I haven’t written my blog for the last couple of days since I have been spending time with our kids! They are in town and every spare moment has been dedicated to creating memories. Today, we got a 12 passenger van (there are eight of us) and headed toward Sedona and Slide Rock State Park.
I was excited to take them up there and enjoy the day with them at this park where the water has created slick conditions. Hence the name! You can cast your body into the frigid water and “slide” along the rocks worn smooth by years and years of erosion. Cool fun!
It takes about two hours to drive there so we packed sandwiches and snacks and started the day with great enthusiasm. I couldn’t wait! My anticipation was heightened by the fact that 14 years ago our family had happened upon this wonderful place and had shared a fun afternoon together sliding and jumping. I wanted our kids to recapture something from their childhood and share these moments with their spouses and soon to be spouse in the case of our youngest.
When we arrived at the park, I could immediately tell that something was amiss. The sign read that no one could get into the water due to bacteria. Apparently, all the activity of that weekend with thousands coming to slide had created unsuitable water and potential E. coli.
The day seemed to be wasted since the only real reason we had taken them this far was to experience the slide. We turned around and headed toward Sedona. We stopped along the way to look at the incredible Red Rocks, to grab some pop and coffee at a rustic little cafe, to check out the sites of Sedona itself, to scarf our sandwiches in the shade of a roadside stop, and to grab some ice cream at a nearby Sonic.
We headed home among the traffic of people coming back to Phoenix after Labor Day. It took forever but we played 21 questions and talked and slept. When we finally arrived home, Mary made some homemade pizza and we played some crazy games and laughed our heads off.
It wasn’t what I had planned. My kids tried to encourage me to not let it get me down. In the words of my son, “It really is all about simply being together, Dad.” The real attraction was not Slide Rock. It was the time we spend together. Learn the lesson, Jim!