Our four months in southern Arizona are over! We will always have our memories, and I have a couple more blog posts lined up, but our extended honeymoon has come to a close. That being said, we spent much of our time in the desert exploring. Here are our five favorite things we did while in Arizona this summer.
We went on a really long hike
The Grand Canyon has been on my bucket list for a while. It is one of those things that you sit and dream about, like Rome, or the Great Wall of China, or Iceland. It is a destination I was dying to experience. And boy did we experience it.
We got up at three in the morning to drive to the National Park and arrive in time to watch the entire sunrise over the canyon walls. We then spent the next seven hours hiking along the rim. Clearly it was a dream come true for this hike loving, National Park exploring, photography enthusiast couple. The Grand Canyon is so much more than just a giant hole in the ground.
We made reading a priority
Back in North Carolina, life and busyness got in the way. We were often running around and stressed, trying to be at every event, plan a wedding, work 50 or more hours a week, and sleep when we could. Arizona has been much more relaxed and manageable for us. One thing we were able to really enjoy was making reading a priority.
Most nights you will find us reading a good book in bed before turning out the lights. The weekend usually involves at least a few hours of dedicated book time. And the goal has generally been to read one book a month. This is something that I seriously hope we can continue once we get back to North Carolina.
Books I have been reading: the Harry Potter series.
Books Will has been reading: the Inheritance Cycle, “Just Walk Across the Room” by Bill Hybels and “Ghost Soldiers” by Hampton Sides.
We made some friends
I have always said that it is the people that make or break a place. Well the people in Arizona have absolutely made it for us. The community we have experienced, the church family we found, and the friends we made have not only made these four months in the desert so much sweeter, but have made saying goodbye so much harder.
From the movie nights, hiking trips, lunch dates, and hotel breakfasts, we had an absolute blast with everyone.
We toured a mine and ate really good food
On one of our first weekends in Arizona, we visited Bisbee, which you can read about here. We didn’t quite know where to go, where to eat, or what to do. After a few hours in the hot weather, we drove back home. But ever since then, we had a hankering to tour the Bisbee copper mine.
The weekend of Will’s birthday, a couple we met took us to the Queen Mine Tour and followed it with dinner at Cafe Roka. I definitely recommend both things should you ever find yourself in southern Arizona.
We wore our jackets, hard hats, and flashlights in the mines and rode a train to the very back. Our tour guide showed us how miners would drill, what drills they used throughout the years, their dynamite techniques, and other mining habits to include how they went to the restroom. I got to demonstrate for everyone. Who thinks this should be our Christmas card photo this year?
After our tour, we went to the historic district for our reservations at a seriously delicious Cafe Roka. We all ordered the filet on a bed of mashed potatoes and veggies. The starters, salad, soup, sorbet, entree, and dessert sampler platter left nothing wanting. We had a fantastic time and will definitely come back the next time we are in Bisbee. We highly recommend it.
We explored a cave
Our absolute favorite adventure, despite having hiked the Grand Canyon Rim Trail, was exploring a cave in Coronado National Memorial. It was so cool! Caves and caverns are super fascinating, a little scary, and very very fun to explore. This cave in particular was at the end of a short hike up the mountain and was not guided. We climbed down a hill of rocks at the cave mouth (which distinctly reminded me of the movie “Descent,” although I tried not to think about that) and then used our headlamp and flashlight to explore its depths. You can read more about that here.
Will and I are so excited to head back to the east coast and North Carolina! We are seriously looking forward to seeing my family, eating my mom’s cooking, hanging out with our Taco Tuesday crew, and reconnecting with our church fam.
Have you ever been to Arizona? What was your favorite part? If you enjoyed this post, give it a like and don’t forget to join our family by hitting that subscribe button if you haven’t already.
Until next time,