Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Way Home...

We got up early the morning of debarkation, through customs and on the road by 9am California time. We weren't sure what we were going to do - stop for the night somewhere or drive through...

Despite living less than a half day drive from the Grand Canyon, I have never been there, so I was sort of hoping we might stop and stay at the Cameron Trading Post, just 29 minutes from the South Rim, on the way home....and we did! I don't usually have comments on hotels, but this place rocked. Let's just say the regular rooms were sold out, but they had a suite available (darn!) that we took, and it didn't cost much more than a regular hotel room. The suite was beautiful! The restaurant was SOOOOOO good (Navajo Tacos are the best)! The trading post shopping wasn't marked up too much and they had a beautiful selection of pawn as well. It was built in the early 1900's and I strongly suggest to anyone driving through the Four-Corners area to stay there.
We spent Saturday morning and early afternoon at the Canyon before heading home....or so we thought....

I would have liked to spend more time at the Canyon, but we wanted to hit the actual Four Corners and make it home that evening, so we made a tentative plan to go back again soon. When driving up to the Four Corners we got a little frustrated. See, we had taken our time and it was only 4 o'clock so we figured we were great on time. We had stopped to look at the Dinosaur tracks in a dry riverbed off the side of the road and had lunch outside Monument Valley (another place we have to go back to see) But Timewise? Not so we crossed out of Arizona to enter into the the Four-Corners through New Mexico it became 5 o'clock since Arizona doesn't observe day light savings. And the Four-Corners closed at 5. So at 5:07 pm we were cursing at the locked gates.

So onwards we went.....and as we came through Pagosa Springs I decided I wasn't ready to be home yet and we stayed at a great little hotel directly across the street from The Springs Lodge and Spa and hung out at the natural hot springs with beverages until midnight....soaking away all the travel aches. Pagosa Springs is the best local I've been too for natural hot springs. Pools range from 110 degrees to 91 degrees and is located right on the river for a cold dip. I love it.
Anyway - we got home Sunday and will probably be there for quit some time from now on because we spent a lot of money. But it was worth it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break is Over :(

Hello All! We are back, unfortunately. I could have stayed gone for another few weeks for sure. It was a good trip. We left last Saturday night to let the baby sleep and drove through the four corners area before stopping for a quick nap. This really isn't a long drive. Two-thirds of it can be done in a pretty short day with plenty of time to relax if you stop for the night. It had been raining/snowing lightly until we stopped for a quick roadside nap, and we woke up to a light rain at about 7am. We were about an hour outside Flagstaff and planned on being in Lake Havasu around 1pm. As we drove closer to Flagstaff the rain turned to snow and suddenly we were driving our little Yaris in a two track with snow brushing the undercarriage of the car. I couldn't stop because there are no places to stop. Literally. So I just kept driving! We got into Flagstaff and we navigated the huge snowdrifts into a McDonalds where we figured we'd wait until the roads were clear as the only people plowing were private plowers. Evidently everybody had the same idea and that's where we learned the highway was closed. However, after about an hour, being the mad UP of MI driver that I am - since there actually was visibility again, and the storm was showing to dissipate to the west, (I LOVE my smartphone app that tracks weather) I decided we needed to see if that highway really was closed...and guess what? It wasn't - so Westward we drove! We pulled into Lake Havasu about 4:30 and chilled out for the night after walking to the London Bridge.
Yes, the actual London Bridge that was brought over from London in the 60's or 70's. I would have gotten more info but it was cold and I was tired.
The next morning we drove to Long Beach and left on our cruise via the Carnival Inspiration. We stopped at Santa Catalina Island for the day and went kayaking with the sea lions and dolphins. It was so cool! My pictures are on a waterproof camera that needs to get developed so I'll have to post those later. We left Wyatt with a babysitter that morning while we kayaked and then picked him up and brought him back to the beach where he wasn't too sure about the waves, but loved the sand!
That night was the formal night on the ship, and I went ahead and had us take pictures. The sitting fees were free so I figured why not? I did choose a few of the pictures later that turned out really well. I'll post those later too.
The next day we spent in Ensenda, Mexico. I've been to Baja before in San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez. I really liked it there - Ensenada...the town...not so much. However, it is located in the wine country of Mexico and we went on a Winery Tour of two local wineries which plied us with wine and food; including two free bottles of wine. Needless to say I stocked up as well! I'm not sure why I didn't take any pictures of the wineries...they were beautiful. Although the lack of pictures could have had something to do with the excess of wine. Maybe.
Then we spent a day at sea before pulling into a rainy Long Beach port and headed for home....however, I wasn't ready to go home yet....
To be continued...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break

...and we're getting out of here! A few months ago Nate and I decided if we had a good tax return we'd be going on a vacation for spring break. Sooooo....we booked a cruise from LA. We're going to leave Saturday night and spend Sunday afternoon in Lake Havasu, AZ before driving to Long Beach Monday. I'm looking forward to Lake Havasu because I want to see the London Bridge - yes, THE London Bridge. Which is just a bridge, but the history behind it is pretty cool!

It's a short cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico over a five day period. We plan on going snorkeling, kayaking and taking a winery tour. Wyatt is going with us (of course) and I'm excited to see him play on the beach. We are travelling with Carnival Cruises, which also offers babysitting services, so we can have a quiet night if we want it.

Friday, March 09, 2012

LOVE the kitty....

Wyatt is often overly enthusiastic in his love for Buni. Namely, he likes to lay on her. She takes it though. Occasionally she gives a pathetic 'mew' that he has learned to mimic exactly. So now they can talk to each other I guess 'cause she still isn't trying to escape.

Last night I plopped him into our bed at about 3 am after he woke up with a wet diaper. Evidently the cat was sleeping in the corner of the bed above my head, and I was just starting to doze when they got to talking to each other. Wyatt had found the cat and was using her as a pillow. When I got up at 6 for work they were still crashed together.

Monday, March 05, 2012


I spent a lot of time in Albequerque growing up since my grandparent's lived there. Even though we only live about 3 hours from there, I don't get down too often, so when the hubby and I decided to enroll in a Retrouvaille weekend there; it felt a little like coming home. So we've spent a few more days there since with the post program. For those of you who don't know what Retrouvaille is, click above. It is based on the Catholic Doctrines, but is non-denominational, affordable, helpful ... and has been much needed in our lives. Let's just say that all those great communication skills we know don't do so much if you have never learned how to use those skills correctly.

While there the balloons went up. We were staying in a retreat center (though this is not a retreat type weekend) overlooking the Rio Grande and all of the city. It was really cool.