2015 Holidays in Tucson

This Christmas holiday was spent with Steev, Greta, and Savanna so the shuttle picked me up at home around 5:00 a.m. on December 23.   The day was Steev’s birthday so I always like being there on his “special” day.   There was no problem checking and getting through TSA in Cedar Rapids so arrived in Dallas with over 2.5 hours before the next leg left for Tucson.  But, as usual with American, there were mechanical difficulties and the flight left about 1.5 hours later than scheduled.  Got to Tucson, retrieved my luggage and rental car, called Steev to let them know I had arrived, checked into the motel, wrapped a couple presents, and went to their place where Savanna eagerly greeted me.

Eager Savanna

Eager Savanna

  While waiting for pizza from Magpie’s to be delivered, Steev opened his presents. 

Birthday boy

Birthday boy

Watching gift opening

Watching gift opening

We had pizza and, after a drink, I headed back to the motel.  With getting up so early, I fought going to bed but gave up around 9:30.

Got up early on the 24th thinking I would take a walk but ended up wrapping all my Christmas presents for the kids instead.  Had breakfast at the motel restaurant and then I went to Steev’s for coffee before my massage and facial at Greentoes that the kids has scheduled for me at 10:00 that morning.

Liking Mama's hat

Liking Mama’s hat

What a wonderful experience!  My face felt smooth and the massage relaxed me!  Went to the kids and had leftover pizza for lunch.  We took a walk to the park where Savanna played some but was ready to go home shortly after arriving.  Once we got back to their place, I told them to call when they were ready for me to come back over and I left to run a couple errands.  Got a call shortly after 4:00 from Steev that their were ready for my presence; Greta was making enchiladas while Savanna napped.  Savanna got up and we had a delicious dinner of enchiladas, beans, and salad…yum!  Then we took off for Winterhaven; a residential area where all residences to put up Christmas lights, a tradition started in 1949 (here’s the link Winterhaven).

Entering Winterhaven

Entering Winterhaven

Oh Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Lots of activity with lights and water

Lots of activity with lights and water

It was a wonderful time watching Savanna and her reaction to all the lights.  Once we returned to the kids, I headed back to the motel and some reading…lights out at 11:00.

I hope everyone had a very “Merry Christmas”!  Got up around 7:00,  had coffee, and sent messages to family via email.  Went over to Steev’s at 8:30; scones had been made and coffee ready.  And then we opened presents…what wonderful items I received…the photo book of Savanna 2015 and Greta’s homemade peanut caramel clusters were especially appreciated.  Steev fed us his breakfast of scrambled eggs, broccoli, potatoes, and Greta’s homemade Bailey’s Cream in coffee…an excellent favor.  After eating and cleaning up, we were off to the Desert Museum; here’s the link Desert Museum.  Beautiful day with my beautiful family…life is good!

Landscape from one of the trails

Landscape from one of the trails

Protecting cactus from frost

Protecting cactus from frost

Having fun with turtle

Having fun with turtle

Left the museum; had a sandwich once we got to the kids and I left so the could visit Steev’s mom and stepfather.  Went back to the motel…Skyped with Allan and Jeannette, took a walk, and talked to my sister.  Steev called and, since Savanna was really tired, we decided I would stay put for the evening.  Had dinner in the motel restaurant which was quite busy…good food and people visiting among all the tables.  Came back and updated my notes.  Watched “And So It Goes” starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton on Netflix.  Read for awhile and lights out around 10:00.

Went to breakfast and, after retrieving my jacket because it was quite cold for Tucson, went for a walk.  While on my adventure, Greta called and asked me over for scones and coffee.  Went back to the motel, grabbed a sweatshirt that had a stain which I wanted to see if the kids had stain remover, and drove over to their house.  Savanna was up and ready to greet me.  Had coffee, scone,and played some with Savanna before returning to motel for a shower and change of clothes.  Went back to the kids and Steev/I took Savanna to Get Air, a trampoline place where she could jump and wear off excessive energy.  It was a fun time watching Savanna jump, bounce, and watch other kids.

Trampoline fun!

Trampoline fun!

Big girl climbing the rope

Big girl climbing the rope

"Papa...help me!"

“Papa…help me!”

Headed back to Steev’s and had enough time for us to grab a sandwich before heading to Star Wars: Return of the Force.  I really enjoyed the movie but was sad to see Harrison Ford killed off.  Not sure Steev was as impressed with it as I was.  Got back to the kids; they got ready to go out to dinner and followed me back to the motel so I could leave my car and ride with them.   Ate at La Quinta’s…one of my favorite Mexican places in Tucson.  And Savanna was very well behaved…with a 2 1/2 year old, one never knows.  The kids dropped me off at the motel with plans to meet at their place tomorrow morning at 8:30 so we can go to the farmers market.  There is a freeze warning out tonight so it will be cold tomorrow.  Had a glass of wine and read before turning off the lights.

Got up and had breakfast at the motel restaurant.  Drove over to the kids at 8:30;  the air light came on in the rental car so checked and, sure enough, one tire was low.  The kids told me of a station that had air so will take care of later.  We then took off to the Farmer’s Market where the kids purchased some vegetables and I got a soup mix.  We stopped at Trader’s Joe where Savanna and I stayed in the car while Greta and Steev picked up a few more food items.  And then on to a park where Savanna was pushed on the swing by Steev and I.

We are ready for fresh vegetables

We are ready for fresh vegetables

Looking down the market

Looking down the market

Fun at the swing

Fun at the swing

A new toy to play with

A new toy to play with

Went back to the kids for lunch of chili and pumpkin corn bread….very good!  The kids were going to Steev’s mom and stepdad for a delayed Christmas so I got air in the tire, watched a football game while trying to connect with American regarding tomorrow’s bad weather day; stayed on hold for over a hour and then was to be connected but it never happened…just dead air.  So called them back and requested a call back.  Left for a nice walk; it was a great walking weather and many people were out.  Got back to the room, turned on another football game, and started to organize my stuff for packing.  Still did not hear from American and could not reach my travel agent.  Green Bay is being massacred by Arizona Cardinals….sad, sad game watching a team that had been playing so well looking so crappy!  Steev called and I went over there for a glass of wine and dinner.  Said good night to the kids and Savanna.  Once I got back to the room, my travel agent called and then American while we were on the line together.  Earlier I had tried to print my boarding pass but could not so the American representative helped me with that.  All continued to look okay for tomorrow’s flights.

Had breakfast in the motel restaurant and gathered my things.  Because I was not confident about making it home, I packed my pajamas, deodorant, toothbrush and paste, clean underwear, and socks in my carry on.  Took off for the kids and a final cup of coffee with them before heading to the airport.  Stopped for gas and more air for the tire.  Got to the airport and checked in with no problem.  Flight from Tucson to DFW was no problem but, discovered upon landing, that the flight to Cedar Rapids was delayed about 1.5 hours.  The end result was it being cancelled.  Got onto a flight the next night at 10:00 PM, took a courtesy van to the Holiday Inn Express South, and had dinner at the Red Lobster.  The van driver stopped on the way to the hotel for a bottle of wine.  Watched Monday Night Football and hoped my travel agent would be able to get me out earlier tomorrow….but I did not have to vacate the room until 2:00 PM if a flight was not available.

Woke up around 6:30 on the 29th and went to the lobby to check in and print out my boarding pass.  However, American website could not locate my reservation so I returned to the room and called American.  To make a long story short, it turned out that there was a seat on the 10:25 AM plane to Cedar Rapids which I was able to reserve.  Had breakfast at my lodging, checked out, and took the 8:00 AM shuttle to the airport.  Got checked in and boarding pass printed…and then went through a long line at security.  But had plenty of time to kill once I got to the boarding gate.  And, before the flight boarded, I was called to the desk where they upgraded me into first class.  Flight was uneventful, bags where in American’s locked storage which I retrieved, and the shuttle driver was ready to take me to Shellsburg.   Arrived home around 1:00 in the afternoon.  Beauty and Cutie greeted me and, once again, a wonderful holiday with lots of happiness and love but there is nothing better than coming home.

 

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