Bubbie’s 80th Birthday

My crazy month of travel continues!

The pilot lets Sam sit in the cockpit

The pilot lets Sam sit in the cockpit

Last week we took the boys to Arizona to visit Bubbie and Grandpa Bill.

We had a very special event to attend – Bubbie’s 80th birthday party.

All of Bubbie’s biological children and grandchildren booked a week long celebration just outside of Tuscon, AZ, where Bubbie and Grandpa Bill retired.

Bubbie surrounded by all her offspring.

Bubbie surrounded by all her offspring. (And their spouses)

We promised the kids warm weather and pool swims, but when we arrived, it was colder than Chicago so we had snowball fights instead!DSC_0495Bubbie and Grandpa Bill hosted us for many dinners at their house.

Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat Dinner

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DSC_0504 DSC_0500We spent many hours hanging out in the house enjoying each other’s company, or outside telling stories by the fire.DSC_0682 DSC_0678

One day, we mini-golfed and laser tagged.DSC_0463 DSC_0476

We also did some great hiking. One day we hiked behind the Ritz Carlton, where Adam’s sister and her family stayed.DSC_0565 IMG_1030

Another day we hiked Catalina State Park.

Finding rattlesnake holes?

Finding rattlesnake holes?

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At this park we were able to bring Bubbie’s dog, Zoe. The kids loved taking turns walking her.DSC_0731

In fact, they loved interacting with her any chance they could get.DSC_0686 DSC_0662

DSC_0489Bubbie also treated us to many activities. One day we visited Old Tuscon, a Wild West attraction.

My Niece and Nephew

My Niece and Nephew

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So nice to see the siblings together!

So nice to see the siblings laughing and joking together!

Bubbie also treated us to a Stagecoach ride.DSC_0540 IMG_1012

When the blacksmith heard it was her birthday, he gave her this horseshoe heart.DSC_0551Since the kids have never seen any Wild West movies, I think most of the tour was lost on them but there were some live action stunt shows and an insane haunted mine that they enjoyed.

Actually I think their favorite activity was running up and down the street chasing each other!DSC_0552Bubbie also treated us to a horseback ride at Tuscon Mountain Stables.DSC_0650 DSC_0654

The scenery was stunning and luckily it had warmed up enough to enjoy the outdoors.

We even managed to get some swimming in, both at our hotel and at the Ritz.DSC_0574 DSC_0578 DSC_0577 DSC_0576 DSC_0581 DSC_0587 DSC_0589

And last but not least, we celebrated Bubbie’s 80th birthday with many family members as well as the friends she has made at her retirement community.

All of the family members who flew and drove many hours to celebrate with Bubbie's 80th.

All of the family members who flew and drove many hours to celebrate Bubbie’s 80th.

Bubbie and Bill treated everyone to dinner. DSC_0596

Afterwards she hired a Karaoke DJ.DSC_0592

Before the party Adam and I bet how many people would actually get up and sing. I said 5 or less. Adam said at least 20.DSC_0610

Even Ben sings a song!

Even Ben sings a song!

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I’ve seen so many karaoke parties, thanks to my time in Asia. In my experience, most of them flop in Western environments. I’ve seen the party where the host makes people uncomfortable by pressuring people to sing. I’ve seen parties taken over by mike hogs. I’ve seen parties where the karaoke mikes stand awkwardly to the side, the elephant in the room. But at this party I saw something I’ve never seen before.

Not only were there a plethora of participates willing to get up and sing, but very quickly, everyone in the room was standing up singing. The entire room turned into a sing-a-long!DSC_0621

It was incredible! It was so joyous and uplifting!

And I enjoyed every last minute of it. So much so that Adam had to tell me we were leaving THREE times.

We got back late last night, due to a delayed flight. I’m happy to be home, but also sad that we are no longer in vacation mode. It was really nice to have Adam take a few days off from work and have time to connect as a family.

View from Bubbie & Bill's backyard.

View from Bubbie & Bill’s backyard.

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