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TR- Phoenix (with Vegas road trip) with my 17 y/o niece

Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
2,112 posts
28 reviews
TR- Phoenix (with Vegas road trip) with my 17 y/o niece

Hi all! Retriever's here again with another local trip report.

I am on niece #5, bringing them down in their mid teens, one at a time for a week with me right after they finish school in Green Bay. I am the only one who flew the coop in my family, to AZ of all places, and my not so secret agenda is to show them the special magic of our state so they will come visit me on their own when they can....

Disclosure: I am a wordy trip reporter and typically do this for their parents and my parents (especially my Mom) who like to know the details. I've edited it a bit, but not much. So here goes:

Sat 6/9:

The long awaited day has finally arrived- She is here!

We had a couple of glitches along the way:

-she had to sit on the plane next to a smelly, bubble gum popping woman for an hour before leaving the gate to take off. Everything else was uneventful, as we like things to be on the plane

-I got the run around at the airport with both American Airlines and TSA to get my pass to get through security to welcome her at the gate. She’s the first 17 y/o to come down (she wasn’t that old when I bought it- and I thought a minor was under 18- sheezzzz) and despite having just turned 17, and never having flown on her own, they gave me a hard time. In the end I got what I wanted and was “that person” jumping, waving and trying my best to suppress a scream as I saw her face come out of the gate. Things have changed after 9/11, and this welcoming after getting right off the plane is one of my very favorite things ever to do- ever

We were immediately greeted by her golden retriever sentinels moving forward (while we’re here anyway) -Holly and Juno will be at her side, outside of her door and nudging their way into her space at every opportunity; They couldn’t even wait for her to take off her backpack upon first seconds of arrival!

We grabbed Jimmy Johns sandwiches takeout for lunch on the way home, dove into our refreshing pool time (already hot today by 11am) and then went to get our pedicures and her favorite things in the grocery aisles that I hardly every go down. I actually find this super enjoyable- asking them to get whatever they want for breakfast, snacks and a sweet treat for the week. It takes forever, but the agony of decision when “anything goes” for each of them makes me smile. (later, a layered fudge/oreo cream/brownie tower, cheetoes, double stuffed oreos, Reece's Puffs cereal, white cheddar Cheese-its and a 2L Dr Pepper filled my basket. I can say with honest face- this is the first time I have ever paid for any of these items... I also bought a bunch of apples to balance things out- just a bit)

It’s so hot (something that was definitely not lost on her) that I decided to test things a bit- and at 111 degrees- we were, in fact, unable to roast marshmallows (grabbed on impulse for a fun test at the store) on the ground, and an egg did not sizzle on the street- although it did bake itself in about an hour. That was fun!

We made homemade fettuccine pasta after watching Giada's tutorial from Food Network, garden salad mixings and cheesy garlic ciabatta and then decided we needed a post-dinner prep treat and went for some home-made, small batch ice cream at McMahon’s in Gilbert- not only YUMMY but today they had a customer appreciation free single scoop thing going on- WHAT?!?! Pistacio almond and Dark chocolate rocky road for me, chocolate and mint for her- NUMNUMNUM!!!

Picked up Mario’s famous meatballs from Vincentorios, cooked the pasta exactly 120 seconds and discovered that home made pasta really is better! and SPECIAL!

dinner and a movie- Secretariat in honor of Justify's triple crown win was a hit as was dinner and brownie tower

And then we crashed :)

Edited: 17 June 2018, 23:57
14 replies to this topic
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
2,112 posts
28 reviews
11. Re: TR- Phoenix (with Vegas road trip) with my 17 y/o niece

I've gotten a couple PM's for this so here you go:

favorite pan seared steak recipe- I can say with confidence this is outstanding both with filet mignon and rib-eye steaks!


favorite chicken tenders recipe from Real Simple; still very moist even after cooking from frozen. No dipping sauce needed on our end


Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
4,907 posts
39 reviews
12. Re: TR- Phoenix (with Vegas road trip) with my 17 y/o niece

I love your TR when your nieces visit! Thank you for sharing. Your writing style is delightful and flows like a good book and makes us all wish we could tag along.

Destination Expert
for Fountain Hills
Level Contributor
5,449 posts
464 reviews
13. Re: TR- Phoenix (with Vegas road trip) with my 17 y/o niece

I loved reading your report. I remember one other one, and love that you do that for your nieces. This sounds like it was different and a very good time.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,535 posts
8 reviews
14. Re: TR- Phoenix (with Vegas road trip) with my 17 y/o niece

I remember your other trip reports when the nieces visit! Always an entertaining read. I'm glad you both had a great time and love your tradition.

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