Back to the Desert

I suppose it was time to pay a visit back to Arizona... the only time I've gone back since I moved away 2 years ago was for my mom's 50th birthday, and I literally flew in for the night and left 18 hours later.  Brent had a medical conference in Phoenix last week so it was a good motivator to get me on a plane to meet him there.  He ended up being tied up at the conference for most of the time while we were there, so I got to spend a lot of quality time with friends and family that I hadn't seen in a looong time. Thursday I visited my Grandma and Grandpa for lunch in their beautiful home in Sun Lakes and afterward stopped for some frozen yogurt.  They certainly know their granddaughter :).  It brought back fond memories of when Grandpa used to take me for frozen yogurt at our local Smitty's grocery store after I'd gotten a good report card.

Thursday night I was delighted to have dinner with my best friend from high school, Krystal, and her really adorable 3 year old son, Oliver.  Krystal and I met our junior year of high school on a biology field trip to Catalina Island, and we were immediately inseparable.  We were having such a great time together that people started asking us how long we'd been friends and we happily replied "2 hours".  We were just that perfect for one another!  Sometimes I struggle with how much I miss her, and even more knowing I'm missing witnessing Oliver growing up.  But, I appreciate the long letters we write to one another and the pictures of little Ollie she sends with her letters.

Oliver has certainly grown up a lot since I left... and he puts on a great show to LMFAO with his play-doh microphone!

I couldn't believe how much her little pup, Josie, looks just like a girl Rudy!  I am still having daydreams of dressing them up and having a little doggy wedding.

I look forward to seeing them again; hopefully it won't be another 2 years from now.

Friday was spent on a quick day trip up to Sedona with Mom and Kathy...

The rest of the weekend was fun - I had a great time with my old neighbors, I was of course glad to spend time with Brent, see some old friends, and visit with Brent's family.

image via Courtney, Brent's youngest sister :)

While I was really glad to see everyone, I was also really happy to come home Sunday afternoon.  It's funny how a place that is so familiar to me no longer feels like home.  I suppose it never really felt like the right fit for me when I lived there.  I really do love the little bubble of paradise I live in up here in the Santa Cruz mountains, and I feel more certain than ever that I made the right move.

Weekend in pictures

My dad and Kim were here for the weekend...

...which of course meant we had to make a stop at our favorite nursery shop in Ben Lomond.

Dad and Kim brought their usual goodies - fresh baked bread and avocados from their tree. Those avocados made some great guac!

Dad (of course) needed a project. So he hung the cast iron skillets they brought for me over my little stove

We headed up to Davenport for dinner at the Roadhouse

I had the New England clam chowder and a glass of Quinta Cruz Tempranillo

We woke up early Sunday for breakfast and took a hike through Fall Creek in Felton... I realized AFTER we got there that I had forgotten the memory card for my camera, so all I have are pics snapped with my iphone.

We went to lunch at The Farm, a little place in Aptos my friend Olive introduced me to that is rapidly becoming my favorite lunch spot. I had the club...

...and Rudy spent the whole time wishing he had the club, too

That's his begg-y face.

Next stop was Soquel for some treasure hunting through their many antique shops...

...then back up to Davenport to the sea glass beach - the tide was low so sea glassers were aplenty digging for their frosty glass treasures

We went back to my cottage to cook dinner - a rainbow quinoa and black bean salad with marinated skirt steak over a bed of lettuce, fresh-picked from Kim's garden - so delicious!

Thank you for a wonderful weekend... come back soon! :)