Thursday, August 18, 2016

Southwest Road Trip: Part 2

Day 3 of our road trip, we left our hotel near the Grand Canyon and drove to gorgeous Sedona, AZ! Not a bad view of Bell Rock.

We highly recommend the Scenic Byway through Sedona, amazing red rocks everywhere!

Lunch stop at a Spanish arts and crafts village.

Decided to cool off in the Oak Creek at Grasshopper Point day-use park.

Z loved the little waterfalls.

L tried out a little rock jumping, quite exhilarating.

A made the rock-jump as well; we were quite proud of ourselves.

Then, we checked out the lovely view of Sedona from Airport Road.

What a sight!

Made one more stop in Sedona at Crescent Moon Ranch picnic and day-use area, a great spot with impressive views of Cathedral Rock.

 Another great spot to cool off.

From Sedona, we headed to Prescott and made a dinner stop at this place, although we don't really recommend it. We opened the door, the music stopped, and the locals stared at us, haha.

We really enjoyed our stay at the ranch of L's relatives in Prescott. 
Those are their horses in their backyard!

Z enjoyed the animals outside and the fake ones inside the house.

 While the girls visited the local zoo, A had a blast on a shooting excursion with L's world-traveling cousin Scott.

Z had a memorable experience getting to ride in the bucket of Great Uncle Larry's tractor!

Feeding the horsies with Great Aunt Jan.
Lovely back patio.
 A fun dinner in downtown Prescott near the historic Whiskey Row.
 So nice cousin Scott and his wife Stephanie could join us.

A really old saloon. Gotta love this cowboy town!
Love the sunsets here!

 Thanks so much to Aunt Jan and Uncle Larry for hosting us at your beautiful ranch! 
You two are too kind and generous!

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel! 

A mall stop somewhere in Tempe, AZ.

Dinner at this awesome place called Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, AZ, where a giant pipe organ plays any request from ABBA to Star Wars to Disney to Sinatra and more! Check out those pipes through the windows. The organist also controlled percussion and mallet instruments on the walls and ceiling, so fun!

South of Phoenix in Gilbert, AZ, we enjoyed more fun cousin-time with the Alberts!
The pool felt great after a hot, balmy day.
 While Z's 2nd cousins were at school during the day, we made a little excursion to see classic Arizona sights.

We checked out Goldfield Ghost Town, a fun cowboy outing.
 Love that huge cactus, and a little birdie stuck in a cage.


From the ghost town, we drove a windy road to the lovely, secluded Canyon Lake.

 We swam out to a rock island for more rock-jumping.

Z hanging out with her duck buddy.
 Although we didn't get many pictures this time, we had a blast as usual staying with our cousins. Thanks so much for hosting us!

And finally, on the long drive back home, we made a pit stop in Yuma, AZ to say hello to old friends we haven't seen since fall of 2004! Until their recent transfer to Yuma, the Marine Corps had kept them on the East Coast. So fun to reconnect with Paul and Kimberly! 
(Not pictured: their 3 young boys!).

Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe on another wonderful adventure of experiencing 
beautiful creations and visiting kind people! 

Southwest Road Trip: Part 1

For this summer's family adventure, we hit the road for week through a bit of Nevada and mainly Arizona! First stop, Las Vegas, NV.

First, we dropped by the Silverton Hotel off the Strip to check out the free mermaid viewing!

It was so fun and cool!

We also loved the Bass Pro Shops next door, which was trying to give the Grand Canyon a run for its money.

Enjoyed dinner with a loud elephant at the Rainforest Cafe.

Fun sights along the Las Vegas Strip.

 With the toasty temps (still 100 degrees after sunset), any kind of water fountain felt good!
 The famous Bellagio Fountains.

Fun inside Caesar's Palace (no, we didn't actually stay there!).

The next day, we crossed the border into beautiful Northern Arizona. We were surprised by how green it was!

First stop of the day, Bearizona in Williams, AZ, a drive-thru wildlife park!

Here are some of the animals were saw from the car: sleeping wolves (cute doggie!)...

Bison. This picture sings, "Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam..."
 Mountain goats.
 And lots of bears!

The walk-through part of the park was great too, and we saw more bears close up.

The bobcats were Z's favorite.
These guys always enjoy a good petting zoo.

Hello, little javelina.
 The birds of prey showcase was impressive too with owls, falcons, and hawks flying right over our heads!
 What a fun and lovely stop!

Checked into our hotel north of Williams and found these metal sculptures next door.

These guys were along the road, stopping traffic, so cute!

Next stop, the amazing Grand Canyon!

Such a beautiful spot and we only saw a small fraction of this expansive National Park!

Finished off the day with a dip in the pool. 

 And that was only the first two days of road trip! 
Stay tuned for Part 2 with much more fun to come!