Beyond grandparenting: 9 things I learned while in the desert

I am a grandma. But as all grandparents know, far more goes into who we are and what we do than just those things related to our grandchildren.

With that in mind, here are tidbits I learned while visiting the desert for Jak's baptism, lessons that have nothing to do with my primary focus of the trip (that being those awesome little critters I call my grandsons).

learned while in the desert 

1. I can still float. I may have forgotten (or subconsciously refuse to remember) all the techniques I learned in the swimming lessons I took 10 years ago, but I can still float. As long as I know I can touch bottom when I decide to stop floating, that is. Sure, that's not a major discovery of any sort, but as someone who's a big ol' chicken in water, it's worth re-learning... and remembering. I did both in the hotel pool. 

2. Sunscreen really is a necessity. Something else I tend to forget is that this grandmas need sunscreen just as much as grandchildren do. And everyone else, too. (Poor Brianna learned this lesson in a far more painful way than I after our morning at the pool.)

pool selfie

3. Strangers step up. Which is pretty cool. And which I already wrote about here.

4. Hotel breakfasts make a difference. The Hampton Inn where we stayed featured a free full breakfast daily. Not the donuts, apples and coffee found at some establishments, but a full self-serve breakfast, with a menu that changed daily. My family and I enjoyed Southwest omelettes, biscuits and gravy, freshly prepared waffles (diners pour batter into the waffle maker for their own "homemade" yumminess), yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit and more. Plus coffee... robust coffee. Considering five of us stayed at the hotel, it saved us a chunk of change compared to dining out for breakfast several days in a row.

sisters collage 

5. Even as adults, having a sister can be pretty awesome. Not just the sisters whom I call my daughters, but the sisters whom I call my sister. My sister Susan, specifically today, as she cared for my dogs and cats and plants and more as if they were her very own while we were in the desert. She's pretty awesome.

6. I can survive 107-degree outdoor temperatures. I can even go outside a time or two during such. I may not be happy about it, but I can — and did — survive it. (Jim's bag of M&Ms that was in the trunk of our rental car not so much.)

7. Speak up. Speaking of rental cars, it's worth it to speak up when the final cost upon returning a vehicle doesn't seem right. Jim and I spoke up to Alex at the Sky Harbor Airport Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and the nice young man knocked nearly $100 off our bill (only a portion of which was the questionable fee).

8. A bright idea for airlines. Southwest Airlines — actually, every airline — should provide free inflight Wi-Fi and free premium beverages (perhaps even extra snacks!) once passengers board after enduring a ridiculously long and unexplained delay. I have never flown out of Phoenix on Southwest and not had a delay. Attempts to make it up to passengers would go a long way.

9. Grandparents are grandparents no matter what. Meaning, I simply must post a photo of my adorable grandsons, despite this post being on non-grandparenting things. How could I resist wrapping things up with this early morning shot of brotherly love?

 brothers love each other

Today's question:

What did you learn this week?