This year, I was thankful to be spending Thanksgiving with family.
Not my family, but family nonetheless.
Sam's cousin lives in Flagstaff, and she and her husband welcomed us into their home for the holiday. We just had to get there.
We left Los Angeles on Wednesday night, which was a pretty huge mistake. What should have taken an hour on the road took us three in traffic, so instead of driving straight through to Flagstaff, we ended up having to stay in Needles, California. Never heard of it? We hadn't either.
After our luxurious stay at the Motel 6 and (an honestly delicious) breakfast at Denny's, we had a short three-hour drive before we arrived in Flagstaff, on the Monsman's doorstep. We were welcomed with hugs and a few Celebration Ales before dinner.
We spent our Black Friday checking out downtown Flagstaff and supporting local businesses (mostly the Sweet Shop). I had been to Flagstaff before, but had never actually ventured downtown. It has a wonderful small-town feel that reminded me of my hometown. The historic city buildings give each city block a different character and the alleys offer glimpses into the veins of the quiet city.
The rest of our time in Flagstaff consisted of lots of Dubsmash videos with the kids, plenty of naps, and maybe too many drinks - which might or might not have resulted in my doing flips on the trampoline, which is not suggested for any average 23-year-old.
After getting a slow start Saturday morning, Sam and I decided to take a drive through Sedona before making our way back to Los Angeles. Upon first glimpse, I only wish I had more time.
I personally feel like November was the perfect time to visit Sedona. Not only were the red rocks of the mesas contrasted beautifully against the clear blue skies, but the yellows, reds, and greens of the shrubs and trees painted the desert colors I didn't know it could be.
After a quick lunch and some stop-offs at a few roadside lookouts, I left Sedona only wishing I had more time, but knowing it's close enough for another weekend away. Sam and I headed back West, with full stomachs and memories from Thanksgiving of '15 happily spent with a welcoming family.
Specialest of thanks to The Monsmans, and NCG, New Cousin Gina. To see all the trip pictures, click here.