The kids have been really excited for this trip. In their playing together, they've been packing and repacking their little backpacks with anything and everything. The day before the trip it was finally time to go through it all and decide what to really keep. Teddy Bear - yes, snacks - yes, glitter glue - no, magnets - no.
Ian, why are you packing a lemon?
Ian - So we can make lemonade if it's hot.
He also made sure to bring an empty water bottle that he could fill up after security.
A map that Ian drew showing our route from California to Arizona. He predicted we'd fly through a thunderstorm which is that big blue blob in our path.
Through security (after finding coins) and we're ready to go!
With a little bit of time before our flight, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch in the terminal. I don't remember how it came up, but somehow we got to talking about state flags. Ian wanted to know what the state flag was for Arizona, so I looked it up on my phone and showed it to him. We also checked out the flags of California and Colorado.
Time to go! Always Southwest, and today we get to fly on a specially painted plane. I couldn't get a great shot of it from either side.
Here's one that I did not take. Today we're flying on the Southwest Illinois One airplane. It's made of elements from the Illinois State Flag.
Kids both have their backpacks loaded and ready to go.
We love our pilots and the kids always want to go see them when we board the plane. And the Southwest pilots have always been great with them. Turning on lights, having the plane make noises, and chit-chatting with them about where they're going and what they're going to do.
Flying has become so old-hat for them that they barely notice when we're taking off.
It has been a really really long time since I've updated this list of states the kids have visited, but finally, after nearly 2 years, Ian and Alli have added another one. Check Arizona off their list.
Welcome to Phoeni.....
Oh my gosh, it's hot. We exited the terminal and we were in the shade and it was still oppressive.
Wow. 109 might be the hottest I've ever experienced. And Ian being full of questions asked where the hottest city in the USA is. Number 1 on the list with the most days in a year over 90 degrees, and with the highest temperature on record is...? Phoenix Arizona.
Knowing that warm weather was coming, their Gram sent them both rechargeable fans, which they loved all weekend.
Before we get to the hotel there's a little bit of shopping to do. Sunblock, drinks, snacks, etc. And Ian quickly found and pointed out the Arizona state flag. Good eye buddy.
This weekend we'll be enjoyed the wonderful Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale Arizona. We've been wanting to go to a hotel with a nice pool and a relaxing lazy river. The Westin had both.
Checkin was easy while the kids enjoyed the lobby waterfall.
The room was spacious, with plenty of room to spread out.
And the view from the patio was looking out towards the mountains.
Before we do too much here, it's time to eat. The package Theresa booked came with quite a bit of resort credit, and the restaurants here have "kids eat free", so we enjoyed dinner in the hotel at Nellie Cashman's Monday Club Cafe. The kids had a buffet with plenty of things they could enjoy, like pastas, pizza, meatballs, and a ton of different fruits.
T ordered salmon from the menu. Alli wanted to know why her plate had sand on it. Ha. That's not sand Alli, that's quinoa. Do you want a bite? No thank you.
I enjoyed an interesting, but tasty, take on chicken pot pie. It's in a cast-iron pot, but it's more like a chicken stew covered in breadcrumbs. Not the typical pie that I'm used to with a nice crust on the bottom.
The kids had a dessert table too. This shows their personalities. Alli likes things orderly and individual.
Ian will mix it up and see what happens.
Ian! Look out! It's a rattlesnake!
Behind glass thankfully but it was really cool to see the different snakes and lizards on display in the lobby. They've all been rescued so they can't go back to live in the wild, so instead they live here.
Cool to see up close.
From 6pm-8pm, the hotel offered free s'mores. We celebrated National Toasted Marshmallow Day.
There's just a little time left to enjoy the pool. The lazy river and slides closed about 15 minutes ago, but we've still got 45 minutes to play in the regular pool.
The kids love water.
Doing tricks off the side of the pool. Ian doing spins into the water and Alli jumping in.
We played until it was dark and time to call it a night.
The kids went to bed and Theresa and I read books in low-light until we were tired enough to go to sleep.
Do you believe in coincidences? One of the trivia games I occasionally play on my phone asked me this question, the very night we arrived in Arizona. It's especially odd since we were just talking about state flags and I had looked it up on my phone earlier in the day.
I'm ready for a fun and relaxing weekend.