Thursday, February 23, 2017

Arizona | Flagstaff

This is the point in the trip when our plans started to get a little derailed and we just had to go with the flow. We woke up pretty early, decided that we'd wait until Flagstaff to eat, and hit the road north.
Instead of taking the freeway, we decided to take 89A, which was definitely a more scenic route! We drove up these crazy switchback roads that had awesome views of the surrounding landscape. I'd highly recommend that route if you're not crunched for time.
While driving through Flagstaff I made the boys stop at Chick-fil-A for breakfast. We don't have any by us in Michigan (though they are coming!) so we had never had it before. I wouldn't give it 5 stars or anything, but it's definitely worth stopping at if you're driving by one. By this point the weather started to get really crappy; cold, a rain/snow mix, and foggy. Since we were still quite a drive away we continued on towards the Canyon. About an hour and half later this is what we found...
A brick wall of fog. UGH! We could not believe that we had traveled all this way to see nothing. Literally nothing! We walked around the El Tavor Hotel for a little while, checking out the decor and gift shop. Since it didn't look like the weather was going to lighten up we decided to head back down to Flagstaff and try again the next day. This meant another 3 hours of driving, but what can you do? Thankfully we were able to be flexible and in the end still got to experience it. What a story though!
So what do you do when it's really crappy outside, but you're on vacation and don't want to mope around? You go brewery/bar hopping! We spent the rest of the evening eating and drinking our way through Flagstaff, which happened to have a great bar scene. That shouldn't be too surprising though since it's a college town. We closed down the brewery and then headed to our airbnb for the night.
The next morning we woke up early and grabbed breakfast at an awesome bagel/coffee shop, Biff Bagels. It had an great view of the mountain and personal photos of dogs everywhere, my kind of place. Some of us weren't feeling the greatest so it was a long and quiet ride back to the Canyon, but it was SO worth it! That recap will be up next :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Current Wish List

New Job: Thomas started a new job yesterday! He is now working at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, which has been his goal since we moved here in August. I know that he'll love working with and for fellow Veterans. The only downside is that he'll be working second shift (2:30-11pm) Sunday - Thursday. I know that we'll be able to make it work, it's just an adjustment. Here's to hoping it is what he hopes it to be and that he enjoys it!
Reading: I've been reading like it's nobody's business lately. Even accidentally staying up until 2:30am on week nights, because I just can't put the book down! It may be becoming a bit of a problem. I'll post a monthly round up soon, so be on the look out for that. In the meantime, if you have any recommendations send them my way.
Valentines Day: We keep things pretty low key for Valentine's Day, especially when it's in the middle of the week. We made dinner at home and then watched King of Leon's documentary, Talihina Sky. We set a $50 limit for gifts and T got me an orchid plant and Tieks gift card. How adorable is the little gift card box?! I die! I can't wait to use it towards my next pair ;)
The Fall: It's been a while since I Netflix-binged a show, but that came to a screeching halt when I started this series. It is SO good and I watched all 3 season in 72 hours.... I'm hoping there will be a fourth season!

Longchamp Backpack: I've had my Longchamp tote for years and use it all the time, especially when traveling, but I really want to get the backpack version for my upcoming NYC trip. It'll hold my camera, essentials, and won't weigh one side of my body down. Win-win!
Sam Edelman Sandals: I have quite the collection of Gigi sandals, but I'm loving the Greta version this year. Especially the Putty Suede color.
New Blog Layout: I've been wanting to change up my blog layout for a while and I think it's time to finally bite the bullet. I'm going to stick with Get Polished, because they're affordable and simple.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Weekending | Relaxing Long Weekend

I could definitely get used to four day weekends! Thanks to mid-winter break I had Friday and yesterday off. I was able to sleep in, deep clean the apartment, get caught up on laundry, and still had time for some fun.
Friday | I spent the day visiting my grandparents since Thomas still had to work. Grandma and I went to the mall, made some plans for our upcoming NYC trip, and then spent time catching up with grandpa. I ended up getting stuck in rush hour so it was a long drive back to Ann Arbor. The rest of the evening was pretty low key; we made dinner and then watched the Kings of Leon iHeartTheater LA show. Only two more weeks until we finally see them live again!
Saturday | We had a very lazy morning and then spent the afternoon cleaning the apartment with the door wall open! The weather has finally started to warm up here in Michigan. Our friends from Grand Rapids were on this side of the state and paid us a visit. We had plans to join a 90's Bar Crawl that was taking place in downtown Ann Arbor, but by the time we got there we were starving and needed to eat ASAP. We ended up at Curtain Call, which was alright, and then did some bar hoping.  When we got home at 1:30am we decided we wanted to order Insomnia Cookies and they did not disappoint!
Sunday | We had another very slow moving morning. We picked up Panera for lunch and then headed out to look at some properties. We're officially on the house/land hunt and it was quite interesting. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and I brought my trusty Hunter boots! We picked up Culver's on the way home and then went grocery shopping. While at Meijer we picked up Arrival from Redbox and it was an excellent movie. I'd highly recommend it!
Monday | We had another slow moving morning, but then Thomas made a delicious breakfast and we got down to business. We did some virtual house hunting, laundry, and prepped for the upcoming week. The weather was still nice so we took Duke on an extra long walk in honor of #nationalpetday and then we headed downtown to stroll around before our reservations at Ruth's Chris. It was the perfect way to spend a day off together.

Now it's back to the grind. I'm hoping that March is a steadier month in terms of work and my therapy schedule. I feel like it hasn't been "normal" since October! Linking up with B loved Boston here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Arizona | Sedona

Day two of our Arizona trip took us to Sedona. Sedona is a beautiful city in Northern Arizona, where red sandstone formations surround you and take your breath away. The city has an adorable downtown area, several hiking trails, and plenty of food options. What more could you ask for? It is incredible to see the transformation of terrain during the drive from Phoenix to Sedona, you go from desert and Saguaros to mountains and trees. The drive is roughly two hours and the perfect stopping point between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon.
Since we had a late start to the day we didn't arrive until mid-afternoon, which significantly limited our time in Sedona. Once we arrived in town we were starving and wanted something quick and easy. We ended up at Tiaquepaque Arts and Craft Village and ate at Oak Creek Brewery & Grill. The boys feel that you can never go wrong with a brewery and I didn't mind the people watching ;) Since we were so crunched for time, as soon as we finished eating, we headed to Devil's Bridge Trail. This was the one hike that we really wanted to do and unfortunately the only one we had time for.
This trail is roughly 1 mile each way and the majority of it is on flat land. The final stretch it quite steep, but not excruciating. The views from the top were incredible! It's also terrifying walking out onto the bridge with nothing surrounding you. It's a very steep fall down and that's enough to make me woozy. It's amazing how small you feel when you look out and all you can see is nature. It's also very evident in the pictures below, where we look like specks.
The sun had start to set on our way back to the car and it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. The rest of the evening was spent checking into our airbnb and heading downtown for dinner. I was bummed that all of the shops were closed by the time we made it there. I wish we would've had more time in Sedona to explore, both hikes and shops, but it is what it is. I'd recommend two full days in the area.

The next morning we packed up and headed north again to our next stop, Flagstaff!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Weekending | Relaxation & Super Bowl

You know it was a good weekend when you don't get around to recapping it until Wednesday evening :) We can blame it on the very late night on Sunday!
On Fridays we can wear jeans at work so I took the opportunity to also wear my Tom Brady jersey! I got quite a few high fives and "hey nice jersey!" comments while walking in the Upper-EL hallway. I told Thomas if the Pats won I was going to treat myself to a new jersey. Which is long overdue in my opinion seeing as this one is over TEN years old! 
We had a pretty low key Friday night, catching up on the DVR, reading, and treating myself to an at-home spa night! I'm a huge fan of the Sephora masks and if you haven't already, you should check them out!
We slept in Saturday morning, which was very needed after being out of town last weekend, and then we spent the afternoon doing our typical weekend chores. Later that afternoon we met up with our friends and head to downtown Milford to check out a new-to-us brewery, River's Edge Brewing Co, and grabbed dinner at Palate. Both places were awesome! From there we met up with my girlfriends and their significant others at Drafting Table Brewing Co where we enjoyed chatting and listening to the live band playing.
Sunday was all about the Superbowl. I have been a diehard Patriots fan since 2003 and couldn't have ask for a better game! Seriously, what a game! I was rocking back and forth for the entire fourth quarter. We watched it at Thomas' cousin's house and had a great time catching up with them and enjoying all of the delicious food. It definitely lead to a late night, but it was well worth it ;) Now I need to order that jersey!

This has been quite the week at work; long meetings, sore throats, hectic schedule. BUT there are only five days until our 5 day Mid-Winter Break and I can't wait!