Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tucson Trip Recap

I spent MLK weekend in Tucson - best. decision. ever. I booked that trip quite a long time ago and it really was so fortuitous that I planned it in January as I was in dire need of a getaway! Now if only I could have brought the sun and warm temps back with me!!

The flight to Tucson was, well, not so great. Let's just say it reminded me why I avoid connections. I nearly missed my connection in Denver but luckily they held the plan for me. I had landed 10 minutes after my flight was supposed to leave, so I was so sure I'd be sleeping on the floor of the airport in Denver. Phew, I was relieved when I made my connection as that was not appealing.

On Saturday morning, Abby and I hit the road and headed north to Phoenix to visit one of my best friend's from college. She had a baby on December 15th so I got to meet baby Elle when she turned 1 month old! Oh my goodness, she is such a beautiful baby. She has perfect, porcelain skin and is just so petite! She even had a special "Paris" outfit that she wore!

Heidi and I with baby Elle. Look how bright it is and check out all those lemons! Color me jealous!

We headed out to lunch and were able to eat outdoors! It was so great to catch up over lunch! Heidi brought along my birthday gift - she got me the Paris plate I have been coveting for over a year!! I can't wait to serve some macaroons on it at my birthday party!

I'm so glad I got to meet my faux niece while she is a still an infant! She'll be back in Minnesota this summer but she'll be 6 months then so will be in such a different stage so I am glad I planned my trip shortly after her birth.

After lunch, Abby and I headed back down to Tucson. It was nice to have the car rides to catch up! I love being around her husband and treat him like he is a brother, but there's nothing like one-on-one time with my sister, which is very rare since our family is so big! I don't remember the last time I had her to myself - it was probably the night before her wedding!!

When we got back to their house, they brought out some champagne and we toasted to the good things to come in 2011, like my new job. :)

After drinks, we headed out for some sushi at a local sushi restaurant. The temps were mild so we sat outside. I feel so cooped up due to our cold winters - it was awesome to eat outdoors!

On Sunday afternoon, we headed out to do some hiking. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do, so I am glad I was able to enjoy the beautiful weather while getting a good work out!

I really should have taken a picture of the trail we hiked. Ay yi yi, it was steep! I was sucking wind like nobody's business. I barely talked during the ascent because I really could barely catch my breath. I am going to blame the altitude...

The steep hike was worth it, though! There was an awesome canyon that we hiked to. This picture doesn't do it justice, unfortunately! We rested for a bit and then headed back down that steep, steep trail! I definitely felt it in my glutes the next day!!

After the hike, we drove up Mount Lemmon to a look out area to take some pictures!

Abby and Ryan

Isn't the view incredible?

That night, Abby made butternut squash risotto and Ryan grilled some steaks. Yum! I don't get to eat grilled food during the winter so this was such a great treat (and the risotto was to die for). After dinner, we watched the Golden Globes together which was so fun. Then Ryan asked if we thought we had room for some frozen yogurt and Abby said, in the words of our late grandfather, "There is always room for ice cream!" So we headed to a self-serve frozen yogurt place where I ate a ridiculous amount of ice cream + fun toppings. Mmm... Part of me wishes we had self-serve yogurt places in Minneapolis... part of me knows it's probably a good thing we don't!

And there you have it! It was a short trip, but I had a wonderful time!


Jess said...

Sounds like a great time and I totally get how nice one-on-one sister time is!! Jealous that you got to be in warm weather, even just for a few days!!

And, so glad you managed to make your connecting flight!! I know from experience that being stuck in Denver is not a fun time at all.

Becky said...

What a great trip! It blows my mind that you can eat outside anywhere in January! And I LOVE that last picture of you!

Unknown said...

Great pictures! I love the picture with Elle and the one with the giant cactus!!!

I am glad you took this trip. It looks like you and Abby and Ryan had a great time.

January is almost over. February will be a FUN month for you!!!

Gracie said...

Your pics are so pretty, especially the one with the lemon tree backdrop! Gorgeous! I think I want to eat that little baby up. Beyond cute.

Marlys said...

Thanks for the recap! It was fun to see the pictures and hear about your fun little trip! The scenery from Mt Lemon is so gorgeous!

Leigh said...

It looks like you had a wonderful visit with your sister! A short visit is better than no visit at all :)

That was so lucky that they held your flight for you! I would have been crying if I missed it!

Abby said...

Great recap! That was such an awesome weekend!!! I absolutely loved and cherished all our one-on-one sister time we got on the drive up and back!! Makes the drive go fast -- since we got some face-to-face catch up time!

You weren't the only one sucking wind on that hike, either! That was a REALLY tough hike. Plus, we were like 2 miles up!!!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Look at those short sleeves and all that sun. So jealous!

Mandy said...

I'm jealous that you got to eat outside! The picture of you with the view behind you is stunning. So happy that you were able to have Abby and Ryan to yourself for a few days.

Amy said...

What a lovely vacation! I grew up spending summers in Arizona with my grandparents; your photos made me so nostalgic.

Also: you're missing out with no self-serve places! They're all over the place here in's a mixed blessing :)

Glad you had such a great weekend!

Amber said...

I'm SO GLAD you had such a wonderful trip!!! I love all the photos and the weather is GORGEOUS. I think escaping somewhere sunny and nice in the winters is a must, plus weekend getaways are the best :)

Nora said...

Looks awesome; love all the photos and what a gorgeous view. I've never been to AZ but I would love to go. I'll have to add that to my list of places to go.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I love Arizona and I have only been to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area once. And I have no excuse not to go again. My godson/his mom lived in Tuscon for 2 years and now live near Phoenix and one of my husband's BFFs lives in Scottsdale and his grandma stays out in Apache Junction all winter. I think perhaps next year we shall need to go visit somebody in the winter!!!

Cherry Blossoms said...

Even though our time together was short it was a nice treat to see you and you def came at a great time regarding the weather! Def a fun way for you to get out of the frozen tundra.

Nicole said...

Hi Lisa -
It's great to hear you had a nice time in Arizona visiting your sister and friend. So fun!

I am totally with you about the self-serve frozen yogurt places. I quick googled places in MN (there used to be a place by the U, but I don't know if they are still open) and I found a place in Eden Prairie and at Mall of America. It is called "Freeziac" and as of 12/2010 was still open. Here is their website:

Another option: LeeAnn Chin. They serve Red Cherry frozen yogurt.

I have yet to try either location, but might have to find a reason to head to either place.

*BTW - I don't think I have commented since long before your marathon. If not -- CONGRATS!! What a great accomplishment!

Stephany said...

Looks so fun! I bet it was awesome to be in short-sleeves and feel warm! :)

We don't have too many self-serve places around me, either. At least, nothing within driving distance. Boo!

crystal said...

It sounds like it was a blast! Im so glad you got some sun, being cooped up in crappy winter weather can really get you down :(
Oh and ps: I knew you would like my quote today! :)

J said...

Looks like so much!! Must have been great to get away from the cold weather! I need a mini vacation!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Sounds like a great trip!! I love having grilled foods in the winter - and frozen yogurt is an extra bonus!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Looks like such an amazing trip. The pictures are making me really jealous- I'm so sick of snow!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

How fun! And it looks SO much warmer than here in WI, I'm jealous!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

There IS always room for ice cream! Your and my grandfathers would have totally gotten along!!