Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Final Vacation Recap

I'm having such a hard time getting back in the groove - both at work and at home!  I went to yoga last night after a week away and every stretch made me feel like a crispy old rubber band.  (It can only get better, right?)  I wanted to post a few pictures from our trip and then I won't bore you any more with it.  It was just so much fun that I'm kind of hanging onto the memories in a desperate attempt to avoid thinking about work pressure.
We arrived in Sedona on Sunday evening.  Like I said - it smelled AMAZING.  Like the best sort of forest.  The next morning we had to be up at the crack of dawn to meet up with our kayaking guide.  Off we went about an hour away to the Verde River.  When we got down to the river all you could hear were the cicadas.  Do you know what those are?  Let me tell you: they're like little white-ish grasshoppers with red eyes.  And they make the biggest noise you could ever imagine.  Crickets on steroids.  Once in awhile on the river you'd see a drowned one floating, but they were everywhere along the water chirping/screaming away.  Our kayaking trip was 5 miles.  Let that sink in a moment.  FIVE MILES.  We had fun but by the time it was over my arms were about to fall off from paddling, I'd gotten blisters on both hands (and an RA flareup ensued over the next 2 days because of the unaccustomed exertion) AND I managed to get stuck on some rocks and whack a lady in the mouth with my paddle.  Ta da!!  Yes, they were ALL glad I came, I'm sure.  The lady ran into me while I was stuck on the rocks.  I almost tipped over and when I reached out to catch myself, I forgot I had a paddle in my hand and clocked her with it.  Totally on accident.  I think she was mad but she got over it.  Here we are on our Big River Adventure:

When we got back to Sedona we ate at a place called the Barking Frog.  I highly recommend it if you go to Sedona.  Great southwestern food.  My mouth is watering.
On Tuesday we were headed for the Grand Canyon and Marvelous Marv's tour.  Marvelous Marv is an old hippie who hates that so many people come to the Grand Canyon and spoil it's natural beauty.  He kind of forgot, I think, that he was making a boatload of cash with his own little tour group that HE brought to the canyon.  I didn't like to remind him of that, but I was tempted.  He was very knowledgeable however, and it was an interesting tour.  He knew a lot about the history and native plants, and so on.  He also recommended a place for lunch that "had the best chicken pot pies ever."  Not so much.  I wouldn't recommend Marv - he wasn't really marvelous.  He was just OK.  But the Grand Canyon WAS marvelous.  Here it is:

I couldn't believe that L would just sit on the edge of the rim like that.  Made me dizzy to think about it.  But isn't it gorgeous?
That night we were going to eat at Elote Cafe but the wait was too long.  We decided instead to go up to a lookout point and watch the sunset.  You know, take some breathtaking pictures.  And we did...along with about 200 of our closest friends.  We had to muscle our way to the front and snap a couple of pictures really quick before anyone got mad.  Then we hightailed it back to town and ate at the Oaxaca restaurant.  Killer Mexican food.  Here's looking over Sedona from that point:

Sedona is so beautiful.  I wouldn't mind at all waking up to that scenery every day.
Wednesday we packed up and left Sedona, bound for Mesa.  But first: the Indian ruins.  The ones we went to are about 30 minutes out of town.  They're ruins of cliff dwellers who disappeared before the 1500s.  No one knows what happened to them.  Sparks the imagination, doesn't it?  Here's what we saw:

They had a system of ladders at one time to climb up there - can you imagine?  It was really high up.  Back in the 1930's they even let tourists go up there, but it started falling apart so they had to stop.  Incredible.  On the way back to the highway, there were two Indians selling fry bread and really bad jewelry.  I love me some fry bread so we stopped and they made it while we waited.  With cinnamon sugar.  Delectable.
On to Mesa - it took about 2 hours.  It was roasting hot - much hotter than in Sedona.  Katie and the girls came over to the hotel and swam a little bit the first night.  The next day was our big lunch with Jen (you already saw pictures of that in the last post.)  After lunch Katie and I just worked getting her settled in the house.  There was still unpacking to do, cupboards to organize, and I also had granddaughters to play with!  The afternoon was spent going back and forth between organizing and playing Princesses with Mia.  She is tireless when it comes to Princesses.  We seemed to do a lot of getting ready for parties at the castle, and making purple cupcakes with purple sprinkles, and changing the Princesses clothes.  I was exhausted by the time L picked me up.  Oh - didn't I mention that L ditched our girl day and went solo?  Probably wise on his part.
Friday - hot like every other day.  The girls came to swim and we spent a couple of hours playing in the pool.  Mia loved to hop on Papa's back and have him swim her all over the pool.  She is quite the little mermaid and she tired us both out.

Hayden played it cool in the shade of a cabana like chair:

After naps (for everyone) we all went to Phoenix to the Children's Museum.  For anyone who hasn't been there, it's one of the nicest ones I've ever been to.  And the bonus was that every 1st Friday of the month ( and this was Friday, October 1st) Target sponsors free admission (normally $9)!  So we got lucky.  There was quite a line, but it moved quickly.  And Mia had the time of her life.  It was a treat just to watch her go.  The last room we ended up in was the Baby Room.  You had to be 3 and under to go in.  Mia is 4, but she's small for her age and we wanted to let Hayden play a bit.  So when the lady asked if she was 3 or under I just smiled and waved.  It would have been a perfect crime except that Mia kept going up to everyone saying "I'm 4. "  The mother or whoever would flash me a look and I'd shake my head and say "No, no... her birthday is a few weeks off."  Finally it got so ridiculous that Katie thought we'd better leave before she announced her age to the docent guarding the door.  Never try to get away with anything in the presence of a 4year old.  They tell the truth like no other.  Which is good, I guess.
Saturday morning came and we went by Katie's house to say goodbye.  We got to see Zach for a bit - he was home from med school rotations for the weekend.  Mia cried when we had to go, which made me want to cry.  But I think it's good to leave 'em wanting more.
So now we're back home, slipping back into our boring old routine.  But I'm already daydreaming about the next trip to Mesa.


  1. Hope you come out again soon!

  2. What about that beautiful baby? I love her eyes. Hope her teeth are through sometime soon.

  3. I love the cliff dweller ruins. So cool.

    All in all, it sounds like a wonderful trip, except for the RA flare. But hey, ya gotta live once in awhile, right?

    Hugs to you and your cute grandkids...


  4. Hi, I just found your blog. I'm in Phoenix and I wanted to let you know it started cooling off here yesterday so you can come back now!

  5. I have yet to see the grand canyon- Thanks for the warning about not-so-marvelous Marv

  6. Oh is sounds like such an incredible trip! I had no idea about the cliff dweller ruins. Amazing. I would love to be able to see the inside. I bet they lived in the cliffs for safety?

    p.s. I love fry bread too! :)
    Thanks for sharing your lovely trip with us!

  7. I'm glad you found the Children's Museum. I like it as much as my grandkids. It's not quite as spectacular as the Grand Canyon though. I'm glad you had fun.


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