Monday, July 24, 2017

Mostly just going out to eat a thousand times

Last Tuesday, also known as the last Tuesday of summer vacation, Michael was off from work.  We've been talking about taking the kids to the wave pool in Tempe for probably, oh, seven years, and felt like this was finally the day.  The wave pool is only ever open from 1 pm- 5 pm and in discussing why we had never been before decided it was because we have always had a kid that needed to nap in the afternoon.  And even if they didn't need to nap, we needed them to nap. Ha. This is the first summer that nobody is napping. 

We got there a few minutes before 1:00, so we were in the pool the first time the waves started.  The waves go for 15 minutes then turn off for 12, on for 15, off for 12 all afternoon.

The slide is open when the waves are off. 

Spencer figured out that you really get slammed by the waves when you're close to the wall. 

After the wave pool Michael took the kids to swim lessons and swim team and I went on a lady date with Maryellen to celebrate her 40th birthday. 

We went out to eat at a Mexican food restaurant in Mesa, then went to see The Big Sick. 
On Wednesday Spencer went to a play date at Cole's house and Elliott and I went to a doctor's appointment at Phoenix Children's Hospital.  We're back to the hepatologist, which may or may not be "something".  I'll report back after we have blood work and an ultrasound done. 

We went to lunch at Matt's Big Breakfast after the appointment.  This is a popular spot in downtown Phoenix, but now that I've been there I don't think I understand the fuss.  It was OK.  Not great. 

We went shopping for back to school clothes at Arizona Mill's mall after lunch and then I needed a sedative from that experience. 

On Thursday I took pictures of all the 4th of July decorations.  I'm sure we did something else that day, but heck if I can remember. 

Thursday evening was meet the teacher night at school.  It was fantastic going to just one school this year. 

Of course Spencer has to have a facial injury for the beginning of the year.  He smacked his chin on the pool deck at swim team practice. 

We went to the cafeteria first to put money in their lunch accounts and to find out info about the bus route. 

Then we met Elliott's kindergarten teacher and did kindergarten curriculum. 

Then we met Spencer's teachers (two teachers for 4th grade) and did 4th grade curriculum. 

Then we went out to dinner because I have lost the ability to do any cooking. 

The kids got special drinks. 

The adults got special meals. 

On Friday Spencer had an appointment with his allergy doctor.  It lasted so long that we missed our last movie for the summer movie club.  There are actually two more weeks of it but we obviously can't go to them because of school. 

We did some more back to school clothes shopping that morning and then spent the rest of the day chilling at home.  

Then, I know you're shocked, we went out for dinner.  Michael ordered a shot.  This is the one picture I took all day. 
So, after a very lenient summer I am proclaiming that Michael and I, and the kids to a lesser extant, are getting back on track with healthier eating.  It starts tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Cerreta's Candy Co

Last week was the last week of summer vacation.  It went by so quickly! All of a sudden we had no time left and a list of so many activities we didn't do.

On Monday we decided we'd drive to Glendale and take the Cerreta Candy Company tour.  
Why?  Because it is free.  And it's candy.

The tour started at 1:00.  We got there at 12:50 so we walked around the store for a bit seeing what we wanted to buy before we left. 

From the Cerreta website:

Cerreta Candy Company is a family-owned business founded over 40 years ago by Jim Cerreta, Sr.
Jim learned the art of candy production in his father-in-law’s factory in Canton, Ohio. He then passed the skill on to his children and grandchildren. Four generations of the candy business now oversee production & operations of our delightful chocolates and candy products.

I know this looks like something out of an old fashioned movie or in a museum, but this is the real factory.  It's open for viewing from the store.  That machinery really works and it's really what they use to still make candy. 

There is a large viewing gallery on one side of the building where you can see the whole factory.  

We spent most of the "tour" in that gallery, but we did walk into the factory and around some of the equipment for about five minutes. 

Our guide.  She was kind of out of an old fashioned movie too. 

This machine was cutting and wrapping banana taffy.  I think they said it does like 60 pieces a minute. 

We all got to sample a rice krispy square. 

Hot toffee cooling. 


Can you see the popcorn popping in the industrial popper?

Some kind of candy.  It looked like the stuff lollipops are made out of. 

Lots and lots of sugar. 

And evaporated milk. 

They were making white chocolate covered marshmallow pops. 

Very professional drizzle. 

We all got to take one. 

I'm pretty sure the guide said the guy operating the taffy machine is one of the Cerreta "kids". 

Industrial size Santa chocolate mold. 

She was showing us the molds for their famous French mints. 

picture compliments of google

This one too
They got a huge, huge, huge order for these mints from some company on the east coast and they are making something like 600 pounds every single day from June until October.  The whole factory smelled like delicious chocolate mint. 

10 pound chocolate bar


The 10 pound bar.
We paid to make a chocolate "pizza" at the end of the tour.  It was a mold full of hot liquid milk chocolate.  Then the kids got to squeeze on white chocolate "cheese" and add toppings. 

It was all fine and dandy until we were driving home and the pizza slid of the seat and the box flipped over as it fell to the floor.  It didn't open, but it still did a number on that melted chocolate. 

After we left the tour we drove by Michael's office and delivered some chocolate to him.  We stayed for a snack. 

Spencer tried to hide so he wouldn't have to leave. 
We bought 4 rice krispy treats.  Left to right: Spencer's, a gift for Maryellen, Elliott's, Michael and me to share. 
And that was our tour of Cerreta's.  Everybody in Arizona and even those that are not should totally go here.