Weekend in AZ // May 6-8, 2016
Earlier this month, we escaped from our little 350 mile radius for a whirlwind weekend in the greatest state in our country, Arizona! (That’s right SC, you don’t own us 😉 ) Obviously we had to have a good reason for skipping town on the weekend right before Curtis’ big 3 hour final, to fly 2000 miles across the country just for 36 hours. We went to attend the much anticipated wedding for some of our friends! The weekend was a blur, but somehow we were able to fit in most of our favorite things into that time, and it was completely worth every lost minute of sleep and studying. (Spoiler alert: We made it back on time, didn’t get in trouble, and he did great on the test, as always!)
It all began on Friday afternoon, 5/6/16. As soon as Curtis was home from school, we rushed to finish all last minute tasks, said goodbye to Charlotte, then drove to the Charleston Airport. (Shout out to our amazing neighbors for looking out for our baby! We know she had the best weekend ever with you!) We arrived and got all checked in, then settled down with our books while waiting to board. Then waited. And waited and waited and waited. Okay, so we obviously don’t fly a lot – driving is always our preferred method of transportation – we would have gladly driven 30 hours cross-country each way had we had enough time! We weren’t anxious, we were just curious how they could say we’re still “on time” even though boarding was supposed to start 5 minutes ago? About 10-15 minutes later, we got an email declaring our flight had been delayed. No duh. Finally we boarded (about a half hour late) and made the 38 minute flight to Charlotte, NC (yes it did feel like we were cheating on our baby to be there without her!).
If you fly in an airplane and don’t take a picture of the view out your window, did you really fly?
As soon as we landed, we looked up where our next flight was leaving…on the other side of the Charlotte-Douglas Airport, of course, and it was taking off in 15 minutes, meaning boarding would end in 5. And so we took off on “the airport run” dodging other passengers (a lot of whom were also running). It was kind of embarrassing how tired and out of breath we were. I was so positive we were going to miss it by *that much* when we made it and….there was a huge crowd of people standing there. As it turned out, this plane was also running behind, but hadn’t bothered to update the flight status until 5 minutes after we made our cross-airport run. Is that normal these days?? It’s been a while since I’ve flown, but I do remember getting more of a warning then 10-15 minutes after the fact. Anyway, we sat down and waited for another half hour or so before finally boarding. Thankfully we both had some good reading material – I had Mindy Kaling’s latest memoir, “Why Not Me?” (stressful times call for light and fun books!) and Curtis had… a big book about something historical that makes him look like the smart one in our relationship. 😉
Our flight took off right after sunset, so I decided this would be a good time to get ahead on the loss of sleep we’d eventually have. Despite the lady next to me needing the light on the entire flight, and the guy ahead of us being quite the chatterbox for 3 out of 4.5 hours, I was able to sleep quite well. Whenever I woke up, Curtis would give me his best estimate of where we were. As we were flying over New Mexico, there would be parts where we saw no light whatsoever on the ground, and that reminded us of those long sleepless nights spent driving those roads…and how much we missed that. After a little turbulence, we landed in Phoenix at 10 that night. (36 hours in AZ starts…Now!)
All of me loves all of you, all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections
We picked up our spiffy little rental car, then drove to one of the places we miss the most…In-N-Out! We really miss our favorite fast-food burger joints (In-N-Out and Culvers!) that are a “little” higher in quality than McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s. It’s like when you come down South, they traded in these awesome, relatively cheap and fast burger joints and all they gave us was fried chicken. Fried chicken on every corner. (Side note: It’s our goal to never eat friend chicken while living in the South…it’s very easy because I am literally NEVER in the mood for fried chicken. Gross.) Anyway, I digress. We had our dinner and then made our way to Lydia and Jeff’s to spend the night. (Thanks to the hospitality of Curtis’ sister and a very early morning flight, we didn’t need a hotel at all for our quick weekend!) We crawled into bed right around midnight, so thankful for a night of restful sleep.
Our niece with the fabulous hair.
We spent Saturday morning catching up with family and playing with our adorable niece, Grace. I couldn’t believe how big she’d gotten since we last saw her 5 months ago! At that time she was 6 months (now almost 7 😉 ) and was sitting up straight, doing the army crawl, and making the cutest faces at us. She likely won’t remember those few hours we spent playing with her – or remember us at all quite yet – but we sure enjoyed getting to know her and look forward to when she will remember us!
Home sweet home.
Soon, it was time to head down to Tucson, so we said our goodbyes and took off on that wonderful and eventful drive from Phoenix to Tucson..haha not! Okay, this is one thing we don’t miss a lot…but it was so fun seeing familiar mountain ranges, big open skies, saguaros, and trucks towing other trucks filled with stuff going 40 on the interstate. Not to mention stopping in Casa Grande to grab Culvers! Maybe we do miss it. Anyway, we made it into town and Curtis dropped me off to hang out with my friends Kathy & Seneca while he went to visit his guy friends. It was SO great to get time to catch up with everyone! I realize that our friend Mitch basically introduced us to most of our close friends that we used to hang out with regularly, and thanks to that we were able to see all of them in our short visit! I love having these friendships, that while we’re on opposite sides of the country, we can pick right up from where we left off. To our friends reading this, we’re so thankful for you and love getting the chance to see you! (And you’re always welcome here, haha!)
The wedding was gorgeous, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the day. We loved sitting there, surrounded by the people we love in the place we love, and seeing two people commit the rest of their lives to each other. We were so thankful for the getting the opportunity to be here for this big event – it wouldn’t have felt right to miss it after we got to be there for other “big events” in their relationship! I remember back when we were hiking to Supai for the first time, it was just Mitch, Curtis, & I, and while we all had a great time there was a hope that one day, there would be a fourth in our hiking group. I mean, we get along great, but three’s a crowd, and I was definitely the third wheel here. 😉 Not too long after, a fourth was added to our hiking party, and we got to enjoy several hikes together around Tucson such as Mt. Wrightson, Pusch Ridge, and the Sycamore Reservoir Trail. What impressed us was not only her willingness to do these long hikes with us, but also her wanting to join us on our crazy adventure that took place only a month after meeting her – hiking the Grand Canyon, and by hiking it I mean going all the way down and back in a day. It was on this trip when they made their relationship official. Then, if you remember from last fall, she joined us on our return hike to Supai, where they got engaged in front of the beautiful blue Mooney Falls. After being there to witness the other steps in their relationship, how could we miss this wedding?!
This is our happy place!
When the wedding was over, we said our goodbyes and then prepared for our drive back to Phoenix. It was now midnight, and our plane left at 5 AM in Phoenix. We decided to slowly make our way up taking a back way, where we tried to do a little letterboxing but failed in the pitch black. We did what we needed to stay awake, and made it to the airport around 3. Curtis was able to sleep a little in the airport while I just couldn’t get comfortable. Finally, we boarded the plane (on time!) and enjoyed the 3 hour plane ride back where we were able to spread out and sleep most of the way. (And…done – that makes 36 hours in Arizona!) I woke up just in time to see us going over the Appalachians. We SO can’t wait to have the chance to go hiking out there! We landed in Charlotte and had a little time to grab a bite to eat before boarding our last plane home (which was also on time!). The rest of the trip was uneventful, as was the rest of the day, which we spent napping. At the end of the day, this whole thing felt like a dream, so I can’t tell you if it really happened or not. If it did though, I can tell you it was one amazing weekend, and we can’t wait to go back to AZ someday!