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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Arizona Adventure

 Camille and I arrived in Cornville at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26.  We pulled into Mom’s yard about 20 seconds before Mark, Nana and their three boys pulled in behind us from Los Angeles.  Jim and his two youngest children had been there the past few days doing some work on one of his properties.  Mom came out and greeted and invited us in.  My ears were roaring, my head throbbing and my hands shaking from the 12-hour drive.  We only stopped twice on the trip and made good time even though we traveled through a lot of wet and snowy weather.

Since Mom’s house if full of other people, who occupy all the rooms and every other space; (that's another story)Mark and Nana were staying in a hotel in Cottonwood while Camille and I were to stay with a family in  Mom's ward.  The Messicks were extremely hospitable and allowed us accommodations in their basement. After a brief visit at the house, Mom led us through the desert to the Messick's place and left us to settle in and sleep.

The next morning we woke up and got ready for church.  We enjoyed the meetings in the Mingus Ward.  The ward members adore my mother and many of them told me how much they love her.  It was a sweet experience.  That evening we went to another ward family’s home for dinner.  The Westovers have been friends of my parents and my younger brothers for 25 years.  What a delightful evening it was with good food and friends.  Camille and Jordan (the Westover’s youngest of 12 children and Camille’s age) went to a fireside at the ward and had a fun time.

Monday morning, we all met at Mom’s real estate office in Cottonwood where she went to work a couple of hours earlier.  Mark had made reservations for a Pink Jeep Tour of the Sedona Red Hills for the afternoon, we caravaned into Sedona, ate lunch at a local BBQ restaurant, then wandered through some gift shops on our way to the Jeep Tour place for our 1:00 departure.

The Pink Jeep Tour was a blast.  Our group of 11 had two jeeps and we got a geology, ecology, and biology lesson on the drive up the canyon.  We bumped and bounced over some pretty rough roads and trails and enjoyed all of it.  The little Shumways had fun throwing rocks over the cliff when we got to the top while the rest of us took in the magnificent views.  That evening, Jim treated us to a delicious Italian dinner at Nic’s in Old Town Cottonwood and we wished him a safe journey back home since he was leaving for Colorado with his children early the next morning.
Camille & Pink Javalinas at the Pink Jeep Office
Grandma Shumway, Mark, Nana and Boys buckling into seats in their Pink Jeep
The other jeep-full of Shumways
Climbing the red hills above Sedona, Arizona
At the top of the trail
Mom, Lilly, Jim, Nana, Eric, Mark, Georgia, Camille
front row: Avery, Max and Ethan
At the Drop Off Spot
Tuesday, Mark’s family and Camille and I again met at Mom’s office and we took the boys over to a local park.  We bought deli sandwiches and relaxed until about 12:30, then Cami and I took off for Phoenix to 80+ degree weather and the outlet mall while the rest of the group went to Jerome to check out the old mining town and fun shops.  Later, Mark kept the boys while us girls (Camille, Nana and I) accompanied Mom to the Mingus Ward Relief Society Birthday Social.  It was a fun evening.

The Phoenix Outlet Mall
Wednesday morning, Mark and I were at Mom’s house to meet a plumber who was scheduled to look at the septic tank situation.  Unfortunately, the plumber wasn’t very helpful with the problem, but we all decided to do some cleanup around Mom’s yard while we were there and she was off at work.  We got permission from the fire marshal to build a bon fire to get rid of a bunch of yard waste that had been gathered during the winter.  We also raked, pruned and cleaned up a bunch of other stuff which kept two fires roaring for several hours.  We were all sunburned and smoky by the time we completed that task, but we were kept entertained the whole time by Eric, Ethan and Avery finding fuel for the fire interspersed with Nerf Gun wars.

Late that afternoon, Jordan Westover came and picked Camille up for a date.  Mom brought home KFC for dinner for the rest of us and I hung out with the family after packing and cleaning our space at the Messick’s and thanking them for allowing us to stay at their home.

Feeling a little toasted after bonfires in the Arizona sun
After Cami's date, we started out on our all-night drive.  She kept me entertained with stories and songs for about 9 hours across the Kiabab and well into Utah, but she started dozing off about Cedar City so we pulled off the freeway and slept in the car for about an hour at Cove Fort.  Those last three hours were grueling, especially when we hit morning rush hour traffic in Provo/Orem and Salt Lake, but we pulled into our driveway at 9:45 a.m. and while Cami got ready to go to school, I unpacked our things and started the laundry.  We both napped for a few hours that afternoon and after a great night’s sleep, it was back to a full-day schedule on Friday.

Thank you, Jim, Mark and Mom for making the trip so fun.  Camille and I are so grateful for the fun memories of spending time with you in Arizona.


Tina said...

I miss trips to the desert. It is so beautiful!

What an awesome trip to see your mom and brothers and their families. Those kind of trips are the best!

I hate driving through the snow on long trips. My husband is broaching the idea of a trip to Utah in December and driving . . . . yikes! it makes me nervous just thinking about it. Hopefully we can find a good price on flights ;)

Georgia said...

When my daughter, Dani and her new husband, Kelly drove to Baltimore it took them five days. When I think how hard 12 hours was on me this trip, I'm pretty sure five days would kill me.

If you come, I hope you'll stay for awhile and allow us to get together for lunch or dinner or something!!