Our great weekend was drawing to a close, sadly. Kerry and I took Kathy to the airport, and with a few hours to kill before my flight, Kerry took me to the Desert Botanical Garden, which is near the airport. Wow -- the terrain and the flora are so different from what I'm used to in Utah.
Check out this bad boy -- it's an octopus cactus.
After walking through the funky plants, we came to the butterfly pavilion. Okay, that was really cool -- hundreds and hundreds of butterflies flying around loose in a huge mesh tent, and we got to walk right in amongst them.
This butterfly is riding on someone's shoulder.
This time spent with the butterflies was some of the most soul-filling, peaceful time I've had in . . . I can't remember how long. There was one little teenage girl who obviously thought she was so cute and kept catching the butterflies, after we'd been told not to touch them, and I could have tackled and strangled her, but aside from those murderous impulses, I felt so relaxed and just enjoyed it thoroughly.
After bidding adieu to the butterflies, we went back to the airport and had a great lunch near my terminal, and then came the hard task of telling Kerry goodbye and leaving. This was such a wonderful weekend. I learned so much, I had a wonderful time, everyone treated me so well, and I didn't want it to come to an end. But I did miss my little family, so I boarded the plane and came on home, and the flight was really great. The landing was the best one in history, too.
Home I returned to a three-year-old who wouldn't talk to me for a full hour, but since then has shown me all sorts of affection. I think my family benefitted from me being gone -- learning appreciation is always a good thing -- and I think I came back a better mother. I sure hope so.
Thanks for letting me share the highlights of my trip with you.