Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life goes by at Mach something...

It has been a while since I could find the time to write. Finally, yes.

And time sure has been              flying                 by!

I guess that's what happens when you're having fun. So really, I cannot complain.

It's starting to warm up here. Recently we've gotten a brief relief from 100 degrees with a dip into the 80's, but those blazing temperatures are not far away. And I can't say that I'm disappointed. I love the way the air smells now. Everything is blooming and changing, getting ready for another summer in the desert.

It's time for patio dining, early morning bike rides, afternoon sunset walks in a tank top and shorts, relief from the heat with watermelon and iced tea under a fan, the smell of sunscreen on my skin, monsoon sunsets, and pool parties. I am reminded daily of why I love my home so much.

And what is home without those you love?

I know some of the most wonderful people. They are always keeping my life exciting and fun. Here some flashes from my most recent adventures with them.

Elgin Wine Growers Festival 

The drive into Sonoita through the wind and pouring rain didn't stop us. We walked into the wine estate (fancy, fancy!) and quickly began sampling the wines from all over the Southwest. Zinfandels, Cabs, and Merlots. It was hard to believe it was so cold in April! But huddled together, we laughed, and discussed the wine as if we were sophisticated-pinky-raising-people :)

Country Thunder!! 

The band line-up was great, but I really went to see my most favorite country singer - Dierks Bentley. (Can you say Sexy Hunk??!) The crowd was going wild, as was I. We danced around and stomped our boots into the ground to the beat. All crowded together and singing along at the top of our lungs. We stretched our hands into the dusty air almost as if we were close enough to touch him, absorbing his energy and soaking up all the incredible music. 

Tucson Airshow

It was time for me to be a true Aerospace nerd! (I think I took a million pictures, so I have spared you all of my extensive photo gallery of this day.) I walked around the air force base, studying the planes and trying to remember all that I had learned as an undergrad and graduate student. This was engineering at its finest. How these great and elegant machines get off the ground is one of the most beautiful and incredible things to me. The Thunderbirds roared off the runway and zoomed off into the sky--buzzing by us at unimaginable speeds. We followed their paths high into the sky where they disappeared into the sun. I never thought having a kink in my neck would be so awesome. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

If I could freeze time...

4 pm. Friday afternoon.

No more work was going to happen for us.

Trucks were loaded, coolers packed, and destination locked in.

The work week was over and it was time to escape into the wilderness.

We arrived on a cool Friday afternoon in Gardner Canyon at sunset. The campground was absolutely perfect--plenty of places to set up our tents, a canopy of trees, and a fire pit with Chad's name on it.

We got to work setting up camp. Chad and Rod got to work on the fire, which was soon a roaring, hot blaze that kept us warm in just a sweatshirt and shorts. I think all the credit goes to Chad who carried a log about the same size as him down from a nearby hill and threw it on the circle of stones. (What a man!)

This was ultimate car camping. We even had a grill with us (ohh yes). Ted BBQ'd some delicious hotdogs and hamburgers and Lauren grilled up a celery root (which is actually quite tasty compared to its celery offspring). Dylan shook his booty as he shook up a bagged-cornbread and cooked it in a dutch oven over the coals.

Country music blasted from Rod's truck as we carried on into the night. (Dylan was not shaking his booty at this point.) We stuffed ourselves full of dinner and s'mores. Did a little two-stepping. And later crept away into our tents.

Goodnight moon.

Morning came with the sun beaming through the tree leaves as we got a fire started to help get us out of our sleeping bags.

Rising with the sun to the sound of birds chirping in the trees and stepping out of a tent into the cold morning was so refreshing. Therapeutic in fact. I had officially escaped what was back in Tucson, and I realized I hadn't thought once about anything but the moment I was in. True bliss. 

Dylan began cooking up some bacon and I got to work on some buttermilk pancakes. We stood around jet-boils, holding our mugs of instant VIA coffee grounds waiting for it to brew.

I can't wait to go back. Escape and live in that moment again. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? 
Just some good company, the outdoors, great food, and some smoke from a campfire was all I needed to recharge my batteries.