The wedding was in Florence, AZ, just south of Phoenix, at a lovely winery plopped in the middle of barren, rocky landscape. We enjoyed time together as a family and also time reconnecting and catching up with extended family that we hadn't seen in a long time.
We took a day trip up to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which we had visited on our Big Trip in 2002. The first visit was in late June, and January in the snow was a very different experience! The vistas were breathtaking and magnificent, which is how I remember it from before, but the freshly fallen snow from the night before added a new dimension and contrast. The 3 hour drive up from Phoenix was amazing as well, as we traveled through the Sonoran Desert dotted with Saguaro cactus, the red rock cliffs of Sedona, switchbacks through forests up the Colorado Plateau, wide flat grassland, dark basalt hills and extinct volcanoes, and then of course, the massive vistas across the Grand Canyon.
Our family, with the exception of the oldest who had to return to NC for work, spent a couple of days in Sedona after the wedding, enjoying a mini-family vacation. I don't take lightly the fact that we still are able to do this, with children now in their 20's and 30's. The bond between siblings in our family, and the fact that they enjoy spending time with each other and even indulge us parents, is something I treasure.