John and I took the day off from work last Friday – which only really means that we both took calls/emails from home. We are both fortunate to have rewarding jobs, but the demands and responsibilities that these jobs carry often prevent us from having real time “off.” Oh well. We took George to school that morning because we wanted him to have as normal a schedule as possible. Meanwhile, back at home, we packed and got ready when we didn’t have work commitments. We also had our master bedroom window treatments delivered and installed just before we the left the house. We picked up Chick-fil-A for lunch before picking up G from school. Because I know he isn’t a big fan of the school’s Friday sandwich lunches, we picked up a kids meal for George. And boy was it a hit. George devoured his lunch on the way to the airport.
We got to the airport without delay, parked at Terminal B, checked our bags, and made it through security without issue. After picking up a few treats and bottles of water, we made our way to the United Club for our ritual diaper change and last-minute organizing. Once all that was out of the way, we made our way to the gate. Because our flight was late arriving, we were late boarding and taking off by about an hour. Blerg. Since we were cutting into George’s nap time, he was getting a little stir-crazy. But once we were on-board and settled, all was well.
We flew an EMB-145 and the cabin felt very claustrophobic with the 1-2 seat layout. We always try to buy as much space as we can for George and ourselves, so this meant economy plus for this flight. Even still, we were crammed into the plane and I was fearful that G was going to kick the seat in front of him the entire time (thankfully, he didn’t).
George was excited to use the tray table in front of him and to have his water cup on it. Surprisingly, he was also uninterested in his Kindle Fire after a few minutes, and only had eyes for some old episodes of Mickey Mouse Club that were miraculously still on my iPhone. So, after an episode, G was out for the count. #winning. A rested George is best for everyone.
We landed an hour later than scheduled thanks to the delay in Houston, so we were in a hurry to get the next phase of the trip going. I grabbed our rental car while John got the luggage from baggage claim. We hit the road to Las Cruces, NM, just in time for…rush hour. Whomp, Whomp.
It took us forever, but we made it to La Posta in Mesilla, NM, to meet John’s parents for dinner. La Posta is legendary and we were thrilled to be dining there again. We stuffed ourselves silly with New Mexican fare, but no one ate quite like George. My sweet child can EAT, friends.
Afterwards, we checked into the Hotel Encanto and quickly worked to get settled in to our room. Bath time and bed time happened quickly for George and before we all knew it, it was lights out for our crew.
We were all up 6:00AM, so we quickly got ready and hit the road for a quick to trip to White Sands National Monument. After a quick pit-stop at Starbucks for breakfast to-go, we made the 50 minute drive to our destination. Our only other stop on the way there was to show George a large rocket and to take in the beautiful views.
We made it to White Sands without incident, and hit the Visitor’s Center first. We picked up some sunscreen and some books for George. Although we were tempted to buy some sleds, better thinking encouraged us to restrain ourselves. After all, George is still pretty small for that type of activity.
We made our way into the Park and drove a ways before selecting some dunes to explore. George was so very excited and it was so fun to watch him running around and exploring everything. We spent about an hour playing in the sands and taking in the views.
George was having such a great time, but the white sand and blazing heat were strong enough to worry that a sunburn was inevitable.
We packed up after a while and poor G didn’t want to leave. We explored the park for a few more minutes by car, then hit the road back to Las Cruces. Once we made it back to town, we drove straight to John’s favorite fast-food restaurant. Much to his disappointment, Go-Burger was closed (it is now only open M-F). So, we did the next best thing and ate lunch at El Sombrero. We had a really nice lunch, chock full of New Mexican fare. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel for nap time.
Post nap-time, we got ready and made our way to John’s Aunt and Uncle’s home for the 99th birthday celebration of John’s grandmother.
There were about 70 family members in attendance and it was a great way to see family and to introduce them to our (now a toddler!) George.
We had a really nice time seeing family we haven’t seen in several years, and time passed too quickly.
Before we knew it, it was time to return back to the hotel for George’s bath and bedtime.
We had a pretty relaxing morning in our hotel room last Sunday. We played, packed, and got ready, and checked out of the hotel before meeting John’s parents, brother, and our nieces and nephews for breakfast. We met up at Mesilla Valley Kitchen – a causal breakfast and lunch spot that has long been an Arnold family favorite. We had a really nice family breakfast before hitting the road back to the El Paso airport.
Just as we arrived at the airport to return our rental car, we learned that our flight was delayed about 50 minutes. Blerg. We checked our bags, cleared security, and got settled into the airport for a bit of a wait. We ended up feeding G a light lunch before we boarded. We are really fortunate that George is a great eater and will try just about anything. We fed him some broccoli soup and crackers and his belly was FULL by boarding time.
Once we got on board, George began watching an episode of Mickey Mouse Club on his Kindle before…falling asleep. He slept the entire flight home, giving John and me some time to relax. I listened to two episodes of Serial (season 2) while John read. George slept until we landed, then promptly an announced that he wanted to go on another trip and plane ride. Hey, at least this kid comes by his wanderlust honestly!