Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tucson Day 3 & 4

Friday was our last full day in Tucson.  This was our "free day" and we were able to do whatever we wanted.  The resort had an awesome pool area, golfing, a spa, and they were running a shuttle every 30 minutes to a local shopping area.  That morning when we got up, we went to a Starbucks that was located in the resort.  We took our breakfast out to the pool area, found a little ledge to perch on, and just sat and talked and ate our breakfast.  It was pretty early (like 7am Tucson time), so it was pretty much just us outside.  Honestly, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  It was really quiet, we were all alone, everything was just waking up, and it was just so peaceful.  Matt and I talked just about our life, our plans, obstacles we've made it through.  It was just an awesome morning.

The view was breath-taking!  The mountains just didn't look real - I loved looking at them.

I love this man.  I love being his wife.  

After breakfast, we spent some time in our room reading, taking a nap (we lived up being able to nap!), and then we headed to a little sandwich shop next to the golf course on the resort.  After lunch, we headed out to the pool for the afternoon!  We laid out, took a few short dips on the pool, ordered some pool-side food, and even took a turn on the water slide.  It was a very relaxing, perfect afternoon!

I loved the pool-side service.  There's nothing like being able to be even more lazy while you're being lazy.  ;)  Matt had been wanting to try a prickly pear margarita (I mean - you have to try that when you're in the desert, right?), and he said it didn't disappoint!  I tried it, but did noooot like it.

Pool-side chips and guac.

We headed back the room to get ready for dinner.  This night was our "fancy night" and the awards dinner for the trip.  They did say black tie on the paperwork, but we did not do the tux/long dress route (some people did!).  We just stuck to a cocktail dress and a suit - but we still clean up nicely if I do say so myself!

This man is good looking in a suit!

Saturday morning, we were on a shuttle to the airport at 4:00 am (yuck!)  We grabbed a quick bite to eat once we went through security and then sent a picture to the kids.

When we got to Atlanta, we only had a 1 hour layover and had to get to a different concourse - it was a tad stressful!  Our flight went from Atlanta to Tallahassee, and then we still had a 2 hour drive home.  We were exhausted!

Once we made it back to Valdosta, we were so excited to go get our kids!  Well - I was.  Matt was sad about the vacation being over - haha.

A few days after getting home, Matt's award arrived at his office (the star on the right - this was the "Shining Star" trip).  It makes a nice little addition to his award set-up in his office!  This is not a bad stash for just hitting 2 years with the company!

I am so proud of Matt and how hard he has been working!  I'm also so thankful for a company that rewards it's employees like this!  In addition to the trip and the award, we also got a $500 Amex Gift Card for the trip - that is just amazing!  The trip for next year will either be San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio, Las Vegas, or Miami.  I'm really pulling for San Diego, and I'm really pushing Matt to make it again.  If you can do it once, you can do it again, right?  ;)


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tucson - Day 2

If you missed Day 1 of our trip, you can read all about it HERE.

Thursday in Tucson was our "fun day".  Mediacom gave us three options of excursions and we were allowed to pick one.  We chose to go to Sabino Canyon for a tour.  Our tour wasn't until lunch time, and Matt had a business meeting in the morning for breakfast.  We woke up around 6:30 every morning (9:30 GA time), so I had plenty of time to kill until Matt's meeting got over around 11.  I spent the morning in our room: I ordered room service, read my book, took a nap, and took my time getting ready.  It was wonderful!

When Matt's meeting got over, we spent a little while walking around the resort and checking out the view before it was time to meet up with our group.  Our resort was right at the base of the Catalina Mountains - and it was beautiful.

A panoramic shot from one of the balconies at the lobby of the hotel.

It almost didn't even look real to me sometimes.  It felt like I was looking at an image projected on a green screen.

The lobby had beautiful views through its huge windows!

It was about a 20 minute bus ride from our resort to the canyon. Once we got to the canyon, we had a tram tour through it.  There was some miscommunication with Mediacom and the travel company about what time we were supposed to be back at the resort, so we weren't allowed to actually get off the tram and walk any of the trails.  Matt and I both were super disappointed in this.  But it was a beautiful ride while we were there!  Our tour guide was a older, very dry humor lady.  She cracked us up, even if we were mad at her for not letting us get off.

There were saguaro cacti everywhere.  I loved it.  The tour guide told us that saguaro don't start to grow their arms until they are 50-75 years old!  And some of them never grow arms.  

This rock face looks a lot like the guys at Easter Island!

Since this is a national park, visitors aren't limited to certain trails or areas.  It was nice to see people just exploring wherever they wanted to!  I loved seeing all of the families enjoying this little "beach" near the stream.

At the top of the canyon the tour guide let us off the tram for literally 1 minute before we had to begin our journey back to the start.  

This cliff face behind me is approximately 400 feet high - the same height as a 40 story building!

After the tour, we had a few minutes to look through the gift shop.  We got some prickly paw cactus candy and jelly and some cactus seeds for our family.
After our canyon tour, we went back to our room to take a nap and get ready for our dinner.  This night, we went to a local restaurant where we were supposed to have dinner and do some star gazing with an astronomer.  Of course, it was super cloudy, so the star gazing go cancelled, but dinner was very nice!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Tucson - Day 1

Matt just had his two year anniversary with Mediacom.  This job has been the biggest blessing - he is doing well in it and he loves it!  Around July/August of 2014, they announced that they would be doing an incentive trip for the top 10 Senior Account Executives in Business Sales (along with the top 10 OnMedia and top 10 Residential Sales).  So from early fall through the end of December, Matt's main goal was to make it into top 10.  Even though cut off was right before Christmas, we didn't find out official numbers until mid-January.  When they came in - he was number 10!  I didn't care what number he was as long as he made it - haha.  But for his first full year with the company, making top 10 is amazing! 

The trip was set for March 18-21 (which meant that I had to take three days off of work).  While we were gone, we decided to split the kids up while we were gone.  Since LL still had school for three days, it seemed like the best option for both of them.  She would have to be dropped off at school each day, and it seemed better for Cooper to not have to ride an hour twice a day just to get LL to and from school.  Cooper spent the vacation with Grammy and Pop and LL spent it with Gigi and Poppy.  

Our flight took off from Tallahassee at 7am.  Tallahassee is about 1.5 - 2 hours away from us.  We wanted to fly straight from Valdosta, but that didn't put us in Tucson until the evening, so leaving from Tallahassee was the better option.  We debated driving down the night before and staying at a hotel vs. driving super early, but we decided to just stay at home and leave early in the morning.  We got up at 2:30 and were on the road by 3:45 am.  We got to the airport right at 6:00 am, so it was perfect timing.  

I sent this picture for LL to see before school.  She is super interested in flying.

We got to the Atlanta airport by 8am (and our next flight to Tucson wasn't until 11 am), so we had plenty of time to hang out and eat some breakfast.

Our flight from Atlanta to Tucson was about 3.5 hours.  We had plenty of time to read, watch movies, and try to nap.  

Getting photobombed by a flight attendant - haha.

When we got to Tucson, it was only noon their time.  The three hour time difference between there and home kicked my butt!  We had to wait about 45 minutes for a shuttle to our resort (which was about 45 minutes away), so we just had more time to kill in the airport.  What I was most excited about was seeing all of the cacti outside!  I've never seen cacti growing naturally - it was so awesome!

We got to the resort about 3:00 Tucson time.  We stayed at the Westin La Paloma - and it was beautiful!  We checked in to our room and tried to take a little nap.  It was 6:00 pm our time and we had been up since 2:30 - we were exhausted!  We still had about 3 hours to kill before our dinner, so we both napped for about 2 hours.  

We had a ground floor room that faced the pool area of the hotel.  This was our view - so pretty and so close to walk.

Another cactus!  I loved seeing them everywhere!

We each got a swag bag when we checked in.

After our nap, we got up and got ready for our dinner.  It was a "welcome - meet-and-greet" type dinner with everyone on the trip.

The dinner was kind of awkward (since we literally knew no one except for the VP's).  Out of the 32 people who had won the trip, only 3 were from the South.  Everyone else was from the Iowa/Minnesota area.  They had some amazing food, and we did end up finding some really nice people to eat with that first night (that we ended up hanging out with the rest of the trip).  We did call it a night pretty early (8:00 AZ time, 11:00 GA time) because we were so tired.  We knew we needed our rest so that we could enjoy our next day!