One of the big draws of going to Spring Training for Sean was the small stadium, where pretty much any seat is a good one. Combine that with super cheap tickets means that Sean had his pick of where to seat. He picked his perfect seat which wasn't too bad since the owner of the Angels sat in our section. Sean loved being able to see the players up close. We would not have afforded these seats if they were in Angels stadium.
We did two games, one by ourselves and one with my cousin and a couple of her kids. Both days were great. The weather wasn't too bad and the Angels won both games.
Sean knows how important it is for me to visit temples and to take pictures of them so we made sure we visited the ones we could. I've been to the Mesa temple before but it has been years and I needed to get my picture in front of it. We also stopped by the Gilbert temple which is nearing completion. This temple is only a couple of miles from my cousin's house. It would be so great to have a temple that close!
Since I love to explore the history of an area we made a special trip out to Tonto National Monument which was about a 2 hour drive to the north east of Mesa. This was a very special trip because recently at work I processed ceramic vessels that came from this area. It was really neat to see the environment and learn more about the natives that created the art I've seen. Tonto National Monument is a cliff dwelling of the Salado people. We visited the lower dwellings. The upper dwellings required reservations and we weren't able to make time for that visit. We started in the visitor center where we watched a 20 minute video on the area, people and dwellings. Then we followed a 1 mile path up to the dwellings. They were really impressive. They approximate about 8-10 families lived in this dwelling. Being in a cliff it was a natural fortress. The dwellings were protected from the rain and since it was facing the east, it received the warmth from the sun early in the morning. Surprisingly these dwellings probably only lasted for one hundred years. On our way back down the trail we ran into a Gila monster making its way across our trail. There was a ranger coming up the other direction. We pointed out the lizard and the ranger got super excited saying it was pretty rare to see one. It was sort of cool to see such a large lizard. On our way home we stopped at a viewing spot where I took a picture of the upper dwellings. Needless to say, those dwellings are much more impressive.
|Lower Cliff Dwellings|
|Lower Cliff Dwellings from the main road|
|Gila Monster-North America's only poisonous lizard|
|View out of the dwellings|
|Remnants of a second floor|
|They would have fires inside. The doors were low so the heat would stay in.|
|Can you believe that this wood could be 700 years old?|
|View of the front rooms of the dwelling|
|View from the dwellings|
|View from the walkway towards the dwellings|
|Compare the lower dwellings to the . . . .|
|Upper Dwellings. Much more impressive!|
We stopped in one of the small mining towns on our way back to Mesa and enjoyed some small town mexican food. It was so tasty! We knew it was a local joint when we saw the only cop car in town parked out front.
|The salsa was in a squeeze bottle, unique but tasty!|