Sunday, June 14, 2015

Our Days and Nights in Phoenix

I saved receipts all week after our new installment of Fun Dollars on Monday, but I still feel like I just blew through my Fun Dollars. We took a family trip to Phoenix this week while Corey was needed at the main office. His company paid for him to stay at a Motel 6 Extended Stay, so I took the kids down to the valley to stay there with him. We were able to have breakfast and dinner together as a family, and I was able to do different things with the kids during the day than what I normally would do in Sedona.

We started our trip south by stopping at The Outlets in Anthem. I was in need of some new shorts, and they have a play area for the kids there, so everybody wins. It always makes a nice pit-stop too. It breaks up the two-hour trip if we are going any further into the city than Scottsdale.

I took a risk, and decided I needed the shorts badly enough to go shopping without a stroller, and hope the kids stay with me. After a quick breeze through Gap and Banana Republic, I had found what I was looking for. Banana Republic had linen shorts on sale, just like the ones I bought there last year. They are comfy and colorful. (I have decided I do not like wearing denim shorts in the summer. It's linen all the way, baby!) Since the kids were so well-behaved while I shopped, I decided to reward them with something they beg me for every time we are at The Outlets...Auntie Annie's. I spent $7.00 on cinnamon-sugar pretzel bites and a lemon slushie. With treats in hand, we headed out to the play yard for the kids to blow off some energy before heading back on the road.

That night, we all went to Taco and Tequila Tuesday at Dos Gringos in Tempe. We had been to the one in Old Town Scottsdale the last time we all stayed in the Valley for Corey's work. We tried this other location because it was close to where we were staying. Corey and I each had a margarita and a "happy shot" with dinner. We all ate for $20.00, including the drinks!!! We were there for a while, letting the kids run around in the pit with the bean bag game (cornhole is it called???) while Corey and I talked. Even though the music was loud, it was still enjoyable to have the kids occupied while we lingered over dinner.

The next day, I ran the kids around the city with gusto. We played at McCormick-Stillman Railroad park. I took them to IKEA so that I could research dining room chairs. (Carrick loved the play place and Lily rode in the shopping cart.) I found what I was looking for to replace our old IKEA dining chairs that have seen better days. As I prepare for our upcoming garage sale, I want the old chairs to be included in the inventory. The new chairs I found are meant to be temporary, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them. At $25.00 a pop, I decided they would be the best replacement chair; inexpensive, match our table, comfortable to sit in, and stackable. I treated the kids (again) with a box of IKEA cinnamon rolls.

That night, we headed to Castles and Coasters after we picked up Corey from work. This time, we tried their mini-golf. Carrick has never actually been mini-golfing since becoming a "big kid" (I think we took him once when he was two to a different facility.) He really enjoyed it. So did I, since I finally found something at which I could beat Corey! Lily just ran around with her golf club, jumping off little path edgers, and talking to anyone who would listen to her.

Thursday was our bittersweet day. Our car was having troubles and I didn't want to drive the kids too far away from the hotel, just in case we got stranded in the city. I took the kids to Goodwill and to Denny's since they were both within safe driving distance. We shared a plate of cheese fries, an appetizer sampler plate and their first ever banana split. Sitting between two children gobbling up melting ice cream definitely made me laugh and forget the fact that I was "stuck" with them at the hotel all day. That night our family went back to Dos Gringos for another round of tequila and tacos.

After a breakfast at Waffle House, I packed up the hotel room and drove with the kids to an auto mechanic's garage to have the car checked out. The garage was the same place we took our Prius two months ago for a issue it was having. They gave me their company van to drive around all day while they fixed the problem. It was close to 5 hours of work they did in all. Thank goodness for the van. It would have been quite a challenge to keep the kids happy in their waiting room for that long. While we were waiting, I made a trip back to IKEA to claim the chairs I had researched two days earlier. By 4:00 we were leaving the garage, and an hour later, we were out of Phoenix heading back home.

Despite the slow traffic on I-17 heading northward, I was still in good spirits. Lily had fallen asleep, as Carrick and I delighted in the clouds over the mountains. It made me remember my dearly departed mother-in-law, as if she were smiling at us on our ride home.

Our trip down to Phoenix was not as refreshing as our recent trip to Mexico, but it was till a welcome break from Sedona. With Corey working down there this month to cover new-hire training, it broke up our time away from him while he's getting through this phase at work. Part of what we talked about in Mexico was how we could carve out more time together as a family, and this trip was a direct result of that. Seeing him for lunch and dinner, and having some family fun time refills my tank long enough to get me through the other days when we are apart. Just taking it one day at a time.

Auntie Annies's at The Outlets- $7.00
Tickets at the train park- $10.00
Cinnamon Rolls at IKEA- $4.00
Snacks at Denny's- $22.00 (with tip)
Snacks at Target while they fixed the car- $5.00
Lunch at IKEA- $10.00
Doritos for the car ride home at Circle K- $5.00

Balance this pay cycle- $10.00 (I don't know if this all adds up, but that is all that's left in my wallet after this trip. I night not have saved a receipt or recorded a purchase with all the running around we did.)

Happy Spending!

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