Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Scorpion Hunting in Arizona at the Lost Dutchman State Park

Scorpions collected in jar for Park Ranger

Wow the last time I wrote on here, 5 years ago, I wrote about our vacation out here, now fast forward to 2018, we have been living out here for 4 years now! I am loving it so much! There is an abundance of things to do, a lifetime of things to keep us busy outdoors, and overall Arizona is just gorgeous with everything you can imagine from desert, forests, lakes, and more! If you want to move somewhere that has fantastic weather, and the ability to go skiing and be in the pool on the same day, Arizona is the place for you. A little over 2 hours north you can ski in Flagstaff when it's warm enough to swim in the valley! We like to keep busy, and explore as many places as we can. I want to share our adventures with you in case you are visiting, looking for something to do, or just want to see what there is in Arizona to do :)

Scorpion Hunting?? I can't believe it myself that I wanted to go to this activity. I am not a bug person at all, the thing that creeps me out the most is the huge COCKROACHES that you will see out here during monsoon season, they fly! They are huge, and they are just gross! The only scorpion I had seen (besides in an aquarium) was when we first moved out here, I was sitting on my recliner in our rental house. I was just eating some chocolate chips out of the Trader Joes bag, I dropped a few and thought I need to get those picked up right now before they melt into the rug. We flipped the recliner over to look for them, and there it was, a scorpion laying on the red rug. It was either a Bark Scorpion, or a Yellow Ground Scorpion. To this day, I don't know if it was dead or not, it didn't move, but they can do that. I took my flip flop off and smashed it non stop. I do see in the pictures below, the tail was extended after I smashed it, I think it might have been alive. That was the only one I ever saw. I heard if you have cats in your house, you won't see them, plus we don't live right near the desert area.

The Scorpion hunting event was at the Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction. This park is amazing, and has so many trails. If you don't have the Annual State Park pass, it costs $7 each time to park.


 It was a free event for all ages. All you needed to bring was a black light flashlight, or you could buy one off of the park ranger for $9 cash. We met up at the Palo Verde Ramada which isn't too far from the entrance of the park. The Park ranger had her own little collection of scorpions that she had collected at the park in an aquarium. She went over some facts about them, how they molt, how often they molt, they don't glow with the black light as babies, only after their first molting. She also told us how the female will kill the male once she has mated and has her babies. She also was selling tongs so you can catch the scorpions if you wanted to. I had no interest in this. I believe in leaving the wild where it belongs, that is their land/habitat.

After we learned some facts on the scorpions, we all headed out to a trail just nearby, it was dark, so nothing adventurous. My brother Matthew found one right away, it was pretty big too. Our good friend Eric used the tongs and was ready to put it in Park Ranger's jar, but she was already far ahead, so he let it go. I couldn't believe how many scorpions were out, without that black light, we would have never seen them. So many tiny ones too! It was really cool to see them, the Park Ranger collected a bunch of them in the jar, and my brother was carrying it around.

Eric holding the scorpion with tongs

the park ranger had Matthew carry the jar of them

I was very lucky to also see a Tarantula, I have been wanting to badly to see one. I learned they are pretty docile and really won't bother with you, unless you mess with them, they do have fangs, they will bite, but they are not venomous. I wouldn't want one crawling on me, but I really am not scared of them like my husband is.

I highly recommend going to this event, taking your children if they are well behaved. This is a very fun event, and might help someone get over their fear of a scorpion or tarantula, plus it gets you outside, a place I want to be as much as possible! :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Our Summer Vacation was Awesome! Arizona and New Mexico!

It's been way to long since I wrote, and I am going to make the time for now on. Summer flew by :( Between our busiest season at work and my summer vacation, it was gone before I knew it.

We took another awesome vacation this summer, we went all through Arizona and New Mexico from July 7-17th. It was amazing and I LOVE Arizona! I have traveled to many places, something about it made me feel so good and I love the scenery. We went to the Grand Canyon in 2008 but that was the only part of Arizona I had been in.

We flew into Phoenix and first had lunch at the Pomegranate Cafe, this place is AMAZING! They serve all Vegan food that looks and tastes incredible! Any non-vegan would be blown away on how good the food is. There juice, smoothie and dessert selection is huge.

Bunny Brite & Cherry Chocolate Bomb

Ranchero Skillet & Lumberjack

their dessert selection - alot of raw options- we had the raw Brazilian brownie, snickers bar, and lemon bar that were amazing!

After we left Pomegranate we took the boys somewhere to eat and then we went to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve which was beautiful.

Graham told us to look at the snow covered mountain and we did, lol that's why we are laughing, it was 115 degrees when this picture was taken.

After we left the Sonoran we drove to our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas and because we went in July (one of the hottest times of year) we got a great deal on our own little villa.

We drove around Scottsdale, took the boys to Joe's NY Pizza and Peterson's Old Fashioned Ice Cream.

Praying Monk

The next day we got up early and headed towards Sedona. A friend of mine told me to stop at Jerome since it was on the way, and I am glad we did.

Next we drove up to Sedona to stay for a few nights. Sedona was the most beautiful area in Arizona that we saw.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

The next day we got up and did the Devil's Bridge Trail- this said pretty easy in the information I had read online but honestly it wasn't too easy- it was about 3 miles in from where we parked.

The next day we got up early and drove to the Grand Canyon. We had been there in August 2008 and here we were 5 years later and it felt like we were just there. Time REALLY flies by! We went to the South Rim again.

This is us in the same area in 2008

We stayed in Flagstaff that night and got up early the next day and drove 4 hours to the Four Corners Monument which is in the middle of nowhere. We stayed less than an hour and then headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico

As soon as we got to Albuquerque, the first thing we did was go to Thai Vegan which had incredible food!

We could not wait to go to some of the Breaking Bad filming locations and right after we had dinner we drove to Walter White's house! Actually it's owned by Fran who came outside when we were out there taking pictures, she was very friendly and shared a lot of information about everything. She was there for every taping of the show and became very close with the cast. It was great to meet her.

Then we drove the the car wash.

Then we drove to Hank & Maria's house.

The next morning we went to the Mint Tulip Cafe which blew us away. The food in this place is incredible! Everything is freshly made to order! We ended up coming back for lunch the same day.

We went to the Sandia Peak Tramway which was really nice to see Alburquerque from up that high up. The only thing was everything was closed off due to high risk of fire at the time we were there so it was just a ride up and back down, worth it though.

After we left the Sandia Peak Tram, we went to the restaurant Twisters which is the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant on Breaking Bad. We only ordered a small drink so we could take pictures and sit in the actual booth Walter White sat in. It was pretty cool!

After we left Albuquerque we drove to Santa Fe, but by the time we got there, it was too late to sight see and we had to get up early to head to Roswell, New Mexico. We did go to Anna Purna's to eat and Tom and I went to the Casino for a little while by the hotel. I really wish we would have planned more time in Santa Fe.

On our drive to Santa Fe we saw the Camel Head
On the way to Roswell we stopped at a rest area to use the restroom and saw this sign, YEEKS we didn't see any thankfully!

Roswell wasn't what we thought, I mean I guess we thought it was going to be really happening there with people walking all around with alien costumes on and stuff, but it was pretty much just a small area with tourist shops and the UFO Museum.  That was pretty coal with a lot of evidence and news articles. I am glad we went, but this would not be a place I would ever go again.

We were going to drive to Carlsbad Caverns and then stay overnight in Alamogordo and drive to Tucson the next day but we wanted to head to Tucson that day so we were able to cancel our hotel with no fees and we drove straight to Tucson. I am so glad we did, we drove right into the sunset and went to a fabulous Vegan restaurant called the Lovin Spoonfuls. This place was our favorite place to eat on the whole trip. The owner Peggy is extremely friendly. If you are in Tucson, Vegan or not, go here! They have the best pancakes, desserts, everything is incredible!!

Driving into Tucson, the sunset was beautiful

French Fries, Deep Fried Mushrooms, Deep Fried Beer Brats

Southwest Burger

Tom's Route 66 Burger

My Southwest Burger

Orange Creamsicle Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Milkshakes and a Root Beer Float
We loved the Loving Spoonfuls so much we couldn't wait to go there the next morning for breakfast!

Tofu Scramble
These chocolate chip pancakes were SO GOOD!

Southwest Burrito

I promise we don't just eat on vacation :) We spent a few hours at the Saguaro National Park. This place was So beautiful with so many cactus plants everywhere!

For dinner we went to the Tasteful Kitchen. It was a little more fancy of eating but the food was beautifully presented and tasted delicious! They have both vegetarian and vegan options, just ask!

Side Salad that came with my Potato Bruchetta
Spring Rolls
Potato Bruchetta
Banana Cake with Chocolate Sauce
Mango Chia Pudding

 The next day we drove south a little over an hour to Tombstone. It was a pretty cool looking town but somewhat disappointing. My husband was really looking forward to it but it was pretty much taken over by tourism. We spent over $50 to watch a reenactment show that was a total waste of money. 

When we got to Phoenix, we couldn't wait to try Green and Nami, side by side 100% vegan food! We were in heaven when we went into Green. 

Chili Fries

Big Wac - Tom got this and I had to taste it, tastes like a Big Mac!
I had the Calexico Burger and it was yummy!

Banana Creme Pie & Compost Tsoynami- A Vegan Version of a Blizzard!
Gage and Graham went with milkshakes

The next day was our last day so we went to the Pomegranate Cafe for breakfast.

Blueberry Scone

One of our last stops before we headed to the airport was South Mountain. It was beautiful and the views of Phoenix were out of this world! We fell in love with Phoenix even more!

 Our trip was wonderful! We love it out west So much and hope to move out there someday! I felt so happy and so energetic the whole time, even with the high temperatures, the dry heat didn't drain my energy like the humidity does.

It was more than wonderful to come home to all of my babies! Especially these 3 :) I always miss them so much it hurts!

Coffy, Norman, and Haystack