Monday, February 12, 2018

My little family recently packed up and flew to Arizona for a bit of adventure.  While we love sunny South Florida, it was a refreshing change of scenery.  For most of the trip we stayed in a cozy condo at Wyndham Flagstaff.  The view from our patio was nothing short of breathtaking, and we enjoyed watching deer roam around the grass.  Plenty of fun activities were available, but we spent most of our time relaxing by the fire or in the hot tub while at the resort.

We usually have a well-planned itinerary when we travel.  However, this time we left plenty of time open for exploration.  These spontaneous moments turned out to be some of our favorite family memories!  The weather was chilly, but my heart was warm watching the two loves of my life scamper around together.  

Miss Cupcake adored the limestone and nearly every stop along the way involved her climbing and finding hidden "caves" beneath the stone.  She had recently learned about different types of stone at Florida Virtual School, and was excited to point out various features that she recognized from the photos she had seen. Miss Cupcake cautiously kept an eye out of scorpions, but we did not spot any while we were out and about.  We were all in awe of the view that surrounded us and enjoyed sharing this beautiful adventure together.

Miss Cupcake developed a new-found passion for rock collecting the day we arrived.  The collection grew at an alarming rate of the next few days.  Some of her favorite rocks were discovered at a quaint Native American trading post on our way to the Hopi Reservation.  As a new Florida Virtual School family, we are always looking for ways to make learning fun and interactive.  We all learned oodles of interesting facts about rocks, Native Americans, and the gorgeous state of Arizona as we ventured out and chatted with the locals.

A highlight of our journey was visiting the Grand Canyon.  We went once to sight-see and another day to hike part of the way down.  Buses run all day that take visitors from the parking lots to various parts of the canyon.  On our first visit we were dropped off at an overlook where we took photos and sat and enjoyed the view.  A couple days later we returned to explore a bit deeper into the canyon. Elk and mountain sheep could be seen as we walked down the canyon.  Some visitors were riding donkeys down the steep path.  I felt as if I were stepping into a painting.  Every direction that I looked was filled with endless beauty.  I fell in love with Arizona and even more in love my sweet little family.  These are the moments that bond us together.  These are the moments that will last forever.

This was certainly one of our most low-key vacations... no long lines, rollercoaster, or exotic restaurants.  However, we all agreed that it was the best trip we have taken to date (although we do have some exciting adventures planned for the near future).  We discovered that impromptu adventures and spending time outdoors together is something we truly adore.  

There were moment that took my breath away, both from the fear of falling into the canyon and from simply being awe-struck by my surroundings.  At five years old, Miss Cupcake was at the perfect age to appreciate the experience and had the ability to make the difficult hike partially down the canyon.  Every minute of our time in Arizona was a treasure, an educational opportunity for Miss Cupcake, and a surprisingly unique experience for us all.

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