WHY DID WE COME BACK FROM VACATION? VACATION IS THE BEST LIFEEEEEE. Real life just does not compare.
This post is packed with photos because I just could not say no to any of them. Before we left for our trip, Brad and I were both at stress levels of 1000 out of 100. We both had crazy work stuff going on when we left, and leaving just felt like pressing pause in the middle of a storm. It took a few days to really get out of the work state-of-mind and into the vacation state-of-mind, but once we made it through the weeds, it was truly rejuvenating. We spent the week learning more about each other and ourselves and discovering a new way we could exist - blissfully enjoying early morning sunrises and late night stargazing.
Things I learned on the Rocks
1. I Like Hiking.
We spent a lot of time seeing great sights by foot. I've never really hiked, but I really wanted to climb some big red rocks while we were there. B is constantly setting me challenges and because I am unreasonably competitive, I can't pass them up - bike rides, hikes, foot races, how many kisses we can each get from our pup, you name it. But reaching the end of a long, scary hike to find amazing views was one of the most satisfying challenges I've ever undertaken in my life, and we spent lots of time gazing down on the world from the tops of the rocks.
Also what I learned: exercise keeps your skin clear. It's probably the best thing for it.
2. Summer Stillness is Real.
We spent an afternoon at Peace Park taking in the good vibes. To be still in the heat is so freeing. It's something I've been trying to practice in my life this Summer, especially with so much work chaos going on, and a lack of central AC at home. Being there was such a nice reminder that we should really be more still in the heat, instead of letting the Summer run our lives in crazy busybody circles.
There's this funny little thing about Sedona and how it feels like a mash-up of any / all spirituality. Native American dreamcatchers, Buddhas, yoga, etc. I have so many issues with misappropriation on the daily, but out here, it all just felt inconsequential. When you look at those rocks and realize how much older they are than all of humanity, and how they will definitely outlast us, human culture all just feels so small and irrelevant to the planet and cosmos their selves. We are just all so temporary. Why not spend some time spreading more peace anyway we like?
3. The Grand Canyon has Earned It's Name.
When I was way younger, my family visited the Grand Canyon on a very extensively planned vacation. It was hazy that day, but still so inspiring that I've always wanted to go back. The Canyon is so breathtaking, so big, so beautiful and to be honest, I was jealous that it was Brad's first time seeing it. Even though it had been a while, there's nothing like the first time you set sight on her amazement. There were so many international visitors, elderly immigrants and families all united in amazement at it's beauty that it was a really nice place to feel connection in America during a Summer that has been more than tumultuous for the world.
P.S. As it turns out, this is the National Park Service's 100 year anniversary this weekend. I'm so grateful to have been able to be there this year.
4. Western #PlantPorn is Even Better IRL Than it is on Instagram.
I have this love for plants, as you well know. I was in Brooklyn earlier this year and had some "cactus water" at a very Brooklyn event. So on this trip, B and I were on a mission to see if it was just a hipster thing, or if it was a real Western thing. Though prickly pears grow everywhere, no one drinks the water except for in Brooklyn, apparently. There are tons of Prickly Pear jams, cocktail mixer things and cactus candies, though.
In other plant facts I never really knew: how enormous cacti are. Seriously, they are crazy. And wispy little desert plants are so charming.
Living in the city gives us so little access to stars that you really forget what the night sky looks like. On our last night we were also blessed with a meteor shower so we headed to red rocks, dodged a coyote and watched them pass over our little planet.
& Everything Else
5. I hate airplanes, wish I could live in the clouds, and love existing in a different time zone where I am capable of waking up by 7am.
6. Coffee in bed is the best way to kickstart the morning. I've brought this to my home life and it is amazing. It also makes my morning Pinterest perusing *super* inspirational. Brain on hyperdrive.
7. Drawing is my favorite creative outlet. And I love drawing Brad.
8. Yoga in new places is exciting and a way to feel immediately at home. I found a tiny little studio with a lot of great energy run by the happiest woman around. I could see myself living there.
9. Coffee lettering is always my favorite. Also, coffee shops with great plants are my second favorite. Or tied for first.
10. Behold the cutest fucking candle shop around. Now I really want to move there. Sedona is a place where art exists for art's sake. We stumbled into a cool gallery where all the work is featured by size and super affordable. On a fellow DC artist's tip, we also spent a morning in the neighboring town of Jerome, AZ which is home to art galleries, a leather shop, an artist co-op and a hole-in-the-wall teeny tiny coffee shop that seemed like it popped out of my dreams.
The biggest thing I learned though was to let go. Living where the rents are high adds this extra level of urgency to running a creative business. Out there though, things moved slower, and seemed genuinely happier, pleasanter and more alive. I'm trying to keep this vibe with me - living a less intense creative life. Things aren't life or death here, even though everyone operates at a level like it is. Things can move slower, be stiller, things will work out.