In July of 2014, I packed up the car with one suitcase for Mama and me and filled up the rest of the trunk space with everything needed for a small 21 pound human being (which is a lot!). By the grace of the gods, Alessio rocked the 8ish hour journey and was all smiles when we arrived.
After arriving, we handed over our child to one of the cugini (it did not matter who) and enjoyed a relaxing weekend in the mountains of Arizona that included plenty of chatting, eating (thanks to everyone who cooked), coffee, a piñata, and visits to Downtown Prescott. I even managed to sneak in visits to two local breweries (Prescott Brewing Company and Granite Mountain Brewing)!
All three of us are looking forward to the next Prescott Family Reunion…in about three years since that seems to be our modus operandi.
Images from Prescott, AZ
Mama and Alessio checking out the artwork as we wait for our food at The Raven Cafe.
Alessio excited to be out of state for the first time in his life.
So our cugina-in-law Pam is a professional family photographer and while we didn’t beg, she was kind enough to take a few photos of Alessio for us.
Earlier in the week, the weather forecast called for rain and thunderstorms. To our dismay, we were greeted with sunny skies. However, it did rain one morning and all was well.
The newest member of the Bernasconi clan is also the first to have teeth! I think he looks a little perturbed because he already has four teeth and more are coming in. From what I hear, the process of growing teeth is uncomfortable. However, I got a great big smile out of Logan when we jumped around like House of Pain was playing.
I am sure cugino Mando was saying something very important and deep.
Cugini Vinny and Sonny exploring the forests of Prescott.
Cugina Ariana excited to explore the creek across the street from the cabin.
It’s not a cabin in the woods without a tire swing!
Just playing around with the camera and caught some light breaking through the trees.
Since we didn’t have the highchair, Mama’s lap had to serve as a seat and a stray food catcher.
Since there are so many Bernasconis, there is always a birthday and the need for a piñata.
This year’s birthday boy was for cugino Tino (the one holding the stick).
Prozio Santo enjoys playing Piñata Master from high above.
Instead of hitting the piñata with a stick, he wanted to put it in his mouth. In a few years, he will be shoving the candy into his boca.
Alessio needed a break after the excitement from his first piñata.
Who needs a two hand grip when your bo staff skills are tight!
Cugino Vinny one ups his little brother by using both hands!
Cugina Ariana preparing to show the piñata who’s boss!
Cugino Mando preps cugino Dom to utilize his karate skills on the piñata. A true karate master has no need for the sense of sight.
Cugino Dominick was out to destroy the piñata so prozio Santo had to make sure Dom only grazed the piñata.
Going for the death blow with a jump shot.
Cugino Enzo cooled the piñata with a slight breeze from the whiff as the stick flew by.
Cugina Gabriella’s dad prepares the blindfold…so that he can get her in the car and to the nunnery before she meets those high school boys. I kid, I kid!
Gabriella would never hurt the piñata because she is a member of Flagstaff’s leftist Cardboard Objects Filled with Candy Have Rights Organization.
Utilizing all of his Miecraft skills, cugino Angelo prepares to break open the piñata and collect all of the resources so he can continue to build his spaceship.
Cugino Louis prepared to break open the piñata and then he remember that is was Tino’s to destroy!
How do you catch a crisp photo of a teenager breaking open his birthday piñata? You don’t unless you have thousands of dollars of camera equipment!
After the excitement of the piñata, we all needed to relax and enjoy a few adult drinks.
The beautiful thing about being in the woods are the stars.
Trying to hone my nighttime photography skills. Need to get a remote so I can take longer exposures.
Wife and I are really excited for our trip down the Grand Canyon to the Phantom Ranch via mule transport. To top things off, we booked a stay in Buckey O’Neill cabin, an actual historic landmark, that sits right on the edge of the canyon with a warm fireplace, king-sized bed and a private patio. We are excited for what should be our first White Christmas!
Here is a little background on Mr. O’Neill and his cabin from Wikipedia:
The Buckey O’Neill Cabin was built in 1890 by William “Buckey” O’Neill in what would become Grand Canyon National Park. O’Neill was, among many other things, a member of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, who had previously been an author and a judge in his native Arizona. He was killed in action in Cuba in 1898, but was instrumental in establishing what would eventually become the Grand Canyon Railroad.
The cabin is the oldest extant structure on the South Rim. It was used as an office for tourist accommodations in the area during the 1890s, which eventually evolved into the Bright Angel Hotel. After the hotel was sold to the Fred Harvey Company it remained much as it was when built. It was incorporated into the rebuilt Bright Angel Lodge complex by Mary Jane Colter in 1935.
The one-story cabin is a wood frame structure on a low stone foundation, right on the edge of the Grand Canyon. The shallow-pitched roof is covered with wood shingles. The cabin is connected to other lodge buildings using compatible, unobtrusive materials, and has been cited as an early example of an adaptive reuse of a historic structure. The cabin is one of the guest accommodations of the Bright Angel lodge.
The Buckey O’Neill Cabin was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1975. It is included in the Grand Canyon Village National Historic Landmark District.
Back in July, Wife and I flew out to freezing Arizona for another installment of the Bernasconi Family Reunion.
We enjoyed riding the quads, Montezuma Castle National Monument, driving a 50 mph or less Jeep, adult conversation in the midst of chasing small children, avoiding the lava carpet, piñatas and the Prescott Costco.
Once back in Phoenix, we enjoyed touring Ramon and Angela’s new mansion and a calm evening at the Bernasconi’s (Mario, Pam, and Vincenzo) with a little bit of rain: