This morning, we woke up to beautiful weather: not a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the lower 30s. After we finished eating the eggs I’d made for everyone for breakfast, Victoria and I decided to walk down to the nearby CVS to get some diapers. On our way back, we extended our walk by an hour because we wanted to explore the neighborhood in which we are living this week. It turns out that this neighborhood is laid out well, the houses range from big to mansion, and every house has stunning views of Sedona’s famous red rock formations. (Click on photos to see bigger.)
Then, after a quick lunch at the house, all seven of us headed out to hike Soldier Pass Trail, located just 2.1 miles from the house. Soldier Pass Trail is a moderately-difficult, looping trail, but we didn’t do the full loop; instead, we hiked 1.8 miles in before turning around and retracing our steps back out. Below is the path we hiked, though I had forgotten to start my tracking app until the turnaround (thus, it only shows 1.8 miles of our 3.6 total).
The hike was made more interesting because the temperature was rising and so snow was melting all around us. This meant that the trail was really muddy, we had snow falling onto our heads from the treetops above, and the creek that we had to cross a few times kept getting deeper and faster. Happily, all of this made the hike more interesting and memorable, and really didn’t detract from the experience (other than Dad’s sneakers turning red from all the mud). (Click on photos to see bigger.)
Having completed the hike—and with an offer from Zayde and Oma to babysit Ari—Vic and I went to The Hudson for happy hour. What a beautiful venue! The view out the restaurant’s windows was breathtaking, and the food selection was pretty great, too. I enjoyed a Nut Brown Ale from Sedona’s own Oak Creek Brewery, while Victoria ordered a Shirley Temple (reminder: she’s 31 weeks pregnant). We also decided to partake in some happy hour food specials, so ordered the Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta, Four Cheese Spinach & Roasted Artichoke Dip, and Salted Soft Pretzel Bread. (Click on photos to see bigger.)
Having enjoyed our happy hour “baby holiday,” we returned to the house where Anya was busy making a delicious dinner: an Indian coconut/curry stew served with a salad and quinoa. (It was so good that I forgot to take any photos of the meal.) She also made (from scratch) a French chocolate cake to celebrate Dad’s 65th birthday, and Ari loved watching her work in the kitchen. (Click on photos to see bigger.)
We rounded out the evening with a relaxing dip in the hot tub before everyone crashed thanks to a good hike and great food. More tomorrow!