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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Journey to the Valley of the Sun

DSC01064.2We’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!

DSC01116.2AIR TRAVEL

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

IMG_7980.2Summer 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.)
  • New Friends - Connor & Rocklin  06.30.10Connor 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.  :)

PHOTOS GALORE

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.)

Cousins  06.2010

DSC01042.2“Whistle while you work!”  Playing with great-Grandma’s toy cabinet – June 30, 2010

DSC00894.2Grandpa enjoying his new camera – June 25, 2010

Maddy & Ally - July 2010

DSC01058.2Discovering the dishwasher with Grandma – June 30, 2010

Swimming in AZ  06.25.10

Aunt Emily  06.26.10

DSC01007.2Blue Steel – June 28, 2010

IMG_7944.2Cute Ally – June 26, 2010

Splish Splash  06.22.10

DSC00918.2Enjoying 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

Maddy & Ally - Sunglasses  06.22.10

DSC00828.2 Enjoying yet another “Yo Gabba Gabba” episode with Grandpa – June 24, 2010

Rogers Family Get-Together  06.26.10

DSC01073.2Whistling! – June 30, 2010

Uncle Scott  07.01.10

DSC01083.2Grandma Rogers – June 30, 2010

DSC01121.2Cherry-sweet Maddy – July 1, 2010

Piano Players  06.2010

DSC01118.2Teething, so his hands were constantly in his mouth – June 30, 2010

Sweet Ally  06.22.10

Silly Maddy  06.10  IMG_7923.2  “I believe you have my stapler.” – June 26, 2010

DSC01175.2 Grandpa Rogers with his grand-daughters, Maddy & Ally – July 1, 2010

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5 comments:

Megan B ♥ said...

Looks like a great visit. I'm so glad you were able to go! Look at that great big standing boy! Wahoo!!!

Grandpa Rogers said...

It was great having your family visit--though Connor was my favorite.

Though I copied all the pictures from your camera SD card, I still like your montages!

dad

Nina Bunk said...

what photo editing program do you use to put your pics in groups with the wording?? very cute!!

Aimee said...

Hi Nina,
Thanks for visiting! I use Picasa to collage (sometimes), Scrapbook Factory to add text & collage, and Picnik to crop the finished product. I need to just learn the Photoshop software I've had for nearly 2 years already, so I can do all of this in one program!
~Aimee

Jennifer said...

I haven't been to your site in a long time and cannot believe how much your little man has grown!! He is so cute!

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