This post originally appeared on Niki's blog Georgia Grey.
Jon and I initially chose Scottsdale for our next family vacation as I was originally to attend a work conference in Las Vegas and I would fly to meet the fam afterwards (now it was his turn to travel solo with the two kids!!) This year my company paired down the attendees and I did not make the shortlist, but I had already booked the hotel! Small lesson learned to not always plow ahead with my to-do list, but it honestly could not have been a better forced decision.
This trip was by far my favorite destination as a family of four. THE KIDS SLEPT!!!!!! Hallelujah! My biggest concern with traveling West was their adjustment to the new time zone. When we flew to Laguna a year ago, Olivia was a basket case and up at 4:30am (and Gray too young to know what time it was). F no. Why I signed up for that potential shitshow again, beats me. I don’t know if it was that we ran them ragged all day playing at the pool or what, but they miraculously adjusted to the 2 hour time change on their own, starting day one. AND napped.
We stayed at the Westin Kierland at the rec of my boss – beyond family friendly with a fabulous pool, lazy river, spa, adults only pool, 3 restaurants, golf course but the main driver was its attachment to Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter; two beautiful outdoor lifestyle centers with delicious restaurants. Oh, and at your request, you can ask for a potty, bottle warmer, diaper genie, high chair, etc. Heaven. (never thought that would get me this excited to have a potty for Olivia). #momlife
We pretty much spent every day at the pool, eating breakfast at the main restaurant (kids eat free!), lunch poolside (quesadillas ftw), and dinners at The Green House, The Mission, True Food Kitchen. Another reason I enjoyed this trip so much was it was the first one with both kids where I wasn’t nursing Grayson so mama could enjoy a skinny marg or two poolside.
Depending on the amount on my plate at the time when we plan these trips, I sometimes relish being the travel agent. Other times when I have too much going on I loathe it and want to pay an actual travel agent. This was relatively easy to plan for…minus the fact I completely forgot I booked a car service for transportation to/from the airpot and double booked the O’Hare Valet service. Not only did I waste $90 but the poor driver was waiting outside our house for 30 minutes! #imanasshole
Jon’s planning contribution was two date night dinners and boy did he deliver. Friday night at Cafe Monarch reminded me of our time at the Kenwood Inn in Sonoma; utterly romantic, dreamy and I thought he was going to propose that night it was so fancy! Besides a minor marital spat, the dinner was delicious, ambiance beyond dreamy. The fight? Oh you know, one of those, what are we doing with our lives, this rat race is really hard, let’s just move to a farm. #nbd #notmoving
Saturday night was at Elements at Sanctuary with incredible views of Camelback Mountain – which we hiked on our last trip here in 2011. Again, great ambiance but the food was a little rich for my liking. And if you go, specify in your reservations “lower booth view” for the best seat in the house (which we did not #lessonlearned).
Our final evening we met family friends, Cathyona & Quent @ True Food Kitchen- they are dear friends of my parents that my sister and I used to visit them all time when we were growing up. Cathy + Arizona = Cathyona 🙂 Dinner with hungry/tired kids made it feel a little chaotic and rushed, but once they were fed and got a third wind I think we all loosened up (meaning me). Liv played tag in the plaza with a few other kids her age. Like laughing, running free, hugging her new friend. For the first time it made me think about moving to the suburbs, like what life could be like outside of this concrete jungle. Where our kids could run in grass from house to house playing capture the flag, or catch lightning bugs. Not now, but someday maybe. Grayson, still not walking, crawled everywhere and completely trashed his adorable outfit from Monica and Andy. Felths Naptha to the rescue and we’re good as new. I wish I had these on hand though.
Even though Gray napped for only 10 minutes on the 3 hour 30 minute flight home, it wasn’t stressful. He’s just fully hands on everything. And angel Olivia watched Sing and Moana, and kept her headphones on the wholetime. It was adorable when she would talk to us, having no idea her voice was insanely loud due to the headphones. #loveher
Next up? San Diego in August! Any fun summer trips planned for you?