Tag Archive | Sedona AZ

Our One-Year Anniversary

I cannot believe we have already been married for a whole year!  Where has the time gone?  It seems like we just got home from our honeymoon a couple of weeks ago, and here we are, a full year of wedded bliss under our belts.  It’s amazing me to think we have already experienced all seasons and holidays of the year together as a married couple.  Hot and dry Arizona summers, brisk, colorful, exciting, but short autumn, bitter cold, snowy, and too short winter, and windy but barely noticeable spring.  I always feel like spring here in Flagstaff is kind of a mixture of winter hanging on for longer than it should and summer starting too early.  Basically cold snaps and hot flashes.

Anyway, enough about the weather.  Funny how my mind comprehends time past by reviewing the seasons.

As I posted on Facebook for our anniversary: One year ago, I married my best friend and we began this journey of wedded bliss. We have grown so much closer through this year of marriage and it’s pretty incredible to me to look back at all the experiences we have had, both wonderful and difficult. People say the first year is the hardest, but they also say it’s still the honeymoon phase. All I know is that, yes, marriage is a challenge, but it’s also incredibly fun. So perhaps we are still undeniably in the honeymoon phase, but I can say with full assurance that despite the challenges of marriage, it’s the best thing ever to be married to my best friend, it’s fun, and I wouldn’t want to experience life any other way. I’m beyond grateful that we exchanged vows one year ago.  He truly is my other half, my soulmate. He completes me. 💖 

To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we booked an Airbnb for a weekend getaway in Sedona.  Like I’ve said before, we love Sedona since we spent our honeymoon there (and I think it’s the prettiest place in Arizona), so we wanted to spend a few days there for our anniversary!  Did you know, I hadn’t heard about Airbnb until this year?  I’m hooked now!  I can’t get over how much cheaper they are than hotels and in our experience, it’s a lot nicer because you’re just dealing with people, not a business.  It’s the best!

(Warning: This is going to be a very long post with lots of pictures ahead. 😉 )

Our trip down to Sedona started out with Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee!

We absolutely adored our little Airbnb cottage.  It was honestly barely smaller than our apartment and the setup was just so cute.  Another perk of this Airbnb was that the kitchen was fully stocked with dishes, cookware, and even some food!  I truly loved that it had a tiny little dining table because we don’t have room for one in our apartment–so it was wonderful to have one for a couple of days!

Since we got in later than we expected, our vacation started with amazing pizza from a place there called Hideaway House.  Joshua and I decided that we wanted three specific styles of food for our time in Sedona: pizza (good, local pizza, not a chain or takeout), sushi, and dinner at The Golden Goose, which was the restaurant we went to on our honeymoon so now it’s a thing for us. 😉  We ordered the margarita pizza and it was fabulous!  We like our pizza with a thinner crust, lots of sauce, and very cheesy and this soared beyond our standards!  I also decided to try one of their alcoholic beverages since I’m still exploring what I like in alcohol.  I know I like vodka, so this sounded good and it was pretty great!  It was stronger in vodka than I expected, but I didn’t feel any buzz from it so they made it well.

We sat outside with poor lighting so please excuse the dark photos!

One thing we did on our honeymoon was watch the Harry Potter series, which was my first time watching the movies EVER after just finishing the books.  Due to Harry Potter being as amazing as it is, we wanted to continue that memory and experience, so we decided to spend our down time starting on the series again.  This has quickly turned into the beginning of “Harry Potter week” for us, which I’m sure will be a yearly tradition now. 😉  We are such nerds, lol.

The next day, we picked up the ATV we rented to go four-wheeling.  They went over a map with us for the four-hour trail they would send us on, confirming that it was indeed a great trail for beginners and sent us off!

Can I just say that they totally lied about it being for beginners??  There were parts of that trail that were absolutely TERRIFYING with nearly vertical drops of rock cliffs and vertical climbs of pure jutting rock.  I was so upset with them that they said it was for beginners.  I thought we were for sure going to die at places, that’s how scary it got at times.  Not gonna lie, I even broke down and cried a few times because it was so freaking scary.  I had to get out of the ATV and walk a couple of times while my husband maneuvered certain dangerous parts since he wasn’t sure how my weight would affect the balance of the vehicle being a passenger and all.

In the end, though, we made it.  I need to give a HUGE shoutout to my husband for being absolutely incredible with driving the ATV.  We said we were beginners because I thought I would drive at times (didn’t happen), and because it’s been a few years since four-wheeling for my husband.  However, he grew up doing this kind of thing in Alaska, and I guess it was like second nature to him because he handled it beautifully.  There were times when I thought it was the end and all I could do was close my eyes and pray.  And then he would say, “We made it,” without a tire slipping once.  There were huge ruts that I thought would make us go sideways, but he urged the vehicle onto just the right incline and angle to keep us straight.  He was careful and cautious and considered my fears before anything else.  Oh how I love him!

It was a huge test of faith and trust in my husband and I can honestly say I learned so much in those four hours.  I thought that I already trusted my husband, but it’s grown exponentially now.

During our four-wheeling, unfortunately, my husband’s phone fell out of his pocket, and went flying from the tire, effectively cracking the whole screen.  Thankfully it still works, so he just has a new screen protector on it until we figure out what to do (and when we have the money to do something about it).  Also, somehow my car keys disappeared from my bag.  I really don’t know how, but they are gone.  I never heard them fall or saw them slide out of my bag, but we can’t find them anywhere and I specifically put them in my bag before we went four-wheeling just in case something happened to my husband’s keys.  It’s not devastating because he still has his and we only have one car, but it’s just kind of scary because if those get lost, we’re stuck.  It’s no good worrying about what might happen and being paranoid, so we’re just making sure to be extra careful now.  We didn’t let us get those two things down!  We realized it is what it is and we moved on so we could still enjoy our weekend. 🙂

I should add here that I did have a super fun time.  The dangerous, terrifying parts stand out to me, but I had enough fun to do it again–just not on that trail!  It was fun to do something different than our norm and to spend a lot of time outside on a four-wheeler.  It was a great choice for our weekend.  I truly did enjoy it…even though it probably sounded like I didn’t.  I just didn’t like certain parts of that trail, that’s all.  🙂

That night, we headed out for sushi, which was admittedly the night I was most excited for!  What can I say, it’s sushi!  Unfortunately, the chef was super slow on making my roll.  By the time I got mine, it was thirty minutes after closing and probably about five-ten minutes after I would have been done eating if I’d gotten mine at the same time as my husband.  I don’t know what took the chef so long, but it really was ridiculous.  Still, it tasted amazing as always and was worth it!

My husband ordered the volcano roll, which was stuffed with lots of crab and had crab piled on top.  He loves it, lol.  I ordered the caterpillar roll, which has avocado, eel sauce and some kind of fish, and then we split a dragon roll.  I ended up liking the dragon roll more than anything else because it had shrimp tempura, so I’ll be getting that next time!

We headed to the movies afterward to see Wonder Woman!  I’d been wanting to see that so I was very excited, and even better, we had almost the whole theater to ourselves.

The next day was our anniversary!  We went out for breakfast at a place called Nick’s and it was delicious.  It wasn’t much different than a typical diner, but our waitress was superb in making sure we had everything we could possibly ask for.  I even ordered chocolate milk (yep, what can I say, I still love it, lol) and she wanted to make sure there was enough chocolate in it for me.  I got the Eggs Benedict which was delicious, my hubby ordered a breakfast sandwich, and we split a huge cinnamon roll.  The food was the quality I’d expect from a mom & pop diner, which was exactly what we were looking for.

After we digested from breakfast, we headed out hiking!  It was actually later in the day than we planned on, but it worked out because it was still hot outside and it would have been unbearable if we went any earlier.  Sedona is most known for its trails and hiking spots, so we really wanted to experience that this time.  Our Airbnb host recommended the Sugar Loaf trail, which was fantastic!  It was easy and scenic.

I couldn’t believe how much cacti there was at the trailhead!  It lined either side of the trail.  Even though I have lived in Arizona for seventeen years, it still made me a little nervous because I could just see myself tripping and falling into one.  It didn’t happen, though, thankfully!

The views in Sedona are so gorgeous with all the rock formations and layers of colors within the rocks.

If you don’t know, the residents of Sedona are typically very spiritual people.  They are all about the vortexes (high-energy locations for a spiritual awakening, apparently) found throughout Sedona, and anything New Age or spiritual that you can think of.  I find it intriguing to listen to them and hear how they truly believe.

When we got back from hiking, we showered and had dinner at The Golden Goose.  I forgot to take pictures, unfortunately, but it was fantastic.  The restaurant is more on the upscale side of things, so Joshua and I always feel like it’s a little too fancy for us, but we enjoy it anyway.  It’s expensive, but that’s what we saved up for.  I had the shrimp scampi and Caesar salad, and Joshua had a salmon special that was the best salmon either of us had ever tried!  We also order an appetizer of coconut shrimp with Pina Colada dipping sauce, and it was phenomenal.  I’m sure it wasn’t difficult for our waiter to realize how much we love seafood. 😉

Later that night, we opened a bottle of wine and celebrated our one-year anniversary officially with our wedding glasses, and eating slices from the top of our wedding cake.

The next morning we had to check out by noon, so we packed up and headed to breakfast at Pump House Station, which was also recommended by our host.  It was quite fantastic and I’ll definitely want to go back.  It had great prices for the food, and the food was delicious. The whole place had very urban vibes, with super cute decorations–like license plate markers to take to your table and mugs for the sugar packets.  I especially liked that even though it had more of a hipster atmosphere–which normally makes me feel a little out of place–we felt completely comfortable because there were all kinds of people there.  Families, younger people, older people, and everyone in between.  We headed outside since I love outdoor seating if it’s available, and it was a little crowded inside.  There was a beautiful view and it was just a very relaxing way to end our time in Sedona.

On our way out of Sedona, we stopped at Starbucks.  We had planned on making a trip to Starbucks at least once a day on our weekend, but it didn’t happen, so we made sure to swing by before climbing back up to Flagstaff.  I ordered the iced caramel macchiato, which is my favorite summer drink when we have some extra money, and my hubby ordered their peach citrus white tea, which was also delicious!

We headed home to a rainy Flagstaff, which made us happy because thunderstorms are our favorite weather of all time, and it hadn’t rained yet this summer.  It was a great way to come home!  That night we just had an easy dinner of leftovers from our trip and then headed to the theater to see the new Pirates.  Pirates 5 is amazing!  I wouldn’t say it’s better than the others, but I do think it’s just as good.  They continued to do such a great job coming up with completely unique Captain Jack moments, which is saying something since they are five movies in now.  It’s amazing to me that I saw the first one in theaters years ago and now during our one-year wedding anniversary we watched the fifth one in theaters!  Have you seen it?

The next day threw us back into regular work schedule, so I’m very happy it’s Friday night now!  It hasn’t been as hard adjusting back to this schedule as I thought, but I’ve been exhausted by the end of every day, so I’m glad we have the weekend to recover before starting the five-day week.  Also, I hit the gym every morning since we’ve been back (I don’t even want to think about what damage that food-filled weekend caused), so I think that has helped.

In this year of marriage, a lot has changed for us.  Difficult personal things have changed that I never would have imagined.  We have trekked a very hard path with certain things this year–not between the two of us, but in other areas of life.  What’s most important though, is that these difficult situations have grown us closer and stronger together as a couple!

Aside from that, though, we’ve hit some pretty big “landmarks”:

–At the beginning of our marriage, I worked twenty hours a week for a work at home job.

–I wrote a full novel from start to finish in three weeks.  (Still to be edited!)

–We celebrated my 21st birthday and my husband’s 25th birthday.

–I started a second work at home job, bumping me up to 40 hours a week and matching my husband.

–We spent the first 11 months of our marriage with me coming to work with him since he was the only one there.  I worked on my computer, and he worked at the shop.  His boss even encouraged it.  Basically that meant we were blessed to be together 24/7–and it truly was a wonderful blessing for us.

–Joshua got his wisdom teeth out.

–He also got his dream job last month and started on a new career adventure!

–I had to quit my first work at home job last month.

–He’s now working a typical job–in which I can’t be with him, imagine that–so my work at home job is truly work at home now.  Anytime I’m not working, I’m job hunting.

–We’re loving his new hours of 7-4, because he gets an hour lunch break, so he can come home and eat with me (he didn’t have any lunch break at his previous job and worked 9-6 so it was really hard to get any errands or anything done), and then 4 PM feels SO EARLY compared to 6 PM!

Lots of changes, but mostly good!  If you stuck around to the end of this very long post, I’m super impressed.  I had a lot to share but that’s because we had an amazingly wonderful and packed weekend.  Until next time!

Happy weekend!

-Tialla ❤

Exploring Sedona & Haircut!

Last Saturday, Joshua and I decided to take a day trip to Sedona!  For those of you who don’t know much about Arizona, Sedona is about thirty minutes south of Flagstaff, which makes it easy for quick trips like this.  Sedona is pretty much our favorite place in Arizona, in fact, we spent the first part of our honeymoon there!  It’s beautiful with the drive down Oak Creek Canyon, the red rocks, and the mountain views.  From what I’ve experienced, a lot of the people in Sedona are very nice and accommodating, as they are super used to tourists.  In fact, when we found a car wash for our decorated “just married” car on our honeymoon, they gave us the ultimate car wash at no charge.  We also loved The Golden Goose restaurant for a chill but classy dinner, and actually got the entire patio to ourselves with a wonderfully personable waitress.  The only weird thing about Sedona is that almost everything except one grocery store closes down at 9 PM.  I guess they are just used to only day tourists…?  Haha.

I’ve been meaning to blog about our trip all week, but I haven’t had a single chance until now.  I have lots of pictures, though, so here we go!

We started on our trip at 2:30 in the afternoon because Saturdays mean sleep. 😉  Again, Sedona is only thirty minutes away, so we felt like we still had the whole day ahead of us to spend.  Of course, no trip is complete without a coffee run….

Caramel iced coffee with cream.  I don’t get extra sugar because the caramel is a sweetened syrup.

The day started out rainy and windy in Flagstaff, so we were pretty concerned that it would be miserable in Sedona and a waste of a trip.  Siri assured us it would be clear and warm in Sedona, though, so we crossed our fingers and made the drive anyway.  It rained pretty much the whole way down, so that didn’t help our doubts, lol.  Rainy/stormy days are our favorites, but it wasn’t quite what we wanted when we planned on walking around outside!

Sure enough, the weather cleared up about five minutes before entering Uptown Sedona, and remained clear the whole time we were there!  We visit Uptown Sedona the most because it’s the tourist area, plentiful with adorable shops.  Jewelry, knives, guns, psychics, fudge, ice cream, clothing, jams & jellies, mystical stones, vortex souvenirs, and more!  It’s lots of fun to browse and people watch.  Of course, everything is extremely overpriced so we rarely purchase anything unless the price happens to be negligible.

Among the many Uptown shops, we happened across this hilarious sign of which I absolutely had to snap a photo!  I loved it!  Of course, I want my husband with me while I shop, that’s kind of why we went down together, lol, but I still think it’s fantastic.

One of our favorite shops in Sedona has olive oil and balsamic vinegar taste-testing!  There are two shops like this in Uptown Sedona, but this one has bread + cups for tasting, not just cups.  I am a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, so I always love tasting these!  I think my favorite from this trip was Wild Blueberry, but the Maple came close also!

We happened upon a sunglasses shop, which funnily enough also sold a bunch of sandals.  It was at this store that I spotted a wall of Sanuk sandals, which I’ve heard are fantastic.  I’ve wanted a pair for forever, but just never got around to getting them.  However, these were the same price as online, and we were already there, so I decided to get them.  I can’t wait for summer to try them out.  Just need a fresh pedicure now. 😉

(If you don’t know, Sanuk sandals are made out of yoga mat and fabric.  Apparently this makes them really comfortable because you have great support & cushion, as well as no chaffing for your toes, because it doesn’t have that plastic piece.)

Around five, we decided to head to the south side of Sedona for sushi!  We needed to get back home to practice music for church the next day (we are the husband & wife “worship team” lol), so we decided to end our day with sushi and then head back up to Flagstaff.

We love going to Hiro’s for sushi here in Flagstaff, and I found out that there was one in Sedona, so we decided to try it out and see how different/alike it was.  My favorite roll wasn’t there, unfortunately (the Arizona roll), but I tried the Firecracker roll and it was amazing as well!  Crab, shrimp tempura, eel sauce…and other stuff I can’t remember.  It was delish!

We also ordered an avocado roll, though we didn’t realize that it was only rice and avocado, so we won’t be getting that again.  I thought it was sushi with avocado, haha!

Hubby ordered the Volcano roll, which admittedly doesn’t look very appetizing by appearances (to me, at least) but he said it’s his new favorite roll, so I’d say the taste makes up for looks!  Too bad that particular roll isn’t at our favorite haunt here in Flag.  It just gives us another reason to return to Hiro’s in Sedona, such a bummer, lol.  We’ve determined that we will for sure be coming back here when we visit!  It might just become a tradition.  We also love coming to Hiro’s (in Flag & Sedona) because it is super affordable for quality sushi.  For two rolls, we typically only end up spending $35.

The drive back up was just as gorgeous!  Every time we drive this route, it always takes my breath away!

Of course, it helped that the sky was simply spectacular with the storm clouds!

And now, moving onto other news!  I got a haircut yesterday!  I love keeping my hair short, but I can typically go about six months between trims.  Last time I got my hair cut was back in October, and so I was definitely due for a trim!  My hair was getting long enough to get caught under the collar of my shirts/jackets, so I was getting annoyed.  I like keeping the back of my hair above my collar and the front just at my collarbone in an A-line cut.  I’ve had this style since October and I’ve loved it!  It feels so nice to have it trimmed again.

And that’s all for now!  Have a lovely weekend!