Taking a break from it all

I was feeling rather burned out in December. Just in a rut, incredibly busy with all the holiday shenanigans but also so bored with the ins & outs of every day life. And in my email I got a deal from Living Social for the Phoenix Zoo. What an amazing idea! It's not that far. I absolutely love zoos and hate that I can't share that with my kids very often. We were gonna go right before christmas, just to break it up and have a family weekend.

But of course life got in the way.  We didn't end up being able to make it work. Cut to last Wednesday. It was a bad day.  Just chaos and fighting and crying and yelling and everything crappy you could imagine about a stressed out adult alone with two toddlers. Driving H to her dance class I thought, what if we made Phoenix happen this weekend! H's school is closed Monday for teacher in-service; it's kismet!  It was up and down because unplanned last minute leave is difficult in T's job. He just needed Monday off, and fortunately his schedule & superiors allowed it!

We actually packed a lot in to the short trip, including plenty of time just swimming at the hotel pool or playing outside at a park. It's not that we can't do these things in town, of course. My problem is I always have a big list of things I should be doing hovering over me like a cloud. I needed to be able to have some family time where I wasn't able to do any of those tasks and therefore should not be thinking about them. It worked.

We ended up spending 3 hours at the zoo! The kids were wiped out, for sure, but they seemed to like it.  Although I'm not sure how into the animals they were yet. Their favorite part was definitely the carousel, haha.

H was obsessed with seeing zebras and horses, but by the time we got to the zebras she was pretty grouchy. B was having a blast thought

We walked around through the monkey village and stopped to see a momma holding her baby and a playful little guy who was definitely performing for the crowd and then he picked his nose and ate his booger -- the kids' second favorite thing about the zoo.

My favorite thing about the zoo was the camels! B & I got to ride one. Also I thought camels were similar in size to a horse or donkey.  I knew people ride them and such so I just assumed. I was wrong - they are GIGANTIC! I had no idea how tall they are. How people ever got them tame enough to ride is beyond me.

We also checked out the commemorative air force and museum.

We walked around and T talked to the kids all about the planes.  They even had a little pedal-power plane for the kiddos.

We were allowed to tour and walk through their working B-17! They do offer rides and various level of flight experiences in the plane. Of course T was geeking out over that, but that's an experience that requires a little bit more planning. Maybe in a future trip he'll get a chance to fly it :).

We fed Koi at the Japanese Friendship Garden. I think if I lived in Phoenix I'd definitely have a pass and go there to read or relax.  The kids liked feeding the fish, but they weren't so much into the rest of it - what do you mean there's an open area of grass that I'm not allowed to play in?

All in all it was a good trip! We saw some neat sights, got to swim, and enjoy an afternoon at the park. The drive wasn't bad at all and I'm looking forward to more weekend excursions in the future. 

(More pictures will pop up on facebook in a few days - these are just some highlights)


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