Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Travel with Kids: Arizona Grand Resort (The Not So Good)

Yesterday, I wrote about our weekend and mentioned the good things about our stay at the Arizona Grand Resort.  I couldn't let the weekend pass without mentioning the not-so-good parts about our weekend stay.

The water park is small, but it is also easy to get separated. Since it's a "water" park, carrying phones to stay in touch isn't possible. On Friday night, the boys went to the water slides, while Lydia and I continued around the lazy river (and I have to mention that she has asked 3 times today if we could just GO to the lazy river again, please??)  A while later, she & I got out and went over to the chairs where we left our stuff.  The boys weren't there, so we decided to go over by the water slides and watch them come down.  We went to that area, and waited a while but never saw them.

So, we headed back to our stuff and our stuff was gone.  To cut a long story short, we looked for them, I reported my bag as missing (it held my phone and my Kindle.  And all I could think about was how Bo was going to order me a new one that night because I love my Kindle!!)   I muttered under my breath that I was going to kill them when I found them.

Part of me thought Bo must have picked up the bag, but it held the room key so I was going to have to get help from the staff to get into our room. Part of me worried that one of the boys was injured and they couldn't find me but left for the hospital (yes, I do worry quite a bit.) Part of me thought the boys were still sliding, and someone stole our stuff.

When we finally spotted the boys, I was mad.  Mad because I was so worried.  It wasn't a pretty few minutes until I calmed down and realized everyone was just fine and Bo did have our bag and my precious Kindle was just fine.

So, that didn't set up the weekend very well for me.  We got over that and spent some time in the wave pool.  I'm vigilant about keeping an eye on all my children in a body of water at all times.  It is much more difficult when you're in a very large pool along with hundreds of other people.  There are lifeguards, but that doesn't mean to me that I should let down my guard.  As the waves were pushing through, I had Lydia in a tube that I was holding and Nate and Colin were each about 20 feet away from me in opposite directions.

Suddenly I look at Nate and I see him lose his footing. He goes under, comes up and yells, then goes under again.  He's about 3 feet from a lifeguard, but she never notices. I immediately walk over to him and help him gain his footing again.  He was in water he could stand in when the waves weren't flowing, and then he panicked just a bit.  Everything turned out fine, but if I hadn't been keeping an eye on him things may have been different.

On Saturday, the boys ended up separated from me on the lazy river 2 separate times.  We met up again, and they were both smart about finding a place to stay put, but it wasn't a relaxing weekend for me.  Our boys are at that age where they're not small anymore, but they're also not old enough to be completely on their own.  I think we give them a fair amount of freedom, but even though they are both good swimmers, there's an awful lot of water there and while plentiful, I don't have much faith in the lifeguards.

But, in the end, the kids all had a great time and really enjoyed the different water features.  Me? I felt much calmer floating in our own backyard pool last night where I only had to keep tabs on 3 easily seen heads.  Will we visit again?  Yes, probably, but not for a couple years!

The stress of the weekend was all my own doing, and had nothing to do with the locale, service or amenities at the Arizona Grand Resort.  The resort itself, as well as its' staff, were wonderful and I have absolutely no complaints. Bo said (and I agree) that I would have enjoyed it much more if I could have stretched out on a lounge chair, sipped drinks and read from my book -- stepping into the water from time to time to cool off.  With 3 kids, however, that just wasn't happening.  (That picture posted above? Taken in the last 30 minutes we spent there, when Lydia was dancing at my side and the boys were throwing away our lunch garbage. Definitely not the norm for my weekend.)

I realized that I like going away and spending time in nature, and/or learning new things.  That's my preferred type of getaway.  Oh, and one where it's easy to keep tabs on my children and know that they're safe!  Next time, we'll be heading back to the parks and / or historical sites.

*Disclosure: Because this seems to be necessary when writing a blog, and money has been spent -- we decided to visit on our own, and I received absolutely nothing.  All the money spent this weekend was our own that we earned doing things that are non-blog related.*


  1. Anonymous9:29 AM

    My kids are 3 and 6 and I have a difficult time relaxing near water or places where I can't keep a good eye on them.

    When we go to hotels I bring along life jackets for the kids. They have a lot more fun because they can go into deeper water than they would be capable of otherwise. We still keep an eye on them, but my daughter enjoys the "freedom."

    (And I really think it sucks that we feel like we have to disclose that we spent our OWN money on something. Geesh!)

  2. Leighann, I didn't mention, but my 3yo did wear a life jacket all weekend. My boys (8&9) are good swimmers and wouldn't dream of wearing life jackets anymore. When they were younger, they did, though. And I know that even good swimmers can get into trouble, thus the worry.


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