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Millers Unite in Arizona

We got to spend five days in sunny Phoenix with some quality time with Grandma and Papa Miller. It was our first time flying as a family of four, Brooke’s first flight ever and introduction to her grandparents, and our first time seeing Bryan’s parent’s new digs. We had no set itinerary but a few things we wanted to do while we were there and it was the perfect mix of both rest and relaxation and spending some quality time as a family.

We were packed and ready to go on Saturday morning. We drove to the airport, took the shuttle from the parking lot, took the train in the airport to our gate, took the plane to Phoenix and then drove to the Miller’s new house. The girls did pretty good with the trip although there was no nap to be had for Reese (an occurrence that happened more than once during this trip). We got the grand tour and the car unpacked and Reese immediately made herself comfortable by taking in every room, the backyard and the toys. We even did a down and back in the neighborhood on the tricycle before dinner. Trish had made some delicious spaghetti and meatballs for us and a surprise pudding for dessert and we enjoyed catching up with one another on this first night.

We had three full days ahead of us and we had more toys to explore and spent a lot of time in these days building towers in the backyard, swinging on their porch swing, getting various snacks, and watching some movies.

We spent Sunday morning walking/biking to a few different parks in the adjacent neighborhood. These parks were surrounded by sand which I think Reese enjoyed more than even the park itself. We set out to try a Mexican place near the new casa but unfortunately were disappointed by this highly rated restaurant. The best part of the meal were the alcoholic drinks but unfortunately the chips and dips were pretty lackluster and all of our tacos and burritos were cold and not the best. I was just delighted that Brooke fell asleep in her car seat at the restaurant!

On Monday we decided to hit the pool at the Miller’s new complex. We walked to the clubhouse and Grandma and Papa met us there. Although it was only in the low 60s while we were there the pool was heated to a nice warm temperature and the sun was hot. It was surprisingly comfortable being in the water, just chilly once you got out. We even took a dip in the hot tub, which Reese was technically not allowed in. Brooke was not allowed in the pool thanks to their “no diaper” policy, but she enjoyed hanging out by the water for awhile. Reese conked out after the time in the sun and water and took a nice long nap, then woke up pretty irritable. Lon and Trish picked up Chinese food from Chou’s while out running some errands and we had a nice takeout dinner at home.

Tuesday was the day that Bryan and I were aiming to get a hike in at the nearby San Tan Mountains. Lon and Trish’s new place is only a short 15 minute drive to the trailhead for the mountains and Bryan scouted what ended up being a nice 4.5 mile loop to take. Bryan carried Reese on his back and I had Brooke on my front and we left the car just after 11 am. The hike up was short but steep and we took a breather at the top at the bench to take in the views and get some water. From here, Reese walked some of the distance down the steep backside of the mountain before getting back in her pack, and we continued from there for a lengthy but relatively flat walk around the mountain and back to the car. Mid-hike, we promised a bored Reese another stint at the pool, so we made some good time to get back to the car in time to get Reese back to the pool before 3 pm (when kids are no longer allowed at the pool). Reese got about a 10 minute nap in but as soon as we were back home to change into swimsuits for swimming she was full throttle excited and jumping around. The grandparents tagged along while Brooke and I remained behind at the house to relax a bit and keep the baby out of the sun. Reese came back purely exhausted after such an eventful day and Trish cooked up a wonderful last dinner at home of ono fish and then we had a backyard campfire complete with s’mores.

Wednesday was our last day in Arizona and we were flying back in the early afternoon. After having a disappointing Mexican dinner we decided on hitting an old standby, Si Senor, for an early large lunch before our flight. It was delicious as usual and then we made it to the airport to say our goodbyes and check in for our flight just before 1 pm. Our flight went smooth and we pulled another no-napper for Reese which meant we had one irritable and tired toddler on our hands. We’ve learned no car seat on the plane means no nap for Reese and we are already trying to figure out our approach for our next two lengthier flights we have coming up. Brooke did the same and once back in Seattle we had the train, to the bus, to the car and finally made it back home just after 6 pm Seattle time. It was good to be home but we had lots of good memories and even a little tanner skin to remember our time in Phoenix by. Just two more weeks before our next trip. Time is just flying by!

Chelsea

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