After a long (and still ongoing) winter, Allison, Carter and I needed a break from the snow and cold. We settled on a destination with lots of sun, very little rain, and not a trace of snow — Phoenix, AZ. Continue reading below to see the highlights of our trip from a couple weeks ago!

The Flight

While we had taken Carter on one other plane ride when he was a little over one, he didn’t remember much of that, so we all considered this his “first” time on a plane. All week leading up to our departure, we kept reminding Carter that he was going to ride in an airplane, and he seemed genuinely excited. From takeoff to landing, and everything in between, Carter did great for a first-time flyer. It didn’t hurt that we had hours upon hours of his favorite cartoons on our laptop and enough snacks to open a small convenience store — Carter stayed content and quiet for the majority of the 3 hour flight.

The Hotel Room

For Allison and I, the best part of our hotel room was not having to clean up after ourselves and the nice view of the mountains. For Carter, it was being allowed to jump on the bed — which we frown upon at home — and eating breakfast on the balcony every morning, while yelling greetings to the people below.


On two occasions, while waiting for the swimming pools to warm up in the morning, we found some fun hiking paths close to our hotel. We weren’t sure how far Carter would make it before wanting Allison or I to carry him, but we figured we’d test his endurance. On both occasions, he did really well for a good part of the hike, wanting to move higher and higher until we reached a few of the smaller peaks. Once we got to the top, he entertained himself by throwing as many rocks as he could over the edge. At one point, he was having so much fun, he asked us to leave him there and head back without him.

Putt-Putt Golfing

The resort that we stayed at had a putt-putt golf course, and even though Carter had never done it before, he couldn’t get enough of it. Nearly every day, Carter would ask us if we could go golfing, and we obliged. While I wouldn’t consider him a prodigy just yet, he did hit a couple good putts, and was always willing to help Allison and I when our golf balls weren’t close enough to the cup than he thought they should be.


The main draw for the resort we chose was the amount of swimming pools on the property. Not only were there 5 or 6 different pools, but they also had a lazy river, where Allison and I would have preferred to spend most of our time. As it worked out, we convinced Carter to go around at least one or twice each day, and he even once floated around by himself, with his inflatable shark.

The Food

Always looking to try new eats, we visited a few of unique restaurants during our stay. A few that stood out included:

  • Texaz Grill: A hole in the wall, best known for its portion sizes and chicken fried steak, and they weren’t kidding. I worked pretty hard to take one down, only to find another even larger steak below that.

  • Los Reyes de la Torta: Once called the Best Sandwich in America by Man vs. Food, these were some true authentic tortas. It lived up to the hype and was even bigger in person.

  • Dick’s Hideaway: This restaurant was literally hidden in a strip mall not too far from our hotel. There was no sign on the building and very little on the door itself. What it lacked in distinction on the outside, it sure made up for in the food. This was one of the best breakfasts I had ever had.

    The End

    As all good things go, our vacation, sadly, had to come to an end. Before we left, Carter got one more good look at the cactus outside our hotel, so he could tell his friends at school about it. We were hoping to bring some nice weather back with us, but we weren’t so lucky — the warm weather can’t be here soon enough.