What you don't want in LA during morning rush hour is for the police to shut down the most traveled freeway in the city to investigate a morning shootout with the cops. That put extra pressure on the freeway we needed to get to the airport and made what is normally a 20 minute trip closer to an hour. That put us at the airport 25 minutes before the flight. ... and 5 minutes after they locked down the check in. Next flight wasn't until 2:30. My mother-in-law was already back in route to pick up Gina's sisters and take them to school. By the time she got back to pick us up we'd pretty much have to turn right back around, so we toughed it out. We got some much needed Starbucks, played around in the terminal with all the luckier people going to Hawaii that morning. Grabbed some lunch at Chili's. Rearranged several souvenier shops and debated about a picture of a polar bear that the girls were convinced was a tiger like the stuffed white one they have. Hey, they understood it went "roar" so that's good enough for me. By then it was time to to take the tram to a remote terminal were we made friends with a drunk cowboy on his way to Boise and 9 month old on his way to Monterrey (with his parents, who looked relieved to know that someone else was facing a bigger challenge than them that day). Soon enough we were on our plane and 20 seconds after liftoff Arianna fell asleep on my chest. She didn't wake up until we had taxied to the terminal in Tucson. Genevieve gave Gina little harder time, but fell asleep about half way through. I have to say, this was my favorite plane flight ever. I've not had this much uninterrupted snuggle time since the girls were mere weeks old. It was fantastic. Plus I got to "stick it" to the crotchety lady sitting next to me who gave me the stink eye when I sat down with an 18 month old. As she was leaving she told me how impressed she was and I accepted her comment gratefully.
Tucson was great, we played at Grandpa's house the first night.
We headed down to the ranch the next day, and had a great time even though it's not really a "baby" friendly place as there's not much to do but ride horses and shoot guns. But we found some rocks to throw, some flowers to pick
and did a little bird watching that kept us good and busy.
Plus, Gina's cousin came up and brought her dog (and her 6'7" boyfriend and his 6'8" brother - the giants) and he kept the girls good and entertained. ... although he did eat our beloved "monkey" doll. ... may he rest in pieces. I'm not going to go into the other crazy details, I'm just going to let your imagination run with it.
Back in Tucson on Sunday the adventures continued. First Grandpa saved a bunny from one of his dogs. It was the tiniest little thing, no bigger than a hamster. It was bleeding pretty bad, but he kept it in a bucket through dinner and by the end of the night it had stopped bleeding and seemed to be doing really well so he released it on the side of the house, away from the mutts. He also brought the girls a pony to ride around in his back yard. I don' think I have to tell you this, but Grandpa has perfected the art of spoiling. I think getting the least amount of time with them out of all the grandparents makes him go a little overboard. But the girls had a really good time and it was good solid interaction time with their grandpa and their 3 uncles, so you've got to go with it. It's important that they grow up knowing who these guys are, even though they've got such wonderful family members here at home. This is their family too - even if it takes 7 hours in the airport to get to see them.
Plan ride home was not as smooth as on the way out. We kept the girls up all day, hoping they'd conk on the plane, but they fell asleep the last 10 minutes of the drive to the airport. So they were slightly rested, but not rested enough which made them really cranky on the plane. The good news is there were two other babies and they were waaaaayyyy worse then us, so it made our 30 minutes of fussing look like nothing. Sometimes it's not about being the best, it's just about not being the worst.