Friday morning, Mom woke me up at, like, a quarter of eight. They'd been up since five. In the morning. Because that's when they get up. This clearly is not genetic.
So, we went and got their rental car. The poor man behind the counter was having some problems getting the system to recognize my mother's discount. He also didn't understand that Mom was just teasing as she said things like "I think I was twenty-one when I got up to this counter." and (looking around at all the people behind us in line, in a conspiratorial tone) "If we don't get done soon, there's going to be a mutiny and I'm going to be a part of it."
Eventually, we got the car. Then we drove through Guadalupe, which is this small, old fashioned town between my house and the rental car place. There's a pretty church there, but none of us had our cameras.
We got back home and packed and loaded the car. Then we headed up to Old Town Scottsdale to meet Steady for "breakfast". We ended up wandering around the stores for half an hour while we waited for the restaurants to open. We had lunch on a patio and then we did some more shopping. Steady was a very good sport about all of this (Old Town is the land of kitschy cowboy crap). When we left, Mom said he seemed very nice.
After that, we headed up to Sedona. That's where the red rocks are, you know... After successfully locating the hotel, we headed down the road to the state park. The nice man at the gate suggested a trail for us, along with a sunset watching spot and a place for dinner.
I took a picture of this big tree, because if there's one thing I like that I don't get much of here, it's big green things like trees.
We finished the hike. I am pleased to report that I managed to lead the way and not need any breaks, in spite of my smoker's lungs. After that, we went for a drive down a "primitive" road. There we saw "cathedral rock"
From there, we went up the giant hillside to watch the sunset. The sunset in Sedona did not live up to the promotional literature. Mom and I supplemented our lackluster sunset with an entire bottle of red wine.
After dinner, it was back to the hotel where I fell asleep with the lights on, in my clothes, on top of the blankets. We got up early the next morning and I could not find my camera and cigarettes (they were both in my camera case so I wouldn't need to carry my purse).
Mom managed to locate them in the room, and then we headed off to the Verde Canyon Railroad for the train ride.
Look at the green! We also saw bald eagles and golden eagles and a blue herron, but I didn't get pictures of any of those. One of the bald eagles was actually attacking two ravens in the air above our open car. It was so cool.
From there, we headed over and up up up up up up to Jerome. Jerome was once a bustling mining town (15,000 people). Then it became a ghost town (less than a hundred people). Now more than four hundred people live there and it's some sort of historic place.
It was a really, really cool place with a really amazing history.
We toured this old house that belonged to, like, the mining boss or something. Maybe he was a major owner? I don't remember. The bits of the house that were preserved and not turned into a museum were just beautiful and amazing.
After that we drove to Prescott to see where my cousin went to what my grandmother called "Camping College". We drove up through these amazing round boulder things, but I didn't get to get a picture because we were busy being lost.
We found Camping College, checked out the town square and Whiskey Row, grabbed some dinner and headed on back to the hotel for more crashing before putting on pajamas, only this time the sober version.
Sunday morning we got up and went to see this church in Sedona that's built right into the red rocks. Some woman built it as a monument to her parents or something.
Then we went to Montezuma's Well. First, we stopped and saw the petroglyphs. The guide there seemed to be a little burnt out. Apparently, five years of staring at petroglyphs and telling people that "no one knows what these mean" is too many. He did mention that he hoped when he dies he gets to know.
Then we went and saw the well. It's this giant spring in this crater, and Sinagua (I have no idea if that's spelled correctly or not) Indians lived in these cliff dwellings around it for something like five hundred years.
There were also ducks.
We walked down to where the water comes out of the lake and into the irrigation canals. We ended up not making it to Montezuma's Castle, and instead we headed up to Flagstaff.
We had lunch and did some shopping and then we decided to take the scenic route back. The scenic route featured a lot of pine trees and rocks.
We stopped at an overlook, and I learned that I am unreasonably afraid of heights. Not really for myself, but I did not like seeing my mother down near the railing.
Then we came back to Phoenix, while Mom sang an original composition about her desire for a margarita...