Monday, March 23, 2015

One Off Tucson

We just returned from a 4-day trip to Tucson, tagging along with Elliot to a nice hotel in the middle of the nice, warm desert. We love these trips. The actual travel and sleeping parts are often stressful, but so much fun to visit a new place and share these experiences with the kids. My parents also love Arizona and booked themselves a flight from California and took three days off work to spend time with us while the husband was at work meetings all day. With winter overstaying its welcome here in Illinois, we were looking forward to our Tucson trip for awhile!

Some people call me a little crazy for choosing to travel with kids. No, it's not always fun. But, there are always redeeming qualities from these trips. Sarah wrote a little about making memories that last recently and it totally made me think of this trip. Even if we have an uncooperative kid for a few hours on an airplane, we know there will be some excitement that will make it all worth it. We really want our kids to have these explorations so they know there is a big world out there to see and enjoy. It's there for them and they just have to prioritize their interests. We just don't want it to be us who didn't plant the seed of interest.

With all that said, this trip was just a little off. Nothing catastrophic happened. We are all alive and still happy we went. But just about everything we did, we encountered some kind of issue.

My parents have a timeshare in Tucson they've stayed in before. It was booked. It's never booked. I was sort of banking on them being able to take the kids overnight or something. Didn't happen.
They booked a hotel local to ours and were still able to come and relieve us for breaks like a date night and hike.

Benjamin came down with a serious stomach virus the day before our flight that lasted the entire trip. The worst virus he'd ever had and the longest lasting one, too.
Miraculously, we still managed.

Elliot dropped us off with all our luggage at Midway Airport ticketing. Me + the kids solo. In that 15 minutes of time, Benjamin starts to gag and in the knick of time, I made it over to a garbage can where he vomited into the trash at 5:00 in the morning as ticket agents watched. Before our flight.
Miraculously, this was the last vomit of the trip. Lethargy and diarrhea took over from there.

Our hotel room might has well have been in New Mexico, it was so far away from the main hotel and parking.
But, it was nice. And clean. And spacious. And we brought our double stroller to transport.

All six of us got suited up to head down to the pool for hot tub time. It was too cold for the pools or the waterslide. There were three hot tubs. Two were cold for some reason and the third had just closed because someone vomited into it. No hot tub for us. Then, Benjamin had to use the bathroom and told me he was done, but he wasn't. Diarrhea all over us both.
Hot shower followed.

We stayed for four days. The first two days were rainy and in the 50's with weather before and after our trip in the 80's with no rain in the forecast.
We did have a full day of perfect weather and the day we left was nice, too.

On our first nice day, we planned a zoo trip. Elliot accidentally took the keys to the car into his important meeting, so we were stuck in the hotel room without a way to get the carseats out.
We made the zoo trip an hour late, but still saw all of the attractions and animals, with time to spare.

We were supposed to have a date night beginning at 3:00 and his meeting didn't let out until 4:30. (Kids were still on CST, so our bedtime was still early for them and thus we had to return early.)
Date night was still nice and we ate delicious food, had delicious drinks and a nice drive after. Short, but sweet.

There was so much traffic from Tucson to Phoenix that we barely made our flight.
We made it by 12 minutes. With dinner in hand (nevermind that we didn't have lunch!) and the very last 3-person row on our Southwest flight.

The rental car people took ages to check us in when we returned. Then, the shuttle to the airport was about 100 people long. Only for our airline. Of course.
We still got on a bus and people gave up their seats for us with the kids.

Benjamin dealing with a stomach virus the entire time we were there and sleeping terribly.
He didn't fall out of the bed (haha) and only managed to wake Claire once (who went back to sleep easily).

There were great memories made though:
- Getting to spend 4 days with my parents and having the kids spend more time with them.
- Enjoying the wonderful 1.5 days of sunshine we got!
- Eating delicious Mexican food, homemade tortillas and some fun gems recommended to us by friends.
- Having a date night at a restaurant we used to eat at in El Segundo, California (we just found out closed!) thats original location is in Tucson.
- Driving by to check out the Air Force boneyard and enjoying fun drinks without the kids
- A nice zoo day with my parents (even if the kids slept the majority of the time)
- Making memories. Even if it would've been easier staying home in our bubble, it's so nice to get out, explore, find some fun gems and share as much of the world as we can with our kids.

Arrived at the Westin and Benjamin was chipper... until the sicks hit again. On our way to the pool and it rained.

He wanted to go down the water slide. He wasn't allowed.

That bathing suit is a 6/9 months! Score on two seasons!


Lemon/pina colada/strawberry mix + veggie sandwich is where it's at!

We love Grandpa. This was when we all attempted to hit up the hot tub... that was cold. All three out of commission.

Tucson Tamale Company for dinner one night. Yum

Zoo baby. Dirty knees because, no interest in walking but LOTS of interest in moving about.

Zoo selfie with a peacock. Both kids were asleep and we were walking the zoo in peace.

Hello Mr. Giraffe.

Date night. We went on many dates to this restaurant in California... visited the original and ate delish food again!

After drinks at dinner, we got more Eegee drinks and headed on a little drive to the Air Force boneyard.

Claire was not a good kiddo on this flight, but Benjamin was great for both flights. I think 3yo + iPad is the easy zone. Claire was crying and we were drinking. Thank you, Southwest Airlines for serving such a quality beverage. 

Little sister was happy to be on that flight out, but also happy to be vocal about her disapproval on the way home.

Finger Rock hike the day of our departure. Left the kids with the grandparents for about 5 miles of beauty.

*Most photos taken by Gawbee and Grandpa and these were the ones I managed to get uploaded from my phone! I have more, but this blogging app is driving me bonkers, so I'm done.


Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

We had quite a few difficulties on our trip too. There was a crying baby in the condo above ours, which kept Greg and I awake until all hours of the night. But at least our kids slept through. Then Henry screamed so violently when we boarded for the return flight that I was afraid they would throw us off the plane. But after about 20 minutes of insane screaming, he fell asleep.

We've only had one vacation with kids so far that I really regretted, and that was when Eleanor was six months old.

Glad that you found some bright spots. Tucson looks beautiful even with clouds.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Well, some vacations could be better, but could also be worse. Glad you made the most of it.

You know what will be a super fun vacation spot this summer? St. Louis, baby!

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

I'm thankful to not have had this iffy of a vacay yet but I agree that travel is usually worth the hassle.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

You're a rockstar. When my husband had a conference in Orlando, we decided to extend it into a Disney vacation. The only reason we did not fly down was because I couldn't figure out how to book two extra seats on HIS EXACT FLIGHT, so I wouldn't have to fly alone with the kiddo. Ha! So when your hubby has business weekends and you guys travel along, do you always fly solo? This is giving me SO much motivation to try it alone sometime. Especially because you did it with TWO kids and one was sick.

Sorry B got sick, but judging by IG and this post, it looks like you guys made the best of it and still had lots of fun (and good food!!)