“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”
– Michael J. Fox
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Let’s get caught up!
Marty, Collette, and I began a road trip at the end of December. Bound for Arizona, we packed the Jeep and left our freezing home. It took us two days to get there, and most of the way was covered in snow. The drive there was fairly uneventful, except that Marty wanted to see mountains on our way there. He chose the mountains in Colorado. As beautiful as they are, it was probably not the best route to Arizona. There was a lot of snow, but not enough that it really slowed us down. It was surprisingly warm through most of Colorado, even with all of the snow. We saw several herds of big horned sheep along the way, which added to the excitement for Collette.
Marty was especially excited for Utah (I know, he’s weird) because he loves mountains, and desert scenery. It was pretty quiet through Utah, and we actually didn’t get to see a whole lot of it as it got dark pretty quickly.
Arriving at my dad’s house late in the evening, we unloaded a few things from the Jeep and then piled into bed. This was Marty’s first time meeting my dad, ever, in the eight years we’ve known each other (I know, it’s weird). Our first few days in Arizona was mostly spent visiting family. We spent time with my favorite uncles, in my home town, Wittmann. It was interesting to see how much the town had changed, even though nothing has been built there since I was a kid. I showed Marty the house I grew up in, the places I played as a kid, and where my friends lived. I told him all of the stories I had forgotten about, and introduced him to several of my family members that he’d never met. I also took him to see a few of my favorite places in Arizona. Most were out in the desert. I wanted to share some of the scenery with him. We even did a mini mountain climbing adventure, ate some BBQ, and took a walk through some of the tourist traps in Carefree. It was also warm enough to have the freedom top off on the Jeep!
New Year’s was right in the middle of our time in Arizona. We of course spent it the right way, mini fireworks, video games, and lots of chips and popcorn. It was raining slightly, but we didn’t let it ruin our fun! In fact, it was probably better with the rain. Collette has never held a sparkler before, so she loved every second of it! My dad and Marty, being the danger seekers that they are, really had a lot of fun with the fireworks.
We spent the rest of our time visiting more relatives, mostly my Aunt Annette and my sister’s Grandma Dot (my sister and I have different dads, but our families are pretty close). Some of my favorite childhood memories are at Grandma Dot’s house, it was so nice to see that after around 14 years since the last time I was there, her house hasn’t changed much. It was still as inviting, with that lovely home feel, as it used to be. One of the best Christmas memories of being at Grandma Dot’s was playing with these little reindeer that she always set up. I remember it better than any present I’ve ever received! During our visit there, Collette wanted to see the big Christmas tree in the living room, and what was on the coffee table? Those little reindeer, pulling Santa’s sleigh!
(Annette is in the purple shirt, and Dot is cuddling Collette in the big comfy chair!)
Before leaving, we made sure to spend some “quality time” with my dad and my little brother Hunter. Of course, our quality time consisted of more video games, chips, and some Nerf guns. A lot of Nerf guns. We shot up the whole house, and even tought Collette how to reload and shoot a few of the guns. She thought it was the coolest thing ever.
It snowed at my dad’s house the night before we left. So the next morning was a little chilly (still nothing compared to what’s at home). We woke up a little later in the day, since we were going to take our time on the way home. No rush to be in the cold again. While we packed up the Jeep I took a few photos of the surrounding mountains with a small layer of snow on them, as well as the fences, and the Jeep. The ground really didn’t have much on it where we were. It was a beautiful last morning in Arizona.
We hopped into the Jeep and waved good-bye (tears in my eyes of course) to my Dadda, my step-mother Lisa, and my little brother Hunter (in the pink robe, it’s a hand-me-down).
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Here’s something fun for everyone.
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Thanks for reading!!
Sorry it’s incredibly late! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
I also missed Valentine’s day, so I hope everyone enjoyed that as well! We ate sushi!
All photos taken by me, or Marty Henderson.