Ramblings about health, dogs, and other randomness

Arizona Vacation Recap

My family alternates celebrating either Thanksgiving or Christmas together every year. 2017 was a Christmas year, but we decided to all get together for a week in Scottsdale, Arizona in January rather than spending a few rushed days together on the actual holiday. My parents had stayed at a rental house last year that they really liked and could accommodate us all (my brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, sister, brother-in-law, parents and me), so they booked the same house this year!

Day 1

My parents and I had a direct flight from Tulsa to Phoenix and met my sister and her husband at the airport. We picked up our super cool rental minivan (cough) and drove to the house. My brother and his family were already there and had already checked out the pool and hot tub.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m slowly re-introducing exercise, so my dad and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. He jogged ahead and circled back to me as I walked. There were lots of plants to explore that I had never seen before!

My niece and nephew go to bed early, so we ate earlier dinners to accommodate their bed time. When my dad and I got back from our walk, it was time to eat! We had BBQ chicken and sweet potato fries. After dinner, my dad and I went to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and food for breakfast. When we got back, it was time for some hot tubbing, ice cream, and then bed.

Day 2

My dad had a golf date with a friend from Oklahoma, so my mom and I dropped him off and then headed to a local church near the golf course he was playing at. We stopped by Target afterwards where I got some cute new clothes from A New Day. We headed back to the house and I spent the rest of the day walking, coloring, and hanging out by the pool. We had flank steak and sweet potatoes for dinner.

Day 3

This was a special day! My nephew turned 5 and we celebrated with an astronaut themed day!

The day started with strawberry pancakes and then I got to work drawing some astronauts and a spaceship so that we could play “pin the astronaut on the space ship” later.

I went on a walk around the neighborhood and then got in the pool with the birthday boy and fam when I got back. Then it was time for lunch—in keeping with the astronaut theme, “rocket dogs” were on the menu. My sister-in-law wrapped hot dogs with crescent rolls and put them on skewers to replicate rockets. The kids went down for naps in the afternoon, and the adults stayed by the pool. For dinner, we had mac and cheese (my nephew’s favorite!) and turkey burgers.

After dinner, we played with glow in the dark balloons in the backyard and finally got to play the pin the astronaut on the spaceship game. My two year old niece was declared the winner by her brother 🙂 We finished the day with cake and lounging on the couch.

Day 4

My mom had to leave Arizona unexpectedly early to attend to family matters, so my dad dropped her off at the airport with my sister and her husband, and I went with my brother and his family to McDowell Mountain Ranch for a fun “kids hike”.

After the hike, we stopped at the store to get items for dinner and then had lunch and hopped in the pool. We spent the afternoon outside and Facetimed with my mom. My dad and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and got back in the early evening. I was hoping to watch the OU basketball game, but it was not being broadcasted in Arizona. I had to settle for Kansas basketball instead! We had planned to make tacos for dinner, but ended up snacking in front of the television instead. At 8, my sister, sister-in-law, and I flipped on NBC to watch the latest episode of This Is Us. The episode was not extremely eventful, but it was fun to all be together to watch it. When the show ended, we turned on Fixer Upper, ate ice cream, chatted, and went to bed.

Day 5

After breakfast, my dad, sister, brother-in-law, and I went to hike Pinnacle Peak. It was only about a 10 minute drive from our house. The trail was 2 miles out and then 2 miles back.

My dad loved it because there were frequent golf course views and you could hear the sound of a golf club hitting a golf ball from the trail.

The hike did not take too long, and we were back to our rental by noon. My sister, sister-in-law and I went to a “ladies lunch” to celebrate the birthdays of my sister and me. We found a nearby sushi place with good reviews. Our server told us that my sister and sister-in-law looked more like sisters than my sister and I do! After lunch, we went back to the rental house. The weather was kind of crummy, so I worked on some blog posts all afternoon. We had tacos for dinner, found more sports on TV, ate ice cream, and went to bed early.

Day 6

My 27th birthday! This was a beautiful day—I will admit I had some “down” moments in the morning related to recovery and some other life circumstances, but I also knew that I was one lucky girl to be celebrating in such a beautiful place with my amazing family <3. A close friend from undergrad is doing her medical residency in Tucson, and as luck would have it, she did not have to work this day! So she made the two hour drive to Scottsdale and we grabbed lunch, caught up, and went hiking at Camelback Mountain.

I described my hiking experience in detail here, but I just want to reiterate how grateful I am to be on this path toward recovery and how much stronger I am becoming. Got to keep moving forward!

Our hike took longer than expected, so my friend dropped me off directly at Lamp Pizza for my birthday dinner.

I’m a huge lover of brick oven pizza and wine, and Lamp did not disappoint! Our family ordered 4 pizzas and 3 salads to share. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, a little bit of both spinach and Caesar salad, and three pieces of pizza. So tasty! After dinner, we stopped at Walgreens to pick up some more ice cream (a good amount of my weight restoration comes from ice cream so I go through it FAST. Sorry, not sorry 🙂 ). When we get home, I respond to some birthday well wishes and start packing.

Day 7

Traveling day! We awaken early, say goodbye to my brother and his family, and head for the airport. The day was mostly uneventful, aside from my backpack getting searched through in depth at security…apparently tea, M&M’s, and a box of colored pencils are cause for concern!

If you made it to the end of this recap—thanks! The trip was so fun, and I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Arizona!



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