Sunday, December 6, 2009

Palm Desert Mini Vacay

This has taken forever for me to finish and post...sorry it's so long!

I took the week of Thanksgiving off and we decided to take a little trip somewhere. We wanted to keep it kinda mellow so that we could relax a bit and also do some things with the kids. Here's how it went down:

Day 1: We were on the road by 8:30am which was pretty impressive since we had to get up, get ourselves ready, get the kids ready and fed and get the car loaded with what seemed to be half of our house! Of course, we had to make a quick stop at Starbucks and we were on our way. The kids did much better than I expected on the car ride. We made a few stops to stretch, go to the bathroom and get a snack...but it was still about 8 hours until we reached our destination.

Lexxa was watching her DVD player when we were driving over the Grapevine which wasn't a good idea because she looked pretty pale (I know she's already pale, but this was worse) and she seemed car sick. After a bit of fresh air and some water she was fine. I was so nervous that she was going to throw up in the car just to start things off right! But thankfully she didn't.
We finally got checked into our room around 5pm. It was a nice Villa inside of a little resort area. We just wanted to get situated and get something to eat. Unfortunately, there were no on site restaurants that we could really grab "to go" so we ended up heading to the nearby grocery store. We finally got back to our room with our food and started to get settled. But, the kids had a field day in the was someplace new and there were like 5 doors in the place--leading to the bathroom, the bedroom, etc. They were running laps around the place and opening and closing all of the doors. I'm sure if anyone was below us, they were completely annoyed by the little footsteps coming from above them.

We got them ready for bed and of course neither of them fell asleep too easily.

On the first night I asked myself the following questions:
1. Why would I pay money to come to this place if my kids would actually be sleeping at home?
2. Is this an indication of how the rest of this little trip would be?

Day 2: Since none of us got much sleep and the kids were awake by 6:30am, we decided to lay low on day 2 and just head over to the pool(s). They had a little wading pool for small kids which was nice because Logan could stand on his own in it and then they had a few other pools for us to choose from all in one little area (they also had those giant floor chess and checkers games).

Anyway, once we got in the water Logan liked it for a little while and then he was over it. In the mean time we were trying to get Lexxa to understand that she can swim on her own with floaties--she is still so terrified...she will not let go of me in the water! Oh well, we still managed to practice some kicking in the water and I just held on to her under her arms. Needless to say, the pools didn't last long for us. The weather was nice, but it almost seemed like it should have been a little warmer so the kids weren't cold in the pool.

So, there was a little poolside "restaurant" called The Grill that we decided to eat at. Actually, we ordered the food to go so that we could just eat back at our room. Since it was one of the only options for food that was inside the resort area, we thought it would be at least decent. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich that was nasty...the chicken was really dry and just had no flavor at all. Lexxa ordered a cheese pizza...she is the picky child and she saw that the cheese on the pizza looked burnt, so she wouldn't eat a bite of it (and, I must admit that I thought it looked kinda gross too). Brad ordered some nachos that were made with stale chips and some random cheese and sour cream and he also ordered a BLT which was just ok. For Logan we got a hot dog that looked pretty wrinkled and blah! So, this place called "The Grill" that we thought would be decent was a waste of the $40 that we spent!

Enough about that. So, for the rest of the afternoon we relaxed and let the kids nap (I napped too since I didn't get much sleep the night before!). Then we headed into a little town close by for dinner at a restaurant called The Crabpot. I had every intention of taking pictures of the place and the food, but I ended up getting distracted with the kids so I didn't get very far. This is what I have instead.

But, all of the food was really good...much better than the yummy Grill for lunch (I know its sad that a lot of our trip was about food, I can't help it!). I had a seafood cioppino and Bread had clam chowder and some deep friend feast with shrimp, fish, get the point.

After dinner, an eggnog latte sounded good. So, I got my handy-dandy phone out and looked up the closest Starbucks on my GPS. The first one that came up was telling us to make a u-turn, so I told Brad we would just find another one (because I thought there had to be one). Well, it turned out that the only one close was inside the JW Marriott (which was in the same resort area as our room). But, when we pulled up, we were informed the the Starbucks had closed at 6pm! Ugh! At this point, I just really wanted my eggnog we just decided to go back to the one the originally came up on the GPS. This meant driving back past our hotel to pretty much the same place we came from! Keep in mind that these places were no more than 10 minutes apart, but it was still a pain to drive back and forth...thanks Brad for letting me get my eggnog (which was like the third one of our trip already--i have issues).

Day 3: On Day 3 we went to the Living Desert & Zoo in Palm Desert. The weather was really nice and we had a lot of fun. They had giraffe feedings (which Lexxa would definitely not do, so we just watched others feed the giraffes) and Zebras and a bunch of other animals. It was nice because it wasn't too busy and the place was pretty open so it we took our time walking around. They also had a lot of plant life and a butterfly exhibit. Lexxa really liked everything and she even got to go on their brand new Merry-Go-Round. Logan didn't like it very much though. They also had a really cool model town with trains, bridges, waterfalls and more! The place wasn't too big so we were ready to go by the afternoon. We headed back to our hotel so that the kids could nap.

After that we didn't have much planned, so we decided to head to the mall so that I could do some "birthday" shopping! That was exciting for me, but other than that it was pretty uneventful. I can't complain, I got to buy myself a few things which doesn't happen too often. Then, we just headed back to our room to pack up the massive amount of stuff that we managed to bring with us. We actually got it all together pretty quickly and we were ready to head out the next morning.

Day 4: We were on the road by 8:30am so that we could get home at a decent time. Of course, we had to stop and get an eggnog latte before we hit the road. It was an interesting experience and Starbucks because the girl in the drive through window was trying to be friendly and all, but it just came off as weird. She asked how we were doing which was normal and then she started asking us what we were doing for Thanksgiving and whose families house we were going was odd...maybe you just had to be there to understand what I'm talking about.

We managed to have a pretty successful trip home, the kids did really good! Lexxa even took some pictures of the windmills that we drove by. Everyone was exhausted by the time we got home and the kids were so happy to sleep in their own beds that night!

So, some parts of our trip were a little random, but all in all, it was nice to just spend time as a family. And, the great thing about it was that we got home on Wednesday and I still had two more days off of work!

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