Sunday, February 2, 2014

Back From Vacation

Well, friends, I just came back from 2 whole blissful weeks in Arizona!  I have to say that I'm extremely envious of those of you who live in gorgeous year-round warmer climates. (Ok, I admit it, I'm downright bitter!  It's no secret that I'm NOT a fan of winter.)

My parents and hubby and I try and visit my sister and her family in Tucson at least once a year, and January is the perfect time to escape our grueling winter weather.  We picked an especially great time to go this year as it was extra cold here in Ohio, and extra warm in Tucson.

We left bundled up like this...

...and arrived to this...

The four of us rented a house through VRBO. (Vacation Rental By Owner)  We've always used this and have been pleased with the homes; however this year's home was especially gorgeous!

The grounds were like a compound!   I hope you've got some time, 'cause I'm gonna give you a tour.

Here's outside the front gates...

Once inside the front gates, this is the walkway to the main house...

By the way, those trees and more in the back were laden with delicious grapefruit, oranges, and tangelos (or of those!) that we constantly picked and snacked on, and also juiced...yum!!

The house was clean and spacious.  It had been recently renovated so everything was top-notch, including the gourmet kitchen.  On the other side there are 2 ovens and an extra large fridge.  I don't cook, but my mom and Keith were drooling over this kitchen and enjoyed making us several meals in it!

The style/decor of the home obviously isn't my taste, but I could still appreciate the attention to detail and care that went into the reno.  My mom and I laughed that we could have it filled with treasures and decorated in homey vintage style in no time!

The layout was great for us, with a central great room, dining room and kitchen...

...then a bathroom/bedroom/closet suite on either end of the home.  (The bathrooms were amazing with HUGE shower rooms, complete with a steam feature if you wanted a steam shower!)

We particularly enjoyed the backyard!  We spent a lot of time out there reading, grilling, and just hanging out in the incredible weather.

You don't see these in Ohio!

Keith got some great pics of some stunning blossoms in the backyard!

We even got treated to some wildlife.  A hawk stopped by one morning right outside the kitchen window...

There was a cute hummingbird that visited often, too, but unfortunately we couldn't capture his picture.

We did get this sweet red bird, though...

At the other end of the backyard was a beautiful  portico. (Bikes courtesy of my great niece and nephew! :)

Here's my mom and sister enjoying a glass of wine under it.

And at the other end of the back property was a guest house!  When my sister came to visit she stayed there...perfect! (We didn't think to get any pictures inside, but it was also beautiful with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.)

It's hard to believe that just a couple of days ago we were taking morning walks with nothing more than a light jacket on!  Our views were breathtaking...crystal blue skies every day.

Here's Keith on one of our walks with our great niece Rayne, who's four.  We had SO much fun with her!! (I thought they looked so cute in front of me that I had to snap a pic!)

Here are she and I getting ready for a night out on the town. She insisted that we 'match' with our hoodies and jeans tucked into our boots!  My little fashion plate :)

Well, I suppose all good things must come to an end...sigh.  
I can't say that I'm happy to be back to single digit temps; however, I did miss our kitties like crazy, and there really is no place like home!

Of course I did some fabulous shopping, which I know is what you really want to see! :)
I'll be back soon to share all of that with you.

Have a wonderful day and if you're in a frigid climate like us, stay warm!
And if you're in warm weather, well, no offense, but I don't like you very much right now.  (Just kidding...kind of... ;)


  1. Sounds like you had a great vacation. The homes is really very nice and so much space. We are finally getting our winter - 68 today.

  2. I have to say that I have never understood how people can survive in the cold and snow in the winter. We have friends who live in Chicago, but have a winter home in Scottsdale.

    We often do VRBO for our houses on vacation and have always had good luck. Your house looks wonderful.

  3. What a perfectly timed vacation. I am so glad January is behind us, now let's just get through February. Can't wait to see what you bought. ;)

  4. Oh, your trip sounds heavenly! Warm weather, family, a beautiful place to stay, what more could you want? Shopping, of course. :) I can't wait to see what you found!

  5. It looks like you had the perfect break from our Ohio Winter, Susan! And, look, you got back just in time for another round of snow Tuesday night. : ) I'm sure it was wonderful to visit with your sister and enjoy those warmer temps.

  6. Oh what a beautiful place to live. Now, don't forget though, you may have freezing cold winters, but they have extremely hot summers. I'm sure it did your body good to get some much needed sunshine. We are having warmer temps this week, but will be getting rain.

  7. Girl you are killing me ! Those beautiful outdoor photos ! Sure makes me want to get out of this snow, even more than before. You are your hubby are so cute !! Blessings, stay warm, xoxo,Susie

  8. What a gorgeous place you stayed in! Very jealous ... I must plan a winter getaway myself at some point! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Gorgeous and so fun! Oh, boy -- I could really use a vacation in that locale right now. Another 6" of snow yesterday -- it's really too much. This reaffirms my belief that there is green in the world somewhere! So glad you had fun!

  10. Hi Susan, It's wonderful that you were able to escape the cold weather for a while. I can imagine that you missed your kitties. Did they behave while you were gone? I look forward to seeing what great treasures you found.
    Have a lovely Sunday!

  11. Oh how lovely.. It was sure beautiful. It looks alot like Israel. We are going back there in July for a third visit. My husband has a nephew that transferred there for work several years ago and made it their permanent home. Its nice to have a place to stay when we are there. We went in March last year and this year July. It will be extremely hot! Have a great day!

  12. Sounds like a very enjoyable vacation. Need some of the sunshine and warm weather here - cold and raining.

  13. Sounds like a wonderful vacation Susan!! We're having a heat wave in NY the last two days 50 degrees LOL!! They say more snow tomorrow into Tuesday!

  14. Oh Susan,
    The house is fab and the trip and scenery is beautiful. Ohhhhhh and to feel that warmth must have been heavenly. Soooooo jealous over here. Welcome back and so happy to see you having this fun time with family.

  15. Sounds divine! What a great time to go to a warmer place! Hope you have a fabulous week!

  16. What a beautiful place to spend time and relax! It's been so cold here but I know you have it much worse there. I know I couldn't live in the north or midwest after seeing all this snow this year. Of course, it gets way too hot here in the summer so what's a girl to do? :)


  17. Right now it is snowing/sleeting out so I really enjoyed the pictures of Arizona, they are just beautiful! Loved where you stayed too.

  18. Looks like you had a wonderful time. How nice to miss the cold cold temps. Your mom and sister look so much alike. Beautiful home.

  19. Nice pictures and glad you got to spend some time with your family. Welcome back!

  20. Oh, please! I lived in Phoenix for 17 years and it is absolutely hell on earth except for a very few months in winter. You went at the right time. It will be in the triple digits starting in May and will stay there until right before Thanksgiving. It's terrible. I had lived in Chicago for 23 years prior to moving to the desert and would take Chicago over Phoenix any time. I'm now in Colorado and we are having the most beautiful snowy winter. Can't get enough of it.

  21. Oh my gosh! It's a picker's dream! Thank you for sharing!


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