Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Charlie and I had been talking about taking a little mini vacation all summer long, and finally decided to go to Scottsdale for Labor Day weekend.  We wanted to stay at the Fairmont since we loved the resort in Maui so much last year.  Unfortunately, when we booked our Scottsdale trip no one at the Fairmont bothered to mention the big Labor Day extravaganza that would be going on at the resort that weekend.  That was a surprise that we got to deal with once we arrived.

The drive there was uneventful and the boys were both pretty well behaved.  We officially moved Luke to the big boy car seat for this trip and he now gets to ride facing forward.  They both kept busy with the iPad, DVD player, and some snacks.  Luke even took a short little nap.  (The cut on Luke's forehead is from Isaac accidentally knocking him over and into the corner of a table at his speech clinic the day before.)

When we checked in at the Fairmont late Friday afternoon we were told all about the "Dreamcation" cruise ship theme and all of the activities they had planned.  We were kind of indifferent to it at that point, not really knowing what kind of chaos it would turn into.  We headed straight to the pool to cool off.  It was in the low 100's all weekend, which was certainly hot but not unbearable since there is no humidity and we were mostly relaxing by the pool.  Friday was the best time that we had at the pool because on Saturday the crowds started arriving.

After swimming we headed out to dinner at Cracker Barrel.  Charlie and I both love that place and there are no restaurants anywhere close to us in CA, so we always look for them when we are traveling.  Back at the hotel we got everyone ready for bed and just a few minutes after putting Luke & Isaac down we were startled by the thundering sound of fireworks right outside our door.  There was no way the boys were going to sleep through that, so we headed out to the balcony.

We started the day bright and early on Saturday.  There is no sleeping in with Luke around!  Charlie -my crazy husband - went for an 8 mile run in the 100 degree heat.  I opted for a treadmill in the air conditioned hotel gym.

We read online ahead of time that the resort had a lagoon where you could fish so Charlie packed Isaac's little pole that his Grandpa Wood bought for him last summer.  Isaac was really excited to go fishing so we gave it a try on Saturday morning.  But Isaac is not very patient so Charlie held the line while Isaac fed crumbs of our zucchini bread from home to the tiny fish that were hovering along the shallow edge.  I followed Luke around while he threw little rocks and climbed on the big ones.  We eventually gave up and decided to try again later.  On our way to the pool we saw another family catch a rather large catfish so at least we knew there was some biting going on.

The best part about the pools at this resort were the two giant water slides.  Isaac of course loved them, but Charlie and I both agreed they were pretty cool too.  Luke's favorite part of the pool was the shallow "zero entry" area with little splashing fountains for him to play in.  He loved running in and out, in and out of the water and also carrying around and throwing rocks from the landscape borders.

It was nice to relax back in the room in the afternoon and enjoy the air conditioning - a luxury we don't have at our house.  Isaac watched movies, Luke napped, we ordered room service, etc.  Here is Luke with his prized graham cracker.  He loves having food to walk with and snack on.  He eats much better that way than when sitting in a high chair.  

We did a little shopping and found a random Mexican restaurant to eat at.  We were kind of forced to keep the boys up late every night since the firework show did not start until 9:15.  Might as well do some night time swimming.  They were doing a "techno" water slide at night with flashing strobe lights and techno music.  It was kinda cool but also a little gimmicky.  Isaac liked it though and Luke always busts a move when he hears music.  We headed back to our room and got the boys bathed and in their pjs and ready for the fireworks. 

By Sunday the crowds at the pool were pretty ridiculous.  I think we would have enjoyed our pools at home more.  We had to wear wristbands, the attendants were doing bag checks, the chair service was pretty much non-existant, the water dispensers were empty, there was loud music blaring, and every time we got up to get in the pool an attendant would slap a card on our chairs letting us know that if we weren't back in an hour they would be moving our stuff.  Totally annoying!  And you better believe we let them know about it too.  

Regardless of this nonsense we spent most of the day at the pool.  The lines for the water slide were crazy long so Isaac spent most of his time just floating around the pool on a boogie board.  Funny kid could literally spend all day in the water if you let him.  Luke was a grumpster that day and wasn't happy in the pool or out of the pool.  Just climbing in and out, in and out.  I tried getting a picture of Charlie with the boys, but you can see for yourself how happy they all were about that idea.  

We eventually threw in the towel and headed back to the room for Luke's nap.  Charlie & Isaac tried fishing again that evening.  There was another kid across the water who was using a hot dog for bait and he caught several little fish and one of those big catfish like we had seen earlier.  Luke found some big rocks to climb on and Isaac was back at it tossing in crumbs for the baby fish.  We were just about to call it quits when Charlie caught something!  Isaac's little pole is not super strong but Charlie was able to reel in a catfish right to the edge of the water before he broke the line.  I barely caught a glimpse of it in the photo but we all got a good look at it with our own eyes and Isaac was really excited.  

We went back to Cracker Barrel that night for dinner.  Luke is never easy at restaurants, but as I mentioned earlier this was definitely not his best day.  I commented to Charlie afterwards that I felt like I was in some kind of a food eating contest where I was racing to shove it in as fast as possible.  Not the most enjoyable meal.  We swam again that night and on the way back to our room Isaac plucked a fox tail because he'd never seen one and thought it looked cool.  Then he proceeded to chase Luke around the room tickling him with it while Luke shrieked and giggled in delight.  

We were eager to get on the road Monday morning so we packed up and headed out.  I wish I could say that the drive home was as peaceful as the way there.  But I can't.  And hopefully it was lack of sleep that was making Luke so ferocious, but I'm not sure I can claim that either.  Anyway the screams coming from the back seat made us seriously consider canceling our upcoming trip to Barbados.  We love this kid but my goodness he can be a monster!  He did not want to be in that seat and anything we handed him would only appease him for about 2 minutes before he would send it flying.  He eventually wore himself out with all the screaming and slept for half an hour.  Thank goodness.

It maybe wasn't the best vacation ever.  Okay it wasn't, but we did have fun and are still glad that we went.  Please send prayers our way that Luke can chill out just a bit for a couple of long flights coming up at the end of the month.  Thanks!  And I'll be reporting back soon.   

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