When we were planning our Arizona adventure, Toxicesq suggested a tubing trip on the river "15 minutes" from her home. I made the mistake of mentioning it to Thatboy and he became fixated on the idea. So Sunday morning we slipped into our swimsuits and headed out to Toxicesq's for breakfast. If you remember, Saturday morning it was a million degrees outside when we woke up. Sunday morning it was 1 million and 15 degrees outside!
Check out the view from Toxicesq's front porch/living room window. Cool, right? Toxicesq had breakfast all laid out for us when we got there - fruit, muffins, yogurt. After breakfast Thatmom and Toxicesq packed all us kids off into the SUV and waved us goodbye. They had no idea what was in store for us.
First of all, the river was a lot farther away than 15 minutes. It was closer to 40. And around 20 minutes in, Thatboy's morning coffee/water/milk hit him and he had to go to the bathroom. Badly. The only problem? We were in the middle of the desert. So we got to watch the potty dance until we finally arrived at the destination. I'm 99% sure there was a song that went along with the dance.
Second, we underestimated the popularity of tubing in Arizona. I'm not sure why we didn't figure out that in this heat everyone and their mother would be heading to the river, but I blame it on the heat causing our brain to not function.
There were people of all ages and walks of life waiting to board the bus that would take us down to the river. We managed to get on the bus with a group of guys that were there for a fraternity trip? Bachelor party? Who knows. But they were all wearing mardi gras beers and comparing who had more to drink the night before. Thatbrother, who was sitting across from me on the bus informed me he couldn't WAIT to read my blog about this adventure. He's never read my blog before, but decided this would be a good first read.
Once we got onto the river we were able to separate ourselves immediately from the mari-gras boys. Thatbrother pointed out that Mardi-gras beads on the river are a little stupid, since you're not really going by at a quick speed, and if someone were to flash you, you'd be floating along beside them for a while, creating quite the awkward moment.
There were plenty of other groups on the river and aside from some kind of marshmallow war that everyone seemed to know about but us, it was a very mellow ride.
Sorry about the thumb in this picture, but it was just too gorgeous not to put in. So ignore the thumb and instead focus on the calm water surrounded by trees with the mountains rising in front of you. Make it your new happy place.
There were a couple of places where the water picked up and Thatboy delighted all of us by screaming "RAPIDS" everytime we came near the area. We knew we had to get off at stop 2 if we wanted to make it back to Orange County before midnight, so we kept our eyes peeled. Right after a particularly flat moving area, Thatboy decided he saw stop 2 and began screaming at all of us to make our way over to the shore - IMMEDIATELY. In the process, China lost her tube and her flip flops. As I paddled over to help her, I found myself without a tube, in the water, clutching my camera, water bottles belonging to almost every member of our party, and frantically trying to grab at my tube. Thatboy laughed at me as I yelled for him to come help me since I couldn't swim against the fast moving current. "Stand up" he told me. But the current wouldn't even permit my feet to remain on the ground. When he finally realized I wasn't fooling around, he attempted to come to my rescue, but by that time I had managed to gain a foot hold. We met the rest of our group on the shore where Thatbrother watched to see if his shirt which he had lost in the melee would come down the river to us. It didn't. We also didn't regain China's inhaler which mysteriously was swept away. The best part of this whole story? When we made it to shore the people there told us we weren't at stop 2 yet. This is why I do the navigating and Thatboy sticks to the driving. We got back into our tubes and proceeded down the river to Stop 2, a nice, calm spot where it was easy to manuver to shore and step out. Thatboy informed me that if I ever think I'm drowning again, I can probably drop the water bottles I'm carrying to give myself a free hand. And for anyone who's interested in purchasing a new camera, they ain't kidding when they say that Olympus stylus is waterproof!
We drove back to Toxicesq's house and met up with Toxicesq and Thatmom. Everyone was starving, so we decided to grab a late lunch/early dinner before heading back.
We headed to South Beach, named not for the famous diet, but the part of the country that inspired said diet - South Beach, Miami. This meant there was a lot of Cuban influence on the menu. And gator. Thatboy and I have had gator before so we didn't feel the need to order it again. Everyone else was just not interested.
Thatbrother and I both ordered the Black and Blue burger with serrano chilies, a chili rubbed burger, and blue cheese. HOOOOOT. But not as hot as the Arizona sun. After lunch/dinner we got back in the car and headed west. It wasn't until we were almost in Palm Springs that the temperature sunk below 100 degrees, and the sun had set well before that time.