This Christmas season, Sean, his family, and I shipped off to Arizona, just like last year. When we left, Maine looked like this:
And when we arrived in Arizona, it looked something like this:
Needless to say, we were thrilled to be in some nicer weather. We started out the trip with an overnight stay in Black Canyon City with Sean’s aunt Brenda before heading out to visit his other aunt Sharon for a short while in Prescott on our way to Camp Verde.
Camp Verde was actually quite cold, but it was so beautiful on the pecan farm that we stayed at that we didn’t really mind.
As part of our rental, we were allowed to pick up as many pecans as we wanted…which we did. So far, we have had a delicious Jack Daniels pecan pie (by Sean’s aunt Brenda) as well as countless turtles and, as of tonight, candied pecans.
Whilst kicking about the Camp Verde area, we visited Out of Africa, where I got to feed the giraffes, Pilgrim and Kibo.
I decided some time ago that my personality in a nutshell is a giraffe riding a bicycle through a field of peonies…so I was really excited that I got to meet my kindred up so close. I wish I had been courageous enough to ask them for a kiss like Sean’s mom did (she got one).
We also visited Tuzigoot to satisfy Sean’s inner anthropologist.
We also spent a day hiking in Sedona in Boynton Canyon. I traveled to Boynton Cayon with my parents a good fourteen years ago, so it was really neat to revisit and re-explore. Supposedly there are lots of spiritual vortexes around there, but mostly I just felt cold.
Back at the farm, we shelled a lot of pecans…
…and indulged in some delicious food.
We headed south to Tucson for the actual holiday and celebrated a desert Christmas, complete with guacamole, family, friends, and reminiscing about the old days.
We did some hiking in Catalina State Park — it was surprisingly warm and transcendently beautiful.
I loved spending time with Sean’s family and soaking up the sun, and Arizona is always an adventure. Although I think we’ll stay in New England for Christmas next year, I can’t wait to visit his aunts again, since they both kick butt. I wish we lived closer!
Without further ado, I will leave you with a sight that made me laugh: