Sarah on the stairs leading up to our 2-bedroom condo
the first time we stayed at the WorldMark Rancho Vistoso Resort
in Oro Valley, Arizona, June 13-17, 2005
Since I just posted yesterday about our Tucson trip last weekend, I thought it would be fun to share these pictures from our very first trip to that resort way back in June 2005, almost 9 years ago. Our kids were just babies back then!
13 June 2005: 15-year-old Sarah in the condo's living room.
Despite the summer heat of the desert, we had a great time there. The resort was beautiful and the big pool was welcome at the end of a hot day.
Dylan sits at the breakfast bar between the dining room and kitchen.
Mark and the kids enjoyed hiking in the desert in the mornings. One time the kids were very excited when they returned because they'd run into a family of javelina. It was a little scary, too, but mostly thrilling!
Jacob and Dylan in their bedroom.
Jacob was less than 2 weeks away from his 14th birthday,
and Dylan was 3 weeks away from his 8th birthday.
14 June 2005: Jacob, Mary, Dylan, and Sarah at Kartchner caverns.
On our second day, we went to Kartchner Caverns near Benson, Arizona, to tour the caverns called the Rotunda and Throne Room, where the amazing Kubla Khan formation stands. The Big Room tour we took last weekend (2014) is closed during the warmer months.
Mark (who turned 37 exactly one week later) stands near the Discovery Center entrance
with our kids: Dylan, Sarah, and Jacob.
2005 view of the Discovery Center from the parking lot.
Jacob, Dylan, and Sarah with the McDonalds dino.
On our way back to Oro Valley, we stopped at this McDonalds in Benson for cold drinks. Seeing the dinosaur in front, I just had to take the kids' picture there. They were hot, tired, and cranky, but we managed it.
This past weekend, I checked as we drove through Benson. The McDonalds is still there, and so is their dino out front!
16 June 2005: Jacob rides his trusty steed, Samson.
The day before we returned home, we all went horseback riding in the desert foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains that stretch above Oro Valley. I think that may have been the first time my boys ever rode a horse.
Dylan is a natural astride his horse, Jackson.
We've been horseback riding several times since then. Personally, I have LOVED riding horses since I was a child and went riding at every opportunity, but it seems none of my children inherited my love of horses.
Sarah's steed is called Max.
Although the ride was hot and dusty in the desert heat, we had a good time. I think we saw several small animals like rabbits and coyotes, and heard a rattlesnake in the distance once, but encountered no perils greater than urging our horses down the steep sides of an arroyo or two.
The Carter family rides down the dusty trail:
Jacob, Dylan, Sarah, and Mark (front to back).
I had been sick with some weird lung thing for several months prior to this trip, and I was still having trouble breathing (it was finally resolved a few weeks after we got home), so I remember I was tired a lot. That's why I didn't take many pictures during this vacation. But I'm grateful for the ones I did take and the memories they helped preserve of a great time with my family!