This year we took two trips, about a week each.
Our first trip was our summer vacation. This year, we went to Arizona to see Sedona and the Grand Canyon from its south rim. Our first stop after landing and getting lunch at Mika's Greek was the Desert Botanical Garden. It was hot and dry out, but it was beautiful. The next day, before heading to Sedona, we visited the Musical Instrument Museum. That was very interesting and we could have easily spent more time there, but we needed to grab lunch and head north to Sedona.
The view from our room's terrace was gorgeous. The next morning we took a Jeep tour up into the rocks and bummed around the town in the afternoon.
On our way further north to the Grand Canyon, we followed Oak Creek to Flagstaff before joining the highway.
The Grand Canyon was also quite beautiful. I found a nice parking spot, so we didn't dare move our car while we were there. Shuttle busses took us back to the Visitor Center, the scenic overlooks, and other destinations nearby. We enjoyed an astronomy night where one could see millions of stars and the Milky Way with the unaided eye. Using telescopes, we looked at both Jupiter and Saturn (and several of their nearby moons). Sarah saw her first shooting star that evening.
There was also some wildlife to be seen. Hummingbirds to condors. Foxes, coyotes, and elk. Even a small field mouse that joined Hope and I on a moonlit porch swing.
After the drive back to Phoenix, we spent a final day at a resort getting a sunburn and relaxing before our flight home.
Our second trip was to Philadelphia to visit my mother-in-law.
She is staying with my sister-in-law and, since it was mid-week and everyone had their lives to attend we decided to spend the days in the city of Philadelphia and visit in the evening over dinner.
The first day we went to eastern Philadelphia to see the historic sites and Reading Terminal Market. We saw the Liberty Bell, toured Independence Hall, walked through parts of Chinatown to the Reading Market, and had cheesesteaks at Sonny's.
The second day we visited western Philadelphia. There we toured the ruins of the Eastern State Penitentiary. We ate at Jack's Firehouse and walked around the Philadelphia Museum of Art, too.
Both trips were fun and made for a nice mid-summer getaway.