Phoenix, AZ - Day 2 - 03/14/2012

Published at 10:44 PM in ,

Today was another great day.  It was time for us to leave the Langley's (boo!) and see more family in the Phoenix area.  But before we headed out, there was some more fun left to be had!

Ready to swim!

We had another fabulous breakfast courtesy of Larry, who apologized for not cooking as much as the day before! But the truth is, it was just as good and plentiful as yesterday!

Jim took the kids over to the neighborhood playground.  After about thirty minutes, the kids all came running back saying that Daddy said they could go swimming.  It was plenty hot enough to swim, but I was worried about the water being too cold.  They were not convinced, so off we headed to the pool.

Flippers - Ready!

Kyle and Michael got out our snorkeling gear and used the flippers in the pool.  The girls swam and played games.  Eventually we did have to haul them out of the pool.

Me and Miss Brenna!

We said our goodbyes (boo!) and got on our way.  We truly enjoyed our time with them and their hospitality.  We miss having them so close in Georgia...can't wait until our next visit!

We headed up to Scottsdale, a northern suburb of Phoenix, to see Jim's Aunt Agnes and his cousin Stephanie and her family.  Aunt Agnes is in a rehabilitation facility, recovering from medical problems and receiving therapy so that she can go back home with her family.

Jim, the kids, Daniel, & Aunt Agnes

When we pulled into the parking lot, it just so happened that Stephanie and her son, Daniel, were out walking with Aunt Agnes.  It was such a beautiful day...perfect weather to visit outside.

We stayed outside for a long time, then headed in to have dinner with Aunt Agnes.  It was really wonderful to see her, Stephanie, and Daniel and be able to spend some quality time with them.  That has been another blessing of traveling - being able to spend time with people we love and don't get to see often enough.

Jim & Stephanie (with her awesome Mustang!)

Stephanie has quite an interesting story.  She spent time in the Air Force, and then later went into the Navy as part of a search and rescue team.  She was one of the first five women ever to meet the Navy's search and rescue requirements.  What an accomplishment!  It was yet another example to the kids of how if they put their minds to it, they can accomplish anything!

She shared the story of her final rescue with us - and what a great story it is!  She is supposed to write it down for me, so when she does, I will post it.

Helicopter coming in for the rescue

As we were coming in to rescue these folks (10 days overdue from their winter camping trip), they clicked this picture and presented it to every SAR Team Member along with treating us all to a wonderful "Thank You" dinner.  It truly paid off for them to file their planned trip with the US Forest Service and have winter survival skills!

As a SAR (Search and Rescue) Corpsman, I primarily provided medical care, but also had to train and qualify as a SAR Crewman.  This included use of equipment for inland and over water rescues; basic helicopter maintenance; train other Corpsman attempting to qualify; provide medical training for the other crew members of the SAR Team.  At times, I had to take charge of the mission, over some of the most challenging terrains in the California desert and mountian areas.  These were some of the most rewarding experiences in my naval career.  I have never lost sight of the SAR motto, "That Others Might Live."

Tomorrow we will be back to see Aunt Agnes again, after we visit the state capitol.  She has therapy in the mornings, so that will be the perfect time to see the capitol.

More pictures in the Photo Gallery!

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