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Name: Lauren         Location: Middle Tennessee, USA

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Monday, August 20, 2012
Summer Vacation, Part Two
After driving from Albuquerque to Flagstaff, Arizona on Monday afternoon, we woke up on Tuesday ready for the Grand Canyon. We changed our plans, however, because there was a 60 percent chance of rain.  So, we changed gears and headed to Sedona instead.  The drive from Flagstaff to Sedona was amazing.  There is a drop in altitude of several thousand feet, and as we drove down the mountains on highway 89A, the beauty was stunning.  Of course, the hairpin turns on the mountain roads also led to a few nauseous stomachs, so we were happy to arrive at Cathedral Rock in Sedona for a morning hike.

We were so fortunate with the temperatures!  It was in the low 80's, which is about 15 degrees cooler than normal.  Although we still worked up a sweat on our hikes, it was much more pleasant than we expected in late July.  As we pulled into the parking lot at Cathedral Rock, both kids looked up and said, "We can't climb that!" We assured them that they could, and we started up.  This turned out to be their favorite activity of the entire trip! It was more like bouldering than hiking, and the kids loved climbing.  Even though it was strenuous at times, they toughed it out and made it to the top.  It really struck me during this vacation how much they have grown up.  Although it makes me sad that time is passing so quickly, it was wonderful that we could just go and enjoy without huge bags, strollers, and all the other necessities that young children require.  I wish we could freeze time at this stage before we get to the serious issues of the teenage years! 

Family Photo before Heading Up

Ready for the Climb

Going up with a smile.

My Boys

The view from the top was stunning.

Fun with the Camera

Enjoying the View

Heading Back Down

After leaving Cathedral Rock, we were ready for lunch.  We wanted some pizza, so I used my iPhone to find something.  We were surprised when we pulled into a hole-in-the wall place called Moon Dogs.  We almost left, but the pizza turned out to be good, so we were glad we stuck it out!

Our next stop was Slide Rock State Park.  Our friends had enjoyed this park the year before, so we were very excited to check it out.  There is a natural water slide and swimming hole, so the kids changed into their suits.  Unfortunately, as we pulled in, so did the storm clouds.  It ended up raining all afternoon.

We stuck it out for a little over an hour, and then there was a break in the storms.  Even though it was still drizzling, we headed to the slide because we didn't want the kids to miss out completely.  What we didn't expect was that the rain had turned the fun water slide into a raging flow of water.  Each kid took one turn and decided that was enough.  They were struggling to stay above the rapids, and none of us felt very comfortable with that.

Andrew barely kept his head above the water.

Emily got pulled under more than once.

Even with the rain, we enjoyed our day in Sedona. After heading back up the mountains into Flagstaff, we were shocked by the 59 degree temperatures. We weren't prepared for that in July! After a family dinner at Chili's, we headed back to the hotel, found some blankets, and curled up to watch some television.

Coming Up...The Grand Canyon

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  posted at 12:51 PM  

At August 30, 2012 9:08 PM, Blogger Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Wow, Sedona looks awesome! We haven't been to this part of the country, we want to do Grand Canyon and other areas out west. Great pictures, except your kids fighting the water, but good memories :)


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