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Monday, December 20, 2010

First Stop: Flagstaff and the Mountains

We kept hearing reports of wretched weather in our home territory -- but in Las Vegas and in Arizona it was beautiful -- unseasonably warm for the mountains of Flagstaff, our first stop.

We were staying with cousins Nancy and Walt, generous hosts who welcomed us far too late at night with open arms and a comfy bed!

This was our view from the bedroom!

After the relentless sounds of Las Vegas, the quiet of this little haven was a joy.

Walt took Rick and me to Walnut Creek Canyon where we walked deep into the canyon to observe the rock dwellings of a thousand years ago.

There is little room to maneuver on the paths that go straight down to the bottom of the
canyon. It's amazing to think how people lived here, hunted antelope or were able to grow what they needed to live.

It was fascinating -- looking up or down, the views were amazing.

Here's one of the "houses." No McMansion here!

The vegetation was beautiful, and I fell in love with prickly pear cactus.

It was a special and fascinating experience.

That evening we were joined by Cousin Jim, along with Nancy's son John and both their children.

Nancy made a fabulous fennel-stuffed salmon...

...and we spent many good hours by the warmth of her Aga, soaking up memories.

The candles provided a soft glow, although I suspect the glow of connecting with one another would have been just fine all by itself!

One highlight was story time, which was simply enchanting.

Another was Hamilton (aka Ham), the Jack Russell I fell for in a big way!

It was early to bed for Rick, because the next day he and Walt were hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back again.

Nancy and I hit the road, shopping in Flagstaff, then in Sedona. The Oak Creek canyon road was one curve after another, with dazzling views on either side.

My favorite stop -- Hummingbirds, a wonderful gift shop.

Needless to say, it was all decked out for Christmas!

Meanwhile, our happy hikers were having a great time at the Canyon. Rick found it a little less great (at least physically!) the next day after the hike back up!

A cozy dinner by the fire was just the ticket.

A trio of folk art angels watched over us. I couldn't help but think of Nancy's mom, mine, and my aunt Grace, the three sisters. They'd be simply loving this!

Even Ham was happy as a clam!

It was hard to draw Rick out of bed the next day so we could leave for Wickenburg, near Phoenix. But the thought of pancakes never seems to fail!

The word of the weekend was cozy --

And after the relentless sounds and stimulation of Las Vegas, it was exactly what was needed!

After a wonderful breakfast and lots of hugs, we were off again --

-- from the mountains to the desert!

We were off to see Cousins John and Pat!

17 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh fun! What a great get away. When you can use the word 'cozy' to describe your stay, you know you've been with good hosts! I have been to AZ multiple times as my best friend lives in Phoenix and my sister lives in Tucson, but I've never made it up to Flagstaff... or the Grand Canyon. I'll get there eventually!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

What a wonderful visit. Love the photos, too.

anno said...

It looks like a lovely visit -- what a treat to get so far out of context, especially just before the holidays!

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

it looks like you had a wonderful time! It is nice to see Arizona from a different perspective - the visitor's! Merry Christmas!!

Becca said...

This looks like a wonderful trip, but I know what you mean about a trip at this time of year putting you way behind schedule with all the other holiday happenings.

And that's too bad, because it's times like you spent with your friends that are really holiday gifts!

Bella Rum said...

Oh, my gosh! That salmon looks delicious. I love salmon. Love it! Of all those wonderful photos, I'm focusing on the salmon. Okay, and you in your purple coat. You look so happy and relaxed. Glad you had a good time.

BONNIE K said...

The salmon AND the pasta look delicious! It brings back memories of our trip to Flagstaff, and I just loved the peace, especially after being in Vegas. I wish we could have joined you (minus any hiking).

Annie said...

What a funfilled time, Jeanie. Very smart to leave the hike down and back up again to the men. Shopping in Sedona would definitely be the thing to do.

Nancy's stove is awesome. I've seen pictures in showrooms but she actually HAS one. I swooned for a moment.

Love the collection of popcorn poppers hanging (in the kitchen?)

Luna and Luzie said...

Hello and thank you for your kind comment !!!
This sounds like a wonderful visit and I enjoyed so much all the impressive photos.

Also I was excited to see the photo of the aga stove. I saw a lot of photos in magazines and thought it might be great to have one.
I´m sure it was very nice to spend the time in Nancys kitchen .
Thank you for sharing your impressive photos.
I´ll come back soon to visit your blog.
Merry Christmas !

Joanne Huffman said...

It sounds (reads?) like a wonderful and delightful time. You are so good at choosing just the right photos to go with your posts.

Linda said...

What a wonderful trip! And Hamilton IS adorable!!!

Ruth said...

Beeeeautiful!

The first wreath. The fence wreath. The views. The cave dwelling. The Aga!! Beautiful family. Fabulous food! The salmon, pancakes, wow. Really soul-filling stuff here, Jeanie!

Dogwood said...

Looks like fun was had by all.
Good food, scenery and peeps.

Happy Holiday.

Marilyn said...

You make visiting Arizona very enticing. This is one state I have not visited, but would love to. We have friends in Sedona and they say to come and visit. Your time here looks so special and definitely cozy. I would have loved it.

Oh said...

I wrote this great long comment moments ago and Wordpress ate it! So I begin again, with a promise to return and write more (cuz of course I'm running late for work! I just HAD to wrap presents this morning, though!)

I LOVE these pictures. HM & I were there in Arizona, by the cave dwellers so my heart soared to see those pictures! And all that "warmth!" (We are being threatened with a huge snowstorm - harumph!) and then chez your friends: the Aga!!!! the candles, the kitchen, the people - such a wonderful photographic storyteller you are!
Hugs to all and don't forget the Gyp! will be back later to yammer on some more.
Just love the holiday season and yes, wish you were at the wreath making class with us, too. You have a standing invitation. Fezziwig won't bat an eye when I ask him to sign you up, too, next year!

Merry Christmas!

Oh said...

I wrote this great long comment moments ago and Wordpress ate it! So I begin again, with a promise to return and write more (cuz of course I'm running late for work! I just HAD to wrap presents this morning, though!)

I LOVE these pictures. HM & I were there in Arizona, by the cave dwellers so my heart soared to see those pictures! And all that "warmth!" (We are being threatened with a huge snowstorm - harumph!) and then chez your friends: the Aga!!!! the candles, the kitchen, the people - such a wonderful photographic storyteller you are!
Hugs to all and don't forget the Gyp! will be back later to yammer on some more.
Just love the holiday season and yes, wish you were at the wreath making class with us, too. You have a standing invitation. Fezziwig won't bat an eye when I ask him to sign you up, too, next year!

Merry Christmas!

Wrightboysmum said...

Those folk art angels are lovely. Don't worry about commenting as I know exactly what it's like. I'm the only one up just now as it was early here and I couldn't sleep so I may get through commenting but if small people wake I won't. Take care of yourself and get on the mend.

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