Greetings as the Wolowikranch has returned from what can only be called the most needed and wonderful vacation we have had in a long time. Poor hubby had to remain in WI to cook food for the people….ah but 3/4 of us flew the coop to the land of sunshine and warmth…otherwise know as lovely Arizona.
Go get a cup of coffee (or a beer….no judgement here) and join me for an epic post with lots and lots of pictures.
Travel days are now known as ‘hurry up and wait days’. The poor boy was so darn excited to get there and would just get so deflated when he realized how much time is takes to actually arriving into Arizona.
However, once we did finally get there…oh Arizona..you truly don’t disappoint. It has been so long since we have seen the sun and felt it’s warmth on our faces that we just wanted to run around in it a bit.
My parents (southern WI G&G) now call themselves snowbirds and as soon as the cars pull out from Christmas, they are packing their bags for sunny AZ. They reside in a lovely community called Fountain Hills, so of course our first stop was to the famous fountain.
It is truly beautiful….but all of us were really really really wanting to hop in the pool.
The boy would quite possibly swim every day of his life if he could manage it.
The next morning we went out for a nice relaxing breakfast before a full day of pool floating.
This was our view from our outdoors table at breakfast.
In case it is hard to tell….those are mountains and Saguaro (yes, pronounced Sawarro) cactus. We don’t see many of those in WI and I just can’t tell you how incredibly lovely the views are wherever you go in AZ. I just never got tired of seeing those huge cactus…they are just so very cool!
And then back to the pool…where this is all you see while floating……
Wednesday we took a bit of a drive up to Sedona. Before we had left on the trip, when I mentioned that we were headed to AZ almost everyone I spoke with asked me if we were going to Sedona. After the 4th time, I began to ask why they wanted us to go there. “Oh Sedona is just beautiful, you will love it.” Oh my, were they ever right.
The drive from Phoenix to Sedona takes you through quite a change in scenery. You start at 1,100 feet and climb to 4,500 feet in a 2 hour drive. Somewhere along the way, the plant life shifts and the mountains start to look different.
This is at a rest stop about half way there
The Saguaros do not grow in high elevation and the air temps start to go down. We left 90 degree Phoenix and arrived in sunny 75 degree Sedona…
After a quick lunch we headed over to the famous Pink Jeep tours.
Oh my, what an experience. We all cannot express how incredibly bumpy the ride was.
Bumpy in a very very fun way….
The size rocks we went over was just amazing and boy did we laugh. (OK most everyone laughed at me since I was in the bumpiest spot and apparently resembled a lifesized bobble head)
Oh but the views…the views were just so spectacular
It was really a unbelievable way to spend an afternoon.
We returned that evening exhausted but oh so thrilled with our day.
After a good night’s rest it was time for the kiddos to try their hand at horse back riding…a first for both (if you don’t count the kind that go round and round and the zoo…which we don’t)
Here is the view of where they got to ride the trails:
I mean come on…what an experience!
These cowboys were the real deal and they didn’t take any guff from no city slickers. (One did tell the boy to ride ‘er like you stole ‘er)
Upon return the boy hopped off his horse and declared he was coming back again the next day. Needless to say…they both loved every minute of it.
The 90 minutes they were gone gave Papa and me enough time to go fishing in one of his favorite spots. (lots of fishing….zero catching….but gosh the view is lovely)
And once we picked up the kids we brought them back so they could do some swimming.
I mean when do you get to swim next to a cactus in WI?
And then we had a lovely picnic
And then we rounded out the day by returning to the pool. Yes…time for relaxation was the name of the game!
The next day we had a fairly lazy morning and then we went out to a place for what I can only describe as one of the coolest places I have been.
It felt like it was kind of an after thought…like “oh, we’re going here to dinner so let’s stop at the bell place.” “The bell place” doesn’t even begin to describe how awesome this place is.
The studio is called Soleri and you can read all about the artist Paolo here. (Seriously…read about him…he is amazing) In a nutshell the man was a true visionary. Not only with his craft of making bells, but with his ideas pertaining to society and community. Needless to say, Arcosanti is on the top of the list for our next trip.
There is not a good way to describe this place other than Soleri built all of these structures on a plot of land nestled right in a neighborhood. Art students come up to learn the metal and ceramic techniques that Soleri devised and his bells hand everywhere for you to seek and find your favorite. The boy picked out ours and it hangs now on our beloved deck as a reminder of this great place.
That night we headed into Old Scottsdale for some yummy authentic mexican and then we went bumming
Our final weekend can be described in 2 words…cousins and swimming!
The California cousins drove in (well..their parents too) and we spent the weekend swimming and enjoying Easter.
Palm trees sure offer some great hiding places
And at 9 and 11…the thrill of the hunt has not diminished even a tiny bit
Ahhhhh Arizona….how we love thee. Thanks for showing us all your glory…and for leaving still plenty to do next time!