Archive for Arizona

Mt. Lemmon and Agua Caliente Park in Tucson, AZ

We had planned on making the trip back to Michigan in the beginning of May, but plans changed and we even got someone to take over the lease at our rental house in Arizona to make it more worthwhile.

So we packed up, hired some cleaners, and had a going away party.  We planned our trip to visit 2 different friends in Texas with homesteads, stopped at Hill Shade RV park to meet up with Organic Sister and the Happy Janssens.  We also wanted to squeeze in a stop at the beach and by friends in the St. Louis area.

But our first stop with Tucson, AZ to spend time loading up on food from Whole Foods for our trip and last minute stops at the mall for an AZ Cardinals jersey for my nephew and trip items.

We boondocked at the Desert Diamond Casino and it was so nice.  We met nice people, it was very quiet, and although it was close to the airports I never thought it was too loud to sleep or put V down for a nap.

The main goal of the stop in Tucson was for James to ride his bike up Mt. Lemmon, which is the 9th hardest vertical climb on a bike on pavement in the USA.

While he was riding, V and I and the dogs were hanging out the most beautiful park – Agua Caliente Park.

We saw ducks and turtles.  And beautiful scenery.

After James finished, we celebrated with big cookies!

We drove by the ski resort and saw the snow was still being used.

And we caught some great views on the way down.

Including catching someone who was rock climbing about 7,000 feet up!

Be sure to check back for our next stop in La Vernia, Texas.

Dreads from Sara

I promised that I would share pictures from Sara when she had time along her busy travels to edit and post to her blog, so here you go!

Making the dreads

Ta-Da!  Dreadhead!

Courtesy of Sara

If you’d like to book a dreading sessions when she’s near by, visit the Happy Janssens.  Or if you’d like to schedule a photography session with her, visit her at her photography site.

She shared her time with us on her blog as well, so be sure to take a peek over there to read about Making Dreads and visiting The Tree of Life.

Tree of Life with the Happy Janssens!

My family was blessed this week by the Happy Janssens coming to visit us here in Arizona.  They were passing nearby on their way through to Texas, and Sara offered to put dreads in my hair.  Yay!  {It was like having a celebrity to visit since I have followed her blogs for so long!}

When they arrived, it was like I knew them already (the internet really is a wonderful way to make friendships).  There was no small talk – just jump right into regular conversations.  I made a buffet style dinner, and then the dread action began.  Honestly, it didn’t take very long to do even with nursing breaks and hubbies coming and going.  Somehow I managed to neglect picture taking that night.  I am sure Sara will have photos on her site really soon.

On Thursday, we all packed into our minivan and headed to Patagonia, AZ to eat lunch at the Tree of Life Cafe.

What an awesome place to be, especially on the sunshiney day that we had to experience eating in the raw – outside and living foods.  The food there was on a buffet with loads of greens, raw dressings, a yummy kale salad, raw ravioli-like entree, raw spaghetti, raw granola with cinnamon apples, sweet potatoes that were just like Thanksgiving… oh I could go on and on.  Just believe me that it was worth the $25 to enjoy a meal in this way.

Afterwards, we walked around the grounds for a little while getting video of the area and the kiddos and snapping shots of each others families and just enjoying our time outside.  Our tummies were full, our hearts were happy, and we were just soakin’ in the rays.

The time with the Janssen family was one that I will remember for a long time to come.  After all that blog reading and looking up to Sara as a mother, wife, and steward of the Earth – she is as REAL as she portrays herself.  Although, I was sad to say good-bye after such a short visit, I am thankful that I was able to spend those precious moments with them that I did.

Be sure to visit the Happy Janssens and follow them along their travels as they motor around in their Veggie Powered RV!

RV’ing in Sedona, AZ

This past weekend we spent in Sedona, AZ, and although the weather was a little chilly, it was a pretty grand weekend.

We finalized packing and headed out in the RV on Friday, and after a full day’s drive we arrived at our campground – Rancho Sedona around dusk.  We got our rv hooked up, took a walk down by Oak Creek that runs through the campground and went into town for supper.

We ate at The Chocolatree, which is an organic, vegan, and mostly raw cafe.  It was so nice to sit with Valentine and share my meal with her.  I had the Thai spring rolls and raw platter.  The raw platter was better and Val had her first experience with raw crackers, which she loved.  James had the raw burritos that he really enjoyed (they looked really yummy).  We took home dessert too – who can pass up raw pie and ganache?  Not I!

We were all in bed quite early (after James helped our neighbor with a fuse around 10:30 because we were preparing for the Sedona 5K.  I was up by 6am and into my running clothes soon after.  The rest of the family awoke in time for breakfast and a change of clothes and then we were off to the races.

I had planned on pushing Val in the stroller but the tire was flat, so after much deliberation James walked the whole 5K with her in the Ergo and her falling asleep to his many steps over 3 miles.  I ran (ran/walked) and was proud of my time even though no speed records were broken.  It felt good to cross the line, breathing hard, and to go home with a medal and new shirt. 🙂  The race was a great course, had beautiful scenery of the red rocks, and was well-manned for it’s many participants.

On our way back to the campground, I mentioned a coffee would be great since it was so cold outside.  We didn’t have either of our wallets or any cash, so we went back to the rv.  The neighbor, who James helped the night before, offered us mochaccinos.

Thank you, Universe! 🙂  Later we had fresh juice with them, and (after my mentioning I needed a sweatshirt to James) the lady gave me a fleece that fit perfectly.  We had a lovely talk and then went about our way to the Airport Vortex.

It was breathtakingly beautiful.  I thought it was more amazing than the Grand Canyon.  I remember just saying, “Wow!”  And actually feeling like “Wow!”  Amazing!  Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Later that day, we stopped back in at the Chocolatree for some smoothies (Orange Julius and Hawaain).  It really hit the spot and it was a great family treat.  Afterwards, we went to my massage with Jyoti at Massage Sedona.  It was only 30 minutes, but it was glorious and much needed.  I haven’t pampered myself like that since before Valentine was born.  If you visit Sedona, you should see her.  She’s a great spirit and does energy work, massage, and readings from her home studio.

Our last stop of the weekend was D’Lish.  I was expecting a really fancy place inside, but it was a cute cafe.  Fine by my standards, of course.  I had the Rawsome platter, which was huge and I couldn’t finish, but was fab.  James had veggies nachos upon request, and we took home chocolate, vegan cake for dessert.  That was d’lish (get it?  Haha)!

We woke up our last morning, to a mix of snow, ice, and rain.  Poor James had to hook up the van and everything in it, but by the time we left the roads were just wet and fine.  The fog around the red rock mountains was a sight though.  Such a beautiful area!

We wished we could’ve stayed to explore more, but we were not feeling the rv this trip and were ready to get back to our rental house.  That’s another post….

Until then, Angry Vegan — out! 🙂

Arizona weather

There is a saying in Michigan that goes something like this, ” if you don’t like the weather – wait 5 minutes and it’ll change.”  That was exactly how Arizona weather was yesterday.

We drove to Tucson to shop, and within that hour drive we experienced a 7* drop in temps, rain, hail, and then a 10* rise in temperature.  After a few hours of shopping, with the snow covered mountains in the background, we drove home and actually turned on the A/C because the sun was scolding hot and it was only 53*!  Haha!

This is the mountain we see out of our back window.  It has been covered by clouds for the last few days as we had monsoon-like weather with rain and lots of wind – even taking out our power one evening for about an hour.

Sure is beautiful now…. all dusted with a layer of snow! 😀

Trip back to Arizona

We are back in Arizona, and we have rented a house for this stay.  The RV was cozy, but for 3-4 months I do believe it would have been too cozy for our liking.  We used our extra bunks to pack our goodies for this trip, and we went house hunting upon our arrival but I am getting ahead of myself.

We left MI on Friday, January 8th and we drove into northern IL to stay the night boondocking.  Val and I fell asleep on the couch and James went into the bed when we stopped.  He made it about 2 hours before he woke up shivvering – realizing that our battery had died and couldn’t power the furnace to heat our RV.  Did I mention it was about 5* outside?  He woke me up to call local hotels to see if they were open at 2am and would take dogs.  I found one close by, and we went inside to thaw.  Val stayed up and played until almost 4:45 but at least we were warm.  And the hotel was nice enough to let us plug in, so that our stuff wouldn’t freeze.

The next night we stayed at a friend’s house in the St. Louis area.  They had mutual friends over, we ate good food, watched a playoff game, the boys played poker, and the girls stayed upstairs to chat.  It was nice, and it surely makes me miss that area when I visit.  We are blessed with great friends there.

The next few days are a blur of driving through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.  We realized once we got to the warmer states that we could sleep in the RV without plugging in and the battery would last.  So I am not quite sure what happened, but I am guessing we need a new house battery. 🙂

{Picture of Val and DaDa in New Mexico at a rest area where we had lunch and played in the sunshine.}

We are now in Arizona and renting a very nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, with a fenced in backyard for the dogs and even a small pool.  We are not in Bisbee, but close enough that I can go there on a regular basis.  The best thing about this place?  I can watch the sunrise over the mountains out the kitchen window and the sunsets out the playroom window everyday.  I must admit, they sure are beautiful! 😀

On the road again…

I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season with their families!  Now it’s 2010, and we are going back on the road.

Depending on the weather and how soon we can get packed up, we should be leaving MI tomorrow or Friday and heading south toward Texas before crossing to Arizona.  James will be heading back there to work until the spring.  I hope that we will have a lesiurely drive there – stopping at a few sights and good eats along the way.  If you have suggestions, please do share! 🙂

This time, we won’t be living out of our RV full time since we have decided for months or more it is a little too small for our liking.  But I am excited to get back in it for the week long travel there.  I will keep you all posted about our travel and time in Arizona again.

Much love and abundance for 2010, friends!

Day trip to Tucson, Arizona

Yesterday, we packed up and took the day to go to Tucson.  Our first stop was Thai China Siam on Oracle Road.  It was a little out of the way from the rest of the day events, but it was SO worth it.  It’s a small little diner, so don’t let that disuade you.  The staff was wonderful, the food was hot (fresh), and it was delicious.  Each Thai lunch was served with an egg roll and soup or salad.  We also ordered Chinese crab puffs (crab rangoons), which we ordered extras of for the road. 🙂

We made a quick stop at Pedata RV just to look at some Diesel Class A’s.  If we are going to do this full-time.. or even for an extended period of time a bigger rig would be nicer.  A slide out would be amazing as would an on-board washer and dryer.  But again, we are only looking.

We got a text from a friend to check out N 4th Ave., so we skipped Whole Foods and went there instead.  The Food Conspiracy co-op was great!  Lots of fresh produce and bulk bins.  Afterwards, we went to the Hippie Gypsy and Antigone Books to look around.  More time (and a patient DH) would’ve been nice to stroll the street more. 🙂

Tucson is groovy – who would’ve thought??!!

Couch to 5K – Running in Arizona

While I’ve been here in Arizona, I’ve felt a little cooped up.  The weather is beautiful and I have my jogging stroller with me, so why wasn’t I running?  I’m not quite sure!  But I’ve put it back on my priority list, and with the help of my husband either taking care of V or coming along in case of a screaming mess in the jogger I HAVE BEEN RUNNING AGAIN! 🙂

I must admit the elevation and hills here (MOUNTAINS) are crazy hard for a Michigan penguin runner like myself, but I’m doing it.  I’ve been using the Couch to 5K program.  I have also added the C25K app for my iPhone and it tells me when to run/walk along the way.  I like the fact that it’s all right there, and I don’t need to keep track on a watch.

This morning, I just ran right through all the prompts for a total of 1.5 miles down to the Bisbee co-op.  Yes, it was all downhill.  Yes, it was easier than usual.  No, I don’t care and I’m still proud of myself.

Now, I am manifesting to be back in MI in time for a Turkey Trot or the local Jingle Bell Run.

Picture courtesy of: http://www.freefever.com/animatedgifs/sports/animated/running4.gif

Bisbee 1000

I was looking for an excuse to get back to Bisbee – to walk around town, grab some coffee at the Bisbee Coffee Company, and buy some organic food from the co-op.  Even if it meant me walking part of the Bisbee 1000 Stairclimb wearing an 8 month old baby girl while I did it.

There were so many people at the race.  I was surprised that we even found a place to park in the little town.  This was only a small portion of the group of people who started the Bisbee 1000 – the 5k that feels like a 10k and goes up 1000 stairs.

James ran the race, but I walked.  As I did, I caught a few pictures of neat things.  The first was this VW – my dream car.  I have a new bug, but poor Sunny is parked in my garage in MI while we are on our trip in AZ.

I also saw the peace wall, which I hadn’t noticed as drove around the city before.  How cool is this?!

The walk went for quite awhile before seeing stairs.  I didn’t realize that there would be a wait to go up, but it was a nice break.  Many people talked to me about Valentine and me carrying her, and as we went up we got to listen to music by locals.

I made it up another 2 sets of stairs after this, and then Valentine was getting fussy so we walked to the finish to try and find James.  I didn’t see him so we walked back down town to the park and then to Bisbee Coffee Company to get a mocha Cold Miner’s coffee.  James found us outside of the coffee shop and he had finished the whole race already.

We walked back to the finish because he had found some cool merchandise for sale – race shirts and bandanas.  But I think he had other things on his mind – like doing the ICEMAN COMEPTITION.  This was a race up a *huge* flight of stairs carrying a block of dry ice with big tong-like things.  He raced then we sat and waited for results while Val nursed and napped.

With a time of 25.93, James placed 3rd in the Iceman Competition!  He won $50!

Not only was the event lovely because James won, and I got to spend time in Bisbee, but it was great because of how it was put together.  There was support along the route with musicians, the store keepers lined the streets cheering, it was organized, well publicized, and the amount of things they gave away was amazing.  Thank you Bisbee, once again for a grand time in your town!

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