Sunday, July 5, 2015

18 Hours of Driving, Lots of Swimming, Friends, and Family!

A few weeks before the end of the school year, I asked my brother if we could come to the Desert for a visit! Ridiculously enough, there were almost no available weekends I could go and then the weekdays were taken up with swim lessons, activities, or birthdays. When we found a solid five day period I could go where we didn't have any activities, we jumped at the chance and scheduled it! Hubby had to work, but I went and took all the kids by myself. Have you ever driven 9 hours with three kids by yourself? FUN!! Haha. We left at 5:00am, which made it an even more level of fun!

This pretty much sums it up. 
I don't care how long it's been since I lived in the Desert or how many places I have lived since, this will always be my home and seeing these windmills gives me the warm and fuzzies.
But it was all worth it when we arrived and saw UNCLE COLIN!!!!! (That's how they say it! Like a cheer or celebration every time!)
As soon as we got into the desert I took the kids for a 110 degree walk. Because, obviously, that's the first thing you want to do when you've driven 9 hours. Apparently the kids had never seen a cactus (which, by the way, makes me horribly sad. I was born and raised in Palm Springs, so it saddens me that my kids haven't actually ever been to the desert). They all gasped and pointed to it and Connor said, "Mama!!! Look it's a porcupine!!!" Bless his little heart. 
The next morning my brother got the day off from work, so we were able to do a few things with the kids - which the kids LOVED. The first thing we did was drove over to my old school. I went to the same school from 1st grade - 12th grade, so this place was a huge part of my life. I wanted to get the kids out of the car and take a picture, but had to bribe them big time since they were so uninterested. The conversation went something like this: Me: "Look! This is where Mama went to school...this is where Mama did her drama classes...this is where Mama..." Connor: "Ummm. Can we go to the pool now?" 
We also did a fun tour of all our old homes in the desert. The kids got a kick out of this cactus out front of the house we had when I was in elementary school. This is what they thought all cactuses looked like.
The majority of the rest of the trip was spent at the pool. One of the days, Uncle Colin was with us and the rest of the trip, we went by ourselves. 
 One of the days, instead of going to the pool, we went to the Palm Desert Aquatic center, which had this really cool slide/splash feature (below) and a beach access entry pool.
We also went to the dollar store and got lots of pool toys!
The hardest part about any vacation is always the sleeping arrangements, but being by myself made it even more interesting. I slept in between Connor and Isabella one night (FUN!). The other nights, I took turns having a different kid in my bed. Usually it was a lot of giggling and "he's poking me"..."she's looking at me"..."he's making noise" fights before we could go to sleep every night. It reminded me of why my kids sleep in their own beds every night. Hahahah!
 Naps were few and far between, but when they happened, they needed to be documented with selfies!
And at all times of the night and naps, I had a cuddler or two in my lap. All the morning swimming made them exhausted and all of us HOT.

I also was blessed to get to hang out with friends from high school! Jess, Ryan, and I have known each other for 28 years! Trent and I have known each other for at least 25 years. And Jordan and I have known each other for 16 years. 
We videochatted with Daddy as often as we could. But, unfortunately, that didn't leave very much time for me. Instead, I got lunch breaks in hubby's car before and after he went for quick drives.
Our big trip was to the Palm Springs Tram. I met a friend Anne-Sophie and her daughter and we took everyone up the tram. There are lots of things that don't stress me out, but to be honest I was petrified to take the three kids up the tram by myself. I tried REALLY hard not to act scared when the kids stood, 8,000 feet up on the mountain, with their faces pressed up against the 1/2 inch thick glass that separated them from certain death. Even looking at the photos scares me (and I'm not scared of heights or adventures for MYSELF - I've stood on the Sears Tower skydeck..gone up in the St. Louis Arch...and climbed mountains); but there's something about watching your kids do it. Yikes!
I definitely felt like a Mama Superhero when I accomplished that trip on my own! Really, the whole trip left me feeling like a Mama Superhero - especially on the two 9 hour trips I did with tons of rest stops, lunch stops, and a million and eight "when are we getting there's" (did I mention we only had one ipad to share for everyone?!?). We had such a great time, that I already put next year's trip in our calendar so that I make sure not to overbook our summer again! 

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