This morning, we took the family to the airport for their trips home. The family reunion here in Sonoita, AZ has come to a conclusion.
But, yesterday was a fun day. I started the day by making Eggs Benedict for everyone. I think we devoured 24 eggs. It was a fun challenge to make a fancy breakfast for that many folks. After breakfast, we headed off to Kartchner Caverns State Park which is only about 25 miles from here. We had never been there before despite hearing how nice it was and how close it is. I mean how nice can some caves be. I had visited some (such as Mammoth Cave) as a child and was underwhelmed. But, with relatives in town we wanted to do something touristy locally. So, off we headed.
I think one word best describes the Kartchner Caverns – WOW! It was quite and incredible experience walking through the caverns and seeing the incredible living cave. Formations are continuing to grow and take shape even today. The Arizona State Parks department took painstaking care when they developed the caverns to make sure they had the least impact possible on the living cave. Words cannot due justice to the beauty and awe of what we saw. Many of the family thought the Kartchner Caverns were the highlight of the vacation. This was surprising since we also went to the Grand Canyon while they were here. But, I could easily understand the sentiment.
The Kartchner Caverns just become a routine stop for us to take visitors in the future. Suzanne’s parent will surely get a visit the next time they are in town. On this tour, we saw the Throne Room as the Big Room is currently closed due to it being bat breeding season. Bats still inhabit the caves today and they shut it down when they return in the Summer for breeding season. So, next visit will be to the Big Room for us probably around Christmas. We are definitely looking forward to it.
For dinner, I whipped up a center cut pork roast with a champagne sauce. I also serverd a vegetable saute, a salad and rolls. The family went crazy over my champagne sauce. I have yet to find someone who doesnt like that sauce. I usually prepare it for beef, but it was just fine on the pork. We finished the meal with some Creme Brule. Most indulged in two servings.
We spent the night then working on our excursion plans for the upcoming Celebrity Cruise to Alaska on the Mercury in June of 2007. Everyone at the reunion except for the Brunks will be on the cruise. We will also get a few other relatives on-board for the cruise. There were a lot of differing opinions at the start on what to do, but by the end I think everyone was in agreement – except me. I would rather just stay on the ship and relax. Anyways, looks like some whale watching in Juneau for some while others will do the museum circuit, a train ride in Skagway, and either Salmon fishing or lumberjack show in Ketchikan.
The family reunion was nice and we began a little planning for the next one in 2008. Tentatively, it looks like we will gather at the Brunks in Michigan during the Summer. Planned activities are sure to include a visit to Frankenmuth, a small German village a couple of hours away and perhaps a fishing expedition.
Fun was had by all and everyone was sad to part ways this morning. It’s probably the hardest for the cousines (kids) since they only get to see each other every year or two. But, fun was had by all.