Mesa to pick up Bob at 8:00 AM.
He had selected a very special breakfast location for us, so we wouldn't be too homesick: the Hoosier Cafe.
The dining room was filled with memorabilia from Indiana colleges, all of which we recognized.
While we waited for our tasty breakfasts to arrive, Bob showed us the app he uses to monitor his brand new pacemaker, installed when we were all in Minnesota the previous month. Ain't technology grand?
After breakfast, we crossed the parking lot to Wal-Mart to look for Country Time Lemonade in cans.
No luck. It might be time to accept that this product is no longer on the market.
Back at Bob's place, Becky's sister-in-law and neighbor, Mary, stopped by to say hello with her dog.
We hung out for a few hours while waiting for Becky to get up and for Doug and Susan to arrive.
Since it's Arizona, it works well to set up your Christmas tree outside in the pleasant weather, but it still provides all the merriness of an indoor tree.
Meanwhile, all Christmas gifts were tucked under the living room table.
Bob recommended that we watch this film, so we saw it on Netflix when we returned. We enjoyed it.
It started to warm up so we headed out to the patio to enjoy the weather.
We snuck a peak at the backyard of the adjoining property, which they also own.
Bob and Becky's back yard features a orange tree ...
... and a grapefruit tree.
We ate some delicious oranges, but the grapefruit were still a little sour. They will reach peak sweetness in April.
When Becky joined us, we spent some time getting a shared schedule set up for her and Bob so they could keep their appointments in one place. Tom performed IT duties and Debbie provided some training.
Susan and Doug joined us outside for a while before we decided on a place for lunch.
There's a large lemon tree in the common area in front of the condo. Susan loves this tree very much, as you can see.
With huge, beautiful lemons like these, who wouldn't love this tree?
We decided on lunch at Wienerschnitzel, but since most of us had lived in California in the 1960s, we agreed to call it "Der Wienerschnitzel" like it used to be named before 1977.
So many hotdogs and chili dogs and corn dogs and French fries! So bad for us! So delicious!
One of Debbie's gifts for her father and brother was a thumb drive containing scanned versions of every single photo from their family photo albums. We had spent some time the night before reliving the 1960s, and we worked our way through the 1970s and 1980s next.
Susan snapped a photo of cousin Karl as a child to send to his wife to show how much he resembles their young sons.
Eventually, we finished the main collection. Not viewed: family portraits and all of Debbie's photos from her teen photo albums. But they're scanned. Oh, yes, they're all scanned.
It took a software engineer and an electrical engineer to reset the timer on the battery-operated candles, but by the end of the visit, they were coming on at 5:00 sharp every evening.
Here are Chef Becky and Sous Chef Susan in the kitchen.
By late afternoon, we declared it to officially be Christmas Eve so we could start opening gifts, a few at a time. First, we had everyone open the 23andMe DNA kits we gave them.
While Susan did that, ...
... Doug and Debbie took photos of each other, as usual.
Debbie was excited to see Susan open this gift - a set of seed packets, one for each one of Susan's names, including her maiden and married names and both middle names.
Next, we opened a bunch of fun gifts from Doug and Susan, ...
... including a D20 cord holder for Tom from Doug, who has been receiving D20 gifts from Debbie for years. (This year was no exception: that flash drive with family photos had a D20 design.)
Becky got a copy of "The Snow Child," which both Susan and Debbie have read.
We got these LED flame bulbs. Doug had been concerned that they might be too flamy, if that's even possible, so we had to test them out on the nearest lamp.
While doing that, we took this opportunity to read all the features of the light bulbs, and were happy to see that with jazz music, they can grow the loneliness out of your soul.
Becky tried out the new blower from Doug and Susan.
At 7:30, Christmas Eve dinner was served. We had ham, corn, potato bake, red cabbage (rødkål, nicknamed "roadkill" by Susan), Christmas juice (Hawaiian Punch and Sprite), ...
... and lefse, buttered only, with sugar on the side for those who take theirs with both. Note that there is only one true way to eat lefse and fistfights will break out over which way that is. Obviously, it's buttered only.
After dinner, we opened our gifts from Bob and Becky.
They were all the same so we had to open them at the same time.
Just then, Becky took a call from her son so we cooled our heels for a few minutes, ...
... then we all opened our boxes of matching green pajamas.
Finally, Bob and Becky opened their presents to each other. Becky got a 3M gift box just like the rest of us do every year, and we were a little surprised to learn that she doesn't always get one every year. Let's hope that she never has to go without again, because 3M gift boxes are one of the greatest Christmas gifts ever.
Doug and Susan got prettied up to go to Christmas Eve service with Becky.
The three of us got into our pajamas and relaxed.
We checked out Mark & Emmie's annual gift calendar to Bob. They give it to each of the Schilling siblings and it contains date entries for every Schilling relative's birthday and anniversary.
Even more important, it contains the dates for the 2019 Schilling Reunion, which will undoubtedly be the Best Reunion Ever. (As usual.)
After church, everyone else got into their pajamas too and there's Doug again with his camera!
It took a few tries, but we finally got the lighting right and our camera positioned correctly for a group shot of our matching pajamas. Debbie posted this photo on Facebook early the next morning. This is an important point later in our story, so remember this.

It was 11:00 by the time we got to our hotel. The four of us decided to keep our pajamas on and walk into the hotel like we owned it. But since it was Christmas Eve, no one really even looked at us funny. Matching pajamas on Christmas Eve? Sure, why not?

Day 3 >


Arizona 2018: [Day 1 - Mesa] [Day 2 - Mesa] [Day 3 - Mesa] [Day 4 - Tucson] [Day 5 - Grand Canyon West] [Day 6 - Grand Canyon] [Day 7 - Prescott]

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