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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amazing Race Part 9

We are currently in Alabama..drove through the night for Adam's grandfathers funeral. Papa will be deeply missed by all but he was ready to go home to his Father. He was a World War 2 veteran and and just celebrated his 92nd birthday. He was almost always in pain over the last few years but was still loving and showed his affection towards my family. He enjoyed showing Goober how to play the harmonica and a few visits ago Adam and I sat down with him and looked through old pictures and listened to him speak about the war, how he became a Christian and how he was baptized. Adam is very proud of his grandfather and his military portrait hangs in our living room. We get to honor his life today.

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After we left Slide Rock our clue said to be in Sedona, AZ at 3 for a WILD AND BUMPY RIDE. We had just enough time to go set up camp in the beautiful Cave Springs campground in between Slide Rock and Sedona. We had THE BEST spot where we could hear the creek running all night and were a little isolated from the other loops that were packed full of campers. Goober went down and tried out his life straw and was pretty impressed...although later he complained of a stomachache...which could be a myriad of things but we raised an eyebrow to the creek water for sure. Goober then revealed to me why he really wanted the life straw..besides it being a neat survival gadget and perfect for all of our camping trips he read that some of the sales of life straws goes towards digging wells for clean water in third world countries and he liked that idea....my boy has a BIG HEART. While Adam and I cleaned up from Slide Rock---I had rock burn pretty bad...the kids made a Ninja Warrior Course out of the boulders that lined our spot and the hammocks we hung up. They were showing off and scoring one another the whole time.
Our Jeep and Sherman

Soaking it all in!

We got to Sedona right on time and were thrilled to see such a vibrant modern scene nestled in between all of the mountains. We went straight to A Day Out West where "the race" had booked a Jeep Tour of Sedona for Goober's birthday. It was called the Little Rattler tour and boy did we RATTLE!!! Our driver immediately noticed some of our Auburn gear and said "War Eagle, my daughter graduated from Auburn and now lives in Birmingham"...WE WERE THRILLED!!! We talked the whole 2 hours and I think he loved having a connection with us from the get go!
Wind was whipping us and it felt good!

Our tour guides name was Sherman and he told some tall tales while we were out..some we believed, some I am still skeptical about. He knew a lot about the wildlife and plants around Sedona...we learned about Yucca, all kinds of cactus, century trees and how to tell the different formations apart. He also told us about the culture of Sedona and his childhood growing up in the NE.

Apparently Sherman went to Bo Jackson's house and invited him to come do a kickoff for a little league team he was putting together and Bo came! Then Bo's wife invited the whole team back to their home for ice cream!
We stopped one time for a great picture of the beautiful creation!

Sherman also is the one responsible for driving all of the Pixar artists around Sedona so they could sketch scenes for the movie Cars...he showed them everything and then they even named one of the characters after him..my kids ate it up!!

The whole ride was fantastic, he would punch the gas and we would fly over dips and around curves. We would go up steep hills in a S motion and then fly down on the way back. The kids loving coming up off their seats and just laughed and screamed. We were sweaty but the breeze from the open jeep felt fantastic. It really was thrilling but the last 20 minutes as we got back on the Highway to head back into the city Little Man fell asleep sitting up...we all got warm and tired and HUNGRY!!!
Someone just couldn't keep his eyes open!

Big Man in charge!

Sherman handed Goober his next clue, which allowed him to choose dinner. We went to the Open Range Grill and Tavern and for the first time Goober ordered off the adult menu. No surprise that he and I ordered the same thing..we have very similar taste buds. We sat out on the patio and overlooked the beautiful mountains while we ate. Unfortunately Ribbit also had back rock burn from the slides earlier that day and hers were so bad that she couldn't even sit...so she happily stood at our table and ate dinner. The restaurant brought Goober free ice cream for his birthday and the three kids happily split it.
He was STUFFED and decided to share his dessert with his siblings

I would love to look at that while I ate every meal!

We let Goober pick some stores to shop in after wards but on the way the two littles spotted SNAKES. A man had about 10 cages of snakes that you could pick up and handle...he was there to educate but you could also leave tips. Both of our little ones wrapped those snakes around their bodies and never once flinches. In fact as we walked away I about threw up as I saw snake scales in both of their curly hair ....UGH.
NO FEAR

Mom, they are sooo nice!...NOPE

Goober found an awesome store called the Silver Cloud and the manager was SOOOO stinking nice. When he learned it was Goobers birthday and saw him drooling over a double knife he asked him how much he had to spend. Goober said I have a $25 gift card (a gift from grandparents) ....and the manager said "that knife is $25 exactly. Adam and I noticed that the other knives in that same case were marked $40. I went to pay for it and got out my wallet to cover tax and he said " nope, its $25 with everything. Goober was so proud to pay for it completely and we have gone online and left a great review for that kind man who made our 13 year old's day!!!

We headed back to our campsite late and went to bed after reading a Berenstein Bears book. We also each went around and told Goober something we loved about him...
Ribbit said " he is so handsome"
Little Man said "he plays with me"
Mom said "he has a great heart and I love when he plays violin"
Dad said "he will help whenever he is asked"
Then Goober spoke up and said my favorite thing about me is that I am now the age of my favorite #....13!!!!
Our awesome campsite in Cave Springs

When I got back the next morning from my AWESOME run I was greeted by this sweet camper hanging out in the hammock!

We could hear the creek the whole night and it GOT COLD which means we SLEPT WELL!!!


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