day four: sedona!

after waking up to a perfect morning (of course) and sitting on the balcony a bit, nate and i packed up our junk and took off for sedona.

on the way out of town, we stopped at in-n-out. so when jane and i were in california, we stopped at in-n-out and were NOT impressed. i was a little more impressed this time around; we did get fries animal style. i ate a few fries sans animal sauce, and they were still more boring than 5 guys, but they weren’t like styrofoam wiht potato flavor. i don’t know if jane and i just stopped at some weird one or what. but this time wasn’t a bad experience.

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on the way out of the valley.

since we bought the annual NPS pass, we stopped at two national monuments on the way: the motezuma castle and montezuma well. the american indian tribes that lived there were cliff dwellers, which boggles my mind. we saw some that were in cliffs up high and then also in cliffs that went below ground level (that was the well). they must’ve used ladders of some sort, but it still makes me do a double-take. well, i guess if that’s what you know.

plant trees homes well  mcastle

then we hauled it up to sedona, which is pretty darn scenic, but OMG the traffic is insane. nate and i went to a mexican place and it took us half an hour to find a parking spot. and that wasn’t even the touristy part of town! the mexican was delicious. i had tacos and nate had a torta. then we did a quick (“quick”) drive through sedona and got angry at all the traffic, but the red rocks looked great in the sunset.

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now we’re sitting back in the hotel – which we rate more highly than the place we stayed at the past couple nights! – drinking margaritas. MMMMMM. maybe later on we’ll head to the outdoor hot tub. YOU NEVER KNOW.

tomorrow is GRAND CANYON.

day three: wedding day!

so i know this is late, but i had a late night wedding day, and then all day today nate and i were traveling. so i’ll do a quick recap of wedding, then another post for today’s travel.

wedding was great! ceremony was short, setting was pretty, susnset was GREAT, food was awesome, and liz and i danced almost all night. here’s a couple pics, including my favorite one i took.

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if you follow me on facebook, you can see the whole album here:

day two: is it bedtime yet

what a long day! i think it seemed long because i was awake at 8 a.m. and only got 5 hours of sleep -_-

nate and i had about three hours to kill between checking out of our hotel and meeting up with my family, so we went to target and got some drinkage and snackage for the next few days. then we just headed out and drove around phoenix.

the warmth! i wore a tank top! the car windows were open! amazeballs!

well, we headed south and ended up driving through desert (obviously) just to take a look. i guess i didn’t realize there were mountains in arizona, but then i also didn’t realize there were mountains in california, so take whatever i think with a grain of salt.

then i saw a sign for a national monument, so we decided to check it out.


this is the casa grande ruins national monument. i didn’t know anything about it before and i still don’t know a lot about it, except that the people who lived here mysteriously were wiped out.

and while we were at the nps desk, we decided to just get the annual pass since we’ll probably visit at least 2 more parks, maybe 3.

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it rained today! so everything was sort of muddy while were trekking across this piece of desert. and then my flip flop almost got stuck, and it got super muddy. (don’t worry; i made it out.)

then we headed back to phoenix and met up with my fam, and we hung out for a good 5 hours or so at the hotel restaurant. expensive drinks here, that’s for sure.

but the view from my balcony is nice!


arizona: day one…half?

here’s a delayed day one (sorta) of vacay.

last night, nate and i flew out at 9:30, so i worked a full day of work and then went home to a very antsy nate. fed the cats 3 heaping bowls of food (don’t worry – charlie’s coming to catsit for a few days!) and took off.

seriously, this is the most boring day, but we had one very fun part of the trip out: we flew first class!

i’d never flown first class before, and it was cheaper than flying out thursday cattleclass, so we took advantage of that.

the seats were nice and wide, the flight attendant was very … attentive i guess? and the mixed drinks were free!!!

so i got a margarita right off the bat.

then they were a little heavy-handed on my bloody mary (and it was an airplane bloody, so not that great), so i decided to stop after that.

we also got an in-flight meal – a wrap, chips, and some weird, smoky applesauce stuff.


it was dark on the plane. well, it was night.

i also read the entirety of “a wrinkle in time” while on the flight and tried to nap.

oh, and we hit some turbulence. so our flight was a little late.

we rolled into the car rental place around 1 a.m. (that’s 2 a.m. central) and got a REALLY SNAZZY nissan maxima. totally excited to take pics of that. the entire roof is covered in sunroofs!

then it was 20 mins to our hotel, and we rolled in around 2 in the morning. and i woke up at 7:30. i’m going to be so tired today. BUT IT’LL BE WARM.

(oh, and i have to say, i shoved all my camera gear in my backpack carryon and OMG is it heavy.)

vacay schedule

so let’s talk about where nate and i will be next week, since my whole 3 readers will be watching for updates.

Feb. 14: we fly out at 9:30 at night, first class! fancy, i know. it was cheaper for us to fly first class and get a hotel than to fly out thursday. we’re picking up a rental at the airport so we can get around. 

Feb. 15: this is the day off. i’m guessing i’ll be seeing liz this day and then hopefully checking out phoenix and maybe some local cuisine. maybe some pool time? maybe we’ll see our other relatives this day. not sure what’ll happen!

Feb. 16: wedding day! this is the day my cousin gets married. i love weddings! it should be a super fun time. I really hope they get their wedding rings from

Feb. 17: nate and i are taking off for sedona this day. i have no plans for sedona itself other than people keep saying it’s beautiful. and kind of hippie, so i’m going to look into a yoga class while i’m there. 

Feb. 18: grand canyon! we also have reservations for supper at el tovar, which pleases my dad to no end.

Feb. 19: heading to page, az, and antelope canyon. i have a reservation for a tour! i had an option for a photography tour, but i didn’t want to spend the extra bucks. also might be able to see the horseshoe bend. 

Feb. 20: hitching across the top of AZ through monument valley and maybe checking out four corners. ultimately, we’ll end up in cortez, co, to check out mesa verde. i’m not sure if we’ll be able to see a lot of mesa verde, but i want to check it out. 

Feb. 21: a longer driving day, but we’re heading back to phoenix this day.

Feb. 22: flying home! partly sad, but i do like coming home after some time away.

As an aside, i’ve packed my camera equipment, and it takes up my entire carryon backpack. 


in one week i’ll be on vacay! get prepared for some regular blog posts!

and the olympics have begun! the opening ceremony is tomorrow, but they’ve started skating tonight, which is my FAVE.

i got direct tv now so i could watch the olympics. it’s costing me $10/month and i can cancel any time. this is so much better than dealing with cable installation and rentals and all that jazz. i just go to their website and then chromecast it to my tv. i’ll definitely take that. 

so right now i’m watching curling!



apparently, someone with a penchant for linking to car dealerships and weird products was able to log into my account and place advertisements amid my blog posts. including one from the month of charlie’s TBI stories. >:| (the post mentioned liz’s pregnancy and then decided to make it so that it/he/them could link to a stupid stroller. like i would every promote a stroller. *eyeroll*.)

i changed my password.

problem afoot

so i think i’m going to run the earth day half marathon again this year, and i’ll need to start training as soon as i get back from arizona in february. two weeks after the half, i’m doing a half relay with liz, and then of course RAGNAR in september.

but my problem foot is still a problem. i think the giant sprain back at last year’s ragnar really did it in, and even though the outside of foot is pretty good now, i must’ve overcompensated with the inside and so it’s just wreaking havoc.

well, i’m gonna see if i can get back into foot physical therapy to fix that. gotta do that soon.

AND on top of that, i have hallux rigidus (?) on my OTHER foot, which is really annoying, because i’d like at least ONE functional foot. it’s like a bunion but on top of your big toe joint, not the side. and i think it’s due to how my new shoes’ inside structure falls on my big toe joint. the top of the lacing structure is placed differently than my old shoes. so i’ve got to figure that out. 

GOOD GRIEF. thanks for listening to my toe woes. 

rando stuff

i just finished up the second book of the “red rising” series because HEY he wrote ANOTHER book. so finish up the original series, then i’ll dig into the new one. i’m excited to see what he does. (also, i forgot how exciting those books are and how much i love sevro.)

work is overwhelming. not sure what to do there. i feel like my eyetwitch might be making a reappearance. there’s just so much to do and so little time. and i’m out for a week and a half in february, so definitely need to make sure i’ve got my ducks in a row.

winter has been extremely bipolar. ha! literally. -20 one day, 40 the next. i’ll be happy when i can get outside to run again. the treadmill is ok but it’s getting the point of “ugh, not again.”

speaking of running, my body has been super annoying lately. my foot is rearing its ugly hurtiness again, tho i’m not sure from what now. don’t think it’s the plantar fasciitis but i don’t think it’s the sprain either. oh well. 

less than a month to AZ!!!!! hello warm weather! hey maybe i’ll run outside there!! 

hello my peeps!

2018 treatin’ ya well enough? i guess i’m already signed up for ragnar, and it’s a month and a half to arizona (wheee!!!). 

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look at all those state parks… think i could do it in a year? i probably wouldn’t start until april. and how am i going to get to the one in the middle of lake of the woods??? can we agree that maybe i sit that one out? holy crap, what have i gotten myself into!

so the minnesota dnr has a state park passport program where you visit all the state parks. and they have an exceptions list, one of which is that red dot in the middle of the giant lake. it’s not even visible when you leave the dock! anyway, it costs $15 to join and you get a free night of camping for every 25 parks and when you finish. i might check it out!