Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Break!

This is about a month overdue...but here goes.

For Spring Break this year we wanted to have a little get away so Jason took a couple days off and we headed down to Bisbee Arizona. It's a historical mining town but it also has family ties. Jason's Grandpa Buford worked in the Queen Copper Mine in Bisbee and lived in the Copper Queen Hotel. 

We first stopped in Tombstone, Arizona to have lunch and walk around.

Getting our picnic lunch ready, just outside the OK Corral. 

 Hanna was having some seizures and didn't feel very well. She was a trooper though, in spite of it all.

During lunch the kids got to swing.

Lauren learned how to pump. Yea--no more pushing (one of my least favorite motherly duties)!

 Hanging out in the Gazebo.

Tombstone is an old west town full of cowboys, lawmen, fun shops and of course...stagecoaches.  

Here is a western One Man Band. He's actually playing animal bones as percussion instruments. Maybe my father should add animal bones to his musical instrument collection! ;)

In one of the shops, Jason found the perfect item!! A whole rack of fanny packs!!

Resting outside of one of the shops.  As we went through the shops, I drilled into the kids "Only Look, Don't Touch". I watched them like a hawk so that they wouldn't break anything.  While we were in one of the stores, I heard shattered glass. I was relieved too see that it had been a different family that had broken the item and not one of my kids. Well, not 10 minutes later, I hear a familiar scream...Hanna was having a seizure and was standing right next to several shelves of glass mugs. When Hanna has a seizure she grabs things, falls over, knocks things over, etc.  I ran over to her. Jason yelled "Get her hands!"  The store owner was also an EMT so he ran over and took the mugs away from her as I grabbed her around the waist, pulling her back so she would be far away from all the glass. In the end only one mug got broken. Not too bad considering. The store was nice and didn't make us pay for it. I'm sure that is an experience that the tourists in the shop will never forget. "Remember when we were in Tombstone and that girl had a seizure?"  Ah well, such is life.

Arizona has been dry! Static Electricity has been driving everyone crazy but I think Alyssa gets the brunt of it.

After Tombstone we headed down to Bisbee. We spent the evening chilling in our hotel (the same one we stayed at while visiting Bisbee with Grandma and Grandpa Wheeler).

The next day we toured Historic Bisbee. There's actually a lot to do.

We started at the Historic Bisbee Mining Museum which is in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute. It told the history of mining in Bisbee and had a lot of interesting and kid-friendly exhibits. Did you know that there is copper in chocolate? I didn't.

 Now this is how I like my kids. ;)

Even better! 

Hanna resting on a bench. She still didn't feel very well. Jason gave her a blessing and after that she did a lot better and was able to enjoy the rest of the day.

 In front of the museum there is an old mining train that the kids can climb on.

Close up. 

Kamary and Brynlie.



 Strike a pose! Lauren and Kohler

After the museum we had a break and ate some snacks.

Sweet sisters, Brynlie and Kamary are best friends!

After our break, we went inside the Copper Queen Hotel. Supposedly it's haunted which made the kids a little nervous. Grandpa and Grandma Buford used to live in the hotel. It was still furnished to look like the early 1900s.

After walking around a bit, we headed over to the Queen Mine to have a tour. Highly Recommended! They dress you up in mining gear and you get to ride a train into the mine.

 Here we are, all dressed up and ready to go.

 Walking inside of the mine. Our tour guide was a retired miner so he had great stories to tell and knew all about the mine. It was really interesting.

Four little miners

 I have to say that Kamary was soooo afraid to go in the mine. She was sure that it would cave in on us and we'd be stuck in there forever. She prayed and sang primary songs the entire tour. Here she is putting on a brave face. She really had practice in facing her fears.

Riding on the train in the mine.

In some parts it got dark and we had little hand lights to light the way. You could still see copper and other minerals in the rock that had not been mined.

 Here we are at the opening of the Queen Mine (much to Kamary's relief, we made it out alive).

Now isn't this the cutest little miner that you ever did see?

 They had a fun gift shop and sand box at the entrance of the mine.

After the mine we headed about 20 miles west to Coronado Cave which is a National Monument. There's a short hike up to the cave and it's self guided. We thought we'd try it.

 Starting up the trail. Hiking in Arizona is a different kind of experience.

Kamary found some interesting rocks (full of iron and copper).

Climbing steps up to the cave.

At the entrance of the "Scary Daddy Dragon's Cave". Yes, Brynlie named it.

Inside the cave it was pitch black. The only light we had was our flashlights. All the debris is dust and dirt in the air. It was pretty fun to explore the cave. It wasn't big, but it had a lot of fun places to go. Kamary was very scared. At first she refused to go in...but then the prospect of sitting alone by herself at the mouth of the cave wasn't too great. She decided to go with us. Again she spent the time praying and counting down the minutes until we got out.

A much relieved Kamary conquered the cave and her fears! She had a great sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. She did a great job!! 

Looking into the cave from the mouth.

After the cave we headed toward home. Since Kamary was so brave, we let her decide where we had dinner. She chose Jack in the Box. We had a great couple of days. Not a long trip, but enough to get away from the every day grind and enjoy being together as a family.