December 5, 2017

Thanksgiving Family Vacation {Arizona}

***Only two weeks later than promised, but hey, I'm here right? Life kind of just happened and spending time here was the last thing on my mind. So thank you for waiting and I hope you enjoy my lil recap of our Thanksgiving family trip to Arizona. ***

Most of you will remember my sister, Sportyspice, moved to Arizona with her husband this past January. He's in the military and they are stationed out there until 2018. This year the family decided to head out to west for a full week of Thanksgiving fun with a little sight seeing thrown in too.

Travel
Normally I wouldn't even update this, but man, our trip out there became a bit cray-cray. About two days before we actually bought our tickets T-Bone, my 92 year old grandfather, decided he wanted to come out west with us. We said "YAY", then Le Husband and I went "oh boy, we in charge now". Thankfully it wasn't too crazy getting out of Knoxville on the way to Nashville [we flew on Southwest points and SW does not fly into Knox, boo] just had to chase down the GPA who got lost getting to our house. Once that was straightened out, we pushed the speed limit, got to the airport where I took T-Bone through security and to the gate and Le Husband went to drop the car off at parking. Here's what ensude the hour before the flight boarded - Le Husband got a flat tire and almost missed boarding; I left my backpack at security because I was so worried about T-Bone, we were told the wrong process for pre board, we almost didn't get the seats we wanted. Thankfully everything worked out but it was a STRESS MESS until take off.


It's A....
One of the most EXCITING moments of the trip was finding out the gender of Sportyspice's baby. She put together a super fun, yet still casual gender reveal party and it was quite lovely meeting her Arizona peeps. There was voting and yummy food to enjoy and then it was time. After waiting FOREVER it seems we FINALLY found out....IT'S A GIRL!!! Bring on the pink, haha. Mama B and Daddy didn't land until later on Saturday evening so we did a separate lil reveal for them at the kickball fields {yes kickball, read the next point, ha} using the napkins from Sportyspice's party. Mama B was so overcome with emotion, it was super sweet.





Kickball
Immediately following the gender reveal party we all headed onto Luke Air Force base for a kickball tournament. SPortyspice joined a team made up of wives/girlfriends/service women and of course they scheduled a tournament when we were out visiting. I was initially bummed when I heard but then thought 'what a cool way to meet all of her friends'. The rules were different and there were a few times my competitive nature almost sprung out, however I was good and kept it in check, ha. The team ended up losing in the finals and we were EXHAUSTED with the time change. I was super happy to have played though and jumped in when needed.




Sedona
Sunday morning we repacked into our suitcases and headed off for the two hour drive to Sedona, AZ. Sportyspice is only four hours from the Grand Canyon, but we decided to split up the trip and see a lil more on the way out. Our first stop was the CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS which is a gorgeous church built into a mountain side. Super popular destination so parking was kind of crazy, since you are parking UP an incline. We used the 92 year old grandpa and pregnant lady to our advantage, woop woop. The church is super popular so if you plan to go try and get there early and just prepare yourself for a bit of a walk up a hill.







Devil's Bridge
The second part of our Sedona visit included hiking up Devil's Bridge, another popular tourist destination. We had a picnic lunch before the hike and then all the girls and Le Husband headed up the mountain. The original plan was to have Sportyspice's husband, CT, stay with T-Bone since he'd already done the hike. Sadly, his unit had an emergency call and he wasn't able to travel with us, super sad face. Daddy decided to stay with T-Bone [such a great guy] and they actually ended up going on a helicopter ride together which was soooo cool to hear. Yay for everyone having fun. Devil's Bridge wasn't too tough if you've been on other hikes and the views are pretty awesome. We all had fun taking pictures and being silly on the actual bridge. Once we had all the pictures we wanted we headed back down and met up with Daddy and T-Bone for a delicious dinner at the Sedona Airport Retauratnut. Highly recommended if you head out that way. To split up the drive we stayed right outside Sedona before the next morning's drive to the Grand Canyon.















The Grand Canyon
Our last two days were spent in the Grand Canyon. Where it is quite chilly in the winter time, le brrr. Key thing to note, cell services is pretty horrible so make sure you have a PLAN and then stick to it when meeting up. The first thing we did was the tourist thang, looking over the rim and getting pictures together. People were really helpful and our tripod came in SUPER handy, too.

Next a group broke off to hike the popular Ooh Ahh trail. If you take this trail be prepared for lots of people. It started of kind of blah then became more like hiking. The weirdest part about canyon hiking is the going down then up, verses normal up then down hiking. We snagged some great pictures, had a quick lunch then headed back up to the top. It was a bit of a snafu trying to meet back up with T-Bone and Mama B but we made it about an hour before sunset. Since it was so chilly we spent time in the rock museum, snapped quick pictures then heading back to the village where we grabbed some dinner then relaxed the rest of the evening.
















The following day, Le Husband, Babyspice and I stayed to hike a bigger trail and the rest of the group did some walking around then headed home. The Hermit trail is a lot more difficult and wouldn't have been fun for the rest of the family. It was fun, challenging, gorgeous and awe inspiring. We had a fun time then headed back to Sprotyspice's house, stopping for my first In and Out burger experience for dinner.













Thanksgiving
The reason for the vacation finally arrived and Thursday was a fun day of pulling together food, having drinks, hanging out and just being together. I found many moments of just sitting back and BEING. Hard to explain but my heart was so so so full, even fuller than my tummy, ha. We all had a blast together and I'm honestly sad because I don't know the next time we are all [including husbands and T-Bone] going to be together again.



There you go, the highs of our amazing trip. I'm so sad it's over and can't WAIT to get back out there again. Le Husband and I have big hiking plans and I can't wait to get out there early next year to snuggle on my baby niece when she arrives. EEEEK!!!

11 comments:

  1. What a fun trip! Yay for a little girl! Just reading about your airport trip stressed me out. I'm glad it was all good in the end though!

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  2. What an amazing trip! I am so glad you were able to have this time with family. Ugh travel stresses me out but I'm so glad everything worked out.

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  3. Just gorgeous! I love all the photos and want to go there so bad! Congrats Auntie! I have 4 nieces and they are the best! Sorry about all the airport drama, that sounds stressful!

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  4. Full hearts for sure. What an amazing trip with family time and sightseeing.

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  5. What an amazing trip! Family time is the best!

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  6. OH man. What an adventure getting there... but YAY for such a fantastic trip! I'm so glad T-Bone could make it! I love how much you were able to do with your family - so many great memories. I had to LOL at your competitive nature kicking in kickball. OF COURSE it did! So glad the trip was so fun and good for your soul. On to Christmas! :)

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  7. I need to get out West and explore! Congratulations to your sister! Glad you were able to travel out and spend some time with family.

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  8. A girl! How wonderful! And drink coupon while flying for the win!

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  9. What a fun trip spending time with family and celebrating your sister! Sedona looks amazing and I love the photo of you and the hubby looking over into the canon PLUS the photo with your gramps. I'm sure the family and SISTER quality time was much needed! Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

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  10. What an epic trip-- I'm sure it meant so much to your sister for everyone to go out there and soo awesome that T-Bone was able to come along too! YAY for a girl-- the gender reveal party looks like it was so much fun (now i'm craving lemonade, lol). That church looks incredible-- and all of the views are amazing!

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