I had friends visit.

The other night, after working until a little after six (which was leaving early for me) I got to go to the airport to pick up my friend (and college roommate), Sara. We had not seen each other since a meeting in Chicago SIX YEARS ago.

Holy crap.

If that was not exciting enough, on the way home, we stopped and picked up my other college roommate and dear friend, Rachel. Plus her babies. She used to live here in Phoenix but moved back to Minnesota, so I had not seen her in a year.

I could have peed with excitement.

There are pictures that I took of the babies and a group shot of all of us, but I am not going to post those right now.

What I am going to share are pictures from our trip to Sedona.

Sedona is a few hours (depending on who is driving) north and west of Phoenix. It is wonderful. Jeremiah and I have gone up several times for hiking. This time we decided to try a Pink Jeep Tour. By this time, we'd already dropped Rachel and the kids off at her sister's house, so it was just the three of us.

Let me preface this, picture stealers, with a warning. Take my pictures? I will kick your butt. Or I will have Jeremiah do it. Or it's an empty threat but please don't take my pictures. It's rude.

 We stopped at a vista point. The sun was rising. I was driving. I seriously drove the whole time. This is impressive NOT because I dislike driving or because I am bad at it or anything like that. It is impressive because mountain driving scares the shit out of me.
 When we got out at the point, it was cold. For people that live in a city where the current temperature is about 85 and has not been below that since maybe March, it was much appreciated.  There was a better picture but somebody had trouble with auto-focus. Jeremiah.
Here is the view where you first see the mountains. You come around a corner and BOOM! gorgeous views everywhere. Seriously, it actually takes my breath away.

Here's the worst part of driving somewhere spectacular. You do not get to stare and marvel. So instead I was like, "Somebody say ooh and ahh! Say it now!" But not everyone was quite as expressive as I tend to be, and there was a lot of quiet marveling. I hope.
 We signed a form in case of accidental death and I whispered to Jeremiah: Oh, my god. Accidental death? What the hell?!

But then I signed and got our discounted price and then I mentally played the game "Who do I NOT want on the Jeep with me?" There were a couple of high maintenance soccer moms that I heard discussing soccer mom-ish stuff that I would have been cool with riding separate from and also a woman who, in my opinion, was treating her child horribly. And giving him juice. Because that is what you want on a two hour trip into the wild. A kid that needs to pee.

Even though I played silently and by myself, as we headed towards our Jeep, Jeremiah whispered that he had known I was playing. He even knew who I did not want on the Jeep. He's a sneaky guy, that Jeremiah.
 I took pictures of Sara, even though she said she hates having her picture taken and did I NOT remember that from college? I am going to say that no. I do not remember. And just keep taking pictures. So there, Sara.

 Way to photo bomb, Jeremiah.

 The guide posed us in these shots. I kind of dig them.

 Oh, and you know the mistletoe that people hang during the holidays? Apparently it is invasive and kills other plants by mimicking the host plant and then strangling it. So the above plants are BOTH mistletoe, but one was hanging on one tree (evergreen, I think) and the other mistletoe was hanging on something else. Strangling and killing both trees. Think about that the next time you kiss someone underneath it.
 Okay. So in this picture, there is a white line on the butte hundreds of feet up in the air. People actually BIKE THE LINE. I am not kidding. Watch this video.

Then from the biker's POV:

At first I was like, I don't think the guy is wearing a helmet. But in reality, if you fall, it probably does not matter if you are wearing one or not. You are already throwing caution to the wind.

 I went down the rest of this hill that does not look like a hill on my butt. Everyone was like, "You can do it." and they gave me much more credit than I deserved. They obviously do not know my gene pool (coughfallinginparkinglotinFrancecough) or that I recently got stuck in my mini fridge. So I slid down on my ass.
 And then we looked over the edge and I did not get very close. But it was close enough.
 We got to do some steep stuff in the Jeep.

 On the way out of Sedona we stopped to see the church in the side of the mountain. I forget what it is called and I am tired of recounting the trip so I am not looking it up. It is impressive and I like it mucho. It was designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's students, apparently.
 Our last stop before our pie stop was Montezuma's Castle, which is also built into the mountain but in this instance, hundreds of years ago. I kind of wanted to go in it. But you can't. Suck.
A creek goes right by the castle, which is part of the reason they built it there, according to the signs I read along the path.

That was our trip to Sedona. I had a great time and it was fun getting away from the city. Only at one point did I lose my cool driving, and that was because as the driver, NO ONE was helping me navigate the tourist laden streets of Sedona while I was going through NINE roundabouts (which I kicked ass at, by the way). Ahem.

I just told Jeremiah that I wrote this part and he was all, "That's real nice. All you remember is the bad stuff." I prefer to look at it as a celebration of me surviving mountain driving and only getting ticked ONE time. Baby steps. Because I mentioned all the wonderful things that happened on the trip and only one minor icky thing.

Oh, yeah. We stopped for pie at a place voted one of the top ten in the country - a little hole in the wall place about thirty minutes outside of Phoenix. It was pretty darn good. I wanted rhubarb but sadly it was not in the cards. So instead we got coconut cream, chocolate, and peach. Yum.

I also want to add this - it was incredible to see friends from so long ago. It was almost as if no time had passed at all. We were giggling and remembering the funny/stupid stuff we'd done ten years ago. And making new memories. Love it.

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