Exploring: Getting Outside of Phoenix!

Saturday was my wedding anniversary! It was a really lovely day because we got to escape the heat of Phoenix and have a whole day without the kids, just being on an extended date of exploring a new place together.

What made it even more special was that my husband planned the whole day! He took care of deciding which city we were visiting, what restaurants to visit, and even took care of making sure someone could watch the kiddos while we took our mini-road trip. It was delightful.

Our plans were almost shifted last minute due to an early start to wildfire season, but thank goodness the fires were all contained quickly and we were able to make our way up to Prescott for a day of perfect weather, sunshine, and blue skies. (Maybe a little too much sunshine… I was not good about sunscreen because I couldn’t feel how much my skin was burning the way I can in Phoenix.

YIKES! I’m still rocking a bit of a lobster look…) Sometimes I forget that Arizona actually has a diverse climate. We so rarely leave Phoenix, and when we do it’s usually driving to California where we just see a lot more desert landscape. Don’t get me wrong, I think the desert is lovely, but it’s fun to have a change fo scenery and I forgot there are places that are naturally green (not just from saguaros) right here in my home state!

It should come as no surprise to my long time readers that I am used to planning out all the details. I over research almost any time we travel and it is hard for me not to have a really specific idea of what’s going on. This is one of the reasons I love my marriage- my husband is really good at being more laid back, telling me to stop worrying, and just seeing where the day takes us. He’d actually done a ton of planning for this and surprised me with a visit to an art and wine festival! This was perfect as it recalled our mini-moon just after we got married where we traveled around to various Virginia wineries. We also had a blast exploring the adorable shops along Whiskey Row and enjoyed some really yummy food.

I mean you really can’t argue with that view… the sky was so impossibly blue just before sunset!

We also got to have some extra laughs and memories when we realized the restaurant my husband picked for dinner, based on the very true recommendation that it had excellent views, ended up being in a club that is based around a retirement community. So we cracked up as the only people in there under 70ish years old and my husband just suggested it was a good peek into our future when we’re old and gray together and still enjoying date nights.

The whole day made me think about one of the reasons I chose exploring as a theme for this year. As I try to set new routines and rhythms for our family, I didn’t want to get stuck in a rut. I wanted to keep trying new things and appreciating new ideas and places. One of the things I’m learning about exploring is that it’s a lot more fun if you are generally prepared but leave a lot of room to be surprised. Are you really exploring if you’ve mapped out every detail in advance? While it is not my usual style of operating or planning, I loved not knowing what shops we’d see or what our plans were for our anniversary and I’m so thankful I chose a partner who is willing to help me let go and explore some of the really beautiful things that can happen when you let go of a little bit of control. I’m also, once again, in awe of some of the natural beauty of where I live and so thankful that cooler weather is really not as far away as I’d convinced myself.

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