One night and a hike in Sedona

We spent just enough time in the charming Sedona last week to make me wish we lived there.  We started the morning in Phoenix and drove north to visit Montezuma Castle National Monument, or rather two of us did and the one with pneumonia and I drooped our way back to the car and drank juice and coughed until it was time to go.  I got just enough of a look to be amazed, and realize any pictures I took made it look like a doll house in the rocks. Guy overheard a teenager lie to his sister that this was Montezuma’s summer home.  *snort*  

We drove on through Jerome (more on that coming soon) and finally made it to Sedona just in time to be crushed to realize The Red Planet Diner is no longer.  We mourned the loss of Space Junk, the entree, then found a worthy replacement at MoonDog’s Pizza.  Granted, we were starving, but I’m still pretty sure the pizza and ancho chicken sandwich and spaghetti were great.  I wanted to ask the owner if he was Moondog, expecting some old hippie, and was grateful I didn’t….because we heard a pack of coyotes singing and chattering three times that night and I put it together.  Aha.  Moondogs are coyotes.  See, here, we hear a couple coyotes do a low howl now and then, but the moondogs in Sedona have a LOT to say.  Especially at the full moon.

Moonrise over Sedona

Even after a night filled with coyotes, snoring, and two coughing kids, we were sufficiently reenergized by breakfast at Nick’s to go on a short hike before the day heated up.  We headed to Boynton Canyon in a designated Red Rock Secret Wilderness of the Coconino National Forest to hike the Vista trail for the supposed vortex at the end.  We’ll take all the good mojo we can get for the Peanut. Perfect for us.  Gorgeous and restorative, and only one of us needed a piggy-back ride back to the trail head. We’ll go back again and hike some more of those beautiful red rocks for sure.


After a roadside picnic, we piled back in the car for a drive along Oak Creek Canyon, a thirteen-mile stretch I remember well from the first time my husband and I drove it; I was pregnant and the curves and the dizzyingly close canyon walls were intense and nauseating.  This was a much easier drive.  We stopped at the canyon rim and got a chance to get out and look back….and promise to come back again soon.  Thanks, Sedona!





The Grand Canyon, April 2017

Ostensibly, this recent trip was about taking the kids to see the Grand Canyon….and they both thought it was a total dud.  I joked beforehand with a friend who had taken her young kids about the whining, “Moooom.  We’ve been here twenty minutes and haven’t even seen a condor yet. Lame.”  In reality, it was less than a minute, no lie, before my six-year-old daughter turned to me and said “I can’t believe we drove a HALF HOUR to see this.”  (Bless her heart.  We actually took a week vacation, a four hour flight and did five hours combined, driving, to get here…but still.)

I’ll put up lots more from our trip in the following days, but here’s some of the best pictures from our morning at the Canyon.  For your viewing pleasure, none of the wilting or whining or “mood enhancers” (Jolly Ranchers, handed out at desperate times,) are included.  But, there IS a condor!

I haven’t enhanced or filtered any of these, only cropping one and spot-removing grit form three images.  The colors of the canyon are muted in the morning and develop as the sun moves overhead.  If you’re not eight and/or hot, tired,crabby, or generally miserable, it would be amazing to stay the day and watch the colors of the rocks “change”.

Emboldened: Thinking of Travel

Recent small victories and the insightful questions of my fellow moms-in-arms has got me thinking.  About travel, about summer, about technology, about time, about the future.

For a moment in our recent road-trip, when both kids were entertaining themselves with electronics (should we hope that they were being read to by Lavar Burton or should we just admit that they were playing Pet Doctor for the seventh straight hour?  Do you promise to judge me, either way?)….it was unbelievably peaceful.

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And a thought filled with hope entered my brain:  “We could do this!  We could travel!!”  We could travel to Europe, to Brazil, drive to the Grand Canyon and all through the west of these great states.  I’ll get them passports right away when we get home!

I’m still on that bubble.  I can see it.  I can see us in Barcelona and France.  (Give me a while before I can see us in India or Bangkok.  One rung at a time.)

You know what is first?  Montreal.  I have three great loves for three deserving cities: Madison, where I live and set down deep roots, Boston, and Montreal.  I had the good fortune to introduce my kids to Boston last fall.  Subway trains, sparkly toothpaste at the home of our good friends, and encounters with dog sharks and patient  at the New England Aquarium ensured the kids love Boston as much as I.  On to Montreal.  I don’t know when or how.  But soon.  Gear up, Montreal!

First up, find my passport, dust it off and renew that baby. Next, passports for the kiddos.

Did you know you must have travel plans to get a passport?  I haven’t figure out if “some time this summer, via minivan we’ll drive to Montreal” is legit enough, but I’m pretty sure not.

Did you also know both parents need to show up when getting passports for children or get a notarized thing.  And you have to show up in person for first passports…so I was getting ahead of myself. First up, the nearest passport processing center, Chicago! Then Montreal! That’s okay.  We always love a visit to The Windy City.  Three hours in the van is nothing for us! ( I think.)

Also, I just got my passport out of the one place it belongs, hidden in The Box of Important Stuff, and immediately misplaced it.  It took ten minutes to find:

Hidden Passport
I AM a slob, but this seems beyond my skill level.


I’ll figure out the kids’ passports after I renew mine. The wheels are already in motion!