Arizona Adventures in January

During this time of transition, one of the hardest questions for me to answer is the question of: What have you been doing all this time?  (Because to be honest, I’m not really sure.)  In some ways it feels like we’ve been waiting forever, but at the same time there has been so much to get done that I have always felt pretty busy.  Either way, it has been a blessing to Michael and me that this transition time has allowed us to spend more quality time with both of our families, as I know we will be missing them dearly from Brazil and visits won’t be quite so easy.

As I’ve said, after we moved out of our apartment and left San Francisco on Jan 7, we stayed with Michael’s parents in Arizona.  I took a week-long trip to South Carolina to see my family but I’ll post about that next.  For now, take a look at some of our Arizona highlights:

1) First, let me say that while I clearly cannot post a photo of this, it was SUCH a highlight for me to be there when Michael’s oldest sister, Christy, bought her wedding dress!!!  The wedding is in July so you will see plenty of photos then, but she looked so stunning and I’m just thrilled that I was there for that moment!

2) Michael ran the Phoenix Rock & Roll Half Marathon with his other older sister, Lise!  It was so much fun cheering them on I am so proud of them!

Team Harper Cheer Squad! Me, Sharon, Kennedy (and her mom, Janey, who was behind the camera), Christy and Ollie.

Michael and Lise at the half-way point coming through Sky Song - stopping to say "hello" to their number 1 fan, Kennedy - and looking great!

Champions!!

3) Phoenix Symphony with Sharon & Ollie — amazing!

all cleaned up!

4) Hiking around Phoenix

Ollie took Michael and me on his favorite hike -- great views!

5) Our trip with Sharon & Ollie to THE GRAND CANYON!  Michael hadn’t been to the Grand Canyon in years and I had NEVER been so it was definitely on our list to-do.  To ensure that we got the full experience, we took the train from Williams (a small AZ town) to the canyon.  The train was full of entertainment (i.e. we were “held up” and “robbed” on the train, were entertained by a guitarist and an accordion player, etc.) but the best part was absolutely the view.  We were in the “dome car” so we were on the second story and the ceiling was all windows.  You could see for miles around and we passed tons of wildlife including herds of elk and antelope!

On the ride to the GC in the dome car!

"Entertainment"

We arrived at the Grand Canyon station

Ollie and Sharon looking fabulous!

and then just had a quick, 2 minute walk to the historic El Tovar Hotel where we stayed the night.  From the time we arrived until we left we were constantly amazed by the incredible nature of the Grand Canyon.  It was cold and a little icy so we weren’t able to hike down any trails, but we walked a lot of the rim and enjoyed amazing views at every stop.  Michael and Ollie even saw 3 California Condors!
Such incredible beauty and wonderful memories.  It was hard to say goodbye!

BIG thanks to Sharon and Ollie for hosting us for the past few weeks and for all of the fun fun fun that we had together!

PS – Notice anything else different??  Apparently working remotely has some other perks…Michael decided to grow a beard!

4 thoughts on “Arizona Adventures in January

  1. Great post and pics, Ashley Derham Zais Harper!! Fun fun pics of the marathon and symphony, but especially loved the pics from the Grand Canyon – WOW! Oh, and excuse me, but where did you get those cute little boots?! Glad you were able to spend some time in AZ and SC before your BIG move–bet you all will be on your way to Brazil in about 2-3 weeks!!! xoxoxox mers

  2. I loved reliving every wonderful moment while looking at all of these photos. What a great blog, Ashley! It was just so much fun. miss Sharon

  3. Great pix! We just read the blog and the great times you have been having. We remember the El Tovar that Sharon recommended and enjoyed our stay there so much – remember, we arrived during a blizzard! love, Nanny & Papa

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