Last week we took our first trip back to Arizona! When we moved we knew that Chris’ brother, Andrew was getting pretty close to being engaged so we knew we would be going to Arizona fairly soon. He got engaged right after we moved and he set a date fairly quickly for May 13! The thought of going back to Arizona so soon made me both really excited and nervous. I was afraid that we hadn’t been in Washington long enough to make it feel like home, so when it was time to go back we would all be really sad. Especially the kids, I was afraid they wouldn’t want to leave and it would turn into a negative experience for them. We were ALL so excited to see family, eat at our favorite restaurants, and have a nice vacation!
Chris was (and still is) pretty new to work so he didn’t want to take off much time, plus the kids are still in preschool and we didn’t want them to miss too much school either.We knew we wanted to be gone less than a week. When we were looking at plane tickets, flying out of the Sea-Tac airport and landing at Sky Harbor was going to be fairly pricey so we decided to look at flying out of Bellingham and landing at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway. Flying out of Bellingham ended up saving us about 50% on our flights. The problem with the Bellingham/Phoenix-Mesa airport is they don’t have flights every day. The closest we could get to the wedding was the Wednesday before. We decided that would be fine so we booked it. (We did have more driving to do because of it. Our families live about 2 1/2 hours from the airport. The wedding was near the airport so there was a lot of back and forth. We Drove to Central Wednesday night. Drove to Mesa Friday morning, drove to Central Friday night. Drove to Mesa Sunday night.)
We woke up super early on Wednesday morning, loaded everything up and headed for Bellingham. Bellingham is about an hour and forty minutes from our house, so not too bad. We made it to the airport in great time. The Bellingham airport is tiny. I think it only has six gates. We parked our car in the long term parking and the shuttle picked us up from our car. We went to check our bags, but no one was there. No one showed up to check bags until 1 1/2 hours before our flight was supposed to take off (we got there 2 hours before our flight.) We got there earlier because we weren’t sure how traffic was going to be, or how parking was going to be so we ended up waiting for over half hour just to check our bags.
Once bags were checked there was no line at security and we just walked right through. The kids did great and it was super painless. We sat and waited for awhile. The kids played their tablets and we did a few potty runs before. Finally it was our turn to board. The kids were super excited since it was their first flight. Chris sat with Ryan and I sat with Lilly. Lilly loved taking off and being able to look out her window. She did not like wearing her seat belt. Lilly was fairly active the whole flight and didn’t play on her tablet much. Ryan basically played on his tablet the whole way and Chris was able to watch a movie. It ended up being a great experience for both kids and Chris and I enjoyed it! (As much as you can enjoy flying in a cramped airplane.)
Before we flew I wasn’t sure how flying with kids was going to work out. I thought we needed their birth certificates, but the day before we left I couldn’t find Ryan’s. I did more research and it turns out you don’t need one for kids over two! We didn’t even bring Lilly’s and no one even asked about it. All the kids needed were their boarding passes. We did check on both of their car seats. It was easy to do and free! It really was a painless experience!
We landed in Phoenix and needed to rent a car there to go pick up our rental car. (Chris accidentally booked our rental car from Sky Harbor instead of the airport we flew in.) It ended up adding a bit of time on our trip. When Chris got to Sky Harbor to pick up our car they tried to up sale him. When he didn’t take it they ended up giving him a smaller car than what he paid for. He went back to switch cars (we wouldn’t have fit in the one they gave him.) and the guy working their gave him a bigger car than we paid for. Chris got in that car and it started over heating. He got a new car and it ended up being what we paid for. It was a mess and took a lot longer than we had hoped!
We then went and met Chris’ sister Ashley at Texas Roadhouse to eat. (We hadn’t eaten since 7 that morning and it was now after 4!) It was a lot of fun seeing her and the kids loved it! We got in the car to leave Texas Roadhouse and Ryan said, “I miss Aunt Ashley already.” (It had been less than a minute since he saw her.)
After Texas Roadhouse we went to our Chandler house to look things over and to water the plants. The kids liked seeing their old room and running around. After being there about 10 minutes Ryan was ready to go. He said he saw everything and he was ready to move on.
We went and got sodas at our favorite soda place (There aren’t that many places that have Dr. Pepper here and no one has Styrofoam cups. I was dying for a good Dr. Pepper!) and met Chris at the airport we flew into, to return the other rental car. Then we were finally on our way to Central! We ended up getting there just before 10. We put kids to bed and visited with my parents for a while.
The next morning was Thursday. We ate breakfast (the kids wanted Mimi’s French Toast). And went to visit my grandparent for awhile. We went to lunch with my family, my brothers and dad couldn’t make it, but my sister, and my sisters-in-law and my mom were there along with my niece Remmy! My mom then watched our kids while me and Chris ran a few errands.
That evening we went on a ride to the river. The kids loved swimming in the river and playing with Izzy (my sisters dog.) when we got back to Mimi’s and Papa’s we had a fire and roasted marshmallows.Grandma Great and Grandpa Great came over to enjoy the fire with us. It was a lot of fun spending time with all my family! (At this time Chris’ family was all in Mesa getting ready for the wedding.)
Friday morning we woke up early and drove back to Mesa. We got there just in time to change and meet Chris’ siblings at the temple so they could watch our kids while we went in for the wedding. The wedding was nice. Chris’ grandpa was able to seal Kerby and Andrew and it was fun seeing Chris’ family! We took some pictures outside the temple (it was over 100 degrees and we were all dying.) Luckily the picture taking was pretty quick and we were out of there quickly! We went to the luncheon right after! We had great food and great desserts and it was nice being able to see more of Chris’ family and visit with them.
Afterwards we went back to our Chandler house and we changed our clothes. We met Chris’ siblings at a pizza place for dinner. (We had a bunch of gift cards left over and we needed to use them.) And then we headed to Kerby’s Parent’s house for the reception.
The reception was at Kerby’s parent’s backyard. It was decorated beautifully! The kids had so much fun dancing all night and eating candy. We got to visit with even more of Chris’ family. We had a really good time! We wish we were able to spend more time with Andrew and Kerby, but we were happy we got to see them for as much as we did!
That night we went back to the Chandler house to change again and go potty and then we headed back to my parents house. We got there just before midnight. Both my parents were up so we visited with them for awhile and wen to bed.
Saturday we woke up and went to the Splash Pad in Thatcher and then went and ate at my Dad’s pizza store for lunch. We were able to hang out with all my siblings, their spouses, their kids and my parents for awhile.
When Chris’ family got back in town we were able to go over to their house and visit for awhile.
Sunday we were able to go over the McBride’s and visit for awhile, then we went to church with them. My dad and I had to run to meet the people who were buying our old van, so nice to have it sold!!!! We ate with my family to celebrate my brother James’ birthday. (Happy birthday James!) We then went to the McBride’s for about an hour and then we went back to Mesa.
In Mesa we had to return our rental car and get our new one. We went to our old house and watered the trees and said our final goodbyes to it. We have loved that house. It was sad saying goodbye forever to it. We have so many memories there and we really do love it! Then we went to our hotel. We got to our hotel at about 11 that night. We had to be up at about 4 the next morning to make our flight.
Chris dropped us and the luggage off at the front entrance of the airport, returned our rental car. We checked our bags and waited awhile in security. We got to our gate in time to go potty and fill up the kids’ water and then we boarded. The flight home was great except Ryan threw up a few times. I’m not sure why he got sick, but he seems fine now.
It was great to be back in our big car in the cooler weather!
The heat was just as bad or worse than we thought during the day. But evenings in Central were perfect (still a little hot in Mesa.) The car was unbearable to be in until it cooled off. I didn’t miss kids crying because their seats were too hot. It was also way windy and dusty. I think the dust bothered me the most.
Over all our trip was great. It was very rushed and we drove A LOT! We would have loved to have more time with both our families, but we were happy with what we got. The kids hated leaving family, but that is the only thing they seemed to miss. Ryan kept saying, “this town is hot.” Arizona will always be home to us, but we are happy that Washington is starting to feel like a home to us as well. Now to convince our families to move up here and we’ll be set!
Since it was a quick trip we didn’t get a whole lot of pictures with family. 🙁 But we did get a lot of the kids’ first airplane ride!