Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stranger Things

I always tell my kids that growing up in the 80's was the best.  We had some of the cool stuff, like Atari and projector TV's, and we used our imagination every day playing with the neighborhood kids.  I'm so thankful that I didn't grow up in an age where my childhood was spent looking at a screen.  Well, I did enjoy Three's Company, Love Boat and shows like that, but a few hours of TV a week is a far cry from what these kids watch.

David and I watched Stranger Things when it came out last year.  They just released season 2, so we started watching it last weekend after our marathon hike.  We had the volume up and the kids slowly trickled in and wanted to watch it.  We were three episodes in.  But, we stopped and started up with season 1, which was 8 episodes.  By Sunday night, we had watched all of season 1 an season 2. 

It was the first time my kids ever binged watched something.  I was so proud!  HA!  No really, at least it was a show I love.  After it ended, I could tell they would all agree, that the 80's were a magical time.  True, me and the kids in the hood didn't fight a Demogorgan, but we would've if one was  haunting us. 

If you haven't watched it, you must! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tonto Natural Bridge

We camp in Payson a lot, which is about 90 minutes from us. It's a lovely area of Arizona. Every time we drive there, we go by Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. I always say I want to go, but we are either getting to camping or too tired from camping and we never stop. Everyone had off today, and I said we are going on a little day trip.

And oh my gosh, can I just say that I can't believe that I haven't seen this hidden gem. It's kind of like Fossil Creek that we went to last year.  All of a sudden in the middle of pretty much nothing is this gorgeous area.  It's just wow! 

None of us have ever been, so we had no idea what to expect. I've seen some pictures, but they really don't do it justice.  This was the view from the top and the kids were instantly ecstatic.  Caves, water, rocks, they were all in.

We started the hike down and I thought the rocks across the way looked like a man's melting face.  Nice, huh?

It was steep. I think I said, "slow down", "don't run" about 100 times.  Ugh, these kids. It wasn't a place you want to fall. 
Emily was in her happy place climbing a tree.
Then, we turned the corner and WOW!  It's a waterfall.  It was gorgeous.

David rarely stayed on the path and took the road less traveled most often.  That must be where my boys get it from.
I mean....seriously. It's so pretty. We'd hike 20 feet and it would look different, so I stopped for a lot of photos.
The rocks are so slippery. Sometimes when the water level is high, you can't climb all the way through the cave.  Sometimes, you just had to take a seat and slide down a little. 

The sides of the walls were amazing!

Again, those walls.  Amazing!
I wanted in a pic with my family. This works! 
The rocks looked gold and shiny in spots.  It was neat and very slippery.
Everyone was so nice.  At one point, a grandpa helped me down. A lady grabbed Noah and just helped him with a tricky spot.  David was helping us the whole time.  It was not easy and a little dangerous.  And about half way through the cave, water starts dropping on you in big fat rain drops.  Notice everyone is a little wet.

For future reference for myself.  Take our big backpack with lunch and lots of drinks and a blanket to sit on. Head down the Anna Mae Trail and eat lunch right were these girls are chillin'. The view is better going through that way and coming out the Gowan Trail.  Emily actually said she wants to come back on her birthday and eat lunch right at this spot. It was magical.

Me and my honey. It's our 14th wedding anniversary on Sunday. We've been together for 15 years. I love him so much. And I'm so grateful that we enjoy doing adventures together and taking our kids 'xploring as we call it. 
And here's the little tree and stream that flows under it that makes that gorgeous waterfall.

Notice this bridge. You'll see it from above at the end of this story.

Then, we had a yummy lunch of salami sandwiches, oranges and fruit.

And we went back out to explore the other half of the park.

The sound of nothing.  It's amazing.
The roots on this tree are the coolest!
My husband not staying on a trail.
Then, this trail tied in to the trail we started on and we had one last cave to explore.

The leaf was larger than Noah's head.

Here's that bridge we were on earlier.
Here's the view of the tree from the top.

Noah liked this grate as it had a huge drop below it. It would've been cool if they made it glass.

When we were all done, the kids were DONE.  They did so great though. But, they had David go get the car while we hung out. 

Then, about 10 minutes away is the town of Pine that has the best ice cream, coffee, fudge shop.  It was so good and the perfect ending to a wonderful day 'xploring.

That smiles says it all!
I love my little family.