Surprise trip to Phoenix


Two out of three kids in tears is exactly the response you imagine when you tell your kids about a surprise trip to Phoenix in January, right? 

We had expected whoops, laughing, and sheer excitement when we told the kids that our bags were packed and we were headed for sunshine early the next morning.  Instead, Josh burst into tears, sad that he was going to miss his first basketball game of the season.  (We did expect him to be upset)  THEN, Blake said, “Looking at Josh makes me want to cry!”  And he burst into tears himself.  Halle thought her brothers were crazy. 

Luckily everyone recovered, and we were on our way to the airport at 5:30am the next morning.  We arrived in Phoenix, shed our Colorado winter gear, and got ready for some Arizona sun.  First stop—the pool.  Josh was determined that we were going to stay at the pool for 5 hours.  The water temp quickly changed his mind.  It was freezing.  We had to coax the kids into the pool.  But once they finally took the plunge, everyone had a great time swimming, going down the giant water slide, and playing basketball on the court right next to the pool. 

After the sun went down we reluctantly headed back to our hotel room. The resort we stayed at was so much fun.  Here are some of the highlights:

Trail running in the mornings with Rusty, and also hiking with the kids:



Roof top pool:


Blake sleeping


Shooting hoops


Enjoying our huge, yummy breakfast buffet every morning


Hitting some balls at the driving range



Tennis.  We are almost at the point where we can actually play real tennis.  Happy day!


After a few days of just relaxing and having fun around the resort we were ready for an adventure.  Sedona here we come!  Sedona was incredibly beautiful, and one day was certainly not enough time to see all its wonders.  But we did our fair share. 

First stop: Montezuma’s Castle.  These cliff dwellings were fascinating!

IMG_3080 IMG_3081

Next stop: Palatki.  Halle really wanted to see the pictographs, and they didn’t disappoint.  It’s pretty amazing they are still around after all these years. 


Next up, our “real” hike of the day—Cathedral Rock.  Josh found this pointy stick that reminded him of something a ninja would use.  So, the whole way up he and Blake had fun pretending they were ninjas.  Halle was their Sensei.

cathedral rock Collage

Halle story: One day we wanted to get some mexican food.  We were trying to decide where to go and the boys saw a Chipotle.  They wanted to go there.  Halle said, “Come on guys—we can get Chipotle ANYWHERE.  Let’s try somewhere new!”  I have never been such a proud mama.  Raising my own little foodie who appreciates local culture.

The next day was leaving day.  Our flight wasn’t until 7:30 in the evening so we had all day to play.  We soaked up our final rays at the pool, and then headed to see if we could get in to the Gilbert AZ Temple open house.  We didn’t have tickets, and were unsure what the line would be like, but we are so so glad we went.  It was absolutely stunning. When we first pulled off the freeway and saw it standing there, it literally took my breath away.  We were told it was the 4th largest temple in the world. I’m so glad we got to experience it as a family.  Josh and Halle both had really great questions and it was fun to teach them more about what goes on in temples

 Glibert AZ temple open house

Blake was not a fan of the booties.  Although he was a fan of the word, “bootie.”


It was a quick, fun adventure and so nice to get away from the cold, if only for a few days.  The kids have decided Phoenix should become a yearly tradition.  I couldn’

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