Ryan and his dad were smart. Since we flew into Phoenix, they decided that it would probably work better for the kids for us to spend the night in Phoenix before driving to Tucson. They were right- Juliana screamed for the last 30 minutes of the plane ride (it was magical). After we ate lunch, we went to the SEA Life aquarium. It was really cool! The kids loved it! It was set up kind of in a maze format so you moved from room to room, and some of the aquariums had "bubbles" so that you could stick your head up into the fish tank and look in on the fish. One of the rooms allowed you to put your hands in the tanks and touch anemones, starfish, sea cucumbers. I wasn't sure if Juliana would do it, with her sensory issues, but she put her hands and arms all the way into the tank and didn't want to leave that room. The favorite room for the kids was this HUGE fishbowl and swimming in the fishbowl were all sorts of stingrays that would splash the water. You could view them from up high, and crawl into a bubble and look into the tank- that was Noah's favorite part.
After we left the aquarium, we went to the Squaw Peak Resort to check in. Fortunately, all of Ryan's traveling had paid off and we stayed there on some of his Hilton Points (I finally found an upside for him being out of town). We quickly got the kids into their swimsuits and sunscreened them up, and then met Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie Diane and went to the pool. I seriously think that if Noah was a dog he would be a Portuguese Water Dog, because that kid loves the water! The kids finally crashed (they did really well, since we had to get them up at 4 AM to go to the airport) and we got them dinner and put them to bed before Ryan and I crashed. We were sure they would get up early the next day, but we were wrong- they were tired! Noah slept 13 hours and Juliana slept 15.5 hours! Wow! After breakfast, we spent the rest of the morning at the pool before we checked out and made the drive to Tucson.
One of the things Noah told Grandpa that he wanted to do while we were there was to "run up a mountain". So, Grandpa found us a smaller mountain that he thought Noah could hike up. We didn't end up running up the mountain, but Noah hiked his way all the way to the top! We only had to stop once, because his shoe came off when his foot got stuck, but he walked all the way with very little help from me. Juliana tried to walk, but Ryan ended up carrying her most of the way up. She tried to walk down too, but I ended up carrying her down (Ryan had the easier job on the way up). One thing we did learn on this day, was that Juliana still overheats very quickly, so this was about all time she could be outside for when it's really hot.
We also visited the International Wildlife Museum, which was pretty cool too. It had animals from all over the world. The kids liked it alot. One of their favorite parts was this tunnel that let them pretend they were ferrets and they crawled through it multiple times. Juliana's favorite was walking under the giraffe. Noah's favorite was the Gila Monster- at Grandma and Grandpa's, there was a lizard that Noah named Coco and would leave water out- it wasn't a Gila Monster, but that's Noah's favorite lizard now. That night Grandpa broke out the Karaoke machine and Noah and Juliana "sang" to us on the microphone and danced for us as well.
One of my favorite places to visit when we are in Tucson is the Desert Museum. Since we learned early on that Juliana overheats quickly, we kept her "cool" by soaking her shirt in the icy cold water fountains that they have throughout the museum. I also would take her hat and fill it up with water and dump it on her head. This way we were able to see more of the museum without her "melting" and we didn't have to worry about her body temperature rising quickly. She wouldn't even shudder when we put the icy cold shirt back on her. The kids really liked the museum, especially the hummingbird habitat, the raccoon (because he ran right up to them), the squirrel (because again he ran right up to them), and the cave.
Forgetting about the plane rides, we had an awesome time out west! Thank you Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie for showing us such a nice time! We love you and miss you!