On Thursday, we woke up early to join a dear friend in downtown Scottsdale to have breakfast at "The Breakfast Club". I had been researching all sorts of breakfast locales to consider - not so sure I made the right choice, but it worked out fine.
The friend we met up with was Mary Sleasman. She had seen our pics on Instagram and had messaged us to see if there would be an opportunity to get together. We told her we were making plans only a day in advance, but this was our plan for Thursday and we would love to have her join us.
She is such a sweetheart - we know her from 8 years ago when she did some nannying for the Meyers family, and consequently our family as we'd spend so much time with theirs during those "little kid" years. She would also watch the entire gang of kids if we had a special outing in mind (like a birthday or something). We adored her then, and adore her now - and are so proud of her achievements in her teaching profession. She's on track for her second masters degree in teaching administration, and left just yesterday for a national conference involving the implementation of technology in the classroom - at which she's giving a presentation. Super impressive! It was a sweet time catching up on the details in her life and rejoicing over the ways God is specifically showing Himself to her.
On the way back through Scottsdale, John and Brayden did a little ogling over these cars.
I think that's the "Why can't I have one, Daddy?" face.
From there, we headed to the the Outlets at Anthem. It was a decent enough stop, but didn't have much more to offer than our own outlets in Woodburn. Mikayla and I picked up some "twinning" items at Gap, but that was about it.
Off to the JW Marriott Pool again. This time the water slide was fully working and the kids were thrilled that the lifeguard was very lackadaisical with following rules - so Brayden and Mikayla were able to go down together and wrestle the whole way down. They spent a long time there. We were also very glad the water slide was working - sometimes it's good to get a little space!
Bobby Q's was the selection made.
It certainly had "atmosphere" - though, its location in Phoenix was a little off the beaten path. (Or maybe the path looked "too beaten" if you know what I mean)
We were first seated off to the side. John is all about atmosphere in a restaurant, so I suspected he'd want to be in a booth in the center. We waited a bit (feeling guilty for asking) for them to sort the servers out and then moved us. However, John took this ethereal pic of Brayden before we moved.
I had told Brayden this place had Sasparilla - and I was wrong (it was one of the others I'd read reviews about) - so he gave me this look of disappointment. =(
I'm so glad we changed places, because it put us in the designation of "Ashlynn's" tables to serve. And, she was AMAZING. She gave us an overview of the restaurant, how they prepare their meat, what's best - etc... We fell in love with her from the start.
We also fell in love with the food. Corn bread, roasted corn, pulled pork, steak, shoestring fries, onion strings, bacon burger, rotisserie chicken.... OH MY GOODNESS!! It was so, so good! I'm pretty sure it was the best pulled pork I've ever had.
Then, to top it all off, Ashlynn tells us she has another surprise for us and comes to our table with this-
A brownie, ice cream cake... We had no room anywhere to stuff it (SOOO full!), but honored her with a few bites as she brought it by (with a lit candle) to celebrate our Arizona Family Vacation Adventure.
We told Ashlynn that she was our "Steve" for this vacation (tracing back to the server named Steve we met in Rexburg, Idaho that we hit it off with so well last year). We even got her Instagram name so we could tag her in our picture.
Us Oregonians don't really understand this mist coming from pipes vs. the perpetual mist from cloud cover!
That's the sheepish grin of a girl who left her purse at the restaurant. OOOPS! At least I had my phone in hand - as I was busily putting up that Instagram collage and tagging Ashlynn - which is why I left my purse. And, I call Brayden ADHD!