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I still can’t believe how much sleep I got last night and this morning.  I was the first one to bed last night and the last one to get up this morning.  I believe I had the laziest morning on record.  Long breakfast, lounging in the sun by the pool, Skype calls to home, no agenda, no shower… it’s like I’m on vacation or something.

Meteena, Evan and I went for a short stroll out behind the house here, in the wash trail that runs along the backs of the houses on their street.  What began as an adventure ended up being a wishing-we’d-worn-better-shoes kind of a hike, with Evan and I falling on loose rocks and scraping ourselves up.  Lots of tears later (from both of us!), we were back at the house with a bucket full of “keepers” – what I like to call rocks that catch your eye and want to bring home.  We had lunch and then piled into the car and headed over to Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  What a beautiful place!  So many species of tree, cactus and agave to be found; lots of beautiful walking paths; an herb garden; a butterfly garden; art sculptures; happy bees buzzing about everywhere; prickly pear cacti bearing fruit that I desperately wanted to pluck; chile pepper plants that were equally as alluring; beautiful blooms visited by resident hummingbirds; saguaros as tall as buildings; quail running about scratching up dinner; bunnies hopping under the brush; fountains, trees and manicured stone walls.  All in all, a very enjoyable experience for all of us.  And, surprise surprise, there are photos!

As soon as we started feeling that desert evening chill touching the air, we headed home to have dinner.  I had half-planned to attend the blues jam at The Rhythm Room tonight where I saw Pinetop Perkins the other night, but by the time I ate dinner I was feeling really settled again, nestled warm and snug in the embrace of home and family.  What a powerful tug that is, so much so that I lay down on the couch with Evan to watch Monsters Inc. and then woke up a little after 9:00 p.m. feeling like it was the middle of the night.  Now I’m in my jammies in bed before 10:00 (again!) and looking forward to hiking Lost Dog Trail in the morning.

Tomorrow is my last full day here.  Evan keeps alluding to how sad it will be when I leave, and I’m trying not to think of that too much.  As much as I love this place, though, and as excited as I am to come back again for the next round of adventures, I am so ready for home and to see Shawn and squeeze him silly when I see him at the airport.