Holiday Vacation with the Hartwigs: The Grandmother Edition


Allison Hartwig

Natalie and Allison Hartwig (’16) pose onn Camelback Peak, just one stop on their spring break adventure with their grandmother.

Recipe for fun:

-1 generous and baseball loving grandmother
-1 sarcastic uncle to act as the “responsible” adult
-4 tickets to fly to Las Vegas
-1 rental car
-Tickets to three baseball games
-1 house rental
-2 pairs of adventure sandals

If you follow this exactly, you’re sure to have as much fun as we did at spring training this past spring break! We traveled to Phoenix, Arizona with our Grandmother and Uncle Paul to watch the Milwaukee Brewers play in their last three games at spring training, and had quite the adventure along the way.

We flew to Las Vegas and stayed at the Four Queens hotel, where Grandma quickly won $500 at the casino by playing a penny slot machine. She always has the best luck at casinos and won’t let us forget it. She didn’t let anyone else she met forget it either, telling almost everyone she met along the way about her winnings that were currently in her wallet. We then drove a rental car for 4.5 hours, stopping at the historic Hoover Dam and hoping we could stop at the “dam” hotel and the “dam” bridge. We had a “dam” good time.

When we finally reached Phoenix, we stayed in a small house that we rented in a residential area. During the next few days we traveled to three different baseball stadiums, watching the Brewers play the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorado Rockies. At the games, we got autographs from Yadiel Rivera, Scooter Gennett and several other players! Allison also gave money to a cute guy named Pedro for his college fund – he made a mean brat. Grandma had cheesecake on a stick for lunch that day, all while telling Natalie that her salad was “unhealthy.” That same day, Grandma had chicken fried steak for breakfast and forced us to go to Burger King for dinner, where she had a Whopper and a chocolate shake. She’s quite the health nut, with all of her knowledge of “healthy” foods.

Besides going to baseball games, we climbed the small Camelback Peak with our uncle and were amazed at the views of Phoenix. We climbed in our “adventure sandals,” or in other words our Tevas and Chacos, and got lost up the rocks and went back down in the dark. Grandmother was not happy, but she was relieved we made it back alive and that we were not eaten by a rattlesnake. She had warned us that hiking in our sandals was “stupid!” but we didn’t listen. We wanted to look cute.

Soon, our short but memorable vacation was over but we still had to endure the drive back to Vegas and the plane ride home. We stopped at the Hoover Dam again but never got to go on the “dam” bridge because it was too dark outside. Grandma complained that we were going crazy and called us “airheads” for leaving our water bottles at the stadium, but we had had enough of the car ride.

Once in Las Vegas again, we stayed at the familiar Four Queens right by Freemont street, a three block length covered with a roof of LED lights. We decided to go zip lining above the street, where Allison got stuck in the middle because she was too light. We returned to the hotel to find Grandma still awake, even though it was well past 1:00 am.

We returned home on a flight from Frontier Airlines, where Grandma complained about the hard, uncomfortable molded plastic seats and the high baggage charges to every stewardess she could find. Thus was the end of our vacation to Arizona; with it we brought back sunburned arms, $500, signed baseballs and new hats, stories about Grandma, and a new sense of adventure.