This is a brief synopsis of our AZ vacation.  Below that is a 6 minute video of pictures from the week’s visit!

  • Monday night we flew into Dallas and spent the night.
  • Tuesday we arrived in Phoenix and got a tour of Southwestern College campus.  Kara’s parents (Kent and Jan Reimer) are living on campus in exchange for volunteer work and of course recruitment. After lunch we drove up to Cave Creek, Carefree and Bartlett Reservoir in Tonto National Forest – looked at huge Sagurao Cacti and others.  Mid afternoon lull required a stop at a coffee shop in Scottsdale; Nicolas then had dinner with a college friend Brian Erwin.
  • Wednesday – Dad and Nicolas got up early for a morning hike up the mtn near the house in the North Mountain Park.  Mom and Kara went out to wave at them from the campus when they reached the peak.  We took a picnic lunch and drove to Apache Junction(site for Old Western movies) Tortilla Flat and experienced Prickly Pear Cactus Ice Cream – very yummy – berry flavor.
  • Thursday – Nicolas went golfing nearby while Kara shared about special education and alternative licensing in an education class at Southwestern College.  Before Nicolas got back from golfing we went for a short walk through the neighborhoods.  The climate is so different and thus the architecture and landscaping. After lunch we went on another walk and exploring through part of the North Mountain preserve area.  We had dinner with former Reimer neighbor’s from Kansas City Arlyn and Kris Deberg, at Logan’s Roadhouse.  Yummy steak!
  • Friday– We got up early and packed a picnic lunch and headed out 87 through Payson and Pine to Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma’s well.  Montezuma’s Castle is a Cliff Dwelling area that is very well preserved, the well is a We explored quite a bit and enjoyed the scenery then headed over to Prescott to stay with Uncle Mel and Kris Jantzen for the evening.  Kent and Nicolas helped Uncle Mel set up the Wii so he could play tennis and then we all crashed.
  • Saturday – We got up and headed out on 89A to Jerome, Cottonwood and Sedona.  We enjoyed a lunch in Cottonwood and a bit of hiking and photos in Sedona (red rock formations).  We headed up to Flagstaff to check into the hotel and headed to a 50’s diner where we were entertained by a swing dance lessons right in the diner.
  • Sunday – We were up early and after some coffee drove up to the Grand Canyon National Park.  We rode the shuttles and walked a long the rim some to get the full experience.  It was beautiful but at about 50 degrees with a very gusty wind it was COLD!!  We hit all of the major overlooks and even hiked below the rim a little way.  Nicolas wanted to stay for the sunset, so we did, in the frigid wind.
  • Monday – We found Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument.  It was neat to see the Lava fields hardly touched for hundreds of years.  Wupatki monument was some Native American ruins of villages and homes.  We then headed back to Phoenix after lunch and enjoyed getting back to the warmth.  Nicolas and I packed and then went to meet Brian again for dinner.  Great sushi at Zen32, then we headed over to old town Scottsdale to the Tortilla Factory for probably the best margarita we’ve every had.
  • Tuesday – we got up at 3am to fly home to cold cloudy weather.