We’ve been home just over a week now, and I think we’re nearly caught up with everything (except blogging!). I actually was pretty good this time to unpack right away, but it’s taken me way too long to sift through the 600+ photos we came back with. Don’t worry, only a fraction of them are worth sharing with the handful of you actually interested in seeing how our trip went! (And, I only expect those related to me to actually make it to the bottom of this post!)
PLANNING THE TRIP
Booking our tickets was just the first part of fun… if I was going to travel with Connor, by myself, I wanted to stay there long enough to make it worth it… AND we were going to use frequent flyer miles to do it… AND we wanted Brian to be able to come visit us while we were away for so long. So, we found a two-week window, with trips for Brian already scheduled to LA each week – rather than having him fly all the way back to Chicago, he’d just spend the weekend in Phoenix with us. The scary part was that I had less than 3 weeks to prepare both the details and myself for our little adventure!
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, because that bores even me, but the bottom line is that we survived… both of us. I really couldn’t have done it without our trusty iPod. Uncle Scott helped me figure out how to save YouTube videos, I installed several baby-friendly apps (Elmo’s Monster Maker was the hands down fav) and worked on getting Connor used to wearing earbuds – so all-in-all the iPod was a HUGE lifesaver! What didn’t help is that both of our neighbors, coming and going, had iPhones… and how do you explain to an 18-month-old that their toy isn’t his… and doesn’t have any Yo Gabba Gabba videos on it??
Interesting to note, leaving Chicago, the ticket agent at O’Hare (a real airport) allowed Brian (who didn’t leave for LA until the next day) to accompany me and Connor all the way to the gate… which was awesome. How else are you supposed to juggle a backpack, a stroller, your shoes, and a non-walking toddler at security? There was no way in h*** I was going to put him down on the disgusting carpet where everyone walks with their stinky, sweaty bare feet! At America’s Friendliest Airport (Phoenix – no joke, that’s what they call themselves), we were denied. When I requested assistance from the TSA agents, they had no idea what to do. In the end, we got through okay, but I was a bit frazzled and beyond annoyed.
WHILE WE WERE THERE
Summer is definitely NOT the time to travel to Phoenix… it was averaging about 110F each day we were there, and the nights aren’t much cooler but at least the sun is down. So, we froze out Grandpa and cranked down the A/C in the house (thanks for being such a good sport, Dad!). Connor didn’t venture out too much, but there was this one day, when I had just buckled him into the hot car… and I lost the keys for nearly 5 minutes… his whimpers… so sad!
While we were there…
- We spent lots of time with fun cousins! (No one cracks Connor up like Maddy can, and every time he came near baby Ally, he had to plant kisses on her… so funny!)
- Connor got to do some serious bonding with Grandpa (a frequent babysitter), and helped him to cultivate a deep adoration for every episode of “Yo Gabba Gabba” available on DVD, at least 10 times each
- We got together with the whole Rogers clan for some yummy food (see here and there).
- Connor got to experience his first real pool and splash fountains.
- Brian and I had a lovely night away. (I highly recommend the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and The White Chocolate Grill, if you ever find yourself in North Scottsdale/Phoenix.)
- Connor and I got to catch-up with an old roommate of mine and see her adorable little family (including her brand-new baby girl, Ruby!).
- I hung out with Erik & Emily… had a yummy lunch and saw a lame movie. (Next time, I pick!)
- We checked out Kristen & Dan’s latest project… it’s a doozy, but when they pull it off, it’ll be gorgeous!
- We had Scott over for dinner… where he dazzled Connor with his new iPhone and bonded over a bath.
- And, we shopped… and shopped… and shopped! Connor’s wardrobe for Summer 2011 is now nearly complete. :)
I know I’ve posted a lot of pictures below… but I really need to make a mental note next time to take more pictures of Grandpa, Kristen, Dan, & Erik!
Here’s the part where we dim the lights and set up the slide projector… except, I hope these aren’t as boring as that… and I’ve collaged quite a few of them to make the viewing a little less tedious.
(For the family: you can click on any photo to save the original, and I’ve also uploaded them to Picasa here.)
“Whistle while you work!” Playing with great-Grandma’s toy cabinet – June 30, 2010
Grandpa enjoying his new camera – June 25, 2010
Discovering the dishwasher with Grandma – June 30, 2010
Blue Steel – June 28, 2010
Enjoying the open spaces and FREEDOM to roam at Grandma & Grandpa Rogers’ house… helped that he really honed his crawling skills, too! (Connor gave himself such severe rug burns during our first full day there, that I had to run out that night to try to find him some long pants… in AZ… in the summertime.) – June 26, 2010
Whistling! – June 30, 2010
Grandma Rogers – June 30, 2010
Cherry-sweet Maddy – July 1, 2010
Teething, so his hands were constantly in his mouth – June 30, 2010
“I believe you have my stapler.” – June 26, 2010