My Crazy Vacation

Every year I go to Arizona to visit my brother and my best friend. It’s always one of those don’t do much, sit on your butt, play games and drink type vacations. It’s the type of vacation where you really just rest. How much trouble can you get into? I’ll tell you how much; the pain is an excellent reminder.

Most years I just travel by train from California to Arizona, just so I can stay in the relax mode. But this year I decided to drive, all by myself. My husband did not accompany me, which alone should have made it relaxing and stress-free. Sorry Buddy, you know exactly what a pain you can be, especially if I’m driving. As it turns out, the trip itself went well. I made good time and didn’t run into any traffic. However, once in Arizona, this is the sequence of events:

Drive up on dead end road into someone’s private driveway – I managed to get all the way to Prescott Arizona, about 439 miles without a hitch. On the last leg, as I turned onto my brother’s street, I turned right instead of left. The street dead-ended into a private driveway. That will throw you askew every time; one must know their left from right in order to arrive at their destination. In itself, it shouldn’t have been much of a problem. I just needed to back down out of the driveway and go in the other direction, you know, my other left. The driveway was on a hill and there was rocky gravel lining the driveway. As I backed down I didn’t go straight enough and ended up stuck on the rocks. Try as I might, I couldn’t get out. I called my brother; no one was home. What up brother? Didn’t I tell you my exact arrival time? I called Triple A and the guy put a 2×4 under my tire and drove on out. Nice. Too bad I don’t carry wood boards in my car for such an occasion. Note to self; put 2×4 in trunk of car.

After heading back in the right direction, and about 40 seconds later, I let myself into my brother’s house and waited for him and my sister-in-law to return from wherever they were. They arrived in minutes and got a good laugh out of my mishap. It’s all good. If someone can laugh at my shenanigans, all is not for naught. The rest of my visit with my brother went without further incident. After a few days visit, I headed on out to Camp Verde, 50 miles south of Flagstaff AZ, to visit my friend. Fortunately this little jaunt went without incident as well. Once there, it was a whole other story.

Jerome, AZ, a lovely place to visit, but watch out for those cracked sidewalks – If you have never been to Jerome, it’s a must see on an Arizona vacation. It’s an old western town built high on the mountains at about 5,000 feet. The scenery is as spectacular as what you might see at the Grand Canyon. It has lots of specialty shops and great places to eat. My favorite shop is the Raku Gallery which is loaded with gorgeous stuff that I really can’t afford to buy, but I always check it out just in case they’re having a sale. This is where the Jerome fiasco took place. The Raku has a glass blowing studio, and I was able to pick up a $20 coffee mug which I planned on as a gift for my daughter. As I was leaving the store, I tripped over some uneven sidewalk. I landed flat on my hands and my head followed landing on top of the bag with the cup in it. An attendant from the store rushed out to rescue me. I told her I was fine and that I was more worried about my cup, which I did NOT break! I did bruise the palms of both of my hands. My relief that the cup was saved was short lived. When I got home, my husband tossed it on top of our tiled dining room table and busted it. It was just never meant to be.

Building a cairn; not quite as much fun as I thought it might be – It looked like a really cool thing to do. I watched a video of an up and coming musical band from the south, brothers and a cousin, who built a cairn in a creek nearby their home. I thought to myself and said, “Self, you ought to build one of those things in the creek where Ginger lives”. I figured it would give us something new to do besides sitting on her patio drinking and playing word games.

Down to the creek we go. Ginger has the camera for video shots, and I search for just the right rocks. Like an idiot, I decided to build the cairn on top of a very large rock in the flowing part of the stream, instead of on the flat sandy surface of the creek. That was my first mistake. The second was building it pyramid style where anything could go wrong; and did! I built it up about 18 inches high before it toppled down the first time. Since only about half of it fell, I decided I would rebuild. This time I got to a place I could almost call finished, and down it came again. This time however I got caught in the downfall. At this point we decided to head home so I could ice my very bruised and swollen ankle and sip on cocktails for comfort.

Curling iron debacle – Yes, you guessed it. A few short hours after the rock pounding, I grabbed a hold of a very hot curling iron on the wrong end! All I can say is that hell must be a very horrible place, if such a place exists. I burned 2 fingers and the palm of my hand and it hurt for a solid 5 or 6 hours, as burns do. As luck would have it, it was the night before I was to drive home the following morning. There I was, up and down all night retrieving cold ice packs from the refrigerator.

Despite my sleepless night, I did manage to get home without any additional disastrous happenings. I took the usual mosquito bites home with me, along with my bruised and battered body. One more pelt to my already beaten up body surely would have traumatized me into a shock ridden state. I was spared.

Ginger says maybe we should see the Grand Canyon next year. In light of my clumsiness, I’m wondering how good an idea that might be; dangerous high rocks and all. I’d like to live another year to visit my friend and drink and play word games on her patio, where it’s nice and safe. Well, all except for those West Nile carrying mosquitoes.

Update:  The above occurred a few years ago.  This year, no issues and after several trips to the same places, I can honestly say I am no longer geographically challenged.  I do believe next year I can do it all over again without the help of maps or GPS!  Also, we were all particularly lazy this year; we only ate and drank, which cut down the mishaps to zero.  I have new plans for cairn building – stay tuned!

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