I am so used to being home and having a million things to do for Christmas. Obligations. Busy-ness. Christmas concerts, parties, family gatherings…. on and on. Don’t get me wrong – that’s no all bad, but for once in a long long time we were able to just be us. Lazy. Eat a lot of good junk food. Play games and just be a family.
Its funny because that’s really what this entire trip has been. While not always rosy: Our kids don’t always get along and we get sick of each other, but we can spend every day how we want – controlled by us. If we want to stay in our pajamas all day and play games on any given day we can! We don’t have to wait until Christmas day or New Years day to have those special times. I love the freedom this trip gives us in that way.
We pulled into Desert’s Edge RV Park on December 1st and paid for a one-month stay. That was the longest we would stay in one place since we left in August. It felt so good to know we would have the time to just stay put, lay low on filling our gas tank and be able to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy a slower pace.
Alec even got to enjoy a couple Parkour classes at a nearby place. It was fun!
We decorated. We shopped and we ate.
And of course, we hiked.
I had no idea that there would be such beautiful and challenging hiking here in Arizona. We set out for the Superstition Mountains and boy it was one of the most challenging hikes so far. My husband always seems to get us on these hikes wherewe have no idea what we are getting into. We joke that it takes about 1 mile of hiking to “hike the grumpies out of the kids” and they always end up loving it and we as a family have a great time. This was no exception.
There were two amazing highlights of the month. The first was meeting an incredible family that we all loved. They left in August just like us and have been having similar experiences. Thanks to RVillage we were able to find each other as soon as they arrived at the same park and I invited Kathy and the girls over for lunch and we all hit it off wonderfully. It was so amazing to meet someone who is on this same journey and “gets it”. We have so much in common and had the most amazing time together.
The girls Izzie and Nixie were so easy going and fun and loved hanging out with the boys. They did some lego robotics, they swam, they played minecraft, nertz and even some dungeons and dragons! My boys commented, “they are the most perfect girls.” Our two families hung out for dinner, for late night hot tubbing, margaritas and then some wonderful hiking. We hope to meet back up with them in our travels and hope for a lifelong friendship.
Another (unexpected) awesome highlight was the arrival of our best friends from Colorado for New Year’s! It was spontaneous and crazy and so much fun. Mary and Dave arrived on Monday of the New Year’s week and we had a blast eating, laughing, hiking, talking and playing cards. What an incredible end to our time in Arizona. Now that they have met us on the road twice, they have affectionately dubbed themselves our “groupies.” Where will they meet us next?
For the most part, the weather in Arizona was gorgeous and the kids got to swim almost every day. The week between Christmas and New Year started to cool down a bit and some winter weather would soon catch up to us…