It's not-so-secret fact that Phoenix is hot. It's especially hot in August. The temps are high, and with monsoon season, it's very muggy as well. But this year, it's been even more hot. We normally have an average of 17 days that are over 110 degrees (trust me, after about 105, you feel every single degree. There IS a noticeable difference between 100 and 110). This year, we had 33 days over 110, and about a dozen more days at 109. My sweet DH works outside, working on cars. Normally, we try to get away in August to give him a break from the heat. It's so good for his mental and physical rest.
In the summer between 6th grade and junior high, my parents moved. We joined a local church and, as is the case with most junior highers, they weren't too welcoming to me, the "new girl." So, I spent most of my time with adults and with little kids. Once, I was asked to babysit some kids during some kind of function for the adults. I had 5 kids--2 sets of siblings whose parents were best friends. One was a very young baby. Then one girl was around 3, and they went up in age from there til around age 7 or 8. We had a good time, but the boys gave me a run for my money. I was in the sanctuary later, and a man asked me how it had gone. I thought he was just being polite. I remember saying "the girls were great, but that kid Shane really gave me a hassle!" The man responded with, "that's my son!" Whoops! I felt like a dork! Well, thankfully, I didn't offend him too badly, and I became the primary babysitter for both families throughout their kids' childhoods, until I moved away to college. Additionally, Shane's parents were also youth leaders, and in the absence of friends my own age in the group, I tended to stick close to them. All these years later, I'm still in touch with them. His parents grew to be my friends, in addition to some of my mentors. And the kids have grown to be wonderful, amazing adults. I love this family very dearly!
Well, that little boy Shane is getting married! I can't hardly believe it! So, we postponed our normally summer vacation until November, when we'll have the joy of going out to attend the wedding. We'll also be spending some time near the University we both attended, visiting old friends.
But, given this awful heat, it was a terrible summer to not get away! At the end of the last couple of weeks, DH has just been wiped out. The heat is so taxing on him. I decided that I would try to get him out of the heat, even just for a day or two, for a mental reset. I posted on my facebook page, "I need to get DH out of this heat. Any suggestions for a cheap place to get away for a day or two?" I was hoping someone would respond with something like "I saw a groupon special for blah blah blah" or "the Motel 6 in my town is $20" or something like that. Though I've lived in Arizona for 8 years, I've not traveled this state much, so I didn't even really know what my options were.
Shane's mom, Robin, saw my post and said that she had a timeshare with locations all over, including Sedona, a town about 2 hours from us, and would we like to use it for a couple of days? WOW! We were stunned! It was a 3 day weekend. Pretty much, every Arizonan flees north on 3 day weekends, so we tend to stay close. But the time Robin was able to get us in was Sunday-Tuesday. PERFECT! We were going north as all the other ants were coming back down south. No traffic, no crowds, but because it WAS a holiday weekend, DH didn't have to take much time off work. Talk about amazing.
So, I spent Friday prepping our food for the weekend. Robin told me she was booking us in a studio apartment, so it had a fridge, a microwave, a stovetop, a toaster, a blender (!), pots and pans, dishes, and silverware. AWESOME. I made up some Oatmeal Breakfast Cake for us for breakfast--which meant, my crockpot stayed home! (Long term readers of my blog know that I take my mini crockpot on vacations to make our breakfast to save money). But my girlfriend Katie shared a recipe for Oatmeal breakfast cake. I decided to give it a try and leave my trusty little sidekick at home. Not hauling the crockpot also meant not hauling the oats, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, brown sugar, etc. Bonus! My poor car was already stuffed to the gills with all the stuff we needed for baby, so saving any space was awesome. The bread was yummy! I packed things for sandwiches, snacky things, bottled water, and a casserole I had made in advance. We packed it all up and hauled it with us. I fixed all of our meals except one in our cute little kitchen!
We got to the hotel and it was awesome! We had the great little kitchen, a dining table, a sitting area, an amazingly comfortable bed, and little patio with two chairs, overlooking a pool. Plus, it seems to be a magnet for elderly people, so it was exceptionally quiet! We usually stay in budget hotels that tend to draw the roudy party crowd, due to the affordable price.
Here were our digs for 2 days! Note, this is the next morning. A hotel bed-maker, I am not. The room looked immaculate when we arrived.
Matthew with his new favorite toy, an empty water bottle.
My breakfast :)
I packed a spare window panel curtain and a bunch of binder clips, hoping we would be able to fashion a little area for Matthew. Wen were! Here's his little "hovel" as we called it. It was great, because we could be out of sight, and this was right under the air conditioner, so the white noise, helped him sleep and helped us have a little bit of freedom while he was sleeping. This curtain and those clips are already on the list of things to go with us in November!
We got in, unpacked, played with baby, and I fixed our dinner. While I got baby ready for bed, DH ran into town and picked up ice cream from this awesome little ice cream shop. The studio had this cute little shallow sink, perfect for bath time!
DH came back and we ate our ice cream in the dark, whispering and giggling and trying not to wake the baby. I was able to sneak away for a swim under the stars and a dunk in the jacuzzi. I came back and we played some cards out on the patio and just enjoyed time together.
The next morning, we hung out and after baby's nap, got up and went into town on the recommendation of my friend, Diana to a little shopping area called Tlaquepaque (that's a fun word!-- I think it's pronounced Tel-auck-a-pawk-ee). It's this beautiful artistic district full of shops and beautiful architecture.
Check out this view!
My little boy is turning out to be a ham, just like his dad!
We went back to the hotel and baby and daddy took another nap while I got another swim and jacuzzi dip in! For dinner, we had planned on family date night. We found this great restaurant where we shared a pizza. The best part of this restaurant was that it was upstairs, overlooking some beautiful landscaping and a red mountain, with these beautiful picture windows. A rainstorm struck during dinner, and we just sat looking at each other like, "is this really how we're spending our weekend?" It was GORGEOUS!
I loved this picture of us! I wish that I had turned on the flash!
Then we went to the quaint little uptown and just walked around. It was so glorious to just be outside!!! There was an intermittent light sprinkle, and it was 69 degrees out! We got in the car just before another big rainstorm, drove back, put baby down, and enjoyed more ice cream and games in the dark as we listened to the rain, and had a wonderful night of sleep.
Baby woke up early on Tuesday, so we went for a walk! It was about 70 degrees out. This was the view from the other side of the hotel:
Every time we were outside, Matthew just mesmerized. He's loved the outdoors his whole life, but it's been a long time since we were able to enjoy being in it, except for when we're in the pool.
We stopped at the pool so I could get one last swim and soak in while DH and baby sat on the side, chatting with me. We headed back to our room for breakfast. We tried to get baby to take a nap but he wasn't having any of it, so we packed up and decided to head back to reality. We stopped the car on the way out to get a family picture (that's why it's crooked--the camera was propped on the hood), and then we were on our way back to reality.
During the drive home, we had one last rain storm. Glorious!
We spent the evening at home just vegging, and today we were back to the daily grind! The weekend was incredible. And the fact that we had Friday afternoon and Saturday here at home first for DH to catch up on rest, and Sunday morning with our church family first, was awesome. We felt physically rested and spiritually recharged before we headed out, so we were able to enjoy vacation, instead of spending it just trying to catch up on sleep.
What a precious gift we were given! Thank you so much, Sean and Robin! We are so thankful for your generosity, and for your friendship! We'll see you, soon!