Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trip part 4

After Daddy and the dudes got back from their hike, we packed up and drove to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tydye's house in X, Arizona. It's "X" here because we don't want to be responsible for another human being being aware of how awesome this place is. Then people would go there and it wouldn't be so awesome.

Little was superexcited to see another whole bunch of cousins. First, there was Madrigazella, an intriguingly feminine older girl. Little has always worshiped big girls and Mads played her part perfectly; she pranced around and did girly things and waited for Little to follow, and showed her novel things like dolls and stuff like that. Little was just nuts for her big cousin. Little following Maddicakes:

Next, there was Samwise, who is a couple years older than Little but was mostly interested in being impossibly sweet to Littler. Little was too distracted by the all-girl oldest cousin to spend much time with the all-boy Samwish, especially considering that all her friends are boys and this girl thing was quite a new experience. But Littler sure loved all the loving attention he gave her, and their no-holds-barred attitude in life seemed fit for each other even though they're several years apart in age.

Next there's BinJamin. His mom said he was uncharacteristically cranky when we were there, but we couldn't really tell. He's a really, really sweet little guy. Little and Littler both liked to play with him, especially on the monstrously rocking tire swing they've got in their front yard:

[Samwhich and Benegal on the tire swing]

Benyammin and Littler shared a stuffed pony for most of the trip, occasionally even altruistically. Here Benz rides the tire swing with the pony:

The tire swing was worth the drive in itself. Well, you know, the company was good too, but that thing was AWESOME:

Little never took her eye of the big girl cousin.

Littler found a doll. It was very exciting. She used it as a blunt force instrument:

Did we mention how cool the swing was? And Little liked it even more than us...

One thing that Little has always liked is the thrill of going "super duper HIGH!" [Littler calls it "dipper dipper HIGH!" So:

Madimoiselle showed her how it's done:

We drove to a sweet little stream in the mountains nearby, just to hang out for most of the day and do some fishing. Here, Little and Bendito do what they both do best: get very serious and contemplative about nothing at all.
If there's anything Chesters like, it's romping around in water.

Uncle Tyler pretty much rocked the whole day; Daddy was afraid his kids would defect. Here he teaches Little how to fish:

Then he helped her find some worms:

Then he let her catch her very own trout!

Little was way too excited; how can a Daddy compete?

So Uncle Tyler caught a garter snake and let her play with it. At this point Daddy decided he might reclaim some Dad points by appearing in pictures with both the snake and the daughter:

Little spent about 3 seconds pretending to be scared, but her face kind of gave away her real sentiment:

Little was beside herself with joy at having this little living thing in her hands. Unfortunately she had absolutely no sense of... shall we say animal welfare? She tried to tie knots with the snake, she squeezed its head to see how squishy it was, and she waved it around like a jump-rope.

Daddy had a photo session with the snake:

Then Mandolin let Little help her release the snake back into the water.

Littler, not quite as interested in the snake, cuddled with Mommy [to the degree that either of our kids cuddle with anything] and basked in the sun. Mommy was suffering what we think was altitude sickness, so was a little more laid-back than normal:

Little and Littler both find water completely and absolutely irresistible. Benyamine and Little somehow found a way to go swimming in 4-inch-deep water:

We love this picture because it illustrates exactly what we love so much about the KTnTYs and also X, Arizona. Benifactorial painted himself like a tiger and went out looking for fish and snakes along the river while his Dad fished nearby:

Madikins gathered flowers to give to Little, which flattered her a great deal:

So we went home and got ready for dinner. The kids didn't want to settle down so they put on some Weezer and went absolutely nutty:

On our last day the Daddies took a few of the kids out to go exploring in the mountains. Ty drove them in his pickup out over roads the very mention of which would cause our car to spill some serious oil. They found a little stream with tiger salamander water dogs in it, which was awesome.

There were a couple more garter snakes in this stream.

Little likes snakes in more than one way:

Madesian is outrageously cool.

They drove some more and found a beautiful meadow with a muddy stream, so they hopped out and waded and caught crawdads. Little was pretty much in heaven there, with awesome cousins in a new wide-open space to explore, and with little snappy things underfoot that were nearly catchable.

Cousin Mads was super, she helped Little through the deep parts and made sure that no crawdads nibbled on her toes. Little eventually got tired of the day but her big cousin was always there to cheer her up.

Before leaving town the next morning, we played for a bit with the cousins at a city park. Daddy took this opportunity to show up his brother Christobal, who is well-known for jumping over the hoods of cars [mostly Miatas, we expect]. So Daddy jumped over a whole car and Mommy got photographic documentation of it.

We took the "scenic route" to Tucson, which involved what felt like 34,839 miles, more or less, of winding mountain roads. Daddy got sick. Littler barfed. Next stop: The Bonks and the biggest cousins yet!