The Arizona Travel Post (with lots of photos)

I started looking forward to our trip to Arizona as soon as I clicked the purchase button on the Expedia confirmation page many months ago.  And now it’s over.  We are back home, with much more snow on the ground than when we left.  I’ve now set my sights on spring and am anticipating the fence that will enclose our minuscule yard (hint hint GC) and the flowers and vegetables I will plant along it’s border.

And now on to the details of our trip:

Traveling with the Roc went well.  I was worried about this being his first trip through the airport sans stroller, but he was a rock star, and rarely looked over his shoulder at the swarm of people behind him.  He did have a hard time waiting in line to get through security at the Philly airport, and for the umpteenth time I wished they would hire more helpful and polite souls, is it too much to ask?  Maybe someday?  Probably not.  In the 9 years I’ve lived out here, the Philly airport is never a friendly place to be.

The bathroom was another area of concern well before the day of travel for the Roc, but he faced his fear and used the bathroom on the plane, and then we were lucky to find a fairly empty bathroom at the Denver airport, and he willingly went inside wearing his headphones.  I think the water he guzzled during our 4+ hour flight and the pressure on his tiny bladder had something to do with it.  He didn’t bolt from the bathroom as soon as the stall door was opened and even used the hand dryer.  Simply amazing stuff for him.  I couldn’t help grinning at a woman who did a double take as we came out of the bathroom.  Yup, my kid rocks the headphone look.

We arrived to nice weather but relaxed in the house that afternoon.   The Roc was consumed with his need for nourishment and ate a snack as soon as we got there, and wanted dinner almost immediately after.  He went to bed early that night.

On Saturday we went to Saguaro National Park (East) and took a hike.  I just love the desert landscape and the Roc’s need this year to be photographed by the different cati.

After our hike we headed downtown to an awesome restaurant,

where we got to eat outside in the courtyard.  Not bad for February (and I was nice this year, I didn’t call my sister in Minnesota while sipping my margarita in the sun, but I thought about it.)

After dinner we took a walk to see the fountains (it was the Roc’s reward for good behavior at the restaurant.)

I couldn’t help but trying to snap a picture of the mountains through the window as we drove back to the house.  They are so beautiful when the sun starts to descend throwing shadows all around.

We woke up to cloudy skies and rain in the forecast on Sunday.  (The news people go NUTS about rain and the possibility of snow in the lower elevations there.  And the weather guy used words like snizzle and graupel to describe snow.  Watching the weather was always good for a giggle.)  So we made the rounds at the health food stores in the area, baked brownies,

and my Mom made a fort for the Roc to play in.  She even got in there herself!

Better weather was forecasted for Monday so we went to the desert museum, and on the way we stopped for a picnic,

which the Roc fully enjoyed.

I enjoyed the view (and the fact that I wasn’t back home where snow was starting to fall for the second time in less than a week!)

The Roc enjoyed walking through the desert museum and he started something that continued throughout the trip:  “I’ll climb on this rock, and you take my picture Mommy.”

Not only were there lots of rocks to climb at the desert museum, there were some pretty cool animals to see.

We finally saw some javelinas up close!

On Tuesday we went to Sabino Canyon.  This year we had to ride the tram into the canyon because it’s almost 4 miles to the end and then another 4 miles back to the car, and no more stroller for the Roc. He said he didn’t want to ride the tram, but he did fine once it started moving.  A benefit to riding the tram was being able to learn more about the canyon and have little things pointed out to us like Snoopy sleeping on his back.  See him?

As soon as the Roc got off the tram he found a rock to climb, and instructed me to photograph him.

Then he wanted to get moving so he could see Sabino creek.  We took the first trail down and he clambered over the rocks to get close.

My parents stayed a little lower.

After watching the water for awhile we convinced the Roc to continue down the road and we walked on,

before stopping for lunch and then again later for a snack,

all the while reminding the Roc that he didn’t have to walk the whole way back to the parking lot, we could get back on the tram.  He repeatedly said he didn’t want to ride the tram and so he ended up walking the whole thing.  3.8 miles.

Pretty good (and not too much whining.)

It rained on Wednesday so we spent another day indoors.  It’s hard to entertain the Roc indoors while in Arizona.  My water obsessed son took three (yes, 3!) baths that day.  Nuff said.

It cleared up on Thursday so we offered the Roc a choice of activities, the zoo or hiking.  My outdoor boy chose hiking, and I wasn’t surprised.  We headed back to Saguaro National Park (East) to hike a trail that is deemed “strenuous” because of it’s uphill nature.  Second to the Roc’s love of water is his love of climbing rocks.  We hiked part of this trail last year and he did well going up, going down was hard on him and we had to lift him down steep sections, and I vividly remember piggy backing him for a portion at the end.   A year later (and a few inches grown) proved to be even better.  He followed close on the heels of his grandfather the whole afternoon.

We hiked up to the same spot we stopped at last year,

and then instead of going back down like we did in 09, we hiked up even further,

before heading back down to the car.

Friday was our last full day in the desert and we took advantage of the nice weather and headed out for another hike.  My Mom had a terrible headache (the result of her flights to Atlanta and then Jamaica being canceled two days in a row I’m sure) so it was just my father, the Roc and I.  My Dad picked a trail the Roc and I had never been on before, and his pick didn’t dissapoint.  It was steep, and the Roc loved it.

Around the time we thought we should turn back we found a pond, so we stopped to rest and let the Roc refuel before heading back.

On the way back I was really digging the way the light lit up these teddy bear chollas.  Don’t they look soft?

Look close, you can see the path on the side of the hill.

The Roc did awesome on the way back down,

so he got to have a lollipop in the car and then pizza for dinner!

I had to pack up that night and was sad to do so.  We always have such a great time in Arizona.  I was not looking forward to going home to lots of snow, cold, and most likely gray weather.  Our return flights went relatively well.  The first, and shorter flight to Denver went fine.  I got the Roc to watch a movie and he didn’t give me too much grief.  Once we got to Denver we rode the moving walkways and sat by a window watching the planes before boarding.  The final flight was a long one.  The Roc didn’t want to watch a movie, or watch the (FREE!) TV, didn’t want to color with markers, eat what I brought for him, play with his tag reader, or be read to.

And he definitely didn’t want me to read my book.

It.was.a.long.flight.

And now we are home.

And it’s cold.  And there’s lots of snow on the ground.

We’ll make the best of it.

And dream of spring, then summer, and then Arizona in 2011.

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6 thoughts on “The Arizona Travel Post (with lots of photos)

  1. Cool post babe. Wish I could have been there instead of the blizzard at home. But think of the ice we would have come back to in the driveway. I would have had to shovel all of that! 🙂

  2. Sounds like a great trip! Glad you got out before the snow storm and were able to enjoy the sun. Beautiful pics. And sounds like Rocco did awesome!

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