It's been a week since I got back from Arizona and I'm finally feeling caught up enough to be able to share some details with you guys. I posted some quick iPhone shots from a day trip to Sedona that I took while there, but I wanted to go into a little more detail about the trip as a whole, because it was really unique for me in several ways.
Leaving for ten days with no other purpose than to get away was seriously new territory for me. First, I almost never take off for more than a few days at a time. The only exception to this that I can recall were overseas trips to Europe in 2008 and Australia in 2010. The rest of the time, five to six days is the absolute maximum. This get-away was also unique in that it technically wasn't a work trip or a vacation. It was more like just being at home - but in a new place, with much better weather, and some fun activities thrown in here and there. I stayed with Robbie's parents (mostly without him, as he was on tour in the southwest at the time), who are absolutely wonderful and made me feel so at home. I set up an "office" in their spare bedroom and was able to work as usual, and for the most part, go about my business just like any other time. The trip itself wasn't particularly exciting, and aside from our day trip to Sedona, we didn't do anything touristy. But that is what made it so great. The stress that accompanies leaving my businesses for a vacation wasn't there because I was able to work, and I also didn't feel overwhelmed with the usual nonstop vacation-style commitments or activities.
I think more than anything, the fact that this particular trip wasn't based on a work event is what made it so special. Although I don't travel nearly as much as I used to when I was doing regular fashion events and trade shows, almost all of the trips I take these days are still either somehow related to my job or to meet Robbie while he's working on the road with the band. Other than a couple of short weekend trips to see my sister in Indianapolis, some quick wedding outings, and our belated honeymoon to Santa Fe in October, all of the travel I've done over the last several years has somehow revolved around a work event for either Robbie or me (or both). And although Robbie did have a show in Phoenix toward the end of my stay which helped make our flights home work for us financially, it didn't feel like my reasoning for being there had anything to do with our jobs. I was able to just go, and while I was there, I was able to just be.
My favorite part of my time in Arizona (aside from just being in a new environment after months of feeling very cooped up) was being able to sit outside in the sunshine whenever I wanted. This works wonders on your spirit after a long winter. There were lots of other highlights as well: hiking around Bartlett Lake, going to my first ever Seder dinner at the home of my in-laws' friends (which included an incredibly emotional conversation with a Holocaust survivor), lunch and shopping with both my mother-in-law and my mom (who was also in the area for a few days), the best pedicure of my life (not exaggerating), lots of amazing dinners both at restaurants and cooked at home, seeing a local theatre production of All My Sons, seeing javelinas in the wild for the first time (I love all animals, period), watching Robbie's band's show from side stage under a blanket with my MIL, learning more about the cool vintage bicycles that Robbie's dad restores, looking through old family photos, taking endless pictures, and spending a day in Sedona with my love. I also got up early and went to bed early, and got plenty of sleep. That doesn't happen very often and felt very luxurious.
All in all, my Arizona experience was just what I needed. Robbie's mom and I have talking about doing it again next year, for even longer, in January or February when the weather is especially bad here and Robbie is on the road nonstop. I feel very lucky to have such wonderful in-laws who live in such a magical place and are so welcoming to me being there. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts on the trip and some of the photos I took with you guys! If you've had any particular travels that were especially unique for you, I'd love to hear about them.