Alrighty then! Now that I’ve finished losing my mind over the ridiculous amount of stuff we need to accomplish in the 62 days until our wedding, I can finally get back to the business at hand – filling you in on the many adventures we encountered during our two week road trip!
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When we last left off, Captain America and I had had quite the experience in Vegas, and were ready to set off on the next leg of our journey, which was a long drive to Tucson, Arizona. We were headed that direction because three of Captain America’s friends from his time in the Air Force were stationed nearby, and the four of them were long past due for a reunion.
But first we had to stop at The Grand Canyon! As I mentioned previously, I had never been there before, so we definitely had to remedy that situation. Also, it was another stop on a trip that Captain America and his mother and grandmother had taken years prior, so we thought it would be fun to retrace their steps nearly a decade later.
I have to say, it was even more beautiful than I imagined! It was also quite a bit scarier, and it took all I could muster to go up to the railing in order to get some good pictures. I’ve never been good with heights (understatement of the year), so I was white knuckling it the whole way, but it was worth it! (We also stopped by the gift shop and I got a really fun cookbook full of southwestern style recipes, which I can’t wait to try out.)
That night, we spent a painful night at one of the worst hotels ever, in Flagstaff, Arizona (which was otherwise a really nice town). There, I discovered that Sleep Number Mattresses are really just glorified air mattresses, and are, in fact, the most uncomfortable things in the universe. I’m still trying to figure out how old people can sleep on them and manage to get out of bed in the morning. Well, I suppose if they spent the night at our hotel they wouldn’t have had any trouble getting up in the morning, as the maids found it perfectly acceptable to yell at each other down the hallways starting at the crack of dawn – but that’s another story. I did, however, get to eat at The Cracker Barrel for the very first time. That might not actually sound terribly exciting to a lot of you, but we don’t have any Cracker Barrel’s in Oregon, but we DO have commercials for The Cracker Barrel, which drives me absolutely batty!!
Our time in Tucson easily made up for our rough night in Flagstaff, at least, and we got to stay in a really nice hotel in the older part of town. We didn’t spend much time there, though, since Captain America and his friends had a lot of catching up to do. It was great getting to see him around “his people,” and hearing all of their stories from when they were deployed. I got to see a new side of him, and learn more about what he was he was like when he was young, which was really entertaining. I also got to see my very first cactus in person, and go shooting for the first time! (I was terrible).
Not only that, but one of his old friends who is still in the service was able to take us out on an actual Air Force flight line to see the helicopters they use for Pararescue Troops. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures while we were out there, of course, but it was pretty amazing! The old planes Captain America used to work on in Iraq had even been transferred to the same Air Base to be retired in the bone yard there – and although we weren’t able to get up close, we were able to drive by and see them. It was definitely cool to be introduced to that part of his life, and see the planes he kept in the air for so many years!
To make up for the fact that he couldn’t show me his actual planes up close and in person, we also visited the Pima Air and Space Museum, which is home to hundreds of retired aircraft. They even have the Air Force One used by JFK!
Most importantly, however, they have several C-130 planes, which are the ones that Captain America used to fix. We were able to duck inside the wheel well of a few, and he showed me all of the things he used to work on.
I’m so glad we decided to take this trip for several reasons. First and foremost, of course, we got the opportunity to see each other in our “natural” settings – he got to meet my best friend and experience me in my element, and I got to meet some of his closest friends and learn about aspects of his life that I wasn’t around for. But it was also fun! We had a great vacation, relaxed by a pool, got to be tourists, and forget about the real world for a little while. Which I know I definitely needed with all of this crazy wedding planning going on!
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? Did you hike to the bottom? What was the last Museum that you went to? Do they have Cracker Barrel’s where you are? Don’t you hate it when they show commercials for places that don’t exist where you live?
Plan your trip to The Grand Canyon!
Find out what’s cooking at The Cracker Barrel
Visit the Pima Air and Space Museum