I spent the holiday season in Arizona, and along with the weather, it was a very different celebration. In 2012, three months after my mother had died, my sister moved to Arizona, and five months later, I moved to Germany. Since we suffered a terrible loss, my sister and I needed to start a new life, hers happened to be 5,535 miles away from me. We met for a weekend in the summer of 2013 to pack and ship the rest of our personal items, and we said our goodbyes not knowing when we’d see each other.
Well, I received an email from my dad last summer inviting my husband and me to fly out to Arizona for a few weeks at his expense. I hadn’t seen my dad in many, many years, and whatever happened years ago or what I might had felt, diminished over time. The time was now, so I accepted.
It turned out to be a great holiday. Not only did my dad and I start a new relationship, but I also had the opportunity to spend the holidays with my sister, niece, and nephew. Everything about the adventure was a surprise. So I thought I’d share some of the things we saw during our awesome visit.
Here’s a little music to keep you company while you browse the pictures.
We flew out from Amsterdam, so we spent the evening taking in some of the sights. They had a “Light Festival” on the canals. Thank goodness for Google because we couldn’t find our car. Amsterdam has so many canals that we didn’t know which one we parked by but somehow Google knew where we parked. Scary, yet helpful.
We arrived safely in Arizona. The next day, after lunch with my dad, we walked around the area and took some “Christmas” pictures.
This is a picture of my dad’s Christmas gift, which my sister bought for him. I told my dad that he should name her after a character in an opera, since he loves opera, so he named her Carmen. She’s a Chiweenie—Chihuahua and a Dachshund. She’s adorable!
The day after Christmas we went to Papago Park, which featured many trails and “The Hole in the Rock.”
After that, we passed Tucson and went straight to Tombstone. This is the town where Billy Clanton, Tom McLaury and Frank McLaury were killed on the streets, known as the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. If you don’t know who they are or about the gunfight, which I didn’t, you can read about them here.
Another day, we took a train ride through the mountains near Clarksdale.
We couldn’t go to Arizona without seeing one of the Natural Wonders of the World—The Grand Canyon. It was January, so it snowed by the South Rim and it was gorgeous. Truly, awe-inspiring, I’d advise anyone to go when there is snow. The snow made it more magical, and the pictures turned out great.
Our last big trip was to Montezuma Castle and Sedona. The Red Rock is beautiful. It’s worth a day of picture taking and browsing around the stores.
And that is how we did Arizona. The below picture was taken flying over Chicago on our way back to Amsterdam.
Did you do any traveling over the holidays? Any exciting gifts from Santa?
Holiday, Travels, and Pictures,