One of the major perks of doing residency at The Mayo Clinic is the AWAY ROTATIONS.
Basically, the resident goes to The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale AZ, Jacksonville FL, or one of it's few sister-hospitals and does a rotation (or two). The kicker is that it's all on Mayo's dime; they pay for travel, housing and a rental car. You actually end up making money in the end. It's an all-around WIN-WIN!
 So anyway, we took advantage of this and Dave did a rotation in Scottsdale during the entire month of December. He ended up driving out there by himself and was able to spend some time with his sister and her family who live in Texas on his way.

 The kids and I flew out and met Dave out in AZ a couple weeks later.

Our time in Arizona was short, but AWESOME! It was so nice to get out of the cold and go somewhere WARM! I mean, swimming outside during the month of December?! It was so great!
The pool & hot tub at the apartment complex we stayed at was so nice! The temps were only in the high 60's so we pretty much had the pool all to ourselves. The locals thought we were crazy swimming when it was so cold, but for us it felt so nice and warm :)

We went hiking on the North Trail on one of Dave's days off. 

Here's Addi {and part of Tol} ready to go into church. This is the birthday outfit that Grammy Shar sent.
The first week we were there, a speaker in Sacrament Meeting was a wife of a newly hired anesthesiologist at one of the practices in the area {which happens to be the 4th largest anesthesia practice in the nation}. We tried to catch up with her husband after the meeting, but weren't able to. So the next week {which happened to be Christmas Day} we tracked him down. He was super nice and ended up taking Dave around a few days later and introduced him to some of the head-honchos in the practice.
It's pretty ironic that I really discouraged Dave from interviewing at Mayo Scottsdale for residency {so he didn't}. I'm NOT a fan of the heat and thinking of living there for 3 or 4 years seemed unbearable. But while we were there I was excited about the prospect of Dave getting a job and living there long-term. Let me just throw in that this whole finding a job thing is STRESSFUL!

Addi was quite the pro for her first {real} time. She got a hole-in-one and came pretty close, as you can see by the picture, to getting another one.

The kids and I had a great day at the museum. I decided to go on the day we did because the crew from the Broadway musical 'STOMP' was there to perform and I thought the kids would be totally into it. I was wrong. They got bored but I loved it!

Christmas Tree shopping. It felt a little weird to be buying a Christmas Tree when it was so nice and warm outside.

The ornaments that the kids picked out at Target to put on the tree :) 

We went to see the Christmas lights at the Mesa temple. 

My cousin Michael and his cute family live in the area so we met up with them for dinner one night {no pics} and the moms and kids went to the zoo together a few days later. The kids LOVED the zoo!

A couple other families from Rochester were also in Scottsdale doing away rotations. We all went out one night to the Railroad Park where they had quite the Christmas celebration. We went on a carousel, drank hot chocolate, played on a playground and went on a train ride through a CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND.

Like I said, we were there for Christmas but I'll save that for a separate post. We LOVED our time in Arizona! It was so much fun to get away for a few weeks and have ZERO responsibility outside of family. We get to do another away rotation next year and WE CAN'T WAIT!