Well, Nate and I are back to real life in the wind and the rain here in Portland. I'm already missing that cactus I posted a picture of on Monday.
It's crazy that the only real answer I got on that post (other than "somewhere warm" or "the desert") was Arizona! Yes, that's exactly where we were. Is that the only state with cacti? I would have thought that Texas, New Mexico, and probably a few other states have cacti as well. I guess they don't. Congratulations to all of you who picked the right state. You all get a gold star!
Nate's parents moved down to the Phoenix area a year ago and so the hubby and I decided it was high time we went and visited. We thought a mini, four day vacation was called for.
Since we honeymooned in Leavenworth, Washington and drove for our huge vacation last summer, Nate and I had never flown together. It was so fun! It's the simple things in life that I love!
Friday, Nate's parents took us to Sedona. It was absolutely breathtaking! Of course, when we stopped for lunch, I made Nate take a picture in the cutout. I have a thing for cutouts. This one made my heart happy... Can you tell why?
The other side of the cutout was a little more modest so Mike and Sheli agreed to get their picture taken too.
The red rocks of Sedona were breathtaking! I'm so thankful I serve such a wonderful God who created such a majestic landscape.
One of the places Nate's parents were most excited to have us see in Sedona was the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It is an amazing feat of architecture, with the cross and building built into the rock.
Before entering the chapel, there is a plaque describing the architect's desire to draw people to the Lord through her design. It was so moving to read about her desire to honor the Lord and create a space of wonder and beauty as worship to Christ.
As I walked into the chapel, I was struck with a feeling of awe. Even with people bustling around, taking pictures, using the hill as an echo chamber, I could feel the Lord's presence. I wanted to sit at the foot of the cross and worship, giving glory to God for His majesty. The details present drew me in, welcoming me as a worshiper.
That evening, I got my first taste of In-N-Out! Boy was I excited! I've heard people rave about it, I had friends in college who drove from Portland to California just to eat at In-N-Out, and I was excited!
I was so excited, I made Nate wear a paper hat with me! (Ok, you're right, it doesn't take much excitement for me to get Nate to do something childish with me)
Stephen, Nate's younger brother, told us what to get. I guess there's a secret menu? Yeah, the Kelloggs are in the know. When Stephen described them to me, I knew I wanted the animal fries REALLY bad! I also didn't want to eat a million carbs. Sheli then told me something else that was on the secret menu, the protein burger. A hamburger wrapped in lettuce! (Like I said, Kelloggs are in the know.)
What's my review of In-N-Out? Well, I'm sorry to say, it was disappointing. I didn't feel like it was much different than any other fast food restaurant. (Sorry to all you In-N-Out lovers out there!!!)
On Saturday, Stephen didn't have to work, so all five of us went on a hike, about half an hour out of Phoenix. We hiked up to a waterfall... That didn't have water flowing. Woop-woop. I guess it only has water when it rains. And I, for one, was super glad I was out of the rain so I wasn't complaining one bit!
Part of the hike took us by rocks with ancient Native American carvings. Those were super fun to look at but me, being the very relationship oriented person I am, wanted so much more information. Who were the people who carved these? What were their families like? What were they saying? How did they survive the incredible summer heat without air conditioning? You know, all the questions that can't be answered because I didn't live then.
There were so many cacti on our hike! I didn't realize how huge they were in real life!
Sunday we watched the Super Bowl, of course, and Monday we were on a plane back to Portland to make it in time for Nate's evening class.
All in all, it was an amazing weekend! I decided that Nate and I are going to be snowbirds. We'll live in Arizona all winter and move back up for the summer. Seriously. It's happening.