A trip to the Wild West: Arizona 2016...

Now both of our parents leave the cold midwest in favor or warmth in the winter.  My parents are making Arizona their home away from home and darn it, they gifted us tickets to come visit them for spring break.  How lucky are we to be be related?  Lucky!  We took Solon out of school one day early and headed down to sunny Arizona on a direct evening flight (love that DSM is getting more direct flights to places we like to go, none of that Denver demise happening again ;).  The kids LOVE to travel so the plane trip is as much fun for them as the vacation. They love unlimited iPad time, eating out and a drink of their choice on board.  Why do they always seat the kids with the mom?  

We got in late that night and after checking out my parents rental condo, we hit the sack!  The next morning my mom planned for us to go mini golfing and hang out at this cute little amusement park in Scottsdale.  We all had a blast racing the go-carts, playing in the bumper boats and playing most of the 18 holes of golf before Vera started to fell unwell (which was the theme of vacation for her, poor girl got influenza).

That afternoon we headed back to the pool just 2 minutes walking from their house and ordered a late lunch poolside and a margarita for mommy, mmm my favorite summer guilty pleasure!  They had these huge round sofas that we invaded and took over.  The girls both took a nap while we all swam and laid in the beautiful sun.

It was Lucy's first dip in the pool and she is a water baby, she LOVED it.  She splashed and laid on her back, we even dunked her in the water and she was unphased!

The next morning, we had one more day with Auntie Ellen who overlapped her trip with ours so we headed out to "treasure hunt" aka geo cache.  Poor Scott had a run in with a very ouchy cholla cactus and only Ellen was upright and not laughing to save him.  In his defense, his hand was ripped to shreds and once we realized the blood and his pain were real, we all put a cork in it.  We all had a nice healthy fear of cacti after that.  We ventured on and found a few more treasures, it was my parent's first time and we all had a lot of fun hunting together.

After our treasure hunt, we down to the fountain, what Fountain Hills is named for (that and the beautiful mountainous hills I didn't know existed in the desert). Its the tallest fountain in the world apparently and quite a fun sight.  We ate pizza downtown and walked around a bit before heading back to our "groundhogs day" lifestyle of laying by the pool...

We had another mid-afternoon fruity drink cocktail...

a sleeping babe and resting in the shade and comfort of a poolside couch, ah vacation!
...and after a poolside snooze, this little gal enjoyed pool time (we took that hat off for the pic, bald heads and AZ sun don't mix).  She loved this little stoop, just her size!  The pool water was like bath water and it was salt water.  Heavenly!

Then we made the quick walk home having noodle fights the whole way home...it was a scene I tell you, a scene!  My parents and sister bring the fun and ALWAYS instigate it...my kids happily jump right in on it of course!
At night in the desert, it gets chilly!  We grilled out and hung out at home.  We played games and looked at the starts and used the app on Scott's phone to find the different planets.  Star gazing in the desert is like none other...the starts are brilliant under the dim lights.

A few last snuggles with Auntie Ellen before she headed back to Seattle.

After Auntie Ellen left, we took the next day to head out to RawHide Wild West Town.  The reviews said it was hokey for adults but the kids would love it and we agreed.  We kept having to see it through the kids eyes.  We ate sour cream and onion crickets, Solon rode a donkey, we panned for gold, watched a wild west gun-slinging show, rode the train, sat outside the candy saloon with our goods and had a good time in the wild west!

I never turn down an excuse to be a kid again so when my dad and I heard what the weight limit was and we could do it, we issued Solon a challenge.  Scott took his turn too...

Vera the baddest wildest blondest cowgirl there ever was...

What's your cowboy name?

Grandpa and Lucy hanging out by the saloon...

Solon was his own worst enemy at that there town...do you see him twice?

Grandma and Lucy girl on the train...

We had a great day at Rawhide and concluded the evening with a crazy game of Jelly Belly's Bean Boozled where you don't know if your bean will taste like pear or grass clippings, chocolate pudding or canned dog food.  It was fun and gross..we all laughed a lot and gagged a few times!

We spent the rest of our time just hanging out, my dad and Scott took off and left us gals with the kids.  Vera got worse so she headed off to urgent care (she would rally on meds hence the swimming) and she was diagnosed with a double ear infection and influenza.  3 medicines later and lots and lots and lots of sleep and prayer, she bounced back a touch just in time to fly home!

We made the most of poolside living with menus to order lunch and someone to wash your towels, those details are lovely to this mama!

We spread out ;)

The view was beautiful...this photo doesn't do it justice. 

Solon and I even had a date while the girls napped the day before we left!
With a few glances in our direction, we made the trip home! Vera hung in there, Solon was a huge help and Lucy was her happy self.  Traveling with these 3 travel bugs is easy, they love it and we love to show them new places.  We are home for a while now but the lake is calling all of our names!

Thanks for letting us come Grandma and Grandpa, can't wait to come back next year and check out the new cool things you have found for us to do and SWIM of course...swimming is required ;)!