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Vacation Oasis in Tucson, Arizona

Last week, Babble sent me to Tucson, Arizona to stay at the Westin La Paloma.

My husband was away for work so I decided to take my two-year-old daughter, Mazzy and my mother. I’m not going to lie— the flight and the time difference were both tough on a toddler.

But once we arrived in scenic Tucson and Mazzy saw her first cactus, the exhaustion of the plane ride faded away.

“THESE! THESE! THESE!” she shouted as she pointed to a bunch of large cacti greeting us right outside the airport. “Don’t touch them!” I shouted back. (I’m such a mom.)

The excitement continued when we arrived at the Westin La Paloma and saw our accomodations.

For one thing, Mazzy couldn’t wait to get into one of the SIX POOLS (family pool, kiddie pool, adult pool, Olympic-sized lap pool, waterfall jacuzzi and waterslide pool).

But first, we had to unload our bags, which meant taking a golf cart to our room.

This was an exciting first for Mazzy too. From that point on, she requested golf carts to go everywhere (the property is large and quite spread out) and would yell “WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!” the whole ride.

The Westin provided us with an incredibly large suite (I’m not kidding when I say it was larger than my entire Manhattan apartment), complete with a living room, dining area, full kitchen, two bathrooms, balcony and a separate bedroom. Totally ideal for traveling with a child since it’s much easier if you can put them to bed and then have somewhere else to hang out and watch TV.

Next, we went to the pool. Mazzy had a blast jumping in the water and trying to escape me at all times— the girl thinks she can swim. And I, who usually try to stay dry, was more than happy to take the plunge in 100 degree heat.

One of the big moments of the pool experience was Mazzy’s first trip to the swim-up bar. The ability to order apple juice while sitting on a stool submerged in water was just too much amazingness for my toddler’s brain to comprehend.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about my experience at the Azul restaurant, the Westin Kid’s Club, the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and of course, sleeping in the famously comfortable Heavenly Bed.

But for now, I’ll give you a sneak peak of our eventful three day stay at the Westin La Paloma.

nggallery id=’124964′

  • Mazzy’s First Cactus 1 of 17
    Mazzy's First Cactus
    Fun fact: Did you know that the Giant Saguaro plants (or what has become the universal image of a cactus) are only located in Tucson?
  • Lobby of the Westin La Paloma 2 of 17
    Lobby of the Westin La Paloma
    With view of the pool and the mountains behind it.
  • Mazzy’s First Golf Cart Ride 3 of 17
    Mazzy's First Golf Cart Ride
    The property is large, but walkable. Nevertheless, Mazzy insisted on getting the carts.
  • Our Huge Suite 4 of 17
    Our Huge Suite
    Dining room area is behind the couch, kitchen is behind the stools, and our bedroom is behind the door in the upper left.
  • Welcome! 5 of 17
    Welcome!
    Wine and cheese plate courtesy of the hotel.
  • The Heavenly Bed 6 of 17
    The Heavenly Bed
    Don't be fooled. Mazzy wasn't sleeping. She was playing "sleeping". Still. Not even a toddler could resist that bed.
  • The View from our Balcony 7 of 17
    The View from our Balcony
  • One of Six Pools 8 of 17
    One of Six Pools
    Mazzy refered to this pool as "the river".
  • The Waterslide 9 of 17
    The Waterslide
    Mazzy was too small to ride the waterslide, which she seemed to know intuitively- thank god. Although she did get lots of entertainment watching the big kids go down.
  • Superfoods Breakfast 10 of 17
    Superfoods Breakfast
    Egg, Mozzarella, Sundried Tomato and Arugula on a Panini. If this is healthy, sign me up.
  • The Kid’s Club 11 of 17
    The Kid's Club
    Mazzy left with a Westin Kid's Club backpack. Score!
  • The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa 12 of 17
    The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa
    Thankfully, the Kid's Club is right next door. Total relaxation.
  • I’m not in NYC anymore. 13 of 17
    I'm not in NYC anymore.
  • Mazzy Taking the Stairs 14 of 17
    Mazzy Taking the Stairs
    There's a huge flight of stairs in the lobby. By the end of the trip, Mazzy went down them by herself without holding the banister. So proud.
  • Daring to Touch the Foliage 15 of 17
    Daring to Touch the Foliage
    Mazzy couldn't get enough of the different plant species in this part of the country. I'm thankful she only got pricked once.
  • The Only Photo of Me 16 of 17
    The Only Photo of Me
    I know it's not a great shot of Mazzy (plus I look like I don't have a neck) but it's the only one I've got. I'm always behind the camera.
  • Pooped 17 of 17
    Pooped
    Mazzy after a day at the pool. She didn't even make it back to the hotel room before she fell asleep.

A big thanks to Westin Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts
And don’t miss a post! Follow Ilana on Twitter and Facebook!

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