Nathan was good at school on 9/30.
We spent the month of October traveling.
Paul flew to Chicago on October 1st after we found out that his mom was in ICU. I went to the Botanical Gardens on 10/2 to see the opening of the Butterfly Magic. Paul came back 10/3 so that we could go to Albuquerque for the weekend. We had already planned and paid for the trip to see the Balloon Fiesta. The last day we were there we found that there was nothing more they could do for Paul's mom. She passed away the next morning, 10/7. We decided to drive to Chicago so that we could take some things back in the car from Pat's house.
On 10/9, we headed for Chicago. We stopped in Roswell, NM on our way. That night we stayed in Amarillo, TX.
10/10 we drove through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and finally arrived in Illinois at like 2 in the morning on 10/11.
On 10/11, Nathan and I went to Morton Arboretum with Grandpa Fred. Not a lot of Fall colors to see, but it was still nice.
On 10/12, Paul, Nathan and I went to Kankakee State Park before he went to help at his mom's house again.
On 10/13, Nathan and I went to Stir Crazy with Grandma and Grandpa and my friend Debbie Madl joined us. Afterward, we took Nathan to Ty Warner Park in Westmont. Nathan and I stopped over by 159th and Pulaski to take pictures with the Sheriff from Cars before heading back to GG's.
On 10/16, we went to Brookfield Zoo. We practically had the place to ourselves which was great. I got to see the new snow leopard cub. Then we met the Carsons at Ledo's Pizza for dinner.
On 10/17, we started driving back toward Tucson. We stopped at the world's largest truck stop in Iowa. We drove through Nebraska and finally made it to Dodge City, KS after being in the car for like 15 hours. We stayed there for the night.
On 10/18, we spent the snowy morning in Dodge City and then drove to Manitou Springs, CO. We stayed there for the night.
On 10/19, we took the Cog Railway at Pike's Peak and then went to the visitor center at Garden of the gods before heading out of town. The views at that visitor center are amazing. We drove to Santa Fe, NM and stayed there for the night.
On 10/20, we toured the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe and saw the miraculous staircase. We shopped in the Plaza (where Paul bought me a nice pair of earrings as a late Sweetest Day gift) and ate lunch before heading back to Tucson.
Nathan was very well behaved during our trip to Chicago. I hate that he missed so many school days, but he got green cards during our trip!
Nathan was able to go to school on 10/21 and 10/23. He was good both days and was even green all day on the 23rd!
On 10/22, Nathan spelled his first word...all on his own. He was playing with his bath letters and then showed me that he had speed Read. I was very impressed. He had the letters backwards (daer), but he said it correctly.
As we were getting ready to leave for Sedona on 10/24, I got in Paul's car (2002 Grand Am) to take the dogs to Creature Comforts. His clock was reading 12:00. We restarted it a couple of times that morning and the same thing happened, but it was starting just fine. We got the dogs dropped off and headed to Sedona in our other car (2007 Grand Prix). We arrived in Sedona and ate at the Open Range for lunch. We got to our lodge, Slide Rock Lodge, and explored a bit around there. We were disappointed with the lodge itself, especially considering how much we paid to stay there. We had a fireplace, but there was no bath tub and not even a clock. We walked a little bit by the creek before going to dinner that night.
The next morning we ate at the Coffee Pot Restaurant and I took a couple pictures of Coffee Pot Rock. Then we went hiking at Slide Rock Park. We had never been to Slide Rock Park before and it was just beautiful. After Slide Rock Park we started driving north through Oak Creek Canyon and stopped to hike at Call of the Canyon West Fork. We continued driving north through Oak Creek Canyon and decided to go up to Flagstaff for dinner. We ate at Olive Garden.
On 10/26, We went to hike at Cathedral Rock. We explored an area that we had not seen before and it had even better views of Cathedral Rock. Then Paul was nice enough to walk through the water to get more pictures for me. After hiking at Cathedral Rock we went hiking at Boynton Canyon Trail. That is another area we had never explored before. We climbed to the top of the vista and had great views from there. After that hike, Paul and Nathan napped in the car while I hiked by Bell Rock. A lot of hiking for me that day! The hike just to get close to Bell Rock took forever. I got pretty close and that is where you start hiking up Bell Rock. I decided not to do that and turn around since it took me like an hour just to get that far. That evening we went shopping at Tlaquepaque Marketplace. We went to a Christmas store and a toy store. Then we ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant there.
We started heading home on 10/27 stopping in Winslow, AZ. We stood on the corner in Winslow, AZ! We drove through Salt River Canyon and ate dinner at Nonna Maria's in Oracle before going home. We tried starting up the Grand Am that evening and we had trouble getting it started.
On 10/28 we ended up buying a new alternator for the Grand Am. We think that solved our problem (we had to replace like 3 batteries in the last year and then the clock kept resetting itself over the weekend). Nathan started the day with a red card at school, but he was able to turn it back to green!
Nathan got a green card at school on 10/30!
Today is Halloween. Nathan is going to be the #18 M&M race car driver Kyle Busch!