Saturday, January 03, 2015

Ringing in the New Year with a second Christmas

Two days after Christmas, we loaded a rented mini van (which, if you want to know, is a vehicle I'd never buy in a million years but it's good to rent for a road trip because there are captains chairs and more room and my children don't touch each other.), and headed to Prescott Valley, Arizona for our second Christmas  with Ross' family.

We split the drive going and coming (on the way stopping in Vegas for the night and on the way home in San Jorge).  The boys traveled well, especially Quinn, who we were pretty nervous about.  He dislikes the car on a regular day, we had no idea how he would react to more than six hours in a car a stretch.  But, thank heaven's Santa Claus delivered with three (yes, Quinn got one too) new kindles and a bunch of new games for the boys to use in the car.  And, the result?  The absolutely most quiet car ride/road trip I have ever been on in my life.  They wore their batteries out each car day, and we traveled in silence

Yes, silence.  The boys were quiet and Ross spent all his driving time with his sister wife whispering sweet nothings into his ears, so, as is standard operating procedure, whether I like it or not, I was left "alone" in the car with just my thoughts and the scenery whizzing by to keep me company.

We arrived in PV on Sunday afternoon and that night had a big dinner and opened presents.  Ross' parents recently purchased a new home in AZ, selling their home in UT and we spent our time there, exploring.  Ross' grandparents were also there for a few days which was really nice - they are getting old, our AZ trips are few and far between so any time we get to spend with Grandma Bea and Grandpa Ted is really awesome.

I suppose the primary purpose of our trip was for all the boys to get together for some major cousin time.  Mission accomplished!  All 6 boys seemed to have a great time together running and playing and exploring.  They built Legos for days, watched a movie or two, and just chased each other around.  We went bowling on New Year's Eve day, and I even managed to sneak in two naps.  I'd say it was a success.

We even got to spend a morning at Uncle Craig and Aunt Christina's house and the boys got to jump on their new trampoline in the bitter cold and play with their chickens. Quinn, apparently, LOVES chickens. He chased them and giggled and had a wonderful time. At one point, he thought they were turkeys and gobbled a message to them, but he soon figured out that he was wrong and cackled away at them for quite a while.

We left to head home on January 1st, and got a little nervous on the trek - you see, Northern Arizona got some pretty intense snow while we were there and roads were closed all over the state.  Even though reports while driving said that I-40 northbound was closed and we were making plans to head to Flagstaff instead adding hours to our journey home, when we arrived at the interchange, the roads were open.  Granted they were slushy and icy and downright treacherous in parts, but we were happy with our decision to brave the scary road and head through Kingman and Las Vegas towards home.  I'd say that was a tiny little tender mercy for us right there - that we didn't get stuck in any horrible weather, because we sure saw our fair share of jackknifed semi trucks and turned over cars while we were driving.

It was overall a good trip.  Much, much slower than I'm used to because we had no itinerary and didn't go out to eat in any awesome places (unless you count Culver's for lunch), but good nonetheless.  I wish I'd brought my sewing machine and some fabric to get a jump on some of the bags I've got cut out, but it was nice to get away from all the mess of home and spend time with my family and see all the cute boys hang out together and have fun.

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