Monday, March 23, 2009

I am alive, I swear!

13: The unlucky number for some, the very lucky number for others. Also the number skipped in many buildings when giving their floors names. Also a number that adds up to four when you add the digits. Also the number of days since I posted last. I cannot believe it!

To the land of palm trees and cacti! Spring break, all two weeks of it, was a blast and a half! Like I've said before, my mom scheduled a trip out to Phoenix and Sedona, Arizona. My family usually takes beach vacations: Mexico, The Florida Keys, Turks & Caicos, Bethany, you get the picture. Obviously, this was a twist for the fam. We left good ole' MD bright (or actually dark) and early on Friday morning and got to AZ around 9, despite a 5 hour trip thanks to the time difference for giving us 3 extra hours! We stayed at the Arizona Grand hotel right in Phoenix, fully equipped with its own water park, called "The Oasis". It was a fabulous spot where we warmed up, got a little color, and even went for our first real spa treatments!! This is a picture of my sister, my mom and I on the "balcony" of our room! After 4 days/3 nights there, we headed our to Sedona, about two hours away from Phoenix, driving. Sedona is a very cool little cowboy town full of small shops that are Indians and cowboy themed, with leather and kokopelli goods and turquoise jewelry at every turn. There was one road in and one road out (that sometimes had a little bit of traffic!) and the town was probably no bigger than four blocks lining both sides of the road. It was so cool to see a little town sprung up in the middle of all these red rocks, like the picture at the top! That rock, as some other cool ones did, had a name: "Castle Rock". If you look at it, it is kinda fortress-shaped. Cool, huh? We even ventured out to hike too! My whole family hopped on over to "Cathedral Rock" and started our hike. This is me and Grace pretending to be trapped in one of the many vortices (pl. of vortex) that are along some hiking trails. They are believed to have healing powers and some people travel all the way to Sedona for the medicinal effects of these vortices. There were a few trail companies that even advertised "Vortex Guides" if you wanted to go on a tour that stopped at one or a few of these mysterious stops! We all kept hiking until my mom and sister got a little worried about going much higher on Cathedral Rock. My dad and I kept going as long as we were comfortable with the height and process of getting back down from where we were. There were "carins" (mesh-metal covered stacks of rocks that were sorta like a guided way to get up the mountain) that we followed as we kept climbing. We'd see one after another and kept saying "Well, its about three carins to that, let's try!" This is the view down from the highest site that my dad and I got to. We called it "the gorge" and I was a little apprehensive about taking the picture because it was a long long long long long long long long long long long way down. Its kinda tough to see the way down, and with modern zooms its hard to appreciate it, but it was pretty cool! This was only my second hike ever, so I was pretty proud of me and my dad and even that my mom and sister got as far as they did. It was a fabu outing to take, and its probably the only time I'll have ever gotten a chance to do something like this! This is everyone on the mountain, taken by some friendly fellow climbers. It was cool to see all the people on the mountain. Old people through kids younger than my sister were climbing and everyone seemed to be having a good time. There was kind of a shelf where we were when this picture was taken. It was a little scary to stand this way because with a gust of wind we lost our balance. Very cool though either way. Its cool too that we have a family picture as we conquer Cathedral rock since its usually my mom taking the pictures. What a fun trip!

I hope everyone had happy, safe spring breaks!



Beth Dunn said...

I think 13 is a lucky number. I'm glad you had fun!

Kate said...

What a great trip! I went to the Grand Canyon briefly while driving cross country (from DC to CA) but I would love to go back!

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