Dec 15, 2011

Road Tripping

I love Road Trips. I love everything about them. Especially road trips in the Southwest. The open landscapes, uncluttered skies, and lonely highways just unscramble my wires like nothing else.  My partner, Dori, feels just the same - often siting her grandmother as her road trip inspiration. 

Dori's grandmother was a french Canadian that set sail to California in the 1960's. She was a young widow with two children and tired of the harsh winters. On route - she stopped in Arizona to visit some friends. Soon she began noticing people wearing shorts. It was winter. For a Canadian, this was utopia. She never made it to California, deciding quickly this new desert land was home. When I met her - she was in her nighties. Dori called her grammie. We spoke a little french with one another. It's a rare treat to find someone to practice french in the Southwest. Grammie had a great sense of humor - especially dirty jokes about men. She would sing the song 'Autumn Leaves' every time I saw her and loved a glass of wine while playing cards. Grammie settled in Apache Junction, a scenic small town just outside of Phoenix. She developed a deep passion for the Southwest, became a hiking guide for the Superstition Mountains, joined a rock club, avidly fished and camped. She drove a truck with a camper on top - always ready for the next adventure. I was surprised how well she spoke english after first learning in her late 20's. She died in Arizona, as in love with the desert as any true native could ever be. 

Dori and I were invited to a christmas party last week in Arizona. An excuse for a road trip? Absolutely. Her cousin has an annual women's christmas party - mostly married business women with kids.  This cousin is a true 'alpha female' and has christmas parties on steroids. She would introduce us to the women at the party and say -this is my cousin Dori and her partner Sandy.  Dori whispered to me- do you think they think we are business partners?

Any excuse for a road trip. For Dori and I, it's become an art form - proper gear, attire, and electronics. Nomads entering a vein into Arizona with oil and coffee - addictions to some, but to us... salvation.

I remember when Nothing, Arizona was still something.  IMG_3872
Rattlesnake coffee cupIMG_3784
I've heard Arizona and Hawaii have the prettiest sunsets in America.DSC07137_2
Dori's cousin had 5 christmas trees in her home. Dori says it's because she never had a proper Christmas growing up. DSC07146
This is not gourmet food in any way whatsoever...but it is HEAVEN! When in AZ- I really look forward to Eriberto's. Breakfast burrito please.DSC07151

We had to burn off some of those serious calories at Piestewa Peak .



  1. That last photo was the awesomest of an awesome post!

    You seem like people I'd really enjoy hanging with.

    And thanks for the sunset-shout out :-)

    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

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  2. Road trips are awesome!

    I enjoyed the story about Dori's grandmother, as well as the southwestern photos. The photos make me miss living in Arizona, especially with the prospect of driving in winter in Iowa looming in front of me. ;)

    Looks like you two had a great time, though!

  3. What great shots Sandy! My favorite would be the final one of you and Dori. Ah Phoenix my old home town. I still don't miss it though. I love road trips too.

  4. What a brave woman Dori's grandmother was!
    I'm glad to know you and Dori had a good time at her cousin's, (wow, 5 Chrtismas tree, I'm sure it was a good party)!
    Cool shots!I like your signs shots and the last one too.
    Have a good weekend Sandy! ;-)

  5. Thanks Sonya. I didn't realize you lived in Arizona. Beautiful state. I hear ya - driving in snow or ice can be scary. Stay safe this winter! =)

    Hi Randy! =) Ah Phoenix... I feel ya. I'm still surprised we never bumped into eachother while living there. There are only 9 million people during winter!lol

    Hi Lúcia. I agree- Dori's grandmother was a very brave lady and a big personality to match. Hee hee I've never seen 5 Christmas trees in one home. It seems like every year she adds a new Her parties are a good time. Thanks for complimenting my photos. Have a wonderful weekend!! =)

  6. Oops Cloudia- I did my comments backwards. That's how my brain works most of the time. Thanks for liking my post! You seem like a cool chick to hang with too. I've yet to read your book- but it seems right up my alley. I bet Hawaii has awesome sunsets! =)

  7. What a nice road trip is this! All the pics are great and your narrative is most interesting. That story from Dori's Grandmother.........What a strong woman she was! Dori's cousins Christmas Trees shot I enjoyed alot as a day or two ago I posted some ornament pics on Shutterbugs.(hows that for throwing out a plug for one's own blog). But the most special pic of all is the B&W of You & Lori! Wonderful trip you had and thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for an awesome comment Parker! =) And I will be checking those ornaments on your blog - great I really appreciate the complement on the B&W photo-especially coming from you! =)

  9. I have once again taken a wonderful trip with you girls. I have a slight suspicion that you're working on a documentary or a book about the desert. At least you seem to know every corner of your desert.

  10. I'm with you... road trips are the BEST! 5 trees? Wow. My tree is kinda dead now, as I got it the day after thanksgiving... my first real tree in 7 years! I would argue that New Mexico has got to be in at least the Top 3 for Sunsets... but perhaps I am partial to NM. :)

  11. Thanks Olga for taking the trip with us!=) Dori and I shard too much for a documentary or a book- but I appreciate you planting a seed- you never know! ;)

  12. Hi Becky! I'm glad to hear you feel the same way about road trips! =)hee hee poor won't be a Christmas tree...might as well call it the Thanksgiving tree. Believe it or not -ours is still alive and smells wonderful. I LOVE NM- I don't doubt it!=)

  13. Still trippin?
    thanks for swinging by today - glad you enjoyed my title

  14. Ahh! It's so nice living vicariously through the two of you! I need to take more road trips!! The pic at the end is so cool!