You know on old sitcoms, where characters would have people over to look at their vacation slides? That is what my blog is going to be for the next several posts (maybe 8?) This post just covers the traveling to Arizona. Yes, it's an obnoxious amount of pictures and boring for anybody but me, but it was the boys first time on an airplane and their first trip to Arizona, so I wanted lots of pictures and I want to be able to come back and read this a few years from now and if I don't write it down--I will forget.
Our flight took off at 9:30 from Atlanta. It's about a 2 hour trip there, plus we had to park and take the shuttle, so we planned on leaving about 4:30 to give us plenty of time. About midnight, Greg and I woke up and kept tossing and turning and finally at 1:00, Greg asked if I just wanted to go ahead and get up. So, we did. We ate breakfast, made coffee and loaded the car. We finally got the boys up at 3:30 and hit the road. We knew we'd get there early, but we couldn't sleep and we'd rather have extra time at the airport than be rushed.
I bought them each a stuffed animal to bring, so they could have something to travel with and sleep with when we got to Arizona. As soon as Greg found out, he thought it was a bad idea--too much to carry, would probably get lost, but the boys held on to them and they made great pillows on the plane. Both stuffed animals made it back to GA with us, so it worked out.
We got to our gate pretty early, but the boys got to sit and watch the airplanes, eat a snack, play, and just stretch their legs between the 2 hour drive and the 4 hour flight.
I went to the Dollar Tree and picked up a couple things for the boys to do at the airport and on the airplane and these little dollar puzzles worked out great. They did them several times over the course of our trip.
I sat with the boys and Greg sat in the row behind us..in the middle. (the worst seat ever) Once we got settled the boys were so excited for the plane to take off.
They wanted to take some silly pictures. I think this is a mixture of waking up at 3:30 and excitement.
These two are a mess.
Watching take off.
Right after take off, I got the boys their coloring books out and something to drink and they sat and colored for awhile.
We brought our laptop so the boys could watch a movie, but I forgot the dvds in the van. :( Greg asked me if I wanted to pull them out of the console so we don't forget them, but it would have been kinda in the way and I said "No, I won't forget them" Ah-I was so mad at myself for doing that. But, the trip went fine.
I went to a used bookstore to get a couple of books to read while we were on vacation. I started this book on the plane. I was so excited to read this, I've heard so much about it.
After coloring, I told both boys that if they took a nap, I'd give them a piece of candy when they woke up. I knew they were exhausted and if I could just get them to relax or lay down for a second, they'd fall asleep and I was right. They were out and slept almost half the flight, which I didn't mind at all--I read my book. I had about 3 hours of sleep the night before, but the way Evan was laying on me, I couldn't get comfortable to take a nap myself, and I didn't want to move him, in case he woke up, so I just read my book.
Right before we landed, the boys had woke up and were playing with Greg behind us for a few minutes before we had to buckle our seatbelts to land.
All of our luggage made it to Phoenix without any problems. Greg's dad picked us up and drove us to Tucson. The boys have been so excited about seeing a cactus. They have been obsessed. So, when we got on the road and that's all you see, they were thrilled. Then, they started pointing out each cactus they saw--haha, that wasn't annoying at all. Luckily they didn't start doing that until we were pretty close to Greg's parents house. But, a couple streets away from their house, Carter started saying "cactus, cactus, cactus, cactus" and pointing to each one.
I think it's safe to say he was a little excited to be in Arizona.
I will say that the boys are at the best age for this. People fly with much smaller children, more than 2 to further places and do fine. But, Greg and I didn't want to waste his vacation time, the large amount of money for all the tickets and deal with the stress of traveling like that with two small kids that were either too young to sit still on the plane, still taking a day nap-so they're complete monsters because of the jet lag, time difference, etc. If we would have went when they were younger, I dont' think they would have got as much out of it and we wouldn't have enjoyed it much either. They were perfect this trip. I could not have asked them to be better on the plane, they were old enough to understand and countdown for this trip for so long, and they just had a blast. They had their moments when we were there, but it was much better than I expected and the traveling went SO well. I'm so glad we waited until this age, it was a very, very enjoyable trip for all of us. I have about 7-8 blog posts coming up about our trip. I'm probably going to post more than one a day just to get it posted and done.