Bay Brown Spring 2018 Visit

In Visits, Journal by Steve Sliwa

Bay Brown is the younger sister of Boeing Brown, our godson.  We are her unofficial aunt and uncle as a result (given that the term aunt and uncle are frequently extended with affection to family friends).  Of course, that makes her our niece.  We have met her a couple of times.  Her older brothers Boeing and Baron came for a week each to our place in White Salmon WA.  We tried to make it educational for them.  Unfortunately, it was difficult to coordinate our schedule with Bay’s schedule.  So we decided to put together a long weekend in Arizona.  That being the case, we decided to pack it as best we could with some fun and new activities.

Bay’s departure for Arizona started with more adventure that we planned.  Her original flight was canceled for mechanical reasons.  She was able to get on another flight and only be an hour later.  But she flew through a thunderstorm on landing, experienced quite a few bumps, and became queasy.  Her second leg was uneventful, and she slept through most of it.

Upon landing, we headed home, picked up a famous In ‘N Out Burger and make it just before 1 AM PDT.  She departed from EDT, so her clock was 4 AM.  We did a quick tour of the house and got her situated and let her crash after her shower.

The next morning she was up at 8:30 AM and had a light breakfast (scrambled eggs).  She and Nancy departed for a girls R&R day.  It started with manicures and pedicures.  They then swung through MacDonalds for some lunch (chicken nuggets).  Then they then received reflexology massages (clothes on with an extra emphasis on the feet).  Apparently, this was Bay’s first professional massage. 

This was followed by a shopping excursion to Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons.  The girls arrived home by about 3:30.   Bay did some sunning (which included throwing a ball into the pool for Brandy), took another shower, and then we went to dinner at El Encanto (Mexican restaurant) in Fountain Hills (less than 1 mile from our house).  We started the move ‘Ant Man,’ but made it halfway through before people burned out.

Saturday morning we asked Bay to be up in time for an 8 AM breakfast (toaster waffles), so we could be on the road by 8:50.  We had a 10 AM appointment at Dolphinaris.  This was intended to be the main event for Bay’s visit.  We had signed up for the Deluxe Swim package which put us in the water for about an hour.  Our Dolphin was Khloe, and our trainer was Krystal.  It was quite fun and educational.  We got to hug, kiss, swim alongside, and shake hands with Khloe.  The pictures and video were great, some of which are in the gallery below.

After the Dolphin experience it was nearly noon, so we went to the Pangaea Dinosaur Grill for lunch.  Bay had a hamburger AND chicken nuggets to refuel.  It was fun seeing the dinosaur videos and animated figures while we ate.

Our next stop was the Butterfly Wonderland.  We started out by watching an interesting 3D movie describing the life cycle and migration of Monarch butterflies.  The 3D imagery was cool because it felt like the butterflies were so close you could reach out and touch them.  Bay spent a lot of time in the habitat trying to photograph a blue butterfly with its wings open.  She enjoyed studying the various butterflies.  I think it was related to her biology class she is about to finish as a sophomore.

Our next stop was the Octane Kart Racetrack.  They use electric go-karts and race either in the junior series or the adult series.  Bay qualified for the former due to her age.  We signed her up for two races.  In the first one, she completed nine laps and the second one ten laps (faster and kept with the leaders0.  She would have had a significantly better time in the second one, but there was a driver that was unable to get around the track, which caused all sorts of stoppages.  She lapped several and even passed several experienced boys when they thought they were racing (she maneuvered past them on the inside track).  So it may not have been great training for her learner’s permit, but she did gain some confidence behind the wheel.

Saturday evening we ordered Bay a double cheese pizza from Pizza Hut and she ate 4 pieces.  That probably hit the mark with all of the activities today.  We viewed the photos and videos from today on the big screen in the theater and we finished “Ant Man.”  Bay then went up to her room on the 3rd floor and snuggled into bed to watch TV.

Sunday we got up a bit early and headed to the Fountain Hills park to walk the dogs.  We then drove into the desert for a few miles just to see the terrain.  Bay was surprised to see signs that said, “In case of standing water do not pass.”  The ground is hard-packed that when rainstorms do come during the summer monsoons, the desert can create flash floods and the water is deceptively deep crossing the roads.

We then departed for the Apple Store.  Mission was to get a new iPhone X, with accessories, and transfer her AT&T account to the Sliwa Family plan for the time being.  This mission actually took about 5 hours due to a variety of challenges, but we got it accomplished and it seems like all data transferred and Bay was up and running and happy.

We then played around the pool a bit with the pups. Bay would toss the ball into the water and the dogs would retrieve them.

Dinner was a Flourish, a nice restaurant at the Copperwynd Resort.  Bay was brave and had a filet mignon steak to go with her Shirley Temples.  She seemed to like it and finished most of it.

Some useful references:

Butterfly Wonderland Brochure – pdf

Go-Kart Racing Results – pdf







Photo Gallery:


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