At the beginning of last year—2018—I decided to plan some outings with my youngest kiddos—my then ten-year-old twins.
You see, I am not new to motherhood. I have adult children. I am even a grandmother for crying out loud—three times over. What I have learned from my decades as a mother is that children grow way too fast—much faster than I expected.
Now is the time to enjoy my little boys while they are still full of childish wonder, giggles, and exuberance.
For this reason, I endeavored to plan one monthly outing as part of my Happiness Project—starting in February of 2018.
A Year of Outings
1. The Gaslight Theater and the Sonoran Desert Museum
For February, I planned two outings. In all fairness, one activity—The Gaslight Theater—was for the entire family. The twins especially loved it.
The show had a western theme and they laughed the entire time.
The twins and I—as well as my two girls, my daughter-in-law, and two of my grands—went to the Sonoran Desert Museum on a windy day.
This outing was not our first time at the museum and I doubt it will be our last.
We witnessed the raptor flight for the first time which was an amazing expereince—a must see.
2. Children Museum
The Children Museum is located in downtown Tucson. I think it is geared toward younger children. Nevertheless, the twins had fun.
I had not been at the museum in twenty years at least—not much had changed.
3. Miniature Museum and Durango
My husband and I went on a date to the Miniature Museum and I was rather certain the kids would like it.
I was right.
It is a lovely place.
My girls, the twins and I also spent two weeks in Durango, Colorado, to await the arrival of grandbaby number three and to attend a bridal shower. We stayed in a cozy tiny apartment on top of a mountain and had a wonderful time.
We were blessed with a new grand-daughter. Mama and baby are doing great and Daddy is as proud as a peacock—as he should be.
4. Odysea and The Mellow Mushroom
Odysea is a snazzy aquarium in the Phoenix area. I found it pricey and not that amazing. It was packed and too cacophonous for my taste. The kids, however, loved it.
A few years ago, I was in North Carolina—more precisely in a town which I love, Asheville—when we stumbled upon a pizza restaurant called the Mellow Mushroom. Thereupon, my daughter and I enjoyed one of our best pizza ever.
We were excited to hear that Phoenix boasted a few of these restaurants. Therefore, on our way home from the aquarium, we enjoyed lunch at a Mellow Mushroom.
This was not an outing per se…more of a family vacation. One of our sons was getting married and we were there for the occasion. We had a great time and we were blessed with being able to visit with family and friends.
6. Sabino Canyon Swimming Day
On a hot Summer evening, the entire family headed for one of our favorite swimming holes in Sabino Canyon. It was heavenly.
The scenery is magnificent. The water is refreshing. And, the swimming hole is lush by Sonoran Desert criteria.
A small slice of heaven and always great fun.
7. Titan Missile Museum
My brother and wife were visiting from France. We decided to take them and the boys to the Titan Missile Museum.
It was fascinating for adults and kids alike.
It was my second time there so it was not as thrilling for me. For my part, the juiciest morsel was being with my loved ones—and enjoying delicious Mexican food afterward our visit to the museum.
8. Ventana Resort
While I am no fan of the three-digit temperatures which slam us in the Summer, I am very much a fan of the deals they bring.
Fancy and luxurious resorts offer substantial discounts in the hopes of enticing tourists and locals alike to book a stay at their place.
I decided to take the boys for an overnight trip to such a resort where they enjoyed many hours in the large pool.
I plan to take them again next Summer….probably a couple of times.
October was rather busy as I spent almost three weeks in France visiting my family. I planned no outings this month.
November boasted five birthdays and Thanksgiving and in the midst of all the hoopla….I—again—planned nothing.
11. Botanical Gardens
The plan was to go to see the luminarias at the Botanical Gardens. But as the saying goes the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
My boys fell sick and we had to cancel our outing.
Sometimes, the best outings are those who do from home….such as picnics.
We put a blanket on the grass on a warm and sunny January day, we made some snacks, grilled cheese sandwiches, and had a few sweet treats. Let’s not forget some hot cocoa.
We ate, talked, laughed, and relished being together.
Outings: One Year Later
An entire year has gone by and the boys have sprouted a few inches and are an inch short of puberty.
I still plan to make time whenever possible to enjoy them may it be reading them a book or enjoying a picnic inside on a rainy day.
The time spent with those we love most if the best.