Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break 2011

I had so many funny stories in my head that I was going to share about our great trip to Phoenix, AZ for spring break. But, now I am back in the real world with a growing list of things to do, a mountain of laundry mocking me and I have a feeling I am not going to do justice to just how awesome our trip really was. I have uploaded tons of pictures and I hope they can help trigger the memories when we are scratching our heads about where to go next year for spring break.

For the record, it was a unanimous vote by all family members as we pulled out of Squaw Peak that we definitely want to go back to Phoenix next year, but stay a little longer.

Here goes the recap for all that is sacred about scrap booking and memory keeping!

We loaded up four suitcases (thank you Southwest for letting luggage still be FREE!) and an army of backpacks for our five night stay in Phoenix. One bag was nothing but gloves, baseballs, towels and swim gear. We actually used just about every single thing we brought which is pretty unusual.

We checked in with plenty of time to get through Security and grab something to eat.

I started getting sweaty and clammy as soon as the airport came into view. This picturesque view of the tarmac and tunnel means I was reaching into my purse for my little white pills of fortitude and bravery.

Oh goodness, I should wear a blindfold until I board.

In all honesty, because we are flying more frequently my anxiety about flying has lessened quite a bit. I think once you do it without incident ten or twenty times, you start to believe maybe the old big metal birds are built for flying and not for crashing.

No fear here. Just hunger. The classic Manja Pizza as a pre-board snack.

The one story I have to share about the flight to Phoenix was that on the first leg we all had to sit separately. One Southwest there is no seating assignment. You get to board the plane in the group you are assigned and then it is a free for all for seats.

On the first leg we were in the second group which we didn't think was going to be a problem, but it was. Plane was full to the max. Chip and Harry both got aisle seats across from each other so they could have held hands across the aisle if they wanted to, but Hubby was two rows ahead of them and I was two more rows ahead of Hubby. Harry is pretty savvy about flying and just locks into his PSP once electronics are okayed. Chip just sat there in complete silence for the hour and twenty minute flight to El Paso. Didn't get a drink or a snack, just sat there frozen.

Chip did not like this and I didn't either. Chip said "Mom, please don't make me fly alone ever again. When they made the announcement about putting on your oxygen first before helping children I didn't know who was going to help me." I had no idea he was worried about it, thought it was just me. I would have made someone switch seats if he had made a whimper in my direction, but he braved it out.

Broke my heart and for every other flight we boarded with families of young children. Chip was a little older than the minimum age, but I didn't care. We clung to each other after that. It was better.

We arrive in Phoenix in the early evening, relieved that we didn't drive and got there so quickly. (Maybe that was just me!)

Then Budget Rental car slowed our speedy arrival down to a complete standstill. Their computers were down which meant there were 75 people standing in line for a rental car. It was one hour and forty minutes in line for the rental car. UGH!!! Dang you, Budget Rental Car!

We were all starving so we jetted through McDonald's drive thru, scarfed down some food and hit the bed.
The next morning dawned an absolutely beautiful day. I wish there was a way to describe the weather. It was spectacular. Amazing. Glorious. So very, very lovely.

We walked up to the little restaurant at our hotel. Look at all the cactus.

It's called "Hole in the Wall". So cute.

The flowers were gorgeous.

The view of the main pool at the resort water park from our table. Pure bliss for kids.

Harry is ready for some baseball.

Coffee tastes so good on vacation. Especially served in a little white cup with a cute little creamer. I don't even use creamer, but it is just so dang cute.

More flowers on the property. I could have taken 1,000 pictures of the flowers alone.

The boys broke out into a overhead clapping dance after breakfast. Everyone was in great spirits. Let's head to the ballpark.

On the way to the ballpark, Chip is looking out the window. He says to himself. Hmmm, does that sign mean no peeing on the pole?

We arrived at the Reds/Indians complex. The grass is so green and lush against all the dry brown of the desert surroundings. It shines like an oasis.

Goodyear Complex.

The boys start tossing a baseball of their own. I make them take off their shoes and feel this lovely grass with their feet. It is the most lush carpet of grass you can imagine.

There are four practice fields in the Reds complex. On this one, the shortstops were doing some drills with Barry Larkin. They were using these flat gloves and working on tossing the ball quickly out of their glove. It was neat to be so close and hear the coaches instruction and the players encouraging one another.

On this one there was a scrimmage game going on. I sat and watched this one and got so many chuckles. The coaches were jabbering back and forth with the kind of camaraderie you imagine baseball clubs having. The players were loose and really seemed relaxed and having fun. There were maybe only fifty or so fans in and around the complex. Very low key. No crowds. Folks just milling around, baseball players walking all over the place. I didn't know any of them, and the majority were certainly minor leaguers. And young....don't even get me started on how young these boys looked. Babies.

We strolled around here for an hour or so and then headed across the parking lot to the baseball game. We were going to see the Reds versus the Angels.

Look at this cute picture. Then look at Chip's face. All he wanted was to swim. When can we swim? Are we going to swim after the game? What time will that be? How long can we swim?
How long do we have to stay here? Do we have to watch the whole game?

The funny thing is that Harry just can't even understand why Chip doesn't want to stay at the ballpark for six hours. How can you not love this?

He doesn't remember back just five or six years ago when we counted ourselves lucky to watch 3 innings of baseball with him. He was always bored out of his mind until he hit about 10 years old. Then he became obsessed and there has been no looking back for him. Or any sympathy for his brother who is sometimes tortured by these events. Now Chip would play baseball for six hours, but sitting and watching. No thank you.

On the way out of the complex we passed these massage tables they had set up. They were doing various exercises on pitchers arms, rubbing players down that apparently had injuries or something. I could have totally crawled up on one of those tables for a massage in this awesome setting.

The Reds/Indians stadium - it is called Goodyear Park.

Cool sculpture out front.

Harry got George Foster's autograph.

The scoreboard.

We were there early in hopes of getting autographs. I took these pictures of stadium seats. I like them.

Our seats were under this lovely shade awning. Could not have been more wonderful.

The boys waiting for players.

Here they come.

They are in a great spot and get lots of autographs.

Not sure who these guys are...but it doesn't matter. At least not to Chip. Harry was a little bit discriminating and he was left high and dry on day one.

Chip was getting any and every body who walked by.

Eleven autographs on one ball. Nice job Chip.

After the game we went over to a great shopping area close to the stadium. We ate at a restaurant called Yard House. Best meal of the trip. YUMMY!

Big time slugger, Chip! Now, put away the camera Dad and point me toward the POOL!


Get in, get in, it's not that cold. You know that is worrisome.

Hary says "Yikes, it is cold."

Easing in....getting used to it.

You are right Chip, its not that bad.

Definitely Chip's favorite part of the day.

Good one.

Chip jumped through the waterfall 739 times during our stay. He flipped, jumped, twisted, cartwheeled, feet first, head first, butt first, jumped, jumped, jumped. Watch watch this....did you see that? Had the time of his life.

Then he didn't.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

Supreme stomach issues that I already wrote about so I won't bore you with them again.

Let's just all recognize that it was a sorry, sorry day.

Harry and Hubby got out to see the White Sox and Dodgers. Me and Chip stayed in.

Harry got some awesome autographs. I don't know who of, but he was thrilled.


Random picture of Harry's beat up knees. What a hot mess.

The next morning, Chip was a couple of pounds lighter and we were ready to escape our contaminated room and get back to some fun.

We hit the River Ranch Water Park first thing in the morning. This is at the Sport Pool.

Then we all hit the lazy river. Love the lazy river.

Floating, talking, laughing, good time.

We hit one of our all time favorite Fox Sports Grill for a late lunch.

Favorite part is desert. Our all time favorite is the skillet cookie. They didn't have it at this Fox restaurant, but they did have a skillet brownie.

We killed it.

An orange tree on the side of the road. How awesome is that?

We visited this cute little candy/toy store I had read about online.

Harry knew he was going to hate it.

Doesn't he have a stellar attitude?

He did like it. Much to his dismay. I made him wear these wax lips as punishment.

Off to an Arizona Sun Devil baseball game.

Great little field.

This is better than a stupid candy store.

Even Chip is smiling. Happy to be out of the bathroom and holding out for a night swim.

I love little traditions at each college. These boys lined up like they were going to exercise in a big circle. Started clapping and stepping in.


Even closer. Much louder.

Closer and louder still.

Then jumping up and down. Love that. Not sure why they do that but it was cool.

Great picture of my boys. Funny that ASU's foam finger does a three just like Chip. We had to have it.

No night swimming cause Chip barfed as soon as we got back to the hotel. Poor kid.
The next morning Harry and Hubby headed out to hike Squaw Peak. It was a 1.2 mile climb up to the top.

Me and Chip stayed back at the hotel. I was worried for Chip to try it with his weaken and unhydrated state. It was the right choice. It was not an easy climb.

A real chipmunk on the trail. They took a picture for Chip.

They made it.

On top of the world, or at least on top of Phoenix.

That evening we went to a Mariners game. They were playing the Brewers.

Another gorgeous complex and ballpark. We has awesome seats again. All cushioned and comfy.

Harry at autograph alley.

He got lucky again. Got three or four guys that he really wanted. Again, no idea who they were.

It was a wonderful wrap up to a terrific spring break Spring Training adventure.

Our flights home were uneventful and we are happy to have a full weekend to recouperate and relax at home. Although it wouldn't have been too bad to be hanging out at the Rocking River for a few more days.

We will definitely go back!

1 comment:

  1. Melissa,

    I would like to use one of your images - would you please email me at so I can give specifics and ask your permission to use the picture in my latest project? Thanks for your time and attention. Chuck Bailey