A&A Celebrate 9-Months On The Road With Visitors From Minnesota
End of Week #39
Verde Ranch RV Resort, Camp Verde AZ
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 6,909 with trailer
It feels like it's been longer than a week since my last blog update - we have just been doing so much out here that it makes it seem like more time has passed than just a week. I'm feeling extremely grateful, and a bit homesick today, as late this morning we said 'see you later' again to my dad and step mom as they made their way back to Phoenix to catch their flight back to Minnesota. We had a really great weekend with them here in Arizona, and it was the first time we saw them since the end of July! (I've literally never gone that long in my life without seeing parents and it's just crazy to think of.)
The weather might have been a bit less than perfect, as a random cold front and unseasonable amount of rain rolled in just in time for their arrival, but we still made the most of every minute of it all. And of course, because it's often the way life goes, today - the day they had to leave - is back to beautiful sunny skies and warmer temps.
First things first - you might have saw my post on Facebook about Friday marking our 9-month anniversary on the road. It was a perfect day for my dad and step mom to arrive and it was still partly sunny and a bit on the warmer side too. They arrived early afternoon and we started the celebrations right away with a cold beer and some catching up. Later that night we took our traditional Friday shot of tequila and got them to join in on the fun with us. And we ended the night with some drinks and competitive games of shuffleboard at the clubhouse here at our RV park.
It seems so coincidental, but absolutely amazing at the same time, that we were fortunate enough to have a surprise visit from my mom and her friend on our 6-month #lifeontheroad anniversary, and now we had my dad and step mom on our 9-month. I'm so grateful that each opportunity worked out so perfectly and allowed us to spend time with loved ones while we celebrate our own special milestones.
We were all really glad that we took advantage of going into Sedona a bit right away Friday afternoon when my parents arrived. Friday basically turned out to be the day that had the best weather and allowed us to show them some of the wonderful sights that Sedona has to offer.
First, we stopped at Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte to show them one of the Sedona Vortex sights and iconic destinations in south Sedona. From there we continued on to the Chapel of The Holy Cross, a beautiful church built into the red rock that overlooks a large area of Sedona. What is cool is that you can walk all the way up into the church to take photos, and they offer regular mass sessions too!
Afterwards we went into Uptown Sedona for a bit to walk around and look in some shops. Dinner was spent at the Sedona Pizza Company and I can not say enough things about how enjoyable the pizza was!
Throughout the rest of the weekend we made our way back into Sedona each day and partook in more shopping/walking adventures, looking at gifts and crystal shops and indulging in the occasional adult beverage. We did not let the rain or the cooler temps stop us from trying to show them as much as we could of this gorgeous city.
If you want to read more about what there is to do in Sedona, hikes to go on, places to eat, etc. - you can check out my previous Sedona blog posts from 2018 here and then another one here. Or you can stay tuned for the next few weeks as I post more about one of my favorite cities in the USA.
Any Jersey Shore fans out there? Ha! A "meatball day" is a term coined by the MTV show Jersey Shore, where you essentially just bar hop/drink all day because, why not! Saturday was our own meatball day as it rained off and on all day long.
We started the meatball adventures in Cottonwood, just west of Camp Verde, with bloody marys at the Chaparral Bar. It was a cute dive bar, but lots of smells of smoke came in from the outdoor patio that kind of cramped our style. Their bloodies were delicious though and we even got a free sample of their new peanut butter whiskey to try!
The next stop led us into Sedona from 89A out of Cottonwood - coming in from the West, a way we had never traveled into Sedona before. We ended up going to the Sound Bites Grill, one of the places Adam and I ate at a few years ago when we came here. While we were in the area we took the opportunity to walk around Uptown too. From there we made a circle back south to Camp Verde to check out the Verde Brewing Company. We decided to eat there too and their food was really good and very affordable. Then lastly, since it was #NationalMargaritaDay, we had to find one final destination to have a margarita before going back to our clubhouse. I still can't believe we ended up here of all places, but we went a few miles down the street to the Cliff Castle Casino! Carrie ended up putting $10 in a slot machine and nearly doubled her money too so it was a worthwhile trip.
To keep the tradition going all weekend long, we ended the night playing more shuffleboard at the clubhouse!
I wasn't sure if we were going to for sure make the hike up this weekend, as it can take 2-3 hours to get to the Grand Canyon from Camp Verde, but the decision was made that we would make the drive as the weather improved on Sunday. We took the long way to get there - first cutting through Sedona as we really wanted to show them the infamous drive on 89A through Oak Creek Canyon and all the mountain switchbacks that take you up another 1,000-2,000 feet in elevation. The drive is so mesmerizing through red rock cliffs as they transition to a deep forest of pine trees and mountains before leading you to the top of a plateau forest overlooking the entire canyon you just drove through.
Funny thing was, after first getting delayed by some construction going on in Uptown Sedona, we then got a bit delayed as not only the scenery transitioned, but so did the weather - going from clouds and fog, to piles and piles of SNOW! All the pine trees were covered in layers of snow, presumably from the day before when we got all the rain down in Camp Verde - this high elevation of mountain tops got snow instead!! But even though my family from Minnesota left the cold and snow to escape to the "warmer temps and sun" of Arizona, it did not stop us from pulling over at the top and admiring the way the snow stuck to the trees and covered the canyon below us. It was a sight to be seen, and by the time we came back down through this way later that same day.... it was ALL melted.
Eventually, as we entered Flagstaff and continued our route north, the sun popped back out and the clouds cleared away to a "nice" day. It was cooler, but the sun really helped to amplify the temps, and by the time we reached the East Entrance of the Grand Canyon we felt bundled and ready to conquer the adventure.
We started out stopping at several viewpoints along the South Rim, in between the East Entrance and the South Entrance, taking in the scenery and doing lots of exploring. We ended our route in the Grand Canyon Village at Mather Point and checked out the gift shop and visitor center to learn more about the area and look for any sweet souvenirs.