July 31, 2020

mini family vacation

This pandemic shifted any and all of our summer plans. We have tried to stay home and be careful to slow the spread of covid-19. When I had symptoms, we canceled our camping trip in order to quarantine until we knew for sure what was going on. The slow summer pace of a "summer" that has been going on since March has been good in many ways. But school starts soon (hopefully in person!) and we wanted to have a little family bonding adventure time before that happens. Our plan became to go on some "mini family vacations" nearby. We are giving each person a day in which they may choose an outing, a meal or two, and an at home family activity. 

Our first of such days was a saturday up north. We went to a few national monuments we've been to before and then explored a new place, Jerome.

Montezuma's castle is a cool place to see. Because of the pandemic, all visitor's centers are closed and fees have been waived. We have a national parks pass anyway, but it's good to know if you don't.

We thought this camo tree was so cool.

At the top of the trail was a man playing some native american wooden flutes. The music was beautiful and made the walk down the trail so magical. The girls and I stopped to watch him play and talk with him for quite awhile. In fact, he inspired Layla to go home and learn a song on the recorder. But Brinn was especially enthralled with the music. As we stood there listening, she looked up to me and said "I love the music." 

We were disappointed that Montezuma's well was closed. That was the stop I was looking forward to the most. But our next stop was Tuzigoot.

These are some pretty cool ruins.

And the view at the top of the hill is amazing!

What I loved the most about the day was the slower pace and the time to just relax and walk around together.

Layla's hat makes her look like a true explorer. Or tourist.

We saw the sign for the city of  Jerome eleven miles away and decided why not! We had never been there before. We weren't sure how it would be with our family with little kids and special needs, but we had a nice time and found some cool places to see.

We stopped at the Audrey Headframe park. It was a really great free stop to check out some cool old mining equipment. 

This totally freaked me out right here. They had a glass floor that you could stand on over a 1900 foot mining shaft! 

There was a cool diagram to compare how deep this shaft was that you were standing on compared to some pretty famous and tall buildings. It was incredibly deep.

We played here for awhile. (Perry ran around mad and barefoot. Thank goodness there was not a lot of people there.)

When I couldn't keep Brinny off of the glass floor to the mine shaft, I knew it was time to go. The thought of her standing on top of something so deep like that terrified me. Obviously, it did not phase her.

We made a stop at the historical musuem, but because of covid they were limiting the number of people who could come in to the building at one time so we couldn't get tickets. We sat down to watch the hummingbirds. Brinn sat down across from us and started, "So. Once upon a time there was a lizard with no tail..." Our little two-year old is a very good storyteller! And the story seemed to be loosely based on the lizard I had shown her on the path earlier that was missing his tail. Storytelling Brinna was a highlight of my day.

And then we saw a snake. Perry was walking on the sidewalk (barefoot still!) back to the car up ahead of everyone. Eric was behind him but not close enough to stop Perry from walking a step away from a snake that was slithering across the path to get to the rocks on the other side. It was a huge snake and we were so glad that it wasn't a rattler or anything and it didn't harm Perry in any way.

We spent the rest of our time in Jerome walking around downtown.

Sleepy girl missed her nap.

I don't even know the story behind this, but we joined the masses in attempting to throw coins into the toilets sitting in this old hotel.

We ended the day with yummy ice cream cones from this little shop.

Apparently, we share everything.

I'm so glad we got away for a day. Now everyone is looking forward to their own turn to plan a day of family fun.