What a week we had away from home and Seattle and spending quality time with Grandma and Papa Miller in the summer heat in Phoenix. I don’t like to focus on weather much but how can you not when the average highs were right around 115 and jumping up to record-setting 118 two days in a row? But aside from the heat we had a great trip, a great disconnect from work more or less for both of us, and Reese was in her element getting to spend every day playing with those she loves and getting to experience some new adventures.
Bryan returned home on Friday, only about 24 hours before our plane to Phoenix departed. We had one family dinner at home with homemade pesto from our garden and finished packing our bags. Once Saturday morning was here, Reese was itching to get to the airport. She knew she was getting on a plane that day and she didn’t have any interest in going to the park or to soccer or doing anything else before we left town. Our flight to Phoenix was smooth and Reese slept two hours of it as it was right during her nap time. She arrived rested and walked her way out of the airport. Running is actually more like it but she stopped dead in her tracks with the funniest expression on her face when she first saw Grandma and Papa sitting there waiting for her. We dropped our bags off at home and settled in for a bit before convincing Reese to go out to dinner to Si Senor. They were busy in the restaurant but we had a delicious dinner and Reese really enjoyed the chips and sopapilla.
Sunday we broke out the inflatable pool in the backyard to find some reprieve from the heat with easy access. This was great fun and Reese could kill hours in the pool with her plastic cups and pump up water guns. After a morning in the pool we had lunch and nap and this became a common trend for the mornings during the week. We spent the afternoon playing at home and then had a nice healthy dinner of mahi mahi and salad before we had some guests come over to celebrate Trish’s landmark birthday (a day late) over some delicious chocolate birthday cake from a local bakery and ice cream. We enjoyed this in the basement as the AC for the upstairs ended up not functioning properly all week and was quite toasty upstairs.
During the week I was technically working when I could and when I had stuff to work on which didn’t end up being anything near full time. Monday we decided to check out a place called Uptown Jungle Park which is essentially an indoor playground which Reese absolutely loved. They had trampolines, big slides, a toddler area, a ball pit, several tunnels and various obstacles to walk through. We purchased a 90 minute visit and were there the whole time and the girl left sweaty and elated. We returned home and Bryan and I were on the dinner team for our celebratory birthday dinner for Trish. We made a surf and turf plate with New York steak and grilled asparagus and a crabcake with sriracha aioli on a corn and pepper saute with arugula. We enjoyed some leftover cake before bed.
Tuesday we decided to hit up a spray park and set out for Desert Breeze Park but it was just so hot and the water was not enough to keep Reese cool, especially when she wanted to hit the playground which even under the sunshades were way too hot to the touch. We did not end up staying long and returned home to splash around in the pool in the backyard. We had plans on Tuesday night to get dinner at Nello’s Pizza for a visit for Bryan’s uncle and Trish’s brother John, whom I had never met. It was a very pleasant meeting and Reese was on pretty good behavior and we all enjoyed their pizza and salad.
Wednesday we decided to hit a true pool so after an early morning and an early nap time for Reese, the three of us took the short drive to the Arrowhead Pool to cool off. We really enjoyed the relaxing feel of this pool and relatively low capacity. Reese got familiar with her PuddleJumper floaties and swam on her own. The water was still warm but accomplished cooling us off enough which was the task at hand. After sufficiently wearing Reese out at the pool we returned home to shower and change as Bryan and I had our date night! Lon and Trish were gracious enough to watch Reese for us for the night so we could go on a true date night without having to put her to bed on our return home. Bryan and I had a great night out in Scottsdale. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and bar visit at Culinary Dropout first. We dined on some amazing brussel sprouts and grilled bread and then got the Korean spicy skirt steak and fried chicken dinners for our entrees and finished the meal with the candy bar brownie. We had so much food that we decided we needed to walk some, even in the still 109 degree heat and walked along the canal to find another bar called The Montauk where Bryan got another drink and we enjoyed this on one of their plush couches. We really enjoyed spending our time together out alone without our daughter for a change of pace. We returned home right around 10 pm and were relieved to hear that Reese did reasonably well and managed to fall asleep for her grandparents.
Thursday was the day that we had scheduled to apply for Reese’s passport (we weren’t able to get an appointment scheduled at any point in the whole Seattle area). We took all of our legal documents and little miss Reese to the USPS in Tempe for an easy breezy passport appointment. Reese got her mug shot and then the three of us headed to a local restaurant in Tempe called Postino for another mystery shopping meal out after a quick drive through the ASU campus for me to see for the first time. The lunch we had was amazing! We shared a variety of plates including the fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, grilled chicken and steak skewers with a creamy tzatziki sauce, a whole head of crispy cauliflower with an almond red pepper romesco sauce and raisins, and a bruschetta board that we selected the smoked salmon, crispy capers and pesto, the burrata, bacon and tomato, the fig, mascarpone, and prosciutto and the creamy warm artichoke spread. We left full and happy and returned home for mostly playtime inside. Trish made some delicious pulled pork sandwiches and corn for dinner and Reese had her fill of all of it.
Friday was our last full day in town and decided to hit another pool and the indoor jungle gym for one last hoorah. We hit the gym this time in the morning and it was at least three times more packed than before. Reese still had a great time and Bryan and I also got our workout in. After lunch and a nap we piled up with the car with swim gear and Trish joined us to the Hamilton Pool for another reprieve from the heat. Reese again enjoyed her time in the pool with her floaties and especially loved the lazy river and the mini whirlpool. She did the toddler slide only twice and think she will love this in another year or two. We returned home for one last dinner with the Millers and ordered takeout from the nearby Chinese restaurant Chou’s. We had a delicious dinner of orange chicken, Mongolian beef, cumin lamb, pork with green beans, and shrimp, chive and pork steamed dumplings. Reese got to watch Frozen one more time in her Frozen pajamas with one more ice cream cone before heading back home.
Saturday morning we had an early flight and were up and out the door pretty early. We said our goodbyes at the airport and set back home to Seattle. The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind and deserves its own post so we will leave it at that. We had a great trip with some great meals, great activities, and great time spent as a family with loved ones!