Tuesday June 15, 2010

It was sort of a spur of the moment decision.  My husband mentioned that he would be going to Tucson for a week long conference.   We lived in Tucson for 2 years while Justin attended the University of Arizona, and it sounded like fun to take the kids back to our old stomping ground. 

We packed the van up and left Saturday night after dinner, and drove all through the night.  The next morning when we arrived in Tucson, it was a little too early to check into the resort so we decided to take the kids to the Tucson Desert Museum. 

So there we were, having only managed to sleep a few hours, walking around in 105 degree heat with three excited children.  They loved the Desert Museum.

Making sure she stayed shaded and well hydrated.  Grandpa R. picked this hat out for Eliza and I just love it!  She does too.  She wore it all week long.

Up close and personal with a rattle snake.

When someone says “desert” most people picture miles and miles of bleak, dry, nothingness.  But that’s not what the desert around Tucson is like.  It has amazing mountains and foothills, so many beautiful colors, plants, and animals.

We escaped the heat for a while and went to watch an animal show in the air conditioned theater.  Jude surprised me and volunteered to help during the performance.  He’s the little guy at the end holding up the dolphin’s tail.

After lunch we checked in to the hotel and got settled in.  This is the view from our window.

The next morning Justin started his week-long conference and we headed to the zoo.

Most days I packed picnic lunches.  We would spend the better part of the day exploring Tucson and get back to the hotel around 2:30 or 3:00, just in time for naps.

We went to our favorite steak house for some good smoked B-B-Q.  It’s located in a little western town, complete with a train, a small main street with old-time shops, and nightly stunt shows.

The children made themselves right at home and we quickly fell into a home-away-from-home routine.

The highlight of each night was after dinner when we would all go down to play in the pool.

We stayed at a very nice resort and I was concerned about having three young children disturbing other people’s relaxing vacation, but everyone was so friendly.  Total strangers would strike up conversations with me, play catch in the pool with the boys, and fuss over Eliza.

Most mornings we ate yogurt and muffins in our hotel room but Thursday morning I splurged for coffee and breakfast at Starbucks.

Because the heat was more than the children were used to, we took advantage of as many indoor activities as we could.  The Tucson Childrens’ Museum was amazing.  I forgot my camera so I don’t have any pictures but the kids loved it!  We went and saw a magic show at Bookman’s Used Book Store and spent a good bit of time playing at the play ground in the Tucson Mall.

The week was almost over and I had not attempted taking the kids to the pool by myself, but we had run out of things to do in town so I decided to give it a try.  The Resort staff down at the pool were wonderful.  The kids fell in love with Miss Charity who worked the pool-side stand.  She made sure the kids had plenty of water toys to play with, and treated them like they were her own.

The only thing that got the boys out of the pool was icecream time.  Every afternoon there was “Ice cream Hour” by the pool.

We took the kids on a tour of the University and showed them the Optics building were Justin spent 2 years getting his Masters degree.

The got to pick out hats at the UofA book store.  I think he’s pretty cute!

And we went to our all time favorite pizza place!

This is the poster that Justin put together and presented on at the conference.  He’s pretty amazing!

The last day we took the children for a hike around the tails behind the resort.  There are some beautiful trails that wound around the foothills and led up to a small waterfall.

It was an wonderful, exhausting, amazing, and memorable trip.  It is one of the supreme pleasures of being a parent; being able to share new experiences with bright-eyed, eager young children.


9 thoughts on “Tuesday June 15, 2010

  1. quilterguy

    Great pics…brings back some good times in my life. I lived in phoenix for 4 years. Stationed at Luke AFB. Of course…i hated the heat of summer.

  2. Indigo__Dreams

    How fun to be able to share those memories of Tuscon with the kids!!  I remember so many of those places and how much we enjoyed our Southwest Christmas, or was it Thanksgiving! :)   Glad you had a great time!!

  3. TConway

    I loved this post – it makes me wish I could go on a vacation as your fourth child!  

    Specific things that I loved:
    - the picture of the museum docent so nonchalantly holding that large bird (falcon?)- that your kiddos liked the desert museum (makes my little nerd-heart swell with happiness)- your (as always) lovely pictures that told the story so beautifully- how completely adorable Eliza is- Justin’s giant poster

  4. H0LDfast

    somehow that picture of eliza walking with the pink sandal’s & hat scares me …. thinking that is regan is 6 months. i’m also impressed how you did so much with the kids by yourself during the days – not that you can’t totally handle it, i just sit here thinking that sounds like a lot of work & as i keep typing i think i’m sounding more and more selfish : ) so bottom line – you’re a really great mom.
    i liked this post – i like all your posts really.  ps – gid is looking older.

  5. manuelmusings

    Enjoyed your blog.  Ah, the lovely brick buildings of the university (although the optical college didn’t look brick)  We’re looking forward to seeing what the Desert Museum has to offer in Sept.  Thanks for the info on the late night tours. 

  6. inanorchard

    @H0LDfast - There was more than one time, as I hauled the children around town, when I thought “What was I THINKING!!”   I know you want Miss Regan to stay little a while longer but I can’t wait to see her toddling after Eliza.  They will have so much fun together!


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