Get ready for a doozy of an update. (Shame on me for not updating for an entire month.) December was crazy! I was invited along on a family vacation, something we probably haven’t done in over a decade. My mother flew us all out to Sedona, AZ, her “favorite place on the planet.” We stayed just under a week and it was amazing! After we landed, Tim and I picked up a rental car and decided to explore some of Arizona on our drive up to Sedona. The GPS took us on all sorts of “unnamed,” “unpaved,” and “off-road” roads.

Yes, it was just as steep and bumpy (and terrifying) as it looks. Next time I vote we rent a Jeep! With seeing such amazing views as we did, the off-road experience was definitely worth it. Once we got back on the main roads, I spotted the clouds coming off of a mountain behind a Jack in the Box (no joke!) and caught the below photo.

The first full day there we had, Tim and I tagged along on a hike with my sister and her family. Every few feet I started to notice heart shaped rocks in the trees. We commented and thought what an odd occurrence…I wonder how those got there?

It turns out they were purposely placed there by a man named Robert that we met further up on the trail. He told me that he comes to hike (and play his flute) nearly every day. He said he places the heart rocks to promote an overall feeling of love along the trail. He even gave each of us girls our own hand carved heart rock (and gave me one to give to my mother who hadn’t joined us). Meeting and talking to Robert was a joy in itself, but hearing him play his flute atop one of the plateaus was mesmerizing.

One of the nights there, we went to a Christmas lights display and afterward snuck off to get homemade fudge at a local shop before they closed. I made a collage of images from the Christmas light displays.

And as if all that isn’t enough, we also did lots of driving around to get beautiful landscapes, went on another hike, went on a Jeep tour, went to Montezuma’s castle, did some antique shopping in Phoenix, and spent half a day at Out of Africa were Tim let a giraffe eat from his mouth. Yuck! I got a video of it, but have decided if that will make YouTube or not…

The above baby zebra was just a day or two old and we were told they named him/her Makumi. We also got to watch them feed the lions.

My favorite shot of the day was probably from the long stare I got from the tiger below.

And that’s it for now! I hope everyone had a great holiday!

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