We could not have picked a better time to go away to Phoenix if we tried! Last year we talked about going in April since the flowers are in full bloom and it would be pretty hot. Every other time we have gone in November and while it was definitely warmer than at home during that time, all the plants were getting ready for "winter".
We opted to not go last November because we had just moved and I had gone on a couple short trips already in the summer/fall. So when we found out we were having a baby in May we weren't sure a spring trip was going to be possible.
We actually hadn't really even discussed it until around Christmas time. My in-laws (who winter in Phoenix) were trying to convince us to come down for a visit. The beginning of the year is pretty busy for me (RRSP and tax season) so I wasn't sure I could take the time off and I also didn't want to travel too late in my pregnancy.
After checking with work and my travel insurance turns out I could travel without issue in March. So we booked our tickets and started the countdown to our trip. The kids were pretty excited!! Audrey would snowbird now if she could. Leo loves his grandparents and airplanes so he was pretty pumped about that!
February flew by and soon it was time to hop on the plane! It wasn't too cold when we left but winter definitely came back with a vengeance while we were away. You don't know how happy I was to miss that!
This was the first time we flew where everyone had their own seat. There were some extra logistics to think about (like who sat with whom) but overall our flight down was uneventful. I'll share some travel tips with children in another post.
Once we arrived we quickly changed into more summery clothes and hung out in the backyard. The kids LOVE playing in this fountain.
We went on some walks that didn't involve boots, 3 layers, or mitts! Just a bit of sunscreen!
Hubby managed to get some golfing in which he was excited for. His family is really big into golfing- even his 80+ year old Grandma golfs at least a few times a week.
Being in a golf community means lots of rides in the golf cart! You can drive your cart on all the roads in the community and even on some of the more major roads with lower speed limits. These are definitely different golf carts than you typically see at home on the golf course. They have lights, soft sided covers to keep you covered in the rain or when it's cool, and signal lights. The kids loved riding around in them!
Unfortunately this little guy came down with a cold just before we left for Phoenix and he had a fever for a couple days. He wasn't his usual energetic self so we had a quiet day resting, reading books and napping.
Meanwhile big sis went to another relative's house to pick some citrus! We had freshly squeezed orange juice every day of our trip! It was amazing!
One day we went for a little adventure to Lake Pleasant to do a hike. It was quite busy since it was a Sunday- lots of ATVers so we had a hard time seeing the burros (donkeys).
It was so green from recent rain though.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the water. It was a bit chillier this day which was good for hiking.
Audrey was great during the hike but Leo still wasn't feeling the greatest so he was a bit grumpy. He was carried a lot, plus he had a tumble at the beginning of the trail and scraped his face by his nose.
Another day we ventured to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.
Checking out the jaguar sleeping above us! Big kitty!
Feeding the giraffe was probably the biggest highlight for everyone!
We took a Tram through some different sections of the Zoo. Managed to get a good shot of all 7 of us!
Ostrich!! Audrey got to hold an ostrich egg- which was the size of her head!
We checked out the Aquarium this time which we hadn't before. So many fish, eels, sharks and creepy things! We definitely spent the most time at the Zoo this time than any other time. Normally we are rushing home for nap time!
Leo touching a sting ray. He said it was slimy!!
Our best attempt at a family photo.
We took in a spring training game. The Kansas Royals train here in the off season. We watched the Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers play an exhibition game. Baseball is kind of a slow game, especially for the kids but they enjoyed it once we got some popcorn and ice cream! ;)
Leo making friends with the cops...
However, the game was right in the middle of Leo's nap time so he was majorly grumpy! He finally fell asleep in Grandpa's arms during the 7th inning! Of course!
We enjoyed lots of pool time!! We had to drag the kids out each day!
Making friends with other kids
I managed to squeeze in a visit to my beloved and much missed Target. I power shopped for an hour and could have bought a ton more if I had more time/space to bring stuff back.
I settled on stocking up on my favourite tank tops, a new blanket for the baby, sandals, Mint M&Ms that we can't get in Canada and a decorative banner, plus the hat above. I seriously resisted and not knowing the gender of this baby definitely kept me from buying all the baby things!
Great-Grandma gave Audrey a gift card to buy ice cream at the cafe so she treated us all to ice cream one day after the pool! She was super excited to order for us all and "pay" for it!
And eat it, of course!
Hubby and I managed to squeeze in a date night one evening. We went to Rio Mirage, our favourite Mexican restaurant there. This margarita was sooooo good!! Even without tequila.
We then went to see "La-La-Land" which was awesome!! We both love musicals so it was perfect for a date night! And we were the only ones in the theatre!
We were trying to think of the last movie we saw together in the theatre and we can not remember! I think it was after Audrey was born but I can't recall the movie!
One morning we went to a big playground that the kids love.
We spent a lot of time hanging out in the backyard, cooling off on the really hot days in the kiddie pool.
The margaritas my father-in-law kept making for me helped also....
Lots of bike rides. Audrey was super excited to ride a pedal bike (with training wheels). She is so excited to get a new bike for home! Leo burned a hole in his running shoe from going so fast and 'braking' hard! Might have to get him a new bike to save his shoes!
My heart melted when he wanted to hold my hand while riding his bike! I had to work hard to keep up to those two!!
We checked out the train on our last morning. Leo really wanted to play with it!
It was definitely tough to leave the hot and relaxing life of Phoenix, especially to return to -16C. Nine days was our shortest trip there so far and we certainly jam packed enough activities in! It was the perfect mid-winter escape and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! I'm sure we won't have a hard time convincing the kids to go back to Phoenix!
I'm hoping that the warm weather we brought back from Phoenix is here to stay. Goodbye winter!!