Apparently, I attended my first decade birthday when I was minus-2 months old. No, that’s not a typo. My mother was seven months pregnant with her baby girl when she, my grandmother, my aunt, and my dad’s cousin (“Aunt” Sandra) sunbathed on a beach in St. Thomas during their inaugural decade-birthday trip. Unfortunately for my very pregnant madre, the airline lost her luggage. Not the best way to kick off a relaxing vacation, I’d imagine.
Well, I’m now on my third official decade-birthday trip. You see, my grandmother had my mother when she was 20 years old (Can you imagine? I mean, what was I doing at 20? Checking out cute college boys? Dealing with drama? Scrambling to write a paper due the next morning?). Then my mom had me at 30. My dad’s cousin doesn’t fall in the direct genetic line, but she’s 10 years older than my mom, so she gets to celebrate decade birthdays as well. They used to take a vacation together (sometimes with a few other women in the mix) every 10 years.
Well, when I turned 20, mom 50, and my Aunt Sandra 60, I got to join the party. Sadly, my grandmother has passed away, but I still feel like we bring a sweet memory of her with us when we travel. My first “official” trip was to Charleston, South Carolina. Y’all. What a beautiful city.
That’s when I proposed we should take trips every five years. I mean, why wait every decade to celebrate? Seemed silly. So, at 25, 55, and 65, we spent a long weekend at Safety Harbor Spa in Safety Harbor, Florida. I mean, hello, pampering and magical, “healing” water!
For 30, 60, and 70, I proposed we head out west (I seem to make a lot of propositions). So, we’re spending a week touring Arizona, from Tucson to the Grand Canyon. My mom’s best friend lives in Tucson, so we’re currently marveling at giant cacti, eating great Mexican food, and exploring what Tucson has to offer.
So far, we visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Personally, I think “museum” is used improperly here. It’s a big, well-done, natural-feeling zoo with all kinds of desert animals and plants. The cactus garden looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. And the hummingbird house felt like we were surrounded by tiny, flower-loving fairies. Precious.
We ended the day at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, and, yes, it was as quirky as it sounds. Did you ever see a doll house and think to yourself, “Man! I’d love to spend thousands of hours make the inside of this house exactly like real life! How can I whittle teeny dining room chairs 1/12 the size of a real chair? Oh! And maybe I can find some tiny Waterford crystal goblets to put on the diminutive dining room table!”? Well, if you have, then I have the place for you! Seriously, though, the artistry in some of these miniatures was outstanding. And, on top of that, the museum had a temporary exhibit where artists carved things into pencil lead. Things like a bird in cage or the Eiffel Tower. These artists only used an X-acto knife, and they ain’t playing around.
Later this week, we’re heading to Sedona for some pampering and weird, New Age vibes. Then we’re trotting up to the Grand Canyon so I can ride a mule. Whoo!
I miss those babies at home, so that’s a bittersweet note in the trip. I’ve never been away from them for this long, but I’m blessed to have a supportive husband and gem of a mother-in-law. I know they’re in good hands. But when I Skyped with Olivia, it made her so sad. I think she was so confused as to why Mama was stuck in Dada’s phone. George was just excited that I could show him different kinds of cacti (I’d much rather write “cactuses”, for the record).
I’ll keep you posted on any other sweet Arizona finds. I hope everyone is having a great week!
P.S. Y’all. I’m trying to read this Barack Obama book for the March Reading Challenge, but, goshdarnit! I’m on vacation, and I’m taking a break to read something more fun. It looks like I’m picking up actress Anna Faris’ Unqualified for awhile. I just need something lighter than Republican-Democrat divisions and racial inequality! I’ll get back to that and real life soon enough. *winky face*