Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Arizona Hiking: The Superstition Mountains...

Are friend in Arizona kept suggesting that Ken and I check out the Superstition Mountains.  On our final day in Phoenix, we did just that.  It was kind of a last minute decision and I was already dressed for the day in normal clothes.  Since we decided we were going to hike, there was a wardrobe change in the car, a small car to be exact.

After a quick change, we set off to hike Siphon Draw Trail.  Boy, was it hot out.  It was a little later in the day than our other hikes and we were completely in the sun. I know, the sun in Arizona, how maddening!

Ready for our final hike of the trip!

The Superstition Mountains

One of the things I liked about our hikes in Arizona this time was that they were all completely different scenery.

We were originally going to hike about 7 miles or so, but decided to cut it short.  We turned around about 2.5 miles up since we still needed to leave time for a brewery stop and In-N-Out.  You know, priorities.

My happy hiker

Heading back down the trail.

Our beloved cactus

I think he enjoyed his Arizona hiking!

Our quick hike in the Superstition Mountains was a great introduction to this area.  We of course wish we would of had more time, but this just gives us a reason to come back to check it out again.

Hiking is not complete without a little beer tasting!

While we are quite fond of the Rocky Mountains and the Alps, we also love the desert.  There is just something about it that we really enjoy.  I know we will be back to Arizona again soon, but up next is a wonderful trip to the Alps!  We cannot wait for more hiking in Europe!

Thanks for the Arizona Adventure Ken!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Arizona Hiking: Devil's Bridge....

Do you know one of my favorite places to travel to?  Sedona, AZ.  I absolutely love it.  Ken and I have visited this area a few times and always have so much.  On our November trip to Arizona, I knew we would allot one day to make the drive to this beautiful area.

We knew that we wanted to do a hike and a hike that we have both wanted to do was Devil's Bridge.  We knew that this was a pretty popular hike and that the trail would most likely be pretty busy.  We also took a different trail head to begin with since we were in a car and did not have a SUV to drive down a difficult road for the main trail head.  This was fine with us, because it gave us a round trip hike of about five miles instead of the normal two miles.  We are overachievers after all!

Sedona, you are so beautiful!

Ready to hike!

A hike is not complete without Ken's pose!

Overall, the hike to Devil's Bridge is pretty easy.  The final section before you reach the bridge is a lot of stairs that can be a long stretch for little legs.  Coming down the stairs was more difficult for me and Ken had to lend me a hand.

Beautiful scenery all around

Devil's Bridge

Ken on the Devil's Bridge

Ken and me on the bridge.  I was not freaked out walking out there, but walking back was a different story.

Beautiful scenery on the way back

Squinty eyes in Sedona!

After the hike, we stopped for pizza and drinks.  We could not drive to Sedona without stopping at Page Springs, our favorite winery in Sedona.  

Enjoying wine, the creek, and the company!  I cannot get enough of Page Springs!

Our day in Sedona did not disappoint!  It was full of beautiful scenery and weather and two of our favorite things:  hiking and wine.  You cannot go wrong with either!

Two happy hikers at Devil's Bridge

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas 2015...

Our Christmas this year was similar to years past, only a little different.  Instead of going to dinner with friends on Christmas Eve, Ken's parents went to dinner with us!  They drove in from St. Louis to spend Christmas with us and our hooligans.

Our Christmas traditions are quite simple:  Christmas Eve dinner, drinks with friends after, pumpkin cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, hooligans opening presents, and then a trip to the dog park followed by board games.  We managed all of our favorite traditions again this year.

We had Christmas Eve dinner at McCormick & Schmicks this year.  I, of course, had to have the chocolate sack for dessert.  With Ken's assistance, I was able to polish it off.  I forgot just how big it was!  Needless to say, I have not had dessert since and probably won't for quite a while!
The four of us after a delicious dinner!

After dinner, we came home and our neighbors came over for cocktails.  One of our favorite things to do is catch up with them and the kids to hear how everything is going.  

The hooligans all HAD to snuggle with their Granma.  

On Christmas morning we always light the fire and drink coffee while everyone opens presents.  I swear the hooligans know they have stuff in their stockings from Santa.

Kya is always so excited about the snacks that she receives!

Theo's favorite are the Christmas bows!

Angel and Theo are checking our their loot.  

Angel was really into owning Christmas this year.  She rolled all over her and Theo's stockings and may have claimed Kya's as well.

Nothing says boss quite like taking over your husky sister's stocking.

Me and my girls!

Theodore owned Christmas this year!

After coffee, presents, and cinnamon rolls, we made our way to the dog park for a little fun.  

Kya says that the dog park is her favorite Christmas tradition!

It was definitely the warmest Christmas I ever remember.  While I enjoyed the warm temperatures, I really would have preferred a white Christmas. Maybe next year.  All in all, we had a wonderful Christmas and I of course cannot wait for the next one!