Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meeting the Parents

Sara and I took a fairly big step this weekend when we spent the weekend in Arizona so that she could meet my parents.  Unfortunately, we had to plan the trip before we knew whether or not I would pass my language test, so it forced us to pack a whole lot into just a little amount of time.

We landed late Friday night and were immediately hit by the dry hot air.  I've spent a significant amount of time in Arizona and never had as much trouble with the dry air as I did this weekend.  My lips were constantly chapped, my mouth parched, and my nostrils dry.  Katie and Paul picked us up and drove us up to Prescott Valley to spend the night at my parents.

On Saturday morning, Sara and I got up for an early morning jog, before we all headed out to Sedona.  The drive to Sedona was gorgeous, with beautiful red rocks and breathtaking vistas.  We walked around the old mining town of Jerome, which has been transformed into an artists colony.  Then we had lunch in Sedona and toured the stunning church built into the Oak Creek Canyon.  Our drive back to Phoenix was marred by 2 hours of traffic, but we had a lovely dinner with one of Sara's clients and then hung out at Shelley's house for the evening,

We spent most of Sunday tubing down the Salt River.  Pretty much a floating party, we drank a bit too much, but still had a great time.  I elected not to tie my tube up with the rest of my family (I like being able to float on my own a bit) and this led to me twice getting capsized and eventually losing the group.  Lesson learned.  The rest of the evening was spent recovering from the river trip, with an early bed time.

The highlight of the weekend was the Hot Air Balloon.  Sara surprised me with the hot air balloon ride for our six month anniversary.  Knowing that this was one of the things my Mom's "Bucket List," I invited her and my Dad to join us for a late Mother's Day and early Father's Day present.  Shelley, Katie, and Paul all joined in and we found ourselves floating over the Sonora Desert early on Memorial Day.  It was so peaceful and gentle floating up and down over the desert.  Just a fantastic experience.

We spent much of the rest of the day napping and just hanging out.  We played some cards, ate lunch and dinner and talked.  Plus, we drove.  Sara just couldn't believe how much driving we had to do to get anywhere.  It is one of my biggest complaints about Phoenix that everything is so spread out.  Over the 72 hours we spent in Arizona, we spent at least 12 and probably 18 of those in a car.  Finally, late last night, Sara and I took a ridiculous red eye flight back to DC.  I was fortunate that FSI agreed to let me take today off because there is no way I could have functioned today, but poor Sara had to go straight in to work when we landed.

Sara with my parents outside Jerome

Katie and Sara enjoying the breeze

Church in Sedona

Outside the Church in Sedona

Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloon above the rising sun

Look at all the balloons in the background

Our shadow on a hill side

Inside of the balloon

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