Tuesday, February 16, 2016

AZ Trip; Update

So I haven't made a post for a while, but we've been really busy.  Last weekend we flew out to Phoenix to go visit Amy's family.  We headed out on Saturday morning and got back on Tuesday evening.
We had a nice trip!  We got to visit with Amy's parents (Jean and Greg), her sister (Heidi) and brother-in-law (Matt), her nephews (Scott and Nathan) and niece (Joanna), and her grandparents (Jerry and Carol).  We went out for a couple of nice dinners (El Encanto and Saigon Kitchen), had some nice meals that Jean prepared (including a great breakfast with cinnamon rolls and sausage/egg casserole that we at outside), watched the Superbowl, and had a few play dates with Raylan's cousins.
Raylan had a fun time hanging out with everyone, and I think they had a pretty good time getting to see him.
It was really good just to visit and catch up with everyone.  We met Jean and Greg's new dog, Molly, and we got to see Carol and Jerry's new house (very nice!).  We took some walks, went to the playground, and stopped by the Sinex house.
Very nice visit!  Thanks for the hospitality, Arizona family!!

(Raylan ponders the advice being whispered to him by Cousin Scott)

(Carol helps Raylan adjust to the sudden arrival of family)

(Raylan proves to Jerry that he can fetch at least as well as the dog)

(In this shot I am interrupting a genuinely nice moment
between Amy and her grandmother...)

("Dad, what's static electricity?")

(Raylan and Joanna- an armload of trouble!)

("Nana, everyone drinks beer for the Superbowl!")

(A fistbump across 4 generations.  And Raylan has decided that Poppy is
pretty darn entertaining...)

(Joanna and Raylan hold a roundtable discussion at Jerry and Carol's

(First time on a swing set with Mom and Dad)

We got home and went back to work.
On Friday I went for my first bike ride in a long time.  It felt really good.  I think I rode like 19.5 miles.
I also went to see The Revenenant.  I thought the movie was really good.  I've heard it argued that it didn't do anything new from a story perspective, and there's probably some validity to that argument, but I'm not sure that it was a film that was made with an eye toward treading new ground in terms of plot.  Instead, I think the director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, was more interested in using cinematography, direction, and landscape to explore some classic literary themes.
I'm not an expert on movie-making, but I thought he did some interesting things- contrasting intimate, almost claustrophobic scenes of dialogue and frenetic character action against expansive, majestic, rugged scenes of the natural world that the characters were struggling to overcome and traverse.
The ultimate effect, at least on me, was a film that simultaneously told a fairly universal, epic tale of revenge while simultaneously serving as a reminder that no single human story is ever singularly profound when measured against the backdrop of the drama contained in the natural world and mankind's overall struggle to carve out his place within it.  Or maybe both things are simultaneously profoundly meaningful, albeit on different scales and existing side by side.
I dunno.
Pretty, pretty movie.  But brutal.
Anyway, I saw that movie.
On Saturday we went over to my parents' house in Steiner.  Ryan and Jamie came over, and Mom and Dad made a really nice steak and salmon dinner.  We took Raylan to the park, and he got to play in the grass and ride on the swings.
Raylan didn't sleep or nap super well, so we had to leave earlier than planned, so that was a little bit of a bummer.  Oh well.  You gotta stay flexible with kiddo in tow.

(Hammock time!)
Sunday was Valentine's Day.  For whatever reason, Raylan didn't sleep well the night before, so we were tired.  We didn't do a whole lot.  We went shopping at the store, and ran some errands.  Amy and Raylan got some naps in.  In the evening we watched a couple of episodes of season 2 of Broadchurch.  Lots of good acting on that show.  Interesting to watch the way that the British court system works.
Monday we had the day off for President's Day (yea for government employment!).  We got up and went to Kerbey Lane for breakfast.  Mom and Dad came over and watched Raylan while Amy and I took her old car (the Civic) to CarMax.  She unloaded it and got some money for it.  Now she's back down to one car- driving her new Mazda5.
Afterward we went over to Home Depot.

(Vampire baby.  Actually fruit.  Fruit vampire baby!)

(Cassidy keeping watch on Tejas Trail)

In the evening Amy made some really good chicken tikka masala.  Very nice dinner.

Annnd... well, that was sort of quick and dirty, but it more or less catches us up.  There were probably various walks and trips to the park and other things in there that I neglected to mention, but, in broad strokes, that's what we've been up to.
Hope everyone is doing okay!

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