Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back Home Again

While the rest of you have been enjoying the first few days of spring and may have spent some time in your garden already, I have been enjoying more summer-like weather for the past week in Arizona. Husband and I visited Daughter and her boyfriend--now fiance!--in the Phoenix area, soaking up some sunshine and seeing the sights.

One of the highlights of our stay was a day trip to see the Grand Canyon. Traveling north in Arizona at this time of year is quite an experience in climate change. In a few short hours we went from the arid desert of Phoenix through hills covered with familiar cacti . . .

. . . to the snow-covered woods surrounding Flagstaff. The only photos taken of this area were through the car window, but I can tell you that Flagstaff must have had more snow this winter than all of the Midwest judging by the depth still on the ground in the 40-degree temperature. Entering Grand Canyon National Park, we drove through more patches of snow and along roads lined with tall pines. After parking the car, we walked a few feet, and then suddenly the topography changed completely.

There it was--the Grand Canyon in all its glory. To say this is a breathtaking sight may be a cliche, but there is no other way to describe it. The sheer immensity and beauty of this place cannot be captured in a single photograph.

And to capture even an image of it requires more photographic skill than I have. I was very disappointed when I downloaded my photos at home to realize that I couldn't capture the depth of field of the Canyon, and especially disappointed that all my photos looked washed out. Perhaps it was partly because we were there at noon, but I couldn't very well step to the other side to get a better camera angle in the sun:) As it was, this acrophobic stayed a safe ten feet away from the edge to take photos and then retreated back to cling to the safety of a little tree.

The drive home was scenic as well, as we drove through the picturesque area around Sedona with its unique red rock cliffs. We stopped at the little town of Jerome, an old mining town that perches precariously on the edge of a high hill. Unfortunately, I neglected to take any photos of it, but the wind was whipping through our jackets so much that we sought refuge in an authentic old Western saloon.

There were other highlights of the trip, of course, including taking in a couple of Cubs' spring training games and a visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens, which I'll post about as soon as I have time to sort through all my photos. But most of all, we just enjoyed spending time with Daughter and future son-in-law, including an afternoon of wedding dress shopping, a real treat for this first-time mother of the bride. And there was plenty of time for bonding with the granddogs--Odie wouldn't stand still for a photo, but Bear was willing to do anything Grandma asked of him.

As always, there is much to catch up on after a vacation, and I hope to catch up visiting everyone over the next few days. But for now . . .

. . . Spring has finally arrived! Yes, the long-awaited crocuses finally made an appearance in my garden. Daffodils and tulips are shooting up quickly, and flowerbeds need to be cleaned up so they can show off. The garden awaits . . .


  1. Oh, I'm so envious of your trip. I'd love to see the Grand Canyon! Congratulations to your daughter, and Bear strikes a great pose.

  2. I was suprised to see snow that far south. We are trying to cajole spring into showing up here and melting all our snow. No luck as yet.

    Christine in Alaska

  3. I would so love to see the Grand Canyon in all its glory. I was close to it a few years ago in Vegas but didn't actually go see it. It must be so immense and your photos did a good job of capturing it. Congrats go out to your daughter and welcome back.

  4. Welcome home, Rose -- your trip sounds wonderful. I'll be a first time mother-of-the-bride late this fall and am looking forward to sharing plans. :) Those crocuses are darling!

  5. Rose isn't the Grand Canyon beautiful? My mother got dizzy though looking into it. LOL! Glad you had a good visit and returned to some beautiful crocus in bloom.

  6. Welcome back Rose. It sounds as if you have had a most exciting and memorable time and how pleasing it must have been to return home to spring blooms :)

  7. A hearty hug and squeeze for the MOB and future bride! What an exciting trip, and your description of the grand canyon was perfect. I can imagine the first glimpse, even though you have seen all kinds of pictures of it, it would take the breath out of your lungs with surprise and exhilaration. Your pictures are great, Sedona looks quite beautiful as well. We look forward to the botanic garden story. Welcome home. :-)

  8. Hi Rose....I was fortunate enough to visit the Grand Canyon many years ago. It is just so amazing. We also flew over in a small that was incredible. Unless you visit you can never truly imagine what it is like.

    It is wonderful Rose that you were able to go shopping for a wedding dress for daughter. It is such a special time for mother and child. Enjoy each and every moment. Expect you are missing her right now.

    Bear is a lovely chap......great danes are such gentle giants.

    Welcome home......

  9. A hearty hug and squeeze for the MOB and future bride! What an exciting trip, and your description of the grand canyon was perfect. I can imagine the first glimpse, even though you have seen all kinds of pictures of it, it would take the breath out of your lungs with surprise and exhilaration. Your pictures are great, Sedona looks quite beautiful as well. We look forward to the botanic garden story. Welcome home. :-)

  10. Spring? It snowed today in Maine! My crocuses never got a chance to open. Thanks for warming me up with your beautiful Arizona photos. Congratulations to your daughter!

  11. I have always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. Some day I will go. How exciting to visit and find that your daughter is engaged. Nothing like a good shop for bonding. Your Granddog is handsome. So glad you made it back safe and sound.

  12. I've always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. It looks fantastic. The snow in Flagstaff is just freaky.

  13. Rose, I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but hope to very much. I am a little interested in visiting the glass skywalkover look I've read about!

    Congratulations to the bride to be and her lucky husband to be...Lucky he has your daughter's hand and you for mom in law!

    Check your photo editing program might be able to improve any colors washed out there...But, I think your photos are great. gail

  14. Congrats on becoming a soon-to-be-mother-of-the-bride! How fun! And I am so jealous you got to see some spring training games--I have always wanted to do that (although different team, of course :)

  15. Have fun planning the wedding! May they have many years of love, joy & happiness together.

    Bear looks like a big old cuddle bunny!

  16. Welcome home Rose! I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip to AZ. Jerome is one of my favorite places to visit...such a small town barely hanging onto the hillside. Sedona, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and saw everything! I hope to meet up with you next time you come for a visit. I'm sorry that it did not work out this time :-)

  17. Sounds like a wonderful trip Rose! I've been fortunate enough to see the Grand Canyon too! I was only 16 at the time so I would love to see it again.

  18. A trip to the Grand Canyon...... that was brilliant.
    Hope it doesn't all seem to be flat now that you have returned home.
    I don't know about you, but I am always glad to come home even though I have been somewhere really lovely. Nothing like your own bed.

    Nuts in May

  19. I adore Arizona - we've done the spring training thing a couple of times and it's great fun (go Cubs!!). I've been to the Desert Botanical Gardens but I've only seen the Grand Canyon from a plane on the way to points west. One of these days....

  20. Monica, I wish we could have gone together! Bear is such a teddy bear.

    Christine, I didn't realize Arizona had so much snow either. I've only been to the southern part before, and I assumed the whole state was that warm.

    Tina, Photos just can't do the Grand Canyon justice. You just have to see it for yourself.

    Nancy, Congratulations! I'm looking forward to planning, too, although Daughter has very definite plans in mind. I'm just the assistant:)

    Hocking Hills, Yes, the Grand Canyon does make you dizzy. It was awesome!

    Anna, Vacations are wonderful, but it is good to be back home, especially now that spring is here.

    Frances, We did have a great time. Sedona is a gorgeous place as well. I will have more than gardening on my mind in the next year:)

    Cheryl, We talked about going over the Canyon in an airplane, but it's expensive and we weren't sure if we had enough time. Now I wish we had--I can only imagine what a thrill that would be. Bear is mostly Mastiff with a small part Great Dane; he is indeed a gentle giant.

    Sarah, I do hope we are done with snow!

    Lisa, It's hard to believe my little girl is getting married. Of course, I've been waiting for this day for several years:)

    MMD, I couldn't believe the snow in Flagstaff either; I'm not exaggerating when I say I think they received more than we did this winter.

    Gail, I'm not sure if the glass walk was open yet--the North Rim of the park doesn't open till mid-May because of snow. But I can tell you that I wouldn't have been brave enough to try it anyway:)

    Rose, I had hoped we could go to a Cubs-White Sox game, but that was the day we went to the Grand Canyon. Spring training is so much fun--great seats at cheap prices.

    Cindy, Thank you! Yes, Bear is really a cuddly teddy bear.

    Noelle, We saw more of the sights outside Phoenix this time than I've seen before. Jerome was really such an interesting town; Daughter and SIL are planning to go back for a weekend getaway. Maybe we can meet up next year!

    Susie, The Grand Canyon literally took my breath away. There are lots of places I'd like to re-visit, too; I don't think I appreciated all that my parents took me to when I was a teenager:)

    Maggie May, We enjoyed the trip, but, yes, it's always good to come home again. For me, it was seeing Sophie, my dog, again:)

    Diane, Aren't spring training games fun? Great seats and much cheaper than Wrigley Field:)

  21. What a transition to come back to the Midwest from the Grand Canyon. Sounds like you had an interesting trip. I'd love to visit Flagstaff.

  22. Congrats to the mother of the Bride to be as well as the bride and groom to be! Wedding Dress hunting must have been fun…

    This looks like a wonderful trip and aren’t old saloons fun to enter? As if stepping back in time. I entered a few while living in Colorado and I was looking for the piano player and the dancing girls, lol. I have the Grand Canyon on my Bucket list so one day I will get there but until, I so enjoy Blog pictures such as these today!

    Bear looks like a big ole lovable fur baby!

  23. Oh, you lucky Rose! Congrats to you and your family on the upcoming wedding. I'm so happy for you! Did you have to entice your husband to go along with promises of Cubs' games? Just kidding! He will probably be the first to get emotional at the wedding. We went to the Grand Canyon years ago and took pictures (in the days before digital wonder), and I have no idea what happened to those pics. I've searched high and low for them. Too bad! I guess we will have to make another trip out west someday to get some new ones.

  24. Welcome home, Rose, and thanks for the quick trip, loved it! Except for back & forth weekends to the lake, I have been pretty much a home body. Your photos are lovely. Happy Spring :)

  25. Hi Rose, me again. Just playing around, hope you don't mind (I love playing with photos). I took one of your GC photos and ran it thru the tone mapping software. It cut thru a lot of that haze. Paste the link below to see what it looks like. (The water mark is because I'm still using the trial version, haven't bought the software yet.


  26. Rose I rushed right over when you left me a comment that you had just returned from AZ!! My hubby is there now..and I'm here at home watching for the first crocus to show it's pretty face.

    Ahh..all your images a good memory for me! I found also that pics of the grand canyon tend to look washed out regardless of the angles but it sure does not take away from your fabulous shots. What I realized in the grand scheme of things how small we humans are and how great our damage is to this beautiful wide world both land and sea.
    I could not get over the quiet hush as I and the crowd of tourists looked out at the breathtaking scenery of the canyon! Never enough words to describe this experience of standing at the edge looking out!Love Sedona..something mystical about those red rocks and the cacti and vegetation this time of year in the desert well few words...I LOVED IT!!
    Thank you for giving me a bit of AZ my winter home away from home..but not this year.
    hugs anna xo

  27. I felt exactly the same when I saw the GC. It is majestic and pictures cannot tell the tale. Things change so fast in the garden at this time of year don't they. Nice to return to color and promise.

  28. Congratulations to your daughter (and you)! I'm very jealous that you got to see the Grand Canyon. I have really been wanting to see it forever (it seems). Some day... Glad your crocuses are up and blooming. Other bulbs won't be far behind!

  29. I think your photos turn out magnificent. I haven't been to the Grand Canyon since I was a kid, but I remember how immense and beautiful it is.

  30. Rose, We just returned from Death Valley - no flowers yet, but I, too, thought your Grand Canyon photos were excellent! Indeed an incredible place - it's nigh on impossible to capture it on film, one has to experience it firsthand.

    Congrats to you and your daughter as well. My youngest and I planned her wedding a little over two years ago - it was one of the best times of my life. Enjoy!

  31. Sounds as if you had a wonderful trip. The Grand Canyon is amazing!
    Always good to see our children. I sure do miss mine. Wedding plans???
    Welcome home.
    Happy Spring,

  32. First, let me congratulate you on your daughter's engagement! So exciting, I hope you will keep us updated on everything that happens with the wedding preparations.

    Loved the photos of the Grand Canyon. It has been YEARS since I have been, but I still remember the awesome grandeur. It was a very powerful experience. You can describe it, paint it, or photograph it and never come close to the real thing. I am with you on the acrophobia--I could never get right at the edge.

    Your photo of Sedona is beautiful. I have not been, but have heard how beautiful it is.

    Awwwww, I am a sucker for big ole puppy pics, and Bear looks like a big ole Teddy Bear.

    It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, but I bet you are glad to get back to your menagerie--and to Springtime in your own backyard.

  33. I was thinking about you when I was gardening just now and I came in and found you'd commented!

    Happy birthday today to your daughter! Proud mums together!

    I'd love to see the Grand Canyon but I'd be like you and keep well away from the edge! I think your photos are fine but I know what you mean: some places it's impossible to capture totally.

    And wedding dress shopping too! oh, such fun. I love weddings. Enjoy it all.

  34. Welcome back, Rose and what an exciting trip you had! Congrats on the upcoming wedding of your daughter. Isn't it fun to go wedding dress shopping? I have one daughter (and 2 sons) and absolutely cherished that experience of shopping and planning for her wedding

    I visited Sedona a few years ago and oh yes, there are no words to describe the grand canyon! It really does take your breath away. We were thinking of flying over in a hot air balloon, but did not (for various reasons). Now I wish we had.

    I took pics too, of the red rocks in sedona and the grand canyon. Did not even come close to doing justice, but those were the days of a regular film camera. And I wasn't much into photograpy back then. I just bought postcards instead.

    Love your crocuses - something ate mine, but never mind, at least our flowers are coming up. Last year at this time we had tons and tons of snow still on the ground.

  35. I love your trips to your daughter's, Rose, for the breathtaking photos and vistas. Those Crocuses are lovely. Send some over here to cool our South Indian eyes in this hot spring weather.


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.