Waking up and sitting outside to this experience is nothing short of delightful. And, as I may have have mentioned before, we picked a wonderful time to come as Oregon often waits until the Fourth of July to truly reveal its summer glory and this year is no exception with rain forecast through much of the week.
Nature shots taken by Mikayla - she's getting very talented with the camera.
This is where we stay - with our condo style units.
While Canyon Villas has a great pool area, the adjacent property (and free use to us) of JW Marriott's Desert Ridge Resort and Spa has a Lazy River and Water Slide - so we hopped on the shuttle to take us the quarter mile to their entrance.
Just a little bit of a step up - we had to keep encouraging the kids to "keep it classy" in this high class hotel.
After getting as much sun as we needed for a while, we headed to the Candy Outlets in Chandler. As I wrote on Instagram, leave it to the Rileys to bypass the Grand Canyon when vacationing in Arizona and go to the Candy Outlets instead!
We have an inside joke going with the Whites regarding Whitley having knowledge of how to open a Smarties candy. I can neither confirm nor deny that I had any part of her learning how to do that... So, I posed for a pic to send them on what I'll bring home for their daughter. (just kidding...)
Not everything in this candy superstore was something I couldn't wait to taste....Oh my goodness, gross!!!!
What I decided would instead be a better choice for Whitley. "Perfect for Smart Kids!!!"
The uber long receipt we walked away with...
This was taken in our "downtime" before going to dinner. I had actually opted to stay home after the outlets with a bit of a headache that, as hoped for, disappeared with a nap. When I woke up, John was napping so we hung out on the patio. Soon after, Brayden joined us, keeping himself entertained by making drawings out of awkward pics he took of me....
Dinner on the first night was at The Rustler's Rooste. It was a perfect choice with lots of fun "bells and whistles" to add to atmosphere and fun for the whole family.
Among those "extras" was being greeted by this steer, "Horny"...
The entrance into the restaurant.
To get to the seating area of the restaurant, you could opt to go down the stairs, or have fun down the slide. Of course, I'd choose the slice, but in hindsight, should have chosen differently. My skirt rode up in the back and by the time I reached the carpet base, I ended up with quite the road rash. Ouch! I expected maybe a sunburn, but not this!
The kids both got virgin strawberry dacquiris. They were delicious!
This picture says so much of the reality of life with Brayden. Constantly pestering, poking, needing attention - and yet so lovable. John's expression says it all.
We were seated to look out on the patio - where John and Mikayla (and eventually all of us) went out to take pics.
After a tasty dinner, this guy stopped by our table to make custom balloon creations.
Mikayla's was a monkey on a motorcycle - but I think it looks more like Snoopy.
Brayden's was a lazer gun.
The finale for the meal was cotton candy brought with the bill. Even though it was banana flavored, it was VERY good.
A live band played in the restaurant - and this couple dancing was so sweet.
It was an excellent first choice for vacation dining. Unfortunately, John's stomach has been very wounded over the last week or so, so any deviation from the "BRAT diet" (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) turns into a lot of pain for him within a half hour after eating. He divulged on some cornbread with butter and paid for it. =( It's getting better even as I'm typing this, but he's having to take it easy, which is never what you want to have to do on vacation!