Four generations of my family were in Arizona in April.  I drove down to spend time with my mother in Apache Junction.  My son, his wife and my grand daughter flew down to Tucson for Spring break and our time there coincided.  How lucky I was to spirit my grand daughter away from her parents to spend the night with her grandma Patty and great grandma Dolores!

Lola and Great Grandma Dolores
Lola and Great Grandma Dolores in Apache Junction AZ

I (along with my dog Rae) were able to take some vacation time and also do a little work remotely which allowed me to be in Arizona with my mother for almost 3 weeks!  We had a great time.  We went shopping at the “the swap meet”, went to a movie, had a pedicure, went out for coffee, cooked great meals, and enjoyed nice, expensive scotch each evening, all while relaxing in the warm sunshine (or cool air conditioning).

Rae and I would get up early in the morning and enjoy the relative cool weather and hike in the desert.

Lost Dutchman State Park
Rae in Lost Dutchman State Park

Unfortunately Rae does not understand cacti and her usual romps off leash were limited.  Eventually I had to just give in and go hiking without Rae, due to the extreme heat of the day and the unpredictable jumping cholla.

The greatest part about this road trip was the duration.  It has been too long since I took a real vacation, totally removed from stress and routine.  Being in Arizona in April,  able to just enjoy being with my mother without distraction, for this long, casual visit was….priceless!!!

What I learned from this trip:

Being a tourist in Apache Junction
Being a tourist in Apache Junction – shopping at the Goldmine

The desert is freaking hot!!!   Unless you live there, it is hard to acclimatize to the heat of the desert, if you plan to be active at all, especially if you have 4 legs and a winter coat.  It made me realize that even though it might FEEL like retiring to Arizona makes sense, it would only make sense to me for 6 months of the year.  I sure do like hiking in the desert, though (when its cooler than 95 degrees).  There is something very spiritual about the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, and I loved being there!  Thanks so much to Mom and Mary and everyone at SMR for making this such a wonderful and welcoming visit.

What I learned about myself:

I love spending time with my mother.  I try to visit her each year and being able to spend almost 3 weeks with her was such an amazing gift.

Lola with Great Grandma Dolores and Grandma Patty in Apache Junction AZ
Lola with Great Grandma Dolores and Grandma Patty in Apache Junction AZ

It made me very happy that my mother could spend some time with Lola again (it had been several years) and that Lola could spend time with her great grandmother.  It was a truly special time for me.

Another thing I realized from this trip is that adventures do not need to be dramatic or exotic to be meaningful.  This casual, non dramatic, non adventurous trip will be one of the most precious memories of my life.

Some thoughts for you:

If you can, give your mother a big hug, or a call to tell her you love her.  Do it today!!!

Remember —  Get out there and have fun!!!!

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