This Penny Tris

a blog about a mom who tris (swim, bike, run, parent and more)

Spring Break Vacation March 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 6:56 pm

Hello again from Minnesota..I say that happily because I had a wonderful week long break from the snow. Last week, we spent 9 days in Arizona.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may remember my Phoenix Half Marathon Race Recap. If you haven’t read it, you can read it here:

After a very nice first flight for the girls, we arrived in Phoenix to wonderful sunshine. The day after we arrived was the race, after that, it was all family vacation for the rest of the time.

Saturday when it was time for bed, we all piled into DJ’s motorhome and got all settled for the night. We explained to the girls that it is a long drive to the Grand Canyon, so they went to sleep and DJ drove through the night. When we arrived in Huntington Beach, California it was 4 am. We all slept for a little while until the parking lot opened at 6. DJ started the motorhome at 6 and after we entered the park, the girls were awake, so Ryan called them up to the front seats. He explained to the girls that it was his turn to drive and he thinks he took a “wrong turn” because “We are in California and that is the Pacific Ocean”. At first the girls looked at us waiting for us to be mad and when they realized that he was joking and this is really where we meant to be, they were really happy and excited.

After the rain stopped, which only took about a half hour, we went walking on the beach. I love the beach, even without the sun, it is so wonderful, beautiful and peaceful. We walked a long time and picked up shells. Claire picked up a lot, and Morgan even joined in, but she only looked for orange ones – that’s her favorite color.

Family Beach wavesshells

We walked to the closest pier and enjoyed watching the surfers and waves. At the end of the pier was a cute diner, so we had breakfast there – it was so yummy! We also saw a school of dolphins. It was so beautiful and amazing!!

family pier Dolphins

That evening, we stayed in a RV park one mile from our next destination. The girls thought we were headed to the Grand Canyon, so we went to bed early and got ready for our 3 hour drive the next day.

We woke up and got all settled in for drive. All of the adults know where we are going and DJ is convinced that after this trip, the girls may never believe him when he tells them anything. The girls played their ds games to keep themselves entertained for the “long drive”. I closed the curtain by Claire and asked Morgan to not look out the back window. She didn’t question me, just said ok. I was watching out the front window and everywhere you looked there were signs for Disney and I didn’t want them to ruin the surprise by looking. We drove into the parking lot and parked. We called the girls to the front seats again and Ryan said “I think I made another “Wrong turn” and handed them their Disneyland tickets. Claire squealed and Morgan jumped up and down. We haven’t seen them that excited in a long time and it was wonderful to be able to give that to them. (Thank you again DJ!) I have never been to anywhere Disney before, so I even got a little choked up – DJ said no tears, so I had to suck it up. But honestly, I was just as excited as the kids!!

disney entrancecastlewpid-20140303_161644.jpg

We were busy the whole 9 hours we were there. We rode on lots of rides, got many autographs and only stopped to eat lunch. Morgan’s favorite ride was the Indiana Jones ride and Claire had 2 favorites: Pirates of the Caribbean and Astro Blasters. Ryan and I agree that watching the kids be so excited was the best. I honestly loved the whole day. Pooh is my favorite character, I’m so glad we got to see him and I got my picture taken too! It was wonderful and I am so happy that we got to do it. We left about an hour before the park closed to try beat the traffic. I’m so glad we did, I can’t imagine how long we would have had to wait for the tram if we waited for the park to close. What a wonderful day!!

We got all settled back into the camper for the drive back to Phoenix. Tuesday was a nice relaxing catch up on sleep and swim day. We did go for a little walk in the park across the street from the condo.


Wednesday we went to an outdoor baseball game. The weather was perfect and we sat in the grass. It was comfortable and relaxing. Ryan enjoyed it the most, but that is logical. We only failed a little…we didn’t bring anything to keep Claire entertained and we didn’t make sure Morgan put on sunblock and she got a little sunburn. They both survived, but lesson learned for next time.


Thursday we finally made the trip to the Grand Canyon, no more teasing. It was beautiful. The beauty cannot be captured in pictures. It was so colorful and peaceful. I’m not sure I can even try to paint the picture of how beautiful it is.

girls at grand canyonme at grand canyon

Ryan took the nice picture of me at the Grand Canyon. He sent it in a text to a friend of ours with the caption “I didn’t even push her” He’s so funny, but it’s a really nice picture, so I thanked him for not pushing me 🙂

Friday was our day to visit with Ryan’s Aunt and Uncle Shirley and Gene. It was a very nice visit. We haven’t seen them for a while and it was nice to catch up. We had a great supper out for our last hurrah before we left and we even got Jordan to join the girls in the pool for the last night.

Saturday it was time to go home. It was a really nice visit and we all hope we get to go back before the girls get to old to want to hang out with us.

We are so lucky to have family to stay with and chauffeur us around. Thank you again DJ and Jordan for letting us invade your home for the week. We have talked about this trip for so long, it’s sad that it’s over.

I hope I painted a good picture of the fun we had! Happy family memories!


2 Responses to “Spring Break Vacation”

  1. pennyverdeck Says:

    There is nothing more precious in life as good memories of family time

  2. maryflong Says:

    Road trips are the best! I love how you surprised your girls. They will never forget this trip. Your pictures are great- especially the dolphins! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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