July 18-20, 2014: Back to the WorldMark Rancho Vistoso Resort
Here we are, poised at the end of another too-short summer. I worked loooong days every day this week except Tuesday, and now I have barely more than a day left until school starts on Monday. It's always sad to see summer vacation end.
So last weekend the kids and I had one last fling before Dylan and I plunge back into the wacky world of high school. They wanted to go see their dad in Tucson one more time, so I reserved a 2-bedroom condo at our usual resort in Oro Valley.
The door to our condo is just visible at the top.
This time we didn't go anywhere special. After getting through the wedding and all my health issues this summer, money is tight. We just wanted to spend a few days together and relax, and that's what we did!
Dylan, Danielle, Jacob, and Sarah relax in the living room after our arrival.
Chris works in a group home on weekends, so he rarely gets to join us.
The trickiest part was having all three of my Walmart-employed children get off work for not only three days in a row, but the same three days in a row. That's not a request that thrills their supervisors. If it were the first of the month or a holiday weekend, it wouldn't have been allowed, but they were finally able to manage it for this trip.
I've posted so many pictures of this resort over the years, my readers would probably know exactly where they were if a spaceship beamed them up in the middle of the night and dropped them off in one of these condos! Each separate WorldMark resort's decor is unique (such as Oceanside, CA, as opposed to Branson, MO), but all the condos in any one specific WorldMark resort look pretty much alike.
Thus, I made an effort to capture some photos of this trip from different perspectives than usual. I hope you'll find them fun!
View of the Santa Catalina Mountains from our balcony. Awesome!
Our fully stocked fridge.
As usual, our first stop after check-in was Walmart for supplies. Jacob and I each paid for the gas in our own vehicle for the drive, and Sarah purchased all our food for the weekend.
Dinner on Friday night: bean burritos. But we forgot the sour cream!
My OCD really manifests itself when I plan a trip, and it's really hard for me not to take over every little detail. That includes planning every meal. But this time I told the kids, "You're all adults now. You know what we all like and what we'll need. Go get whatever you want." I was curious what they'd all decide upon.
Saturday morning breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffins, and milk.
Saturday's lunch came from the vending machines at the prison visitation room.
They did me proud! They planned a menu of seriously yummy meals for the length of our stay. The only ones who ate out were the newlyweds. Jacob and Danielle went out to Olive Garden for a date night on Friday, so they didn't join us for burritos.
Saturday night dinner: grilled chicken thighs, Spanish rice, and green salad.
The kids also took over most of the cooking so I could take it easy. Sarah prepared all the burrito fixin's on Friday. I made scrambled eggs and bacon the next morning while she toasted all the English muffins. On Saturday night, Jacob grilled the chicken and made the Spanish rice while Danielle made a vegetable-rich green salad.
Sunday morning breakfast: homemade Egg McMuffins!
And Sarah singlehandedly made the Egg McMuffins on Sunday while I started packing and doing laundry, and the newlyweds slept in. Dylan handled beverages and the sweeping and vacuuming details throughout the weekend.
Dylan, Jacob, Danielle, and Sarah at the kitchen table on Saturday night.
I love family dinners!
Mary, Jacob, Danielle, and Sarah at the kitchen table on Saturday night.
19 July 2014
If you want to get a funny portrait, just tell everyone to say,
To view the original post from May 2010 warning about the dangers of saying "Schuster" during a photo shoot, click:
Along the path from our unit to the pool.
Our fun activity for this trip was an evening at the pool behind the resort's Club House, which was located just a short walk from our unit. Even though Oro Valley's climate is desert-ish (the temperature was between 85 and 102 degrees during our stay), the landscaping of the grounds is really rather lush and beautiful.
The front of the Club House/Recreation Center.
The back of the Club House/Recreation Center.
Swimmers: Jacob, Danielle, Dylan, and Sarah.
Dylan dumps Jacob off his shoulders and into the water.
Jacob prepares to dump Dylan next.
Sarah is about to get flipped into the water!
I sat on the edge of the pool with my feet dabbling in the water.
Should I take the plunge and go all the way in?
Most of the time, now that my kids are grown, I stay in the condo while they go swimming. It gives me some quiet time to relax and read or blog or nap. This time, though, I decided to join them.
Yes! I plunged my feet all the way under!
It was fun and refreshing, and I'm glad I went. I keep thinking that I never know how many more of these family trips we'll have as the kids move on with their lives.
When we returned to the condo, we broke out all the stuff for S'mores. We thought about roasting the marshmallows over the grill on the balcony, but ended up melting them in the microwave instead. Did you know they make special flattened marshmallows just for S'mores these days!?
Dylan and his yummy S'mores.
Jacob and Danielle were worn out after their swim and
retired to their room as soon as they ate their S'mores.
It was a great trip and a good way to end summer. We also had a great visit with the kids' dad, Mark. It's probably the last one we'll have for quite a long time, so that made it an especially worthwhile visit!