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Monday, July 11, 2011

Making Arizona Memories Without Sun Block.

I loved our vacation in Flagstaff.
At 7,000 feet, this small Arizona town is in the high country, surrounded by pines and rolling mountains.
“It’s Arizona’s small Rockies,” says the counselor, my mountain man.
He just loves it up here.
Flagstaff is a hippie town, full of people wearing hemp clothing and smelling of patchouli oil. 
Commonly seen are people sporting dread locks (even children), adults on skate boards being pulled by dogs and the happy hobo asking for a handout.
Flagstaff is the type of town where if you don’t do laundry for 6 days, no one cares.
It’s the type of place were if you forget to wear deodorant, you actually fit in better.
Our trip was very relaxing.
The weather was dramatic, with storms rolling over the mountain tops every afternoon.
Rain, mist and thunder in the distance is how I’ll remember my time here.
We swam at night in the hotel pool under a sky full of stars.
We ate ice cream after that.
Lots of ice cream.
In Flagstaff, I don’t play by the same rules as I do at home.
And we stayed up way too late watching the Casey Anthony verdict and discussion.
I had a hard time sleeping after that whole fiasco.
I kept checking on Eden and held her in my arms as she slept.
On the drive into Flagstaff, we stopped in Sedona.
And did some cliff jumping in Oak Creek Canyon.
At about 20 feet high, even Mayer took the plunge.
One time was enough for this little guy.
Day 2 found us in Walnut Canyon, scaling cliffs and checking out ancient dwelling built in the rocks.
I can't stress enough just how high these cliffs were.
Mind you, coming here was the counselors idea, you know that destroy and conquer mentality.  
This was not the ideal place to take 5 young children in a thunder storm, but with lots of "Slow down, hold my hand" and "Get away from the cliff!", we survived.
Please don't judge me for my hat.  I already feel old enough!
It was a great place to throw rocks.
And just wait until you heard them hit the canyon floor.
Day 3 found us at the Flagstaff 4th of July parade.  
My favorite entry?  
You guessed it.  I think I was the only one actually cheering when the Goodwill truck drove by.
Day 4 found us at Sunset Crater.  
If this place was 118 degrees like Phoenix was, it would have been hell, but at a cool 75 degrees, it's breathtaking.
More cliffs, more high mountains and more rain coming in.  
This was the type of vacation where if you're kid puts his pants on backwards, it's all good.
At this point, thunder was common and Mayer stopped asking if the thunder was a dinosaur.
This mountain range was a high grade and a difficult climb.  To keep Mayer motivated, I told him he could slide down it when we were done.
Day 5 found us at the park, under a gray afternoon sky and a gentle breeze and Payson hitting pine cones with a bat.  I realize this may have been an entirely different trip if I didn't have 4 boys.
“Suck it in,” the counselor said to the boys, knowing back in Phoenix it was a whopping 118.
Back home, we missed the haboob (A haboob (Arabic هبوب) is a type of intense sandstorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world) that came into Phoenix and caused dirty havoc.
I left the counselor with the kids at the park and shopped at Goodwill.
Day 6 found us touring Flagstaffs famous haunted hotels.  The counselor found information at the visitor center and read about the ghosts that are seen and heard.  
Payson loved this, while Chandler decided to wait in the lobby.
Day 7 and we drove back into Sedona to visit Slide Rock.  The water, oh the water, felt so good. 
And more cliff jumping.
Arizona is full of crazy cliffs.  One place we didn't go?
The craziest cliffs of all: The Grand Canyon.  
Maybe next year.
And Eden decided to start walking while at the train station.
Isn't that just like Flagstaff; a place to have my baby start walking in the rain while a gigantic train rolls by.
Sweet baby, she's wearing her designer Lucky Jeans I found at Goodwill.
I hope you all had a great 4th of July.  
I can’t wait to get back to selling trash. Today, I’m already out shopping at my favorite thrift stores.
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock


  1. I'm glad you had such a wonderful vacation. I went to school at NAU, so I have a lot of great memories of Flagstaff...some weird memories too! haha

  2. Really enjoyed this post, Laura. I feel like I know your family just by seeing the photos and reading about the kids' different personalities! :)

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  3. Ditto what Edie said. Post more often, Laura! We miss you!

  4. Edie, consider yourself hugged. I hope to see your beautiful smile while out thrifting.
    You have a way of making others feel so special.

  5. Thanks, Laura, you make me feel exactly the same way. See you at Salvation Army or GW some day soon!

  6. Great pictures!

  7. Oh my gosh -- you brought back many nice memories! I am so glad you all had such a fun time. :) And -- thanks for mentioning the haunted hotels tour. That is surely right up my alley. :)

  8. Oh...what a wonderful trip! You are so beautiful! And your family...awwww...just looking at your pictures made my heart smile!

    Thanks for an aMazing family post.

    And thanks for letting me tag along.

    I really enjoyed this.