Category Archives: Summer year two

Mini moon…

Three years ago, about this time, my husband and I christened his new pickup by bringing it up to Williams Mountain, parking it somewhere in the middle of the woods, and throwing an air mattress in the back.  After a bottle of wine (or two) by the fire we crawled in and fell asleep counting asteroids thanks to the annual Perseid Meteor shower.  There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to have the universe as your ceiling.  Plus, you can’t help but get giddy wishing upon a shitload of falling stars.

A few nights ago we got to do this again, and it was amazing (well except for the massive bug that buzzed us a few times and my 3 a.m. irrational fear of getting devoured by a bear or mountain lion —- Joe’s snoring could possibly pass as a mating call).

Sorry I didn’t think to grab my camera and take pics at night

As much as we travel I know you’d think we’d honeymoon somewhere exotic like Fiji or the Maldives, but because of lack of time off (for Joe) and money (it happens) we opted for a few nights up north, which is really the only right way for us to commemorate our 10 years of putting up with one another, and first month of marriage.   This is who we are —- but no worries we have plenty of other travel adventures ahead of us, including those exotic islands we have not yet snored on.

We began our little vacation Wednesday night inhaling Moscow Mules in the pool while strategising our Olympic synchronised cannon ball routine —- seriously we could bring home gold.  Next day after running errands (including Joe signing the papers that sold his house —- whoop whoop!  mine is next) we booked a room at St. Michaels, an early 1900s hotel on Whiskey Row in Prescott.  We strolled, we ate, we drank, we mingled with folk, and we watched Americans kick ass in the Olympics (we can swim, volley and summersault the hell out of ourselves, can’t we).

In the morning we walked alongside Granite creek.  It’s a lovely little walk we didn’t even know existed —- despite the many times we’ve been to Prescott.  You can enter it off of Gurley street, two blocks down from St. Michaels hotel.

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the creek as seen from its entrance

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lil red bridge

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Shroom town!

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more creek for you…

Then we headed up to Williams for our no-tent camping trip and hike for one night.  Our second night there we spent in a Williams hotel (because Mama demanded more tub and real toilet time on her honeymoon).

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Today, after putzing around and enjoying more of Williams, we drove up to Flagstaff and for the first time ever rode the ski lift to the top of Snowbowl.  My pictures cannot do the experience justice.

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While I wrote most of this my man napped in the shade of a tree; butterflies dared each other to touch him (I’d post the pic I took, but only the butterflies and I should witness his extraverted belly busting out for a photo bomb).  All I heard was the wind through the forest and birds and insects busying themselves with their morning chores.  Later on I rested under the same tree and watched clouds embrace each other to bless us with a small rain shower.  The best parts of our honeymoon were all gifts from nature, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.

We’re back in Phoenix now, but in three days I leave again for the other desert I live in. I will think of all of this when I sip my coffee in my heavily air conditioned Al Ain apartment, and I will once again thank the powers that be for the many miracles in my life.  Blessed Be, Allah Akbar, and Amen!

Bonding in Sedona…

 

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Forgive my focus on all that green, but you see I see so little of it so it gives me joy.

It’s raining real rain — not the normal two-second tease — in Phoenix.  It’s dark outside, the dogs are huddled by my feet (as if I could protect them), and my youngest is snuggled up in his bed sleeping his way through the storm.  It’s an awesome morning to sip my coffee and share some more photos.

A few weeks ago Kyle moved from Colorado to Sedona, so on Wednesday Kaylene and I took a mother-daughter day to enjoy one of our favourite places on earth while getting the chance to visit our boy.  We treated ourselves to a ‘room,’ which turned out to be a mini cabin.  We loved it so much I’m thinking of booking a night there with Joe (because I now have a really good excuse to drive up to Sedona again, although does one ever need an excuse to visit living art?).  I won’t waste your time bragging about how wonderfully awesome my kids are (hehehe guess I just did), but I will tell you how proud I am of my babies.  Man oh man I have spent countless hours worrying about each of them and some of their choices, but this time I have with them now is proof that I need to just let them be and continue doing their adult thing their way.  They’ve totally got this.

Kyle has learned that he is most grounded and most at peace surrounded by nature.  He is finding his way, and I’m so glad Kaylene and I got to enjoy a bit of his happiness with him. Sedona is already proving to be a good move for him and his pooch Piper (if his dog nurturing skills are any indication of the kind of father he will one day be, I envy my future grand children).  I also envy Kaylene and Aaron’s future babies.  Ohhhh and I so want to write about them now too, but I’ll do that privately so you can get your chance to enjoy some pics of Sedona (and two of my amazing offspring).  Long story short the three of us had a fantastic time together.

For those of you who’ve never been to Sedona it’s a must-see if you ever go to Arizona.  It’s kind of the reverse of the Grand Canyon.  When you see the Grand Canyon you look down (unless you’re one of the lucky ones who also get to hike to its bottom), when you go to Sedona you look up.  Artists, psychics, naturalists thrive there.  It’s a spiritual place thanks to its beauty, its connection to ancient times (use your imagination and you’ll see faces embedded in its walls), and its vortexes — although I honestly don’t know much about the vortexes.  For me hiking through its woods and trails is magic enough; maybe its the vortex energy, maybe it’s not — who cares because it’s all good.  So, please do make sure you hike as much as shop if you ever get a chance to visit.  And hey if you’re into the psychic thing get a reading or buy a crystal while you’re at it.

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Fun times with two of my kiddos

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A boy and his dog…

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So, this creek is right near where Kyle lives.  THIS is where his dog gets to play every day while Kyle sometimes strums his guitar (sorry no guitar pics this time around).  Lucky dog!

Aaron, my youngest, had to work so he couldn’t make this trip with us, but we’ve had plenty of mother/son lunches.  Sadly since he still lives at the house we don’t think to take pics doing our thing together, but he’s as awesome to spend time with as his brother — and  I’m gonna sneak some shots of him and post before I leave!

Next up?  A weekend in Yuma visiting friends, and then Joe and I will have a few days up north by ourselves, and then I’ll cry my eyes out leaving the fam until we gather together again.

 

Packing up…

Pool Time Memories…too many to post

Fifteen years ago I packed up my kids,  my cat (who passed at the age of 20 last year), my belongings (most of which have been replaced over the years — oh those kids!), rented a Ryder truck, attached my car and drove 2,300 miles to move to the Arizona desert.  The first time I set foot in Phoenix was the night we pulled up during our first monsoon storm.

While the heat about killed us, we immediately fell in love with our new state.  Within our first year I bought the house my kids did most of their growing up in.  It’s a colourful, kid-pet-party scarred home full of love, laughter and tears.  As beat up as it is right now — needing new windows, new floors, new paint — I love this house, but it’s time to spruce her up for another family.

I’m sweaty, dusty, and a bit too furry (thanks to my shedding dogs) because I’ve been packing up the stuff that needs to be stored until Joe and I are ready for our next American home.  It might be awhile since I’m not yet finished with my overseas adventure (Joe has yet to begin his), but the things that matter to us will be waiting for when we’re ready to replant our roots.

It’s hard packing up now because the house won’t even go onto the market until the Fall, after Joe and the kids have gotten some of the cosmetic fixes taken care of.   I’m sad that I won’t be here the last day I own it, but I’m totally cool with missing out on all the moving hell that comes with it.  I’m also looking forward to using some of its sale money for our family, summer Europe trip next year (now that’s fun packing!).  I’ve been wanting to take my kids on a trip like this for forever, so yay we can finally do it — in about a year.

In three weeks I fly back to the second desert I moved to, and I’ll finish off my probable last year in the UAE (who knows what the future holds?!).  Until then I’ll continue enjoying my time here.  It’s not all melancholic packing.  There are more pool parties, happy hours, family trips and gatherings planned before I leave, so it’s all good — just a little nostalgic.

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Just some random (stuff posted on Facebook throughout the years) home memories.

 

Just call me Mrs…same last name

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While all sorts of uglies have literally blown up around the world (including my country), I’ve been spending the past few weeks busy, busy, busy catching up and bonding with my loved ones.  My heart aches for those who suffer, while my soul savours every second I get to spend with my people. Thank you to the powers that be for these precious times in my life!

In the spirit of loving and laughing, Joe and I had our wedding ceremony, and it was exactly as it should be:  many of our closest people pulled together to celebrate all of us (and thanks to technology we were able to also include those who couldn’t make the trip).  The flowers, the cabin, the woods, the decorations, the festivities, all of it was the perfect mix of all that is right in our world.  Our photographer is busy sorting through all the lovely photos she took of us, so I don’t have those yet to share, but here’s a bunch from friends and family.  I nabbed photos from here and there, so I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know who took what pics (very few posted are from me).  BUT, credits go to Ericka, Monica, Steve, Michelle, Shannan, Trisha, Derek, Tracy, Diana, and darn it all I bet I’m forgetting someone.  And, of course, the bridezilla in me will post more pics when I get them.

Pre Wedding fun:  I’ve been celebrating this upcoming ceremony for months, but the fun in the states began a week before the wedding.  It started off in Virginia, then ended up at my place in Phoenix, then caravanned four hours away to Show Low, Arizona, then back to my place.  Here’s just a glimpse of some of it all, but know the best shots are still in my hard drive… Oh and Joe had his fun with the boys too, but they’re not much for picture taking.

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The cabin!  I have to show a slide show just on where we spent our 4-day weekend.  The first two nights were all about whooping it up and decorating, third night was the big ceremony, and the 4th night was just for Joe and me.  We’re so doing a family reunion here again!

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For some reason I don’t have pics of upstairs game room or the THREE master suites — all of which include jacuzzi tubs.  Joe’s and mine had a double tub, and you bet we sipped champagne in that bad boy!

Wedding Prep:  Decorating and getting things ready was all part of the fun, and everyone pitched in!  I just randomly nabbed people’s pics on this.  There are way better shots of all the fun we had.  Seriously the two days of prep that led up to the big day were simply awesome.  THIS is what family (and that means good friends too) functions are all about.  I love you all!

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The wedding.  Again, there are so many more pics that tell the story, but I don’t have them yet.  Our photo album will do a better job of including everyone and everything.

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I can’t thank, love and hug all who attended (in spirit, online and in person) enough.  Now, I’m spending the days packing up the house while Joe is at work.  Soon, my house will go on the market and Joe will retire and, well, the next chapter in our lives will begin.  BUT, the fun times will continue.  What lucky, blessed folk we are!

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