So if you happened to be in my English class this past year and you listened to me rant some time in February you would know that my previously divorced cousin moved out to Arizona, married a man who was also previously divorced with children, and then proceeded to get pregnant. You would also know that I was not happy with this arrangement.
Our flight was scheduled for 6am which of coursemeans that we need to be out of the house by the god awful hour of 3am. So whatever, I get up, get on the plane take, my aisle seat and fall back to sleep (we even get the seats right behind first-class so there's ample leg room). Life is good until about two hours before touchdown when a very large French woman needed to see out the window, more specifically my window. I don't know whether the window in her aisle had disappeared or was covered by a large gorilla but either way she apparently couldn't see out of it For the first fifteen minutes that she stood there, literally half an inch away from me, I pretended not to notice her. I stared blankly at the movie screen in front of me and waited for her to go away. Fifteen minutes later she hadn't left. She was actually leaning over me and resting on my seat. Her large armpit was inches away from my face as she tried to get a better view of the sky. At this time I gave my mother a look of "get this woman away from me" and she proceeded to give the same look to the large French woman. When the large French woman realized that perhaps she might be a nuisance she said in her broken French accent"I want to look out the window"(Oh you want to look out the window! Well why didn't you just say so? Come sit on my lap and I'll braid your hair while you get a good view of the sky.) as if a simple explanation of why she was practically laying on me made it all better. The large French woman continued to stand there until the captain signaled the " Fasten Seatbelt" sign. Thank the good lord for that sign. I was finally able to breathe oxygen instead of her CO2. After the flight I ran off the plane and practically took a shower in the ladies room. The idea of her body touching mine still makes me want to wash my hands. Ugh.
We got off the plane and were ready for our next adventure: the rental car. Originally we were going to get a regular car, no gizmos, no gadgets, but through the wonderful persuasion of the rent-a-car person we decided to get a convertible with a GPS. We were told that this was a great idea. Since we were coming from rainy New Jersey we would love putting the top down and enjoying Arizona's sun. There was only one problem with this logic, it was 116 degrees in Arizona and even moving at 75mph (the actual speed limit there!) it still felt like 116 degrees. But do not worry we kept the top down for the half hour drive to the restaurant and a got a tan line from that half hour ride so all is well. Oh one more thing, on our drive out of the rent-a-car place the "oil change" light came on and the breaks squeaked. Keep that last tidbit in mind for later.
After breakfast the day was spent by the pool where I got to know my new relatives. And they are all great. Even baby Kate. I don't usually like babies but this one got me thinking that maybe they are not all to bad. I was really nervous around her at first but by the end of the trip I was starting to catch on to the whole feeding/burping/bouncing thing.
I actually really like the man that my cousin married and even more bizarre I really like his children. So I suppose that I was a little to hasty to judge my cousin's decisions. It was really hard to leave on wednesday and we actually had our flight pushed back so that we could stay longer with the family.
When we weren't with the family my mom and I toured all of northern Arizona. I don't know about you but I was always under the impression that Arizona was a flat dessert. Perhaps this is just my American geographical ignorance, but never did I think that I would be climbing mountains. I was wrong. Remember those squeaky brakes I was telling you about before? Well they are a lot squeakier when you are barreling down a twisty turney mountain eight THOUSAND feet about sea level. You definitely get what you pay for. We used Dollar rental cars. I don't recommend you do. The first day (monday) as a mother/daughter couple, we drove for five hours to get here:
That my friends is the Grand Canyon. It is seriously one of the most magnificent places that I have ever been to. There are no guard rails and no one keeping you from getting to close to the edge. (Funny fact: there is actually a book about all of the deaths at the Grand Canyon whether it be suicide or sheer stupidity lots of people fell off.) So since there were absolutely zero boundaries between me and certain death every time I went a little to far for my mother's comfort she gave me worrisome "Be Careful" and I responded with a jump or two in the direction opposite of my mother. Its good that she loves me so much.
Here are a few pictures of the three hour ride back to flagstaff AZ:
I just want to take a moment to say how much I love the midwest. It's so big and there is so much free land. The rush hour in Phoenix is like normal traffic on rt. 80. It's just great. And the weather is perfect because although it reaches scorching temperatures there is no humidity. Eighty degrees in AZ is absolutely wonderful and unlike in New Jersey there is zero sweating involved.
The next day we drove to Sedona Arizona which was where my cousin got married. We hiked the same trail that she and her bridesmaids hiked and wondered how she could have possibly done it wearing a big poofy white dress, in three inch heels, and very pregnant. It was a tough climb but again absolutely gorgeous. Sedona also has a lot of Indian (no I'm not being politically incorrect thats what they want to be called out there) jewelry and artifacts and what makes it better is that it's cheap. I bought a hand made set of jade earrings from an Indian man that would cost over 20 bucks in NJ for 8 dollars. Here are some pics of Sedona:
The middle picture is a scale of just how large the place really was and the picture on the right is called Bell Rock which was the rock we climbed.
So that was really the trip. My mom and I laughed a lot and had an absolutely wonderful time, the car did not break down or go over the edge and I learned that I should trust people's decisions more often. Perhaps I am not always right.
I have one more picture to show you guys. On the first day that we were there I learned that my cousin's husband does not like to eat vegetables or strange food so on my endeavors I found a box of larvae, fried and coated with a mexican spice. Needless to say I bought it because after all who wouldn't try larvae if given the option? He would not eat it but the rest of us did!