Yesterday was the annual Graves/Boring trip to the Desert Botanical Garden to see the holiday display entitled “Las Noches de Luminarias.” It was, as always, a lovely night spent with family minus the turkeys. They were tucked at home with their girlfriend/babysitter Meaghan.
This year Mother Nature played a nasty trick on us. That mean old lady made it cold (45ish) and rainy.
That is seriously unheard of. At least in my 2 ½ years of valley residency. We actually had to wear gloves, scarves and hats. I did not move to the Valley of the Sun to deal with this kind of crap. The slow, steady, drizzle froze my bones, and face, and eyeballs, and, well, you get the picture.
Our evening didn’t start off rainy. It was cloudy and cold, but us Arizonans firmly believed that the ominous looking clouds would not produce any lasting precipitation. Hmmmmph…wrong.
But I am slowly working through my anger at Mother Nature. We did have a great time despite her efforts to dampen our spirits.
It began with a hoard of people gathering at the gates of the gardens, chomping to get in. Seriously, kids, this was reminiscent of the video footage I saw at Walmart on Black Friday. And as my brother so cleverly quipped to his wife, she and I were the only two of child-bearing age within sight.
Yeah, so you really don’t want to get in Grandma’s way, as my husband quickly learned after receiving the death glare from one of blue hairs upon daring to follow his family through the gates.
We had a lovely dinner and then the rain started. Thankfully, Padre Graves, the leader for the evening had done his research. He led us to one of the only covered pavilions with a musical act.
And then I saw them.
The heat lamps.
I made a beeline for the only open table with a heat lamp and beat out some lady for the primo spot. Oh, wait, that was my mom. Sorry, madre but NOBODY stands between me and a heat lamp when it is 45 outside.
Okay, okay there was plenty of room for all three of us ladies to bask in the glow of the heat lamp. I did not force the woman who gave birth to me stand there shivering. Geez, people, have some faith.
So we bunkered down while the rain drizzled around us and enjoyed the delta/blues band until we realized something very important. We had trekked all the way over there without stopping to get anything to drink. And no, I am not talking about hot chocolate.
So Lauren and I batted our little eyes at our husbands and off they went to fetch a couple of bottles of wine. Padre was excused from this mission since he found us such a top notch spot. I did feel a little bit bad when they returned sopping wet, but the warm red wine in my belly removed all traces of guilt rather quickly.
And there we sat warm and cozy listening to an awesome blues band for a couple of hours. I almost felt like I was back in the Midwest for a while, you know, except for the cactuses and palm trees.
Love and peace