On a cold, snowy day in February Steven and I were offered the opportunity to travel to a resort in Phoenix and spend five days in the desert. We were blessed to have the generous support of our parents who agreed to take on the responsibility of watching all three kids, including Remi, who had never spent a night without her mama.
We found out early morning on the day of our flight that we would end up needing to bring Remi along with us. I won’t get into all the details, but it was a crazy, crazy day for everyone involved. I was nervous about bringing a baby along on a trip that was planned for adults and there was an adjustment period for sure, but in the end I consider myself blessed by the way God provided for us on this trip.
So here is a little re-cap of everything. As usual, this is mostly for my own benefit so I can look back and remember the details from our adventures. I know hearing about someone else’s trip can be boring, so feel free to survey the pretty pictures of palm trees, daydream of the desert and move on as you wish. :)
Day 1 – Flight to Phoenix
I started that day at 3 a.m. with a phone call from my parents during which we agreed it was best that we bring Remi along on the trip. I had stayed up until 1 a.m. packing the night before so my brain was barely functional this day. We scrambled to find the necessary documentation to bring Remi as a lap baby on our flight and to re-pack our luggage to accommodate our stowaway.
We decided at the last minute to bring the carseat, which was a challenge in the airport but a welcome thing to have later on during our visit. Despite the roller-coaster of events and emotions leading up to the airport, we made it through security and onto our flight without much issue. Remi did well on my lap and slept for part of the flight. We arrived in Phoenix and got a ride to our room at the resort. The room was spacious and the resort was gorgeous! We had a meeting with our group that day to check in then I went back to the room to check. OUT! I was dealing with some serious exhaustion, jet lag, you name it. So Remi and I napped while Steven went off with the group and had some pizza. He brought some back for me along with some Advil. After I had consumed both of those things I made myself some calming tea that was provided in the room and sat on the back patio outside our room and began to warm up to my new adventure in all the ways. (Get it?!? The nights were warm there? Yeah… ok. I know. Sure, sure, you get it)
Try this link if you want to watch my Instagram story highlight from this trip: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17985599869241018/
Day 2 – Flying again (Look, ma! No plane!)
Upon arrival the day before we had learned that the resort had a recommended baby sitting service that could be trusted, so we scheduled to have someone come by and watch Remi for the day while we went out with our group and enjoyed some of the activities they had scheduled for us. Her sitter, Katie, was great and I am grateful we got the chance to have some time on our own. They took us to iFly Phoenix where we got to experience “sky diving” in their massive vertical wind-tunnel. We have a location nearby in Overland Park but I had never been. I can tell you that I will be visiting it at some point because it basically made me feel like a 10 year old with bright, big dreams who thinks she has found her calling. Ok, so I did feel a little ridiculous as a 30-something mom with a few extra pounds and no previous skills. But for a second there it was like living a fantasy. One of the only things that has appealed to me on such a level is dancing. Probably because it’s like dancing but IN THE AIR!!! It’s like all the best dreams where you are able to fly, except they’re REAL! So yeah… I looked and felt a little ridiculous, but it was amazing and we gave in and bought the return vouchers so we can go to our location and do it again. I’m a bit giddy about it.
Our “flight” was followed by lunch at a cool venue with a bunch of classic cars and fun games where we were able to mingle some more and get to know some of the others in our group a bit better.
That night we decided to pass on attending the party our group had planned for the evening because Remi had already been away from us for 7 hours and it seemed best for all of us to stay together and do something chill. So we scheduled an Uber to pick us up and drive us out to White Tank for a desert sunset. We were pushing it as far as light goes, so we got there right as the sun set behind the mountains. It was a beautiful drive into the park, with the sun beaming behind all the cactus. By the time we got out and started walking along the trail the bright sun was gone but we still got to enjoy the lowering light, the colors of dusk, and the local flora. Steven and I agreed that we were most at home on the trail, soaking in the quiet desert around us. It stirred up all my wanderlust. I want to hike all the things once again. As night fell and the park was about to close we reluctantly scheduled an Uber back to the Wigwam for the night.
Day 3 – Phoenix the family way
So actually we weren’t in Phoenix, technically the Wigwam is in Litchfield Park, AZ. But guess who else is in Litchfield?! My Aunt Lori and Uncle Joe! I knew they lived in the area, but I reached out and learned that they were only a few miles from where we were. So they came by and hung out for awhile and eventually invited us to come to their place to swim and see the area. I was starting to feel a little trapped at the resort without a car (I am definitely road-trip people) and it was nice to get out and run some errands and see the area with family. We learned more about the history and growth of the places nearby and were able to spend a relaxing afternoon swimming and talking. It was a real treat to spend time with them.
We came back to the resort and got Remi settled with another sitter, this time right at bedtime, which was nice. Then Steven and I headed out with our group once again, this time to Top Golf.
It turns out I am an appalling golfer, but the food and the atmosphere and the conversation were pleasant. It was a nice evening out.
Day 4 – THE SPA
That’s right. This was a “day at the spa” for mama. My first treatment was at 10, a massage… followed by a facial, lunch break, manicure, and pedicure. By the time I had to switch off with Steven and take Remi I was like a limp, glowing noodle. My habits and lifestyle don’t usually cooperate with being fancy so my nails were smudged within 10 minutes of leaving the spa, but the sitting and the relaxing and the massaging…. all of that was bliss.
Continuing at a relaxed, pampered pace, I took the afternoon to shower and get dressed up for the farewell banquet we had scheduled that evening. Steven returned from his massage and we decided to head out for a walk before dinner. The day was the hottest yet so the walk wasn’t as relaxing as I expected. Luckily we could duck into a patch of shade and cool down easily.
Once we finished our walk we joined the other travelers in our group for a farewell banquet with fancy food. Remi wasn’t a huge fan of the grown-up goings-on so Steven and I alternated taking her out to the courtyard nearby where they had live music. The sun had set, the heat had settled to a comfortable level of warm, and the lights strung up above the crows illuminated strangers with their own young families, playing and laughing. It made me miss the boys a bunch and had me thinking a trip with the whole fam was definitely in order.
Day 5 – Homeward
It was another early morning on our final day. We loaded up on a bus and drove to the airport. The process and flight home was pretty uneventful beyond me accidentally dropping one of Remi’s baby books under the seat on the bus and forgetting to grab it! Oh well, it’s like a backwards souvenir or something.
Remi slept until we had boarded the plane but was awake for the full flight. She wasn’t too challenging, we can call it just challenging enough. Ha! We drove home were we shared a sweet reunion with the boys and took them out for a homecoming meal. It was great to be back together.
There were twists and turns on this trip, but looking back I am just bathed in gratefulness. God provided for us at every turn and we came away with some new experiences and having seen some beautiful things and had great conversations with people. I’m blessed to have been able to take this trip and have the memories packed away.