Apparently, We Missed April

And yet, so much happened in April! Let’s get to it.

The girl’s Spring Break was in early April, but I had a work trip – my first in 2 years! – early that week, so we considered keeping it low-key. For anyone who’s met my husband, you’ll know that “low-key” is not his jam. We have friends who were living in Scottsdale, AZ for a while, leaving mid-year, who we had hoped to visit for months. Plus, Bart’s aunt and uncle live there, and we’d been hoping to visit them for YEARS. You can guess what happened.

My flight to NYC was on Tuesday of that week, so we agreed we would drive there together (road trip!), I would fly back to LA on Monday, then Bart would drive the girls home solo on Wednesday. What a dad! And so, I started the Google doc.

We drove out on Friday evening, stopping at a hotel in Palm Desert for sleep and some Saturday morning pool time (it was HOT).

Then we began the beautiful drive from LA to Arizona. If you haven’t had the chance to drive around the Southwest, you should! (I’m biased but Utah is more magical to look at; however, I’ll take any of the Four Corners states for a drive.) Anyway, here’s just an example of the car photography on the way out.

We arrived to our Airbnb on Saturday afternoon and met our friends for dinner that evening, followed by treats at the Sugar Bowl, an iconic soda fountain / ice cream shop where my husband, an avid ice cream fan, got this (and to be honest, we all got something decadent):

The next day we enjoyed breakfast in downtown Scottsdale at a yummy place called JOJO Coffeehouse, an open-air space with modern design and a wall full of artificial grass, of course. Highly recommend. Especially if you bring these two cuties:

Next we visited our friends Ann and Jaye at their lovely temporary AZ home where the girls got to hug cacti (not really, but the saguaros were HUGE, and I fell in love with an octillo!), wash a gorgeous horse and play with cute dogs and cats. They were in heaven!

(the one on the left is an Octillo – hands off!)

The best of those photos were taken by Jaye, and I love her horse Big’s expression as two tiny humans hesitantly (but excitedly) attempt to give a bath. Told you there was a gorgeous horse. But the fun didn’t end there!

Oh, how I love to talk that kid into acting like she’s sitting on a cactus. But I digress. That was just a random parking lot photo… Up next we went to dinner with Bart’s aunt, uncle and cousin at a pizza place near Fountain Park, which meant the girls got to play on a playground near the water, and we all shared stories and pizza!

I can’t believe I failed to get a family pic, though I think there’s one on someone’s iPhone… please send! And that was the end of my part of Spring Break, as I flew back to LA on Monday as planned to head to NYC on Tuesday and host my first in-person roundtable in over 2 years. I have to say, traveling with a mask (and watching others loosely comply to the mask requirements at that time) was not my favorite.

I will in fact keep this brief and say how incredible it was to see the sky above the clouds from a plane again, to be IRL with people I really like, and to be in a lively NYC for any time at all. I will add that the 30 hours it took me to get back home due to my flight getting cancelled after 5 hours of them promising it would NOT get cancelled and waiting in line as the poor man in front of me tried to get 45 high school kids and 9 adult chaperones to their destination really sucked. There, I said it.

OH OH OH. And the week after this trip, I headed to SF and Seattle for more in-person roundtables that went very well but ended with me getting COVID on the last leg of the trip after obsessively taking 10 at-home tests along the way to be sure I did not get anyone else sick. But that experience is an entire blog. For now, the SKY!

While I was in NYC, Bart and the girls shamefully continued to have LOTS of fun without me. From spending more time with Ann & Jaye to spending time at the Arizona Boardwalk, which is basically a kids’ paradise. They went into the Butterfly Wonderland and the Laser + Mirror Maze, of which Bart did his daddy duty and sent me pictures (love that guy):

Another really fun adventure I’m sad I missed was their trip to the Desert Botanical Garden, where there was a Chihuly exhibit. If you haven’t checked out his work, you must. His blown glass art is displayed in the middle of the real desert landscape, surrounded by cacti with the incredible backdrop of nature all around. Thanks to our friend Ann, I’ve couple of pics with my very own family for perspective:

They also went horseback riding and got to pet more animals. I know what you’re thinking: that man spoils those kids! (Right?!) Or maybe you’re thinking I should have stayed in Scottsdale (yes!) instead of going back to work (also yes). But I’m thinking how grateful I am to have a partner who is such an amazing dad! Oh, and those girls should be more grateful. I thought that, too.

And all that happened before mid-April. See? I told you April was worth a blog post. I won’t say nothing happened AFTER Spring Break, since we did have a fun Easter weekend down in Long Beach before I started my less-than-fun adventure of isolation due to COVID (unrelated to Easter), but I do think I’ve hit the high points.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that this year is just going by too fast for me to keep blogging right on time, so thanks for indulging my late posts. Our May, June and (gulp) almost over July have also been eventful, so I’ll do my best to catch up eventually (even notice both those words have the word “event” in them but don’t seem to have a lot in common?). Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of some lady’s dog I saw in the airport (it’s worth it) and a video of the rainbow parrotfish Ella drew at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach (also worth it). Enjoy!

(CLICK FOR VIDEO)

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