Monday, September 26, 2016

The Arizona Trip: With Pictures

When I remember our Arizona vacation, I will probably not remember the plane flights.  They were long, but blessedly uneventful.  Our fellow passengers were on good behavior--although I did notice a larger than usual number of dogs and emotional support dogs on the return trip, which struck me as odd.  A dog in the airplane used to be an oddity, but it's getting to be normal.

No, I will remember this, the view from the front porch of the cabin, and the disconnect between the desert I thought I would see with the actual view of ancient pines and gloomy weather:

I didn't think to take my camera with me to the nail salon, which took up much of our Wed. afternoon.  As a sociologist/anthropologist, I was intrigued, but only as an onlooker.  Happily, I thought to bring a book.  I hope I didn't seem rude by tuning out periodically.  I wanted to be supportive of the wedding party, but there were many moments when we were all separate from each other.  It was a huge nail salon.  But the wedding venue was much larger and more lovely:

I will remember the beautiful wedding, which brightened up the day that had the dreariest weather:

I came across many cultures I didn't know existed.  I had no idea that people would prefer a frostingless cake, but they do.  And it was delicious:

Most of Thursday was getting ready for the wedding, being at the wedding, and recovering from the big day.  The venue was lovely and the food delicious.  It was a great way to spend the day.

On Friday, we took a long train ride to the Grand Canyon--we saw all sorts of landscapes, which was  a treat. 

It took 2 hours and 15 minutes each way, and we didn't take any of our gadgets with us.  It was great to tune into our surroundings in this way, to pay attention, to be present:

What can I possibly say about the Grand Canyon?  Magnificent!

I was struck by the crowds at the Grand Canyon, by how many people I saw who were oblivious to the Grand Canyon, who walked beside it, punching messages into their phones.  I didn't take pictures of those people.  I didn't want to be oblivious to the world around me:

And then, all too soon, it was time to go home.  But I will remember the wonderful meals cooked in a tiny kitchen, the cooking and clean up chores shared equally, the fellowship with a family that was not biologically mine, but felt familiar:

I will remember all the different people we met along the way, the reminders as if God said to me, "There are many wonderful ways to make a life."  There was the woman on the flight from Tampa to Phoenix who had been married many years to an Air Force guy who had been working for the circus when she first met him.  She, too, worked for the circus as a fire eater.  I'll remember the young people I met who have very different ideas of a successful life--one works on a fishing boat in Alaska for 6 months to fund his time in Costa Rica for the other 6 months.  I'll remember the young people who met doing conservation work--there are more of them out there in the world than I realized.

I'll remember that canyon, the consolation of a fierce landscape.  I'll remember that the world offers many vistas, if we would but open our eyes.

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