Tag Archives: outdoors

Fall Travels and Holiday Happenings

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For those of you who are wondering, yes I do still have a blog 🙂  The past two months have been event season at work – my explanation to everyone for falling off the face of the earth.  But I’m back and have lots to share!

After the Old Bags Luncheon and Homeward Bound’s Diaper Distribution Day, it was clearly time for some R& R.  So Chris and I decided to get back in touch with our roots and head up to Flagstaff for chilly weather and changing leaves.

We also decided to try out airbnb.com for the first time and ended up staying with an awesome family in their “contemporary mining camp” home.  We had our own room in their house, but spent a lot of time chatting with the family, having wine and cheese and laughing.  It was truly like staying with friends.  They were interesting, welcoming and all around nice people – I would highly recommend this for the adventurous at heart.  Not everyone is well-suited for an experience like this, but Chris and I are very open to new people and new friends as we move around.

Flagstaff was wonderful, as always… it was so much fun to bundle up and feel COLD for a change.  We went on a relaxing hike around Coconino National Forest/Buffalo Park, spent time window shopping downtown, ate yummy Cajun and Latin food, and found ourselves a few fun bars to explore.  The perfect way to end a very stressful week!

When we came back to Scottsdale, there were still two events between us and the start of the holiday season – the Singleton Moms’ Giving Hands Ball (such a wonderful event) and the Step Forward Breakfast.  And now, PHEW, it is time for the best season of all! 

Wednesday after work, Chris and I are off to California to spend Thanksgiving with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – I am so grateful to them for having us so last minute!  It will be  a really wonderful way to meet a lot of his family members that I have not yet met and also to spend time with family without having to pay for an exorbitant flight somewhere!  We will even get a chance to see my cousin Amanda and her husband Jon – and meet the soon-to-be-born baby!  Then, a few weeks after that, Chris will be heading to Hawaii for Christmas and I will be heading to Maine!  Always a bummer to not be together on a holiday, but with both recognize how important it is to spend time with our individual families since we don’t get to see them often.  With families on the opposite coasts, it is certainly tricky to navigate the holiday season – but we’ve been doing it for three years and I think we’re getting a handle on it 🙂

To the start of a wonderful holiday season!  Hugs and love to you all!

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Sleepless in Scottsdale

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Profound thought for the day: What’s it like when a beach baby becomes a mountain woman?  I will tell you what it’s like.   The ocean for me has and always will represent vast tranquility, comfort and an escape.  It represents warm Maine summers and sunset swims and cold Maine winters bundled up in Bean Boots and a scarf.  It is the one place from home that goes unchanged and does not become overdeveloped, sold or torn down.

The mountains, in contrast, represent a new kind of comfort.  They are different and exciting and challenging.  They surround you and make you feel small and insignificant… until you climb to the top of their peaks and feel larger than life again.  When I think of the ocean and I think of the mountains, it feels like a direct metaphor for life as I know it.  The cozy, familiar comfort of the Atlantic blue versus the exhilarating, challenging and rewarding climb to new heights.  I digress….

…It’s been a busy few weeks for M & C.  After getting back from our wonderful trip to Sedona, we’ve been taking time to get to know our own backyard better and rest our suitcases (and our wallets) from all of our holiday travels.   The greatest accomplishment (for me at least) was hiking to the TOP of Piestewa Peak!  {See profound thought above.} It’s a little crowded and overstimulating if you are looking for a peaceful morning out in nature, but there is a great energy of hungry hikers and a beautiful view at the top. The first time we tried to hike it, I quit halfway through and was horribly disappointed with myself.  But on Presidents Day, I gave it another try and was so happy that I completed the trek.  Definitely check this one out.  Takes about an hour to hike round trip (if you are moderately – or barely – athletic like I am).

A few new restaurants to add to the list as well!  The top of the list belongs to Hiro Sushi (which I was taken to on Valentine’s Day…. so fun!).  Oh my word, I grew up in an Irish Catholic household in Maine so to say I know what authentic Japanese food should taste like is a big fat lie.  But trust me on this – it is AMAZING.  Hole in the wall in appearance and hidden within a strip mall in Scottsdale, it’s not a place that you drive by and notice.  But hunt it out and give it a whirl; your taste buds will NOT be disappointed.   By far the best sushi I/we have had in Arizona!

Two other restaurants to try out:  Grazie, an Italian pizzeria in Old Town with a Nutella/Banana desert to DIE for and Scratch, a healthy, gourmet bakery and restaurant.  I loved my seared tuna sandwich, but the Mogador dark chocolate mousse with raspberry was the highlight of my experience.  Do yourself a favor and throw calorie counting out the window when you have the chance to visit these two hot spots.

One place I would not recommend for those uninterested in reliving their WILD college nights is Martini Ranch.  Chris and I popped over there last Friday for a G Love & Special Sauce concert and it took 45 minutes to get inside (with pre-purchased tickets, mind you) and was one huge drunk fest.  Concert was musically fabulous, however.  Way to go G Love!  AND, the Strong Beer Festival in Tempe that we hit up the next day was tons of fun… nice and warm and PLENTY of beer to drink.  Except be careful – you get 14 tastings and we each only completed 7.  And THAT was pushing it.

Next on the list is going to have to be Spring Training…. Can’t wait to lie on the grass with a hot dog and beer and bask in America’s favorite pastime.  More to come soon!

XOXO

Sleepless in Scottsdale

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