Freed Up Girl

Tourists at the Grand Canyon

Friday, December 2, 2016 you hear that? It's so quiet. It has been a few days since Jer's family left and I flipping miss the chaos of having nine people under one roof. The chit chat, the laughter, the skateboarding in the house, the trying to control our dog so she didn't eat the little one, the constant nagging for the girls to hurry up and get ready...I miss it all.

It was everyone's first time to Arizona so we played tour guide for the week. Their main request was to visit the Grand Canyon. I mean, who wouldn't want to see one of the seven wonders of the world, right?!? This would be a first for everyone since we had yet to visit.  

Jer took it upon himself to watch a very informative YouTube video and he advised he had our whole day planned out. We packed up the van and headed north to the South Rim of the canyon.

We followed our tour guide with confidence until he kept switching directions and would constantly check his YouTube video for reassurance that we were at the right spot.

Mather's Point is one of the first view points you will come across after parking your vehicle near the visitors center. This was our first location for multiple photo ops. 

Would have been nice if a map would have been in that back pocket...

I really thought that we were going to pull a National Lampoon's Vacation and get out of the car, take a look, and head back home. Not the case at all.

The views were hard to pull yourself away from. 

That is, until the boys decided to test their rock climbing capabilities. Leaving my anxiety level at an all time high. There may have been a few high pitched screeches on my part.

After they had their thrills we headed back to the van for a quick bite to eat and to warm up. It was freezing which I was not prepared for. 

We followed our trusty tour guide to the shuttle buses to take the blue route (Village Route) to the red route (Hermits Rest Route).  Our end goal was to stop at Hermits Rest. 

Well, once we got off the bus and saw the long lines to the other view points we took a vote. The teens were getting a little grabby and wanted to head back. We did what any clever adults would do and handed them the keys to the van and told them we would meet them there. The rest of us decided we wanted to take the scenic route. We walked the Rim Trail. Taking in the crisp air and dramatic views along the way.

You can spend days here and still not see everything that it has to offer. The South Rim has three trail routes. (The Village Route, Hermits Rest Route, and the Kaibab Trail Route). We mainly stuck to the Village Route. 

There are shuttle buses that run every 15 minutes or so. They stop at the majority of the view points which is convenient if you don't want to hike the whole way. 

The Rim Trail is about thirteen miles starting at the Kaibab Trailhead and runs to Hermits Rest. It is mostly paved so it is an easy hike offering killer views. 

We took in the final views and made the trek back home. Pat on the back to our trusty tour guide for a fun filled day. 

Ghost Town of Jerome

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Once a bustling mining town with a population of 15,000 people, Jerome is now one of America's largest ghost towns. We made the short drive from Phoenix taking in the picturesque views on the way. One of my favorite drives. 

The town of Jerome is located cliff side; you have sweeping mountain views and you can catch a glimpse of Sedona in the distance. When the Great Depression hit and the gold and copper deposits dried up the residents got out of dodge and the population dwindled to 100. With views like this you would think it would be hot real estate. 

Don't let the population fool you, parking is hard to come by in town. While trying to find a parking spot we noticed signs for Gold King Mine & Ghost Town and decided to check it out. It is $5.00 to enter. It is basically a glorified junk yard. The smell immediately took me back to my childhood when my dad would be working on cars in the barn. There were many antique cars, tools, and memorabilia that kept my attention. 

This was my favorite car. A little paint, a few new tires, a few seats, and a motor and she would be good go. 

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We headed into town which I loved the vibe. Music was spewing out into the streets from the local bars. Quirky shops and wineries lined the streets. (I think there may have only been 2 streets but it was small but mighty.) We planned to eat at the Haunted Hamburger which came recommended but with over an hour wait we passed. The view looked amazing. Jerome is a good quick stop for those making their way north to Flagstaff or Sedona.

Arizona State Fair-Vlog

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October is one of my favorite months here in Arizona. The weather starts cooling down(except, of course, for the day we actually decided to go to the fair) and fair/festival season starts heating up. 


Beach Vibes

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ah, the Outer Banks. The perfect place to unwind, unplug, and eat your weight in Duck Donuts! Am I right?!!? 

We made the long drive to spend the next four days with family in Duck, North Carolina. Hurricane Hermine just passed through and left a little bit of a mess but we were greeted with sunshine and smiling faces from two of the cutest little boys. 

Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Last week was the first time Jer and I have been home together since we made the move to Arizona, over a year ago. I was put in charge of dropping off the pup (for the first time) at the boarders for her "holiday camp". I now get all the emotions when moms drop their babies off at kindergarten or camp and start crying uncontrollably.  Yeah, that was me. Don't judge.

We arrived and hit the ground running. We were all over the place; dinners, football games, meet ups with friends, birthday parties, and late night drinking with family all in 2 1/2 days. We were exhausted. 

We did manage to squeeze in time for my, highly anticipated, ride on my boy Flash. My dad was breaking him in for my arrival and was one of many highlights of our trip back home.