phoenix adventures

We are headed back to Denver tomorrow, which is truly bittersweet. It will be nice to get home; it always is. But, this officially marks our last trip to Phoenix to visit my sister and her family. Next month they are packing it up and moving to Colorado. Obviously, that is amazingly awesome because they will be nearby; but I would be fibbing if I said I would not miss Phoenix. Coming to visit my sister here in Phoenix over the past ten years, I have become very familiar with the city. We have our favorite restaurants, eateries, and shops. We have so many great memories of coming to do runs, trail runs, road biking, and mountain biking. I love this desert city; and I will indeed miss having a "home base" here tremendously.

You will notice that I am not referring to John as "little John" in this post. With so many Johns in the family, it was getting a little confusing for everyone, so a while back we had started calling him by a nickname -  Raffa, from his middle name Raphael. I wasn't a fan of JR, Junior, Johnnie, etc., but Raffa stuck. So let me introduce you to Raffa. I may still call him John from time to time, but it is Raffa, too.

On this, our last trip, we spent lots of time doing stuff specifically for the boys to enjoy; namely this included some walks, brunch at The Farm, and a visit to the train park.

We had brunch at The Farm at South Mountain on Sunday. Raffa was just practically mesmerized; the cafe is outside and he loved watching other brunchers and hapenings on the farm. As usual, he ate well too. Then we walked around and met the goat and the chickens. Asher fed the goats; Raffa and I watched. The weather was gorgeous after crazy amounts of rain the previous day.

We went on a couple walks around the neighborhood. After a couple days of rain, the weather was perfect. Raffa officially learned how to clap on in the past few days, as evidenced by this photo and Asher's enthusiastic support. He also mastered drinking from a straw on this trip (not pictured).

Raffa also absolutely loved Asher's blue car, as evidenced by his spirited driving seen above.

And as boys love to do, we spent time just  messing around and playing outside.

Yesterday, we went to the train park ... with alternating rides on the carousel and the train the boys were as happy as can be for hours. Asher loves the choo-choo with a passion; Raffa is lulled into relaxation on each train ride.

Again, it was another beautiful day and the boys were absolutely in heaven. It's obvious these boys are going to be something else together; quite the team. The kindness and sweetness with which they interact is, to us, not surprising given their sweet and tender dispositions. I can only imagine their future relationship, adventures, and mischief. Since Raffa will be my one and only, knowing that his has a "brother" in his cousin, Asher assures me that he won't miss out on sibling love and support. He will have that from his cousin, brother, best friend - Asher Ivan. Now that Raffa is to an age that they can truly interact and with my sister and her family's move next month, the Marty and Markoff boys' adventures are truly just beginning. And, I definitely won't be complaining about having my best friend/sister close-by either.

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