What. A. Trip. My first real true vacation in… well it’s been a while since I didn’t have to work more than a few hours a day in my travels! I just got home yesterday from spending a week in Arizona with my grandparents after a particularly busy month. “Just sit DOWN and relax!” said my grandmother as I kept trying to help her with things. It felt really good to be doted on and spend time with some family.
My grandparents are currently living the retired life in Sun City, Arizona, which is a retirement community full of people who either buy homes and live there full-time or “snowbird” down whenever their real home gets too cold. Think golf courses, clubs, luxurious ranch houses, up-scale chain restaurants and of course, people driving golf carts everywhere. Sun City is paradise for those who are over the age of 55, and for those with particularly old spirits, like myself.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from my trip. I grew up going to my grandparents’ house for holidays and even spent a few weeks with them here and there, but despite living only 45 minutes apart for the majority of my life, I never really got to know them while I’ve been an adult, so I had a little bit of anxiety about flying out of state to spend a week alone with them.
My grandparents are just so cool. They’re pretty young compared to most of my friends grandparents (my grandpa was only 44 when I was born) and they definitely act it. Part of moving to Sun City was so they could be in a community of people their age, which actually makes them act so much younger than they did when they lived in Denver’s suburbs. They joined a party group called the “Patio Pistols,” and they enjoy activities like going to the gym, driving sports cars, renovating their back patio and drinking at parties. Did I mention dancing? Yeah, my grandparents go dancing once a week. It’s pretty adorable.
Most of my trip was split between adventuring and relaxing, which is pretty much what my grandparents do constantly. Grandpa and I spent a few afternoons at the gym (he was impressed with my stamina and I was impressed with how much weight he can lift), my grandma and I went shopping a few times and otherwise sat on the back patio and talked or swam. We cooked together, we ate out, we went downtown to explore museums and the botanical gardens. My grandpa even taught me how to drive his golf cart… and his pickup truck. I taught them about quinoa and my grandpa taught me about “good Irish beers”. We discussed my childhood and their childhoods and my grandma stressed to me the importance of owning good cookware and organizing your kitchen correctly. My grandpa took me on a tour of all the 11 golf courses and 6 rec centers and we celebrated their best friend’s 70th birthday with a party where I was the only person under 67.
It was an awesome week.
Oh and Arizona is a totally great place to travel to, but more on that soon! Follow me on Instagram to see my photos in real-time (or you know, in #latergram time).