Bucket List #11 (Part 2 of 3): Visit Three States. ARIZONA
The first state we visited this year was Washington, back in September which you can read about here: San Juan Islands.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I traveled to our second state of the year with my mom and my daughter. One of my best friends from college, Kerri (cross country teammate that is no stranger to old blog readers!), eloped the day before Thanksgiving. They hosted a reception for family and friends to celebrate their nuptials at a brewery in Phoenix, Arizona. When we got the invite and needed to book travel, we weren’t sure what Zeb’s work schedule would be like. It was going to be very unlikely for him to get Thanksgiving and the entire weekend off, and flights were booking fast and getting more expensive. We couldn’t wait until mid October to see if he would be working or not, so we decided that my mom would plan on joining me and Brynnley instead. Our first three-generation Girls Trip.
We had a direct flight from Boise to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines. Brynnley was ready for a nap as soon as we boarded our plane and slept for one of the two hours of the flight. She did awesome! We rented a car and checked into the Westin Hotel in Tempe right on Mill Ave with a view of A Mountain and the ASU stadium. Amazing location and gorgeous hotel! The lobby, restaurant, and rooftop pool and lounge area were really pretty.
Kerri and Jeff’s reception was about 25 minutes away in Chandler, Arizona at the SanTan Brewery. They rented out the brewery and the large patio for their private event and had a Mexican dinner buffet and tons of yummy desserts. I met some of Kerri’s family members for the first time and got to see some other friends from college that I hadn’t seen in years! Brynnley had fun too, but she was ready for bed by about 8pm so we headed out a little early.
My mom and I wanted to go sit up at the rooftop pool while Brynnley snoozed in her stroller, but the music was so loud like a nightclub and wasn’t baby-friendly. Plan B was to order dessert in the lobby restaurant, which ended up being an excellent decision. The waitress sold us on her dramatic description of an orange dreamsicle cheesecake dessert.
The next morning, we walked a block to the nearest coffee shop and grabbed seasonal drinks and bagels. We did finally get to enjoy the rooftop seating area while we ate breakfast, before packing up our room and driving down to Tuscon for a little bit.
Our flight home didn’t depart until 10pm. But our hotel checkout was 11am. We decided to cross another bucket list item off by visiting the nearest National Park, which I’ll write about in a separate blog post. The drive was 2 hours each direction so we listened to music and Dateline podcasts. Even after driving BACK to Phoenix, we still had several hours to kill before our flight so we walked around the Tempe Marketplace outdoor shopping center and got soup from Panera. It was gorgeous sunny perfect weather in Phoenix, and we would be returning home to snow on the ground. Brynnley had a great time tagging along on all of the weekend’s activities. We returned the rental car and took the shuttle back to the airport where we still had quite some time to pass. Brynnley was more than ready for bed but absolutely refused to give in a sleep in her stroller as I pushed her through all of the different terminals. Thankfully, this flight did have a couple of open seats left on it so we were able to bring her on in her car seat and have a seat to herself. She slept through the whole 2 hour flight and the car ride home. Unfortunately getting her out of her car seat and into her crib was not a smooth transition and we were up until 4am. The next day included naps for both of us.
It was a short and warm trip down to Arizona, and I’ll catch you up on our National Park stop soon!