Wait a minute, I'd better go back and check to see where I left off!
I think we'd just gotten stopped and realized that Sam's license was suspended, am I right? I think so. Oh yeah, and then driving, driving, driving up to Scottsdale to make it to the 4 star resort that we'd splurged on and then decided not to and then they wouldn't let us cancel. I remember it all very clearly now.
Well, we got to Scottsdale and we were following the directions, going through some very ritzy parts of town - but alas, it was 1am our time, we'd been driving since 8am - just get us there already... So you know how everything takes 10X longer in the dark when you don't know where you're going? Well, yeah. That's how it was... With every stop light, we would check to see if this is our road - not a chance... We went like 15 minutes north of town and it kept getting darker and darker. Then finally! We came to The Boulders Resort. As we pull in, there was a security desk and mind you, we'd been driving for like umpteen hours that day, we were in a dusty van with a doughnut. Needless to say, the security guard was none too excited to see us coming. He was a bit gruff....until we said we were guests there. And then all of a sudden, he was so friendly and kind; asking for our names to put a little paper in the window so they can keep track of us as we come and go...how nice....he gave us directions and kindly sent us on to the Lodge. Ahh, don't you just love the lives of the rich and famous. "Make lefts all the way there. If you make a right, you've gone the wrong way." So we follow this road in the dark making lefts the whole way until we pull up in front of a big fancy lodge. A fella meets us at the door of our car and opens it up to say, "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Coleman." Then he proceeds to give us directions which we are half listening to. I noticed immediately that there were no cars there - uh oh - this is valet parking! You have GOT to be kidding me! Now, don't mind me - I'm as high class as the next gal - but allowing someone else to drive our dirty, lived in, doughnut riding, disaster in the back with, I might add, a mattress, van, was pushing it a little! Ok, a lot! Our duffle bags seriously looked liked they'd exploded and there were blankets and pillows and left over Subway napkins and trash laying in our trash bag... Anyway, he sent us inside to check in and then said he would wait outside. We could gather our stuff and put it on the golf cart and they would take us to our, hang on a second, let's see if I can remember this - take us to our casita. Did I say that we looked like vagabonds because we knew we'd be traveling all day so... no makeup, knit shorts, tank top - who knows what Sam was wearing... Anyway, we checked in and came back to the van to pack our duffle bags, find our make up bags, grab the computer and camera, etc. Finally we take them out of the van and meanwhile this other car drives up and the Valet opens there door and calls them by name and they step out of their super fancy SUV dressed as if it's 9am in the morning, not 1am and off they go. We are standing there looking like drowned cats and dogs that someone just dropped off with our duffle bags. So we wait, not so patiently, I might add, for the valet to show us which golf cart to get into and wait not so patiently as they drive us around this place taking turns left and right, I was thinking the whole time, how the heck are we going to get back when the valet must have read my mind. He said just call the desk in the morning and they'd have someone to pick us up and bring us back and bring our car around within 5 minutes when we were ready to head out. Needless to say, at this point, I'm not too impressed with 4 star resorts. Sam says he just wanted them to leave us alone and have our van parked right in front of our room!!! He's real high class - if you call the Motel 6 high class!!! HA! I just don't think either of us were in the ritzy mood after such a long day! Finally we get to our casita and they took our bags in and put them in the closet and proceed to ask us what kinds of things were we interested in doing while we were there. I was like Sleep! HA, actually I didn't say that. But we just hemmed and hawed and he asked if we liked hiking, we said, sure... Knowing that we would be spending the day at Art Galleries in Scottsdale and then off, because we've got a plan, Man! He spent the next 10 minutes telling us of all the hiking places in the area, even pulling up maps on his IPhone to show us how to get there. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated him going the extra mile, but leave, MAN! So he finally did and we had a chance to look around. It was nice. It was very nice. There were robes and slippers and fancy adobe architecture and really fancy soaps and shampoos. It was nice to shower without Grand-daddy long legs like previously at the Camp for the wedding.... We finally got to bed and slept and slept and slept. We didn't even wake up till 9am - which was only 7am their time, but whatever! Sam spent the next few minutes taking pictures of the quail off our patio and all the cacti and beautiful desert landscaping! We got ready for the day and ventured out to check out our surroundings and decided by about 11am that it was too hot and it was time to leave! So we'd spent less than 12 hours at this fancy resort, seems like quite the waste, but honestly, after our Sunday, I'm pretty sure we needed a really good nights sleep! It was worth it, and I told my man so - I hope he realizes how much I really did appreciate getting a taste of the rich and famous. Even if I'm way more comfortable with a mattress thrown in the back of the van - a girl needs a little high class every once in a while!! PS. Did I mention it was about 100 degrees?
Well, we got back to the car and headed into Scottsdale to get our tire fixed, which couldn't be fixed, so we ended up purchasing a new tire. And then in the mean time Sam called ND DMV to find out why his license was suspended and I'll try to make it a short story. He had a little accident back in December. He was driving his aunt's car over to get an oil change and there was snow and an old lady pulled out in front of him. He hit her. But the police came and cited her, it wasn't his fault at all. He got all the necessary info and handed it over to his aunt and uncle and didn't have anything else left to do with it. The end. Well, I guess months later, they were having a problem with finding the insurance on the aunt's car and sent a letter to Sam, but the DMV has his address listed as nnd St NE, not 2nd St NE and so we never received any notification at all. I guess the other insurance doesn't go after the owner, but instead the driver. So since they never heard back from anyone, they suspended his license and it had been that way for I don't know how long, because they never sent us any notification! Anyway, they told him that to reinstate it, he would have to get all this paperwork notarized and mailed in and he would have to pay a $50 reinstatement fee - Sam told him that he was in Arizona and could not do all of that right then and that he is the primary driver and needed his license reinstated ASAP. They were pretty nasty about it and said they wouldn't. Finally, we got ahold of his aunt and uncle on Thursday and they got it taken care of, so when we got home, he called DMV to check the status and they profusely apologized for the situation and waived the fee.... So it's all good now, but a major inconvenience and royal pain in the neck!
Finally, we got to Scottsdale to check out the galleries and since it was now up to 109 degrees, we were the only ones there checking out all this amazing art. Hopefully we've got some good leads and Sam can contact some of these galleries to see if they would like to represent him. So we'll see what happens! You could pray about those opportunities!
By the way - side note - pictures, I promise, are to come, but Sam's pond is coming along nicely! He was working on the waterfall yesterday and it's looking just fabulous! While we were away the plants were busy growing and everything is turning green! And then tonight is our annual Plant Auction for the Garden Club and so we are very excited about that! It looks like it's going to be a great year for blooming-ness in our yard! It got up to about 80 degrees yesterday but late last night, the wind picked up and I was planting wave petunias in the freezing cold while Sam was working on a more permanent situation for Tonto's kennel. But anyway, Spring is here!!! Just thought I'd throw that in there!
So back to the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH! We wanted to make it up to the Grand Canyon for sunset, but that clearly wasn't going to happen, especially after taking so long with the tire, etc. Oh, I almost completely forgot! We wanted to see Sedona - that's what was taking us so long to get to the Grand Canyon. I remember going there about 15 years ago and it's grown up so much. We had a bit of a frustrating time finding the shops that I had remembered before, but we found them and got some baubles for our neighbor kids and headed out to the red hills for sunset. It was so nice to get away from people and just wander around. It was a beautiful evening. Then we drove until we got to about 10 miles outside the Grand Canyon and found a random road in the Nation Forest to camp on. And I've got to tell ya, we do this a lot. In fact, that's what we do most of the time when we are camping. But I had an eerie feeling that we weren't alone this time. It freaked me out... Luckily with this van, we have tinted windows. And then, just as I was falling asleep, I hear this noise! It sounded like someone was walking around our van and immediately I was thinking, how do we defend ourselves?! I asked Sam what was that sound, and he said it was his stomach growling! HA! I nearly had a heart attack! Anyway, I fell asleep and slept hard till morning. Turns out we were fine - no one tried to attack us or anything. And then Sam said he had this eerie feeling that we were being watched by a bob cat or something! F-R-E-A-K-Y! So we got up in time for a sunrise at the Grand Canyon - 5am Arizona time! It was beautiful - breath taking. I'd been there before but Sam hadn't and had always wanted to go and I was so honored to be there to experience that with him. I love making his dreams come true! I thrive on it! We spent the rest of the time meandering around the Grand Canyon, we even had a great nap over looking the rim of the Grand Canyon in the heat of the day! It was heavenly! Then we started making our way north towards Bryce Canyon and driving through the Vermilion Cliffs and the Painted Desert and we drove right over the Colorado River... Incredibly beautiful weather the whole way.
We did reach Bryce Canyon by sunset, I think we had it a little backwards and think we should have been to Bryce for Sunrise and Grand Canyon by Sunset, but still - breath taking views! As we got out at Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon, Sam said that it was really cool there, but the Grand Canyon was definitely more up his alley! I was just stunned because I'd never seen it before. Anyway, then we drove to this other area and as we walked out onto the view point, Sam said to take back what he just said - I couldn't believe how it could get any more amazing - every where you turned was another incredible view - God is amazing! I just think about the Great Flood waters rushing through there making all those canyons and at Bryce specifically, there were spires everywhere - it looked like the world's largest cathedral - I couldn't imagine how all those spires weren't just wiped right off??? God is so amazing. I don't know how people couldn't look at that and just be struck by God's amazing-ness. He's incredible, and He created all of that majestic-ness just to bring Him glory! And you know what? When you see that huge, massive work of God, it's hard to realize that as incredible as that is, He cares even more for you and me individually! Those canyons were pretty impressive, with them reaching their spires straight to the glory of God but then you look around at all the people who are admiring it - maybe they know God, maybe they don't, but God created each and everyone of them and loves them even more than this incredible sight in front of us - how humbling! God is good! I don't even know what else to say!
So now we are on Tuesday night. And we left Bryce Canyon, this time in desperate search of a shower since our last one was, well, let's not go there. So we checked out the camp grounds at Bryce Canyon, there were none. Then we saw a sign saying there were showers in town, we headed that direction and we were informed there that they weren't open yet. Who's ever heard of that? Anyway, we head down the road looking for opportunities but resigned to the fact that we might have to have a wet wipe bath that night! Thank God for wet wipes! So as we were driving along, waiting to find the National Forest to find a new camping spot, we spotted a KOA! Thank God for KOA! I remember them from my youth! We sneaked in there and got a much-needed shower and were ready to settle in the for the evening. This time we found a spot that didn't feel so creepy! And the stars were amazing - Utah really knows how to show off their stars! When we woke up in the morning, it turns out that there were tons of variegated lupine surrounding us, and even though we didn't have a shovel, Sam managed to get some as souvenirs! We were on our way back towards to ND. Sam needed to be at work by Thursday afternoon, so our goal was to make it to the Black Hills. We didn't really stop anywhere along the way. We did drive up to Denver where the mountains were still just covered in snow - it was beautiful. We drove through Vail, Breckenridge, and all these fancy ski places and it was beautiful going over the mountain passes, but it was also time to get home. How in the world was Tonto? We hadn't gotten one phone call that he was off his leash and roaming the neighborhood - what's wrong with that picture?! Anyway, we did want to stop in the Black Hills to collect some more flat rocks for Sam's pond, but by the time we got there, it was late. 11:40pm to be exact.
And how does she remember what time it was - that Sarah, she's amazing! Well.... the reason I remember was because that was the beginning of "Shortcut #2." You remember me mentioning anything about that before? Well, I was driving, of course. And Sam said to turn here...back there, we missed our turn. So I turned around and drove right passed it again for a 2nd time (should have been clue's #1 and #2). Finally, we got on the right road - gravel road (should have been clue #3) and headed NE - that's the direction we were suppose to be traveling. "Now I don't know exactly where this road ends up because it's not on the map, but as long as we head NE, we should be fine." (Clue #4) The clues were screaming at me and I just kept driving, blindly following my adventuresome husband. And I know most of you are thinking that I'm a crazy girl for following him, but seriously, you haven't experienced anything until you hang out with Sam for a while and end up on one of his adventures - he'll take you places you've never been before, you'll see things you've never seen before, seriously, life is so much more fun and exciting with this man - ask a couple people who have been on his adventures - well, on second thought, don't really ask too many people. But take it from me - this man is Fun with a capital F! Ok, so back to driving - guess what we saw next - snow! We were just in 109 degrees and now there is snow!!!! Clue #5 - there were snow drifts across the road and there were no other car tracks through them. Clue #6 - no signs telling us where we were going. Clue #7 - The compass on the car was telling us we were going SW. Clue #8 hundred thousand, we were 4 miles away from a place called Deerfield Lake. Doesn't that sound creepy to you? Sounds like something that should have been on "I know what you did last summer." I never saw that movie and never even knew what it was about until Sam explained it to me - while we were on this road.... I'll spare you the details, but I was getting freaked out! I think Sam was finally getting himself creeped out too, because all of a sudden, he said, stop the car, I'm driving, we're getting out of here! And sure enough, he jumped in the driver seat and within 20 minutes, we were back on the highway - the time now - 1am! That's how I remembered it was 11:40pm when we went in there. We were so freaked out, that we parked our car in a lighted hotel parking lot and slept for the night! The next morning, Thursday, we headed home. Didn't even take the time to go into the Black Hills for the Rocks. We were home by 1pm and Sam was at work a half an hour later! So there you have it - the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH!
Tonto was fine and very happy to see us. I got half our laundry done and everything put away. The boys ended up having a baseball game that we went to from 4pm till 9:30 - don't ask - long story! Friday, I decided to stay home from work to get some things done, like groceries since we didn't have anything in the house! And that ended up taking the whole day. Then Friday night, we had Parent's Night Out at church and that was a good time...
On Saturday, I did a bit of rummage sale-ing and Sam helped his cousin do some landscaping. We also had a few graduation open houses, it was also the 1st Anniversary of Home Going of John Coleman, Sam's Dad for those of you who are new to the life and adventures of Sam and Sarah. Kind of a reflective day for us. What a life to celebrate and we try to celebrate his life all the times we remember him and what an impact he had on the world! We surely miss him!
Well, folks, my eyes are going bleary. I can only imagine what yours might be doing. Tomorrow, I don't know what I'll write about, but we do have our Ultrasound, and yes, we are going to find out the sex of our baby, so on Thursday, or maybe tomorrow night, I'll have some B-I-G news for you! Stay tuned! Thanks for reading and keeping in touch with us!
Until next time from "Springtime in the Tundra,"
PS. I forgot to proof yesterday's post before I posted it. So sorry for any mistakes in there... Thanks!