The drive is long with two young children, but went remarkably well. The backseat is a bit tight with two car seats, but I was able to squish myself in between the two seats and soothe Scarlett when she got upset. I'd still prefer a larger SUV, though (hint-hint, Honey ...).
We spent our first night with our beloved Auntie Bol and Uncle Mr. Ashe. We arrived later than we expected, and they very graciously treated us to a wonderful, home cooked meal for dinner - and for breakfast the next day. Christian had a great time running around with Auntie and Uncle ... I wish we could have stayed longer. (I somehow didn't get pictures of our visit ... bad, bad Jennifer).
Saturday morning, we paid a visit to the adorable Fernandez Family. We hasn't seen Tesa since she was about Scarlett's age ... and she is just the most precious little girl. I almost had to take both Joaquin and Tesa home with us - they are just so precious!
And once again, we were treated to a wonderful meal ... and great conversation! I've missed my sweet friend, Kristy!
Kristy, Tesa and Scarlett
Christian and Scarlett.
He was in HEAVEN to be playing with all these new toys!
Joaquin and Scarlett
Auntie Kristy and Christian
Next, we headed to Carrie's graduation party up in the mountains. She graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a double major in Elementary Education and Special Education. I'm just so proud of her!
We're so acclimated to the hot temps of Phoenix that we found the mountain air to be really chilly ... but I LOVED IT! It was nice to be in "real mountains" (versus the desert mountains a block away from our house). The air smelled amazing!
Scarlett with Auntie Amy and Lil' Joshua
Scarlett and Madison
Christian preferred to stay away from the crowd of strangers.
Scarlett and Auntie Carrie
Papa and Christian looking for new adventures.
Scarlett and Grandma Debba
The cool mountain air was a bit much for our little boy from Phoenix. :)
After the graduation party, we headed to out hotel in Albuquerque to meet up with Granny, Grandpa and Uncle Eldon. It was the first time Uncle Eldon met our Miss Scarlett.
Gettin' some "Granny Love"
"Oh, so THIS is my Uncle Eldon!"
Two very tired kiddlets!
My beloved Sandia Mountains
We splurged a little and got a two-suite hotel room. Christian is very loud these days and there is no way we would have been able to have two sleeping children in a conventional one-room hotel room. And the arrangement worked out perfectly. Christian in one room sleeping with one parent, Scarlett in the other room sleeping with the other parent ... and a nice living room/kitchenette set up in between so we could all visit.
Alas, on Monday - after a much-too-short weekend - it was time to hit the highway again. But first, we stopped off at my office to visit.
The Grand Canyon State
(and I've STILL never seen the Grand Canyon!!)
Scarlett had enough of her Papa's love.
Christian and one of his many Happy Meal toys.
He loves them for the day and then is done ... couldn't care less.
So there you have it ... we did it: we survived a long road trip with an energetic four year old little boy and a four month old baby princessa. I hope it is not another three years before we return to the Land of Enchantment ... but you never know what the future holds. I couldn't have imagined that we'd go three years without going back to the place I grew up ... but that is exactly what happened.