Monday, August 11, 2008
Trips and Flops
On Friday, we drove up to Flagstaff after Sam got off of work. We had decided we needed to go somewhere cooler, so we made a reservation at a motel and off we went. The drive up there was a little over two hours. We went through desert, desert and more desert for quite a while even going up into the mountains at first. Then we went around a mountain and all of a sudden BOOM! trees!!!! Wonderful trees!!! Did I mention that I LOVE trees?!?!?!?! Yeah, I'm missing my Piney Woods Region of Texas at this point. I'm not a desert girl, that's for sure. Anyway, we did finally make it up to Flagstaff and Sam and I decided that we would love to live there, but we couldn't afford it!:) Haha! Who knows, God can totally do anything. We got to our motel, the Super 8 off of business I-40 and it wasn't too shabby. Our room was pretty neat because it had two queen beds and bunk beds. After we got settled in, we had to find some food, so we decided to drive around and look for some place to eat. The temperature was fabulous and we got to see the way the city looks at night. Just in case some of you don't know, Flagstaff has a dark-sky coalition. There is an observatory there for deep space observation and the whole city stays as dark as possible. All of the street lights are yellow and most of the business signs are muted. It really felt as though my eyes were playing tricks on me.:) Very strange feeling. Anyway, after driving around and not really seeing anything we just had to have, I suggested we go back to the motel because there was a Village Inn restaurant right beside it and with our hotel keys we could get 10% off of whatever we ordered. Sam wasn't really hungry anyway and I was really thinking that a stack of pancakes would be good for me and the boys to share. Plus, we could get it to go and come back to the room and eat and relax. So that's what we did. The Village Inn is kinda between a Denny's and an IHOP. There's no smoking and this one was super quiet. (Arizona Law - lovin' that. No offense to smokers. I'm not trying to be malicious or anything. I personally think its a terrible habit to have because it controls you and not the other way around. Not to mention the fact that you are sucking in all kinds of carcinogenic toxins. Yeah, I just don't see or smell ANYTHING good about cigarettes. Plus, I'm allergic to the smoke and right now in my pregnancy, if I get a whiff of cigarette smoke, I nearly can't control the urge to puke. Oh yeah, just so you know, my grandpa died of a huge tumor between his lungs caused by 70+ years of smoking and I've had friends through the years who have smoked.) It was pretty full, but so quiet. I was amazed. Anyway, we got to the room with the pancakes and they were very yummy! The boys were loving them, too. The night went by peacefully despite that the hotel was full. The next day, Sam saw a brochure for several things to do. There was a train ride into the Grand Canyon that would be really fun, but it was expensive and time consuming and right now wouldn't be the ideal time to do that, but we are thinking we want to do that before we leave Arizona. The other thing that really interested us was a ride up a mountain on a ski lift. We would only have to pay for Sam and I and it would only take part of the day to do it. Before we went to the mountain, we went to this outfitters place that we had driven by the night before. Sam wanted to see if they had anything interesting and we also wanted to see what their prices on backpack kid carriers was. It was a very neat store and we did find a carrier. It was also cheaper than others that we've looked at. (We've been wanting one since Braden was a toddler. Sam usually gets the brunt of carrying the wee one and a carrier would make that job so much nicer for him!) When we got to the mountain, it was very overcast and a sign said that rain was likely. Well, neither of us brought any foul weather gear from the van. We had two unbrellas...... WARNING: unwise decision-making ahead! We did put the boys into long sleeves and pants, though. We got to the lift and right before we got on I noticed a sign that said it takes 30 mins for the ride up and 30 for the ride down. Yeah..... We got on and I just prayed it wouldn't rain on us. But it DID!!!! Yeah, a down pour. As we got closer to the top, it started hailing on us. Poor Braden and Zekey! Zekey actually didn't seem to mind as much as Braden, but that's because he was in a backpack carrier and Braden was sitting between Sam and I and had only his little light-weight jacket for cover. Sam had put on a windbreaker and I had on his Dickies work coat. Needless to say, we all got soaked. Zekey's middle didn't get soaked thanks to the protection of the carrier, but the rest of us were wet clean through. The sad part is that at first Braden was all excited and as we got thoroughly soaked, he started whimpering and saying how he wanted to go home. Poor little guy. Sam was doing his best to keep Zekey's head from getting wet with one of his little blankets, but it only did so much. I took the coat off and used it to try and keep the rain off of Braden and I as much as possible. Anyway, we were wet and freezing when we finally got to the top. (They actually sped the ski-lift up because so many people were in our same predicament and they didn't want anyone to get hypothermia. The temp at the top was 29 degrees F. Yeah, just a tad nippy!) Anyway, they had a little emergency shack at the top and plenty of people were piled in there trying to warm up with wool blankets. You know, I've never been a fan of wool because it makes me so stinkin' itchy, but let me just say, "Thank you, Dear Lord, for wool blankets!!!!!!" We would have been in serious trouble without them, that's for sure. The only way down the mountain was on the lift, so yeah. Well, I don't know exactly how long we were up there, but another problem also presented itself. Halfway up the mountain, I realized that I didn't bring any snacks with me. I had eaten something right before we left, but I needed something to eat at the hour mark or the nausea would set in with a vengeance. Well, God was totally taking care of me in that because even though I was getting hungry, I was much more concerned with the kids well-being to pay too much attention to my stomach. Anyway, what ended up happening was they sped up the lift to get all of us frozen people down the mountain as quickly as possible. It basically cut our time in half. Before we made the decision to go ahead and go back down, I explained to Braden that they were going to make us go down faster and that if we went ahead and left, then we could go get in the van and get them changed into dry clothes and get the heater going. I asked if he could be brave and he said he could and let's go. Such a brave little boy!!!! My sweet Braden! As we were getting back on the lift, the lady that was operating it took one look at us and asked if we needed a blanket and I said if she had one, absolutely! She had another lady run and get us one from the shack and she tucked us all in! Oh, more blessings from God!!!!! Seriously, that blanket was a total blessing! Not only did it keep us warm from the blowing wind, but guess what... It started pouring down rain on us again! Yep, lovely water-resistant wool, let me count the ways that I love it now.:) Imagine with me if you will.... Sam had Zekey wrapped in his little blanket and then tucked under his jacket to share body heat. I had Braden in my lap with my coat wrapped around us and then we had the wool blanket over us. For most of the way down, we were all completely under it, heads and all. We passed a guy who said, "Only on a mountain do you have to worry about freezing to death in August!" Isn't that the truth. We finally got to the bottom and headed inside to get some hot chocolate, but decided against that and went to the van instead. We got the boys dry and warm and Sam and I just made do in our soaked clothing. We didn't have any extras since we only stayed the one night. The boys always have extras cuz I always expect something involving the need to change their clothes.:D Anyway, we ended up going to Chili's and getting it to go and boy did that help. Fooooooooood. All I have to say is broccoli-cheese soup in one's belly after being that cold is a magnificent thing!!!! So, from there, we decided we should just head home. We were all tired and Sam and I were still wet. We want to do the whole mountain thing again, but we've decided that we will all be dressed for a blizzard and umbrellas will be present, rain or shine! :) The trip home went more quickly than the trip there because it was all downhill at 75 mph for the most part. The funny thing is, we spent the morning freezing our hineys off and when we got home we were sweating! (Sam got dry in the time it took him to unload about five things from the van. Seriously.) Yep. That was our little mini-trip. We can't ever say that our traveling experiences are boring, that's for sure!