Friday, April 10, 2009

Our First Family Vacation: Indio, CA

We spent last week soaking up the sun in Indio, CA. Overall, the vacation was fun, but it definitely didn't go as planned. The trip started off on a bad note when, 2 hours before our plane was supposed to board, we logged in to complete our web check-in and found that our flight was actually scheduled for the following day. Ummm...that can't be good! Chris called Alaska Airlines to see what our options were. Amazingly enough, there were 3 seats still available on the flight we thought we were scheduled for. Unfortunately, it was going to cost us and ADDITIONAL $720 to move our flight up by 24 hours. WHAT?!?! I thought they only charged a $75 change fee to change tickets. Well, in addition to the change fee, you also have to pay the difference in ticket price, which just so happened to be $165/ticket (luckily Sienna still flies free!!!). UGH. Not a good start to our vacation!

After debating for what seemed like forever, we decided to pay the extra $$$ because we were all packed and ready to leave. Not only did we have a rental car scheduled for that day, but my parents were paying for a presidential suite that would be going to waste if we weren't there to enjoy it. Plus, I really wanted as many days in the sun as I could get. After 1 hour and 45 minutes of cruising at 35,000 ft, we arrived in Palm Springs! The kids did really well on the flight down...I was exhausted from keeping the kids happy, but the flight attendants specifically said how amazing they did. WHEW! However, I'll spare you the gory details of our 4 1/2 hour return flight home (we stopped in San Francisco but were not allowed off the plane). I'm pretty sure that everyone sitting on the plane thought Sienna was pretty much the craziest child they had ever seen (and heard). After that flight, we have decided that we will DRIVE to our next vacation...even if it takes us several days!!! The kids were in heaven playing on the 2 playgrounds at the resort. The equipment was perfect for them even though the sign said it was for kids up to age 12 (the whole time I was wondering what 12 year old would want to play on the little playgrounds)! The morning after we arrived we took the kids to the playground (again) and then my mom and I went grocery shopping while Chris and my dad took the kids to play in the toddler pool. Brayden was a little slow to warm up to the water, but I think he eventually had some fun. After naps, we took them swimming again! I was so LOVING being on vacation in the nice warm sun! Unfortunately, that is were the vacation took another detour. Shortly after our afternoon swim, Brayden came down with the stomach flu and kept us up pretty much all night. UGH. Those of you who know me well, know that since having kids, I have a huge phobia of the stomach flu. It was my worst nightmare!!! Even though Brayden started feeling better the next day, he still wasn't eating much or acting like himself, and the rest of us were just waiting for the flu to take out it's next target. If only we had known that no one else was going to catch it, we might have been able to enjoy ourselves a little bit more. After Brayden started feeling better, Chris and I were able to get out to play tennis, go swimming, and lay in the sun while my parents watched the kids. much fun and so relaxing! Most of these pictures were taken before Brayden got sick (I have so many pictures, I made little videos...unfortunately my video program ruined the picture quality):

2 of the 7 days that we were in Indio, there were horrible wind storms! The second storm was by far the worst, with winds up to 69 mph! The wind moved the chairs and the huge table on our even broke the strap that held the hot tub cover on, sending it sailing 3 stories down to the parking lot. Luckily no one was down there, and from what we could tell, it didn't hit any cars, either. Crazy! Even though it was crazy windy, Chris, my brother, and I all laid out in the sun while the kids napped...there was no way I was heading back to Portland still blinding everyone with my ghostly white skin! After naps, we took the kids out on the balcony and they loved playing and dancing in the wind:

Here are some pictures of our amazing presidential suite. It had 4 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms!!! We all had our own rooms until my brother drove up from San Diego and then Brayden slept on our floor.

Here are some random pictures from the week:

Here are some pictures from one of the playgrounds that I mentioned earlier:

The kids had so much fun playing together all week...they really are best friends and do absolutely everything together!