List # 11- Date Night Ideas

O.k., so you’re probably thinking that I can’t count or I fell off the face of the earth for the last 8 days because I just skipped from List # 3 to List # 11 on the “30 Days of Lists“.  Well, of course, its none of the above.  I’ve just been busy and decided to skip a few of the lists for now.

I’ve pretty much determined that I can’t realistically do any number of consecutive days of quality blog posting or crafts or scrapbooking or whatever because I just have too many other things tugging on my time.  In fact, I’m not quite sure how anyone with a full time job (or close to it ) can pull it off.

So, here’s my idea for those who might be listening/reading.  I think we should do a blogging or scrapping/art journaling challenge that’s only 1 to 3 times a week.  I think that’s much more do-able for the average Joe or Josephine (like me anyway).  I think that’s something that I could commit to over several months or even a year.  I’ll have to think about starting one of those of my own.  Let me know your ideas on what you would enjoy doing.

With that said, here’s the next list I chose, just because it sounded like fun!  Some of these are unique to Arizona, but many can be adapted to your local area as well.

Inexpensive Date Ideas:

  • Picnic and a movie in your own living room
  • Coffee and browsing at a bookstore
  • Happy Hour at a local restaurant – food and drinks are usually quite reasonable
  • Head out to a local coffee shop and enjoy the free music that’s offered.
  • Browsing the local arts, crafts and music festivals.  Many are free or very low cost.  Here’s a list of Free Events in AZ in March 2011.
  • This year my husband will be performing with his friend, Bob at the Tucson Folk Festival, which offers two full days of free music at outdoor venues in Old Town Tucson in the first weekend in May.
  • Head out to your local farmer’s market – buy some great food, go home and enjoy the process of cooking and dining together.
  • Ride public transportation downtown and take in the sights and sounds of the city.
  • Picnic in the park
  • A good old fashioned bike ride
  • Steaming hot clam chowder and a walk on the beach at sunset.


Single, Double or Triple Dates:

Day trips out of town – you’ll find lots of pics and stories on my blog about our weekend travels with and without other couples.

  • In Arizona we love destinations like Sedona, Jerome, Flagstaff, Prescott, etc.
  • The whole day can just be about a scenic drive.  The adventure is half the fun!
  • Look for interesting places to browse the art galleries, small shops, and quaint restaurants.
  • We also love getting out into nature and going on a hikes wherever we can find beautiful weather and gorgeous surroundings.
  • Places like: Oak Creek Canyon, Apache Trail, Tonto Natural Bridge, or any number of state parks, national parks and monuments in Arizona

Parent-Child Dates:

  • Story time at the Library
  • Playground fun!
  • Rainy day game tournaments – stay in your PJs and play together all day!  (board games, cards, video games, etc)
  • Draw, sew or do art projects together
  • Volunteer to help at a charity, church or community organization – it builds relationship skills, builds character and provides a lesson in thinking about others before ourselves


Chihuly Glass at the Desert Botanical Gardens



Fun For Anyone Dates:

  • Movies in the parks – lots of local shopping centers and parks host free outdoor movies when the weather is nice.  Take a picnic blanket or folding chair, your favorite beverage and a picnic of great snacks and enjoy the gorgeous evening watching a favorite classic movie. Here’s one going on now at the Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix.
  • Check out the Library Culture Pass Program – Library card holders can check out free passes through many Phoenix metro area libraries for free admission to selected area attractions like the Phoenix Zoo, AZ Desert Botanical Gardens, and many museums.
  • An awesome concert or an exciting basketball game are perfect for a night on the town.
  • A day trip to the snow for sledding or making snowmen.



Birthday Surprise Day 3 – Sunday (part 1- the long goodbye…)

I thought I’d post a little bit more about my birthday weekend since the kids had to leave on Sunday, but Terry and I continued on till Monday night. I’ll post it in pieces so you don’t have so much to read in one sitting.

On Sunday Amy & Andrew had to head back to L.A. (7+ hour drive) and Kevin had to head back to Omaha (18+ hour drive). (I still can’t believe they were all able to get there.) We all slept in a bit, then just got up, and went down to the restaurant at the hotel for breakfast. It was o.k., nothing special, so we were 0 for 2 for great breakfast places. Oh well, the dinner Saturday made up for it all.

Since the temps in Sedona were getting into the mid 90’s in the afternoons, Terry and I decided to head up to Flagstaff for the last night. It’s just about an hour north, but the temps are 10 to 20 degrees cooler since it’s higher elevation. A & A and Kevin were both planning to head thru Flag on the way home, so we all drove in a caravan through Oak Creek Canyon and up to the Oak Creek Vista Overlook, then stopped to take a group photo and say our goodbyes.

By the way, I love the way our colors coordinated in the group photo. You’d think we had planned it, but we didn’t.

We were so sad to see the kids go, not knowing exactly when we’ll see them again. But we were so thankful that we had that precious time with them. You can see how sad Amy was in the photo below, and I think Kevin was wiping away tear. (just kidding)

We had an amazing time!

Coming up next I’ll post about our visits to Walnut Canyon and the Flagstaff Arboretum, so stay tuned…

Autumn in Sedona – nearly perfection!

Here are some highlights from our trip to Sedona this weekend. While it was too early in the season to catch the fall colors, there were a few hints that it was on the way.

We drove down Oak Creek Canyon on Saturday and picked up some amazingly delicious Macintosh apples and fresh squeezed apple cider. There’s just nothing like the fresh stuff. It tastes like someone’s squeezing it fresh from the apple right into your mouth. Mmmmmm, absolutely scrumptious!

Early in the day we took a hike down the Brins Mesa Trail in Sedona. It was a really nice hike. We decided that it must be designated for women and their dogs, because that’s mostly what we came across. We could tell that there was a storm coming in, so we didn’t hang around too long.

One discovery that I made was my new branch! You’ll see Terry holding it (and looking bewildered). I’m so excited that I finally found one just laying on the ground. No, I didn’t violate the forest by breaking or cutting off a branch. I was determined to find one that God had already chosen for me. For those of you who don’t remember, see my inspiration here from Santiagos restaurant in Bisbee. I’ve also seen them in magazines. Here’s what I’m thinking…I’ll hang it over the sofa in the living room and display an ever-changing art exhibit or other decorating items there. Think photos, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments, postcards, fall leaves, etc. I need to clean it up a bit, but I think it will be PERFECT! I’ll post a picture once I get it up there. My loving husband was even willing to give up the trunk so we could get it home. It barely fit, but we made it with all the luggage in the back seat.

Later in the afternoon and into the evening we were blessed with a wonderful storm with thunder and lightening and all. Thank you God!

West Fork Trail
On Sunday we enjoyed a nearly perfect day of gorgeous weather, hiking the West Fork of Oak Creek. I don’t remember ever going on this trail before, and I don’t know why. It’s so beautiful. Considering the fact that this trail has a parking lot all it’s own, you can imagine how crowded it might get. The good news is that I think the storm the day before scared everyone away, so traffic on the path was relatively light. The photo of the stone wall is in an area with several decaying walls and buildings near the beginning of the trail. There’s also an abandoned fireplace hearth, chicken coop and an apple orchard nearby. I’d love to hear the story behind these remains. Let me know if anyone knows it.

We also got a nice little treat in seeing this little bunch of reddish pink maple leaves…and so the season begins…can’t wait!

And the reflection of the red rocks in the creek is simply spectacular. Click to enlarge these. They’re much better in full screen.

And last but not least, Terry stopped the car for me on the way out of town so I could get some photos of the moon over the red rocks. I love taking pictures at this time of day, when it looks to the naked eye like it’s too dark for them to turn out. It’s amazing how much light the camera can capture.

Overall it was a precious weekend with my honey.

My First Blog Post

O.k. here we go… This is my first posting to my blog. I really have no idea how much I’ll be able to keep up on this, but it’s fun learning how to do it and seeing the results on the screen. As you’ll find out, I love photography and travel, so you’ll probably see many more photos from our adventures. Oh they’re not scary or daring adventures, but just new places to explore and experience and new people to meet.

These are from a trip that we took to northern Arizona in March. We had no expectations to see snow, especially in Sedona, but it snowed about 2 feet that weekend at the higher elevations and quite a bit in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. For those who don’t live in Arizona, you may not realize how unusual that is. It was so awesome!

Growing up in Ohio, I had seen quite a bit of crazy weather in my youth, but I think it’s been 10 years or more since I had seen the snow actually fall and to see so much of it in such an already gorgeous place was just incredible.

The last picture is of some of our most precious friends who made the trip with us. (Jay & Sharon and Andy & Julie) Some of them were a bit hesitant (to say the least) once we were traveling on the slick roads, but they braved it with our careful driver, Andy and came away unharmed.

It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! The snow was so refreshing and beautiful. God’s creation is absolutely amazing and I love to see all the different ways that he treats us with these unexpected surprises.