This will be my third weekly blog post in a row, and I gotta tell you guys, this week has not been eventful. Saturday and Sunday were pretty great, and then Monday was kind of a disaster, so I’ve been trying to pull myself out of a bit of a funk, which has resulted in a lot of patio hangs, Starbucks, Pizza Hut breadsticks, and rice krispie treats. I have now had plenty of time to mope around and wallow in my own totally over-exaggerated misery, so now I want to focus on the good with you guys! As a result, this week will be a short read, but I will tell you all about last weekend, and if you’re really nice, I’ll give you a bit of a surprise at the end of this post!
So Saturday when I got out of work, Dan and I decided to let loose, call an Uber, and get some food and drinks. We went to Downtown Gilbert and got lunch at a restaurant called Zinburger (bet you can’t guess what they serve there!), we drank a beer at another restaurant, and then Ubered back toward home to what might be our favorite bar out here, so far: The Divided Vine. The Divided Vine is super cool because they only serve craft beer and wine (and have dozens of each to choose from), they have food trucks on the weekends, trivia and live music, and the bartenders are super hip and super friendly. If you ever find yourself in Mesa, you better tell me you’re here, and then you should check out The Divided Vine. I’ll go with you! After realizing that we probably didn’t need to drink anymore beer in public, we Ubered back home where we (yeah, you know exactly what I’m going to say) drank more beer on our adorable patio.
Saturday was a lot of fun because we haven’t actually been doing a lot of “going out” lately, so it was nice to get a little bit dressed up and let loose.
Sunday was the real weekend winner, though. We slept in a little bit, got a late breakfast at a restaurant modeled to resemble a 1950’s diner, and then drove down toward Tucson. The weather was absolutely perfect, the music was fun, and we laughed the whole drive. Our main objectives for this trip were to find wildflowers and to get out of the suburbs of Phoenix for a little while, and we accomplished both. We stopped at Picacho Peak State Park, just over halfway to Tucson. As we got closer to Picacho Peak, the wildflowers got more plentiful, and by the time we were actually in the park, the scenery was breathtaking.
I encourage you to go look up pictures of Picacho Peak State Park, and if you’re on Instagram, look up the hashtag #picachopeakstatepark because the pictures I took with Dan’s phone just don’t do this season and this park any justice at all.
We’re planning a longer trip in the near future, so I will have more pictures soon, but the wildflowers might not be in full bloom by that point. After a few photos and some reveling at Picacho Peak, we hopped back in the car and drove the rest of the way to Tucson. Guys, I love Tucson. When we were first talking about moving out here, Tucson is where I wanted to be. The parks and desert surrounding it are unlike anything else, the city is relatively quiet and hip, with plenty to do, but in no rush, and everything just feels so colorful to me. People who are more well-versed in all things Arizona than I am talked me out of it for a list of their own – all very valid – reasons, but our trip on Sunday reminded me of why I wanted to move there so badly. This reminder was both awesome, and disastrous. We had such a great time moseying around the city, checking out street art and breweries, after having seen some of the really cool natural scenery that the desert has to offer, and the sunset that we witnessed on our drive home brought me to tears. I mean that literally, and not in a cheesy, metaphorical way. I literally bawled my eyes out on the drive home because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for our adventurous day, and regret for not having trusted my gut instincts on moving to Tucson. This, of course, set the tone for this whole week.
I’ve had time to think, reflect, and honestly just straight up brood for a few days, so I’m feeling a bit better now, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t take something very important from this experience: I have to keep reaching and working for my dreams. One glaringly common theme you’ve seen in these past few weeks is that I want even more than what I currently have. I want colorful cities and beautiful nature every single day, not just once a week in passing. I’ve already taken huge strides, but I still have a bit further to go until I’m exactly where I need to be, and days like Sunday are what keep me moving forward. Sure, I might have a week of feeling really hard into my emotions, but it wouldn’t be healthy if I didn’t let go and allow myself to do that once in a while. What matters is that I pick myself back up, recognize what has me feeling down, and use it to fuel myself full force toward the end goal.
Now, if you’ve gotten this far, then you have earned a surprise! One of my sister’s* birthdays is coming up on June 7th, and I decided to surprise her with a trip home. I had this whole thing planned out in my head where she would be lead to do something fun for her birthday, and someone would say, “oh, we have this gift for you,” and I would walk in, and she would cry, and I would cry, and then we would get drunk and gossip with the girls well past my normal 11 pm bedtime. So Dan and I bought plane tickets about a week or two ago. And then I couldn’t stop panicking about her making other plans to go away or buying expensive tickets that she couldn’t return, and everything would be ruined, and I wouldn’t get to see her. So I ruined the surprise and told her about it. But the good news is that this means I can also tell all of you that Dan and I will be home from June 6th until June 10th! It isn’t a lot of time, so we are going to plan a get together and a few public outings so we can see as many people as possible in this short amount of time. So keep your calendars open for that weekend, and keep reading to find out where we’ll be, and when! Totally worth reading until the end, right? I can’t wait to visit with everyone, catch up on social interaction, and lose out on so much sleep! Until then, keep reading to stay up to date on what we’re doing here in Arizona!
*to clarify confusion for those who know me and are thinking “wait, Jenni only has one sister,” you are right only in the most biological sense. Jaclyn and I are blood related, share the same parents, sisters. Keri, whose birthday is June 7th (say nice things and buy her drinks!), grew up next door to us, lived with us for a short period of time after her house burned down, experienced every major point of life – good, bad, and ugly – with us, knows our biggest fears, regrets, and aspirations, and has always been privy to the super secret “ugly fat face” that only sisters are allowed to witness and laugh about. Keri is Jaclyn’s and my sister, and will always be referred to as “my sister” in these posts, and everywhere else.