Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tucson Trippin'

With the number of requests to update my blog wrapped around the corner (that there's sarcasm), I didn't want to post yet a gazillion more at-home pictures since we pretty much go nowhere all the time. But in May we were lucky enough to exchange the boiling hot of Montana for the boiling hot of Arizona (that there is not sarcasm) and I decided that *that* would be worth posting.

In past years, we've gone to Arizona to visit my parents in March or April. This year we were able to work it out in May, so we were lucky enough cash in on some babysitting services and have a few date nights (and we had a couple of doozies! But we'll get to that later.), especially since May is our anniversary month and we'd be crossing the year five threshold. So at the end of the month, we packed up what felt like our entire house and headed South.

 Ok, it looked like our entire house too.

 Holden's first flight! He did great! He fussed mainly when the plane was in the air, when there is nothing to do but sit and wait, but he never broke down into full-on crying. We gave him something to suck on during lift-off and descent to help with his ears, but otherwise he was just very snuggly, as he always is with new experiences. 

We arrived in the afternoon and headed straight for the pool.

 Jacob's first time jumping into a pool. Ever. The pointed toes are by far my favorite part.

 Hoping that if I bake long enough, that extra dough will turn into something...

 Ready for his first vacation!

 Pool studs.

 Gettin' his Grandpa on.

 Water bugs. Although Jacob spent little time around pools when he was young - growing up in the Mountains of Colorado and Montana will do that - he started to feel more comfortable being and moving around in the water. When you see how much fun your kids are having, it's hard not to join in. :-)

 This one. She swore she was going to stay in the pool forever, day and night.

 But then Grandpa brought in a big box and Jacob cut windows in it and it was instantly the star of vacation.

 But the pool was always calling her name...

 Vacation: Mommy-Style.

 Grandpa bein' Grandpa.

I'm not a sunrise or sunset person, but people are always taking pictures of them on their vacation and making them all artsy-fartsy, so here's my contribution to that whole thing. *waves hand*

 We were lucky enough to have all of the comforts we needed at Grandma and Grandpa's house, but we still ventured out into the wild. This is at Bobo's, quite possibly the best breakfast we've all ever had.

 And the best chocolate milk she's ever had.

 Exhausted himself at the mere anticipation of the Reid Park Zoo.

 This picture makes me laugh! Grandma really isn't going fast, but Holden looks as if he's holding on for dear life, like he does during most things. :-)

 The baby elephant, Nandi.

 It's like she knew we were all there to see her.

 Dropped her off at her new home!

 Who's really driving this operation??

 It was very cool how up-close we were able to get with the animals. And how they were all still awake.

 Wild men.

 It was very hot and unordinarily muggy so - bear or not - we all wished we could jump in there with him.

 Taunting us with his cool, wet fur...

 Pooped animal!

The number one benefit of the zoo. Oh, right, and the animal-saving thing.

 Grandpa is - or was - selling this so we got to take a few last spins.

 Then us girls took off in - what else - a convertible!

 As an early birthday celebration for my mom/Girls Day, we went to Tohono Chul Park, a place we'd gone to once a year from the time I was in Elementary to Junior High school and hadn't been back since. It was just as pretty - and more expansive - than before.

 Absent when I frequented, the park now has a mini park for kids where they can race boats down a river, among other activities.

 I hadn't realized they were looking at each other until a week after we got home. Oh, how this makes me laugh! :-)

 A cactus married to a tree - if that's not a metaphor for Jacob and I, I don't know what is! ;-)

 I'm unsure of the technical classification for this park but I always knew it as a botanical garden, famous for various kinds of butterflies; i.e. my own personal nightmare. Zoey loved it, though, and wanted to take a picture of a Monarch butterfly (of course, this wasn't, but a Queen butterfly; not a Monarch, but in the same family. Apparently Monarchs get bigger. *shudder*)
Bonus: the picture also turned out to be an artsy one of Grandma!

 We saw a lot of geckos and these fellas - Spiked Desert Lizards.

 Birthday lunch at the Garden Bistro (formerly known as the Tea Room).

 Dress-matching cocktail purely coincidental. Earrings-matching garnish pure genius!

The highlight of her visit.

 But we never strayed far from the pool!

Well, Jacob and I did. We cashed in a year-plus of no date-nights and flew from Tucson to Las Vegas to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We boarded the plane with my purse as the only carry-on and felt nearly naked!

Jacob had never been to Lost Wages before, and since I barely remember any of my visits from my college years, it was a new experience for the both of us.

 The Freemont Experience. It's an experience, that's for sure. The chubby, tattooed women dressed as Showgirls, the Viagra-popping men wearing body-thongs, the pregnant-bellied man in an adult diaper and bunny ears, that's Vegas! Jacob is always so worried that people are looking at him so Vegas was the perfect place to prove to him that people are, in fact, NOT looking at him. Mission: Accomplished.

 See, here, everyone is admiring Fat Elvis during his I'm a Native American phase.

 Of course, we found our way to the strip.

 Vegas is so fake but that is the reason I absolutely love it! It's like walking through a dollhouse.

 Well, sort of. We got a good buzz but fell short of Vegas party expectations. But we're parents of a 10-month old and a 4-year old so we did what anyone would do in our situation: make it back to the hotel room at a reasonable hour, complain about how loud everything is, then fall asleep to the 15 channels on the television. The best part: we didn't have to take care of anyone! Heck, we didn't even have to take care of ourselves if we really didn't want to.

 Jacob's first time gambling.

Not my first, but I never know what I'm doing so it's always a new experience.

 Vegas: Mommy-style.

 We were both helping out JT.

 One of my favorite parts of Vegas, the real-life statues.

 When I inevitably wind up in a padded room, this will be my ceiling.

 Made entirely of flowers. The only thing my Mommy-self kept thinking was: Zoey would LOVE this!

 I must find a way to have these in my house...

 And this whole set up here...

 Also made entirely of flowers.


 Las Vegas Meal of Champions.

 *STILL* couldn't quite qualify for a free meal...

 Shopping center and park made entirely of containers. Who knew it would be one of the neatest things in Vegas?

 Besides the giant, light-up shoe, however.

 Matches my purse, I wonder how I can fit it on the plane...

After two days in Las Vegas, we sort of didn't know what to do with ourselves, not having to follow a schedule or be someone's parent. And our children missed us just as much. :-)

 After all was said and done, we needed a vacation from our vacation. But it was a the best kind of tired there is.