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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

When in Jerome!

15 years of marriage plus 5 children equals extreme difficulty when planning an anniversary get-away, but the counselor pulled it off with flying colors.

 He said he wanted to take me away.  He did all the research and booked the hotels.

We started out in the heart of Sedona.  We walked into this little shop and on the radio was John Denver's "Annie's Song."
I've sung this song to our children for years, so naturally, the counselor and I started dancing and crying.
I have so many memories when I hear "Annie's Song".  I first memorized the words while at ASU in an advanced public speaking class.  I actually sang the song at the end of a speech I gave about the environment (I was brave back then).  I've been singing it to our children ever since.

The hummer ride up a Sedona mountainside was the counselor's idea.

The drive and the sounds of the hummer reminded me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. 

Here's kissing rock. Awe!

Our tour guide pointed out this Merry Go' Round vortex.  
Ironically, there was a wedding party taking sunset photos.  
This was amazing to me, because the ride up the mountain was one of the bumpiest rides I've ever been on. Like teeth chattering, back-breaking, hold onto the rails while looking over a canyon raven praying you don't drop off below.  Clearly, this couple is about to start out on an adventure of a lifetime.

It was beautiful as we rode up the mountain.

The wind in the trees reminded me of another John Denver song.

Our tour guide said this tree growing in the rock was named Will.  "Where there's a will, there's a way," he said.

Our first night we went to a restaurant in Sedona called Sound Bites Grill.  The counselor loves jazz and to our surprise, the lovely Trish Hatley was performing.
She was amazing and it was so much fun meeting her.

The next day we traveled to Jerome, about 20 miles out of Sedona.  On our drive up the mountain, we stopped by this old abandoned store.

It had paint-chipped doors and story-telling views.  I asked a gentleman checking out the store if he would take our picture.  He told us he was a professional photographer and suggested where we pose.
He was awesome, so thank you professional photographer stranger who was so kind.  You gave us a wonderful anniversary present.

The counselor and I visited Jerome 14 years earlier in the summer of 1999,
(here's a photograph I pulled out of an old album of ours)
so it was a walk down (or should I say up considering it's built up on a mountain side) lane.

Here's a photo I took 14 years ago.
Here's something I took last weekend.  Same stairs, different decades.
Here's a view from the top of the hill looking back towards Sedona.  It's very Grand Canyon like, flirting with dramatic colors and elevations.

There is a park in Jerome where the counselor and I hung out 14 years ago.
I was pregnant with our first child, Chandler. I had horrible morning sickness, but I was so excited for the family we were creating.  I couldn't wait to be a mom.

Here, the counselor took a photo of me at the same park last weekend.

The rock wall is old and gorgeous. When is Anthropologie going to be shooting there next catalog here?  Seriously, so many amazing photo ops in this ghost town.
The people and shops are enchanting.
It's an artist town, so everywhere you turn there's something beautiful to see.

The next day we took it easy at out hotel in Oak Creek Canyon.

The canyon was alive with color.
The wind was blowing and the sky was full of fluffy floating clouds.  

The sun would highlight certain areas just for a moment.
I certainly saw the light shining down on this guy.  I love him.

We ate lots of wild Sedona apples, but later we went all out and ate chocolate-caramel apples at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for lunch.

I hope we don't have to wait another 14 years to get back.

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