J's present from us was for me to take him to Mesa to see Eoin Colfer, the author of the Artemis Fowl series - a GREAT set of books, by the way. T and I love them as much as J does, and I was as excited to go as he was. Eoin (pronounced "Owen") was doing a tour to promote the latest book in the series and did a presentation at the Mesa Arts Center. He showed pictures from his childhood and told anecdotes about growing up with brothers and how his family influenced the characters he created. He is a talented public speaker and his stories were hilarious. He was a teacher for many years and really knows how to relate to youth. Plus he has a beautiful Irish accent which was lovely to listen to. At the end of the presentation he did a book signing, so J was able to talk to him for a minute and get his own personalized copy of The Time Paradox. After the show we went to dinner at Chevys (yummy) where J and I shared this dessert. Olé!
The next day we went to the Visitor Center at the Arizona Mesa Temple, then drove to Phoenix and spent a few hours at the Arizona Science Center where they have hands-on exhibits and were featuring a Chronicles of Narnia display with props and costumes from the movies and interactive features (they didn't allow photos in there :( ).
My favorite display had to be the Dancing Iron Dust Trees by TechnoFrolics. Magnets and iron are choreographed to different songs - I could have watched it all day. It would be fun to have one for a party!