Thursday, August 23, 2012

I've Been Through The Desert In a Van With No Name

I am overwhelmed at the thought of writing all of the happenings from our most recent family trip to Sedona, AZ.  That's why I have decided to just write little stories at a time instead of the whole trip in one LONG post. 

Let me begin the re-cap by saying that the trip out to AZ was very pleasant.  For the first time ever we divided a road trip into two legs instead of driving straight through.  We drove for 8 hours and then spent the night in Santa Rosa, NM. 

We got there at about 4:30 in the afternoon, so we checked in to the Super 8 and asked the receptionist what to do in town with a bunch of little kids who have been in the car all day.  She helpfully pointed to the park directly behind the Dollar General right across the road.  We headed over there to discover a strange little park with the hugest ants I have ever seen in my life.  I don't love insects in general, but ants are simply my undoing.  I loathe them.  One contributing factor is that there is really never just one lone ant.  Where there is one there are a thousand.  And since I have general phobia of all things that can be said to swarm, ants in their multitudes fit firmly in that category as well.  Aside from being aghast at the size and number of ants, I thought the park excursion went well.  Tyler picked up a pizza and brought it back to the ant park and dinner al fresco was enjoyed by all. 

After we'd (okay, mostly just me) had our fill of the park we went for a little drive to see what more Santa Rosa had to offer.  Surprise, surprise, we found some gems.  Not 200 feet from where we were nearly born off by the mutant ants there was a fabulous lake/swimming hole in the park.  It looked like such fun and we were so disappointed that had we only known it was there we could have be swimming all evening.  The kids were pretty disappointed that we didn't have time to swimming there before the park closed for the night.  We tried to appease them by reminding them that the house we were renting in Sedona had it's own pool, but even we knew that a pool has nothing on a big lake in a park with a diving board and a cool dock.
Park Lake (These are not my pictures.  Some nice people who use the internet took them.  Thank you, nice people, for preserving the memories I didn't take the time to.)
 We continued driving, following signs for the "Blue Hole".  We finally found it behind some buildings and this was another little gem.  It is a very deep natural swimming hole - apparently it is 80 ft. deep and an excellent place for scuba diving.  It was totally cool and teenagers were doing crazy running leaps off of the rocks at the top into the water.  The kids were again disappointed that we couldn't swim there, but that one I wasn't as sad about.  Four small children in an 80 ft. deep swimming hole?  No thank you. 
The Blue Hole (No, I did not take this picture either.  It was full of people when we saw it, but we were there at sunset and the setting was this beautiful.)

That little drive left us with the feeling that Santa Rosa was a destination all on it's own and we wouldn't mind coming back again, this time being more prepared for it's aquatic amusements. 

After a quite good night of sleep all things considered we hit the road again the next day and drove for another 8 hrs. until we got to Sedona. 

Sedona was filled with time with cousins and swimming and hiking and seeing wild animals at a Safari Park and buying souvenirs and jumping off of rock cliffs into rivers and having a good old time with the extended Brock family. 

Cousin time at Slide Rock State Park

Tyler feeding a giraffe on our safari.  He had to feed the giraffe as proxy for each of our children who were too scared to do it - notice his fist full of their carrots?

After 5 days of frolicking, it was time to drive home.  And that's where things got really weird.

To be cont...