Pumpkin Picking and Getting Lost in Corn

Arizona is not synonymous with farming or pumpkins yet we have some of the greatest farms in the state due to our varying climate and climate regions. With the end of summer many farms are excitedly preparing for the fall harvest. Many of the farms in Arizona have a wide selection of pumpkins to choose from which means pumpkin festivals! This past weekend our family had the opportunity to visit the historic Prescott area again and attend the Mortimer’s Farms Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze. Cooler weather, family and fun was just what the doctor ordered when we went picking pumpkins straight from the fields shortly after getting lost in the corn maze. Continue reading “Pumpkin Picking and Getting Lost in Corn”

Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze at Mortimer’s in Prescott

pumpkins, fall, autumn,

In the town of Dewey, Arizona right outside of Prescott this welcoming community, home to Mortimer Farms, will be hosting the Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze. October seems to be the official mark to the short fall season here in Arizona. Our cooler Arizona weather prompts the pumpkin craze with the kickoff of fall. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pretty much everything has some pumpkin added. Continue reading “Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze at Mortimer’s in Prescott”

Jeeping 101: Mud

For any Jeep owner, mud is an obstacle of conquering. We see mud and immediately we are fearless children who know no limits. Mud is just wet dirt calling our names to sling about everywhere. Mud is a wanton desire to cover our tires and every inch of aluminum and steel. A good mud hole is also disguised as a treacherous foe to any overly fearless seemingly arrogant and skilled off-road driver. Jeeping 101 tells us to always survey any obstacle, including mud. Continue reading “Jeeping 101: Mud”

Arizona Sweet Corn Festival

Arizona sweet corn festival, sweet corn, Mortimer farms, sweet corn Mortimer farms, AZ corn

Arizona has always been known for their five C’s: cotton, citrus, copper, cattle and climate. While Arizona boasts the dry,warm climate of the summer months, cooler temperatures in the northern climates are a wonderful escape. The other “C” that Arizona offers is the corn, as in sweet corn! In the town of Dewey, Arizona right outside of Prescott this welcoming community hosts the annual Arizona Sweet Corn Festival at Mortimer Farms every summer. Continue reading “Arizona Sweet Corn Festival”

For the love of Jeep

He was 24 and I was 19. We took early morning drives in the rich mountainous air of the Albuquerque valley. Warm and chilly all the same. Adventure took hold and we took the hardtop off and installed a bikini top. Chasing a bit more adventure were the splashes and rooster tails from the tires that soaked us in the biting cold of the summer rain. Off highway excursions led us into green pastures ventured only by cattle ranchers and indigenous wildlife. Explorations of God’s beautiful country that you could never have seen on the paved roads. Such is a Jeep life. Even though we were kids, we knew this life was in our blood. Continue reading “For the love of Jeep”

Life’s Better In a Jeep

Last November we made the decision to make an update to our lifestyle. You see, The Chad and I have always been outdoors people; camping, hiking, the open road and the wind at our feet describes our nonconformist hearts. Our life prior to children was filled with impulsive joy rides and haphazard escapades. The main aspect of our willy nilly adventures came in owning a Jeep. If you have never owned a Jeep you miss the mystique of breathing in the fresh air on this off-road convertible. As I mentioned we updated our parental lifestyle; we went out and bought a four door Jeep Wrangler, because life is better in a Jeep.

thefivefish.com, Jemez MountainSans kids, The Chad and I went everywhere in our Jeep. One most memorable trip together was when we lived in New Mexico, we made an impromptu decision to load up camping gear and head north. Exploring the open wilderness we set out for the Jemez Mountains. Natural hot springs, preserves littered with Ponderosa pines, volcanoes and elegant rock formations color the landscape  of this region outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

chadcampingsuperhatWe set out to the local grocery story and loaded up on supplies and off we went. As we wound around the abandoned railroad track areas and deep into a wonderful clearing outside of the Gilman Tunnels. A breathtaking pasture of green, a flowing brook and cows.

Yes. Cows.

I can digress on the cows, but lets face it, this is about life in a Jeep.

sedona Broken Arrow trail, jeep, jeep offroadOnly one of the many adventures The Chad and I tripped along while together with our Jeep. So when we purchased our first family Jeep we took our first family camping trip this past June. We came across a four wheel drive-Jeep club on Facebook, joined and set out on our first adventure.

What better locale to take a Jeep Adventure: Sedona!

submarine rock, jeepThis was no pink Jeep expedition either. We were blessed to have met an excellent group of people that had previously started out as sheer strangers. An entire day of roaming around the red rock wilderness of Sedona. All of our families and our children forging friendships, building relationships, life of a Jeep owner.

Views were breathtaking. Submarine rock. Chicken rock. Covered in red dust, bull nosed rock edges, smooth from years of weather and age and our Jeeps crawled over these high desert spectacles. A full day was spent out and about and we returned for a mid-afternoon break before heading back out for a night run with some other new found friends.

jeep, sedonaOur evening adventure was not as pretty as the mountainous red rocks that decorate the surrounding area of Sedona but nonetheless beautiful. Creeping along in the evening hours our group was a literal parade of Jeeps, a band of brothers and sisters sharing the same passion and love for life, the great outdoors, and doing it all in a Jeep. We all watched out for one another. Validating no one was losing fluids, making sure everyone was whole. Being a community.

That weekend was a day after I lost my job at the bank. A weekend I truly was dreading because of the unfortunate circumstances, but it turned into a life changing weekend for The Chad, I and our family. We met some amazing people, these same folks today we call friends and try to get together with as often as we can despite the miles in between us all.

jeep club night outIf you have ever heard that it’s a “Jeep thing” or “Jeep life” it is an unspoken way of life. Hard to believe that experiencing life could be different, but there is something to be said about having the top off on your Jeep, experiencing the sights and smells that accompany a life of unbridled adventure where roads are optional. Above all, the relationships and friends you make along the way who share the same values and love for life as you do, those friendships are priceless and cherished. Let’s face it, life is just better in a Jeep.

Staycation – Retreat on a Budget

Admittedly the Southwest Airlines commercials speak to me. You know the slogan right? “Wanna get away?”

My rhetorical question in return is “Does the sun rise in the East?”

staycation, hotels, hotels.comAs a mother, adult, and former traveler extraordinaire, I love to get away. But who says you have to reach the far ends of the Earth, comb the beaches of the Caribbean or peruse the boutiques of Europe to consider being on a retreat or to enjoy a vacation. Let’s revisit the first word of this paragraph which will segue into my explanation for a retreat. Mother. Yes, I have child or children in my case, which can often cause a serious reduction in travel. Why? You ask. Well my main reason for a reduction in travel is due to the birth of my twins. You see traveling with two infants and the entourage of gear required for their care could be equivalent to a domestic safari of sorts. However, now that they have evolved into walking, talking, and may I add talking again, little people travel has become less cumbersome. Nonetheless difficult though when you are now the minority and children are the majority.

Additionally, taking trips sans kids can also be difficult. Finding adequate care takers and or family willing to assume your children for a day, week, or even a few hours can be a rather disheartening to the couple wishing to have adult relations outside of the home where they can once again enjoy the company of their date. I know the hubs and I daydream of what life was like without children when we traveled and literally those memories are now daydreams for us.

But we are not letting the days of whine and runny noses get us down! In fact, my mother was so kind to gift us for Christmas gift cards for a weekend or night away from home. When we opened the gift and read the note, the feeling was much like letting the crazies out of the asylum to run the streets for the night. We could taste sweet freedom once again. In fact we got so caught up in getting away we couldn’t decide where the hell to go!

Have no fear though, the hubs is a resourceful geek of sorts. Bless him for having a Hotels.com account where he has been booking almost all of his travels for business, since he travels every other week he has become a domestic expert of travel accommodations. When the time came for us to book our retreat away from the kids, we looked at all the local resorts and spas within the Phoenix metro and downtown area. Finally we found a resort, spa, and casino close to home and even better, the price was right! So the hubs booked us a night at the Radisson Ft. McDowell Resort and Casino.

I was leery to say the least since the resort’s casino was known for being less than favorable. However, after reviewing the beauty shots of the resort on Hotels.com I was put more at ease and looking forward to our night and almost half day away from the kids to reconnect. I was put at even more ease when I saw the total cost of our sans kids retreat. $89 a night! With a sleep number bed, hot meal where I wasn’t required to cut anyone’s food but my own, no fighting kids for my own bed and pillows, and no worries of who would drive home due to the fact we both had some juicy alcoholic beverages. We just walked from the resort’s restaurant to the elevator and then to our room, a most pleasant evening, to which we retreated to enjoy additional quiet time as adults, reconnecting. Furthermore, we got up early enough the next morning to drive home but detoured for some breakfast at a local cafe.

Needless to say I was stoked we were able to get away and even better, Hotels.com helped us to stay on and within our budget, but were able to stay in a five star resort all  the more. Have you ever thought about a stay-cation when you cannot always get away for an extended vacation? Do you have the same struggles of child care when wanting to go on a date night?