In all honesty, the daily grind of housework, errands, childcare, and homeschooling can get pretty boring and tiring sometimes. It's not that I wish I had a different job or calling in life, it's just that I am the type of person who gets bored doing the same of anything day in, day out. On top of that, I did not grow up living in a big city, and when I get to thinking about living in the middle of this metropolis, it makes me feel downright claustrophobic.
With a newborn in the house, I have not been leaving the house more than absolutely necessary, and even then only on short trips close to the house.
Today, for a change of pace, and because my husband was able to come along, we took a drive up to Payson, and visited the Tonto Natural Bridge. It is such a beautiful place. It is a natural stone bridge spanning a little canyon. It has a waterfall going down from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the canyon. The top of the bridge, of course, is now covered in a paved sidewalk, with safety rails and all, but it is still breathtaking.
picture found here
We had not been there since I was very pregnant with Becca, so over two years ago. Please excuse the quality of the photos - I forgot my nice camera at home, and took these on my phone. Also, I put the phone in my backpack once we started hiking down, and forgot all about it until we got back to the car, so these pictures were all taken while we were still up at the top.
The three boys at the top of the "bridge"
There is a metal grate in the pavement above a hole in the bridge, where one can see all the way down to the bottom. Very cool!
Isaac and Miriam
The weather today was perfect - while there was a little snow in some shady spots in the forest, the temperature was actually in the high 50s to mid 60s, and very sunny. My idea of a perfect snow day! :) Just enough to throw a couple of snowballs without having to get cold.
Someone is about to get hit by a snowball
We hiked down to the bottom of the little canyon - even the two girls did really well. Miriam hiked all by herself, just holding my hand, and Becky only had to be carried part of the way down. I carried Anna in the sling, and she peacefully slept through it all. The boys had fun climbing on the boulders right under bridge, although I was very nervous about them slipping on an icy patch and falling into one of the (no doubt very cold) pools of water.
A view of the bottom of the canyon from up top
After a couple of hours, we headed back home. There is a town right on the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area called Fountain Hills. Their claim to fame is a giant fountain in an artificial lake that sprays water hundreds of feet into the air for 15 minutes every hour. Because it was still light and warm outside, and time for dinner, we decided to make a pit stop by the lake and let the kids play on the playgrounds and watch the fountain. We had brought along food for a picnic lunch, and there was enough left to also feed us dinner while we were there.
The kids had lots of fun feeding the extra bread to the ducks at the lake, and then chasing them all back into the water again and again. Although they thought of it as corralling them. There was a fancy gelato store there, and we got some for a treat. Would you believe the place sold such strange flavors as tuna gelato, and sardine gelato? My husband asked the lady about it, and she said they made gelato for cats and dogs. I knew this was a ritzy place to live, but please... gelato for a pet?
The best part of it all was getting back home just in time for showers, storytime, and bedtime - and the house was still picked up and tidy because the kids had not been home during the day to make a mess of it! I think I need to get back to doing weekly field trips again for the sake of my sanity.
The kids were so tired they went to sleep as soon as I sent them to bed, and I am enjoying researching some things I have been meaning to look up online and working on a couple of future blog posts while nursing Anna. Miriam felt a little warm when I put her in bed, I hope she isn't coming down with something.
Have a wonderful weekend!