A Welcome Retreat…

A Welcome Retreat...

This has not been a very fun summer for me or our family.  We have been largely confined to our home as our son, Kai, recovers from hip surgery.  I have written about his journey which you can read here if you like.

Well, we received some great news from the doctor 2 weeks ago…Kai was allowed to start to walk again.  Yeah!!!  Although it has been slow going, he is making great progress – he has already ditched the walker the doctor prescribed and insists on walking by himself, he goes to PT twice weekly and is making great progress.   We have been waiting for this moment and decided to take some time to go on a little vacation before the kids start school.

A Welcome Retreat

We do have a favorite vacation spot up in the Arizona mountains called Williams.  Williams is a little town, just east of Flagstaff and is situated right on Route 66 and is the gateway to the Grand Canyon.  We are blessed that my sister-in-law’s family has some cabins up there that they graciously allow us to use.

We couldn’t wait to go, especially the kids.  We wanted to do something special for all of them – Kai because he was such a great patient and his sisters because they were so helpful to him and didn’t mind the extra attention that he got.  And so we packed up our van and started up the mountain.

Arizona mountains

Now all of us love to fish, so we dropped our bags off at the cabin and drove to the lake to start fishing right away.  My youngest daughter, Gracie, caught a fish but we had to leave soon after we arrived because a thunderstorm moved in.

The next day we went to one of our favorite lakes and started fishing.  The morning was windy and we didn’t catch a thing, not even a nibble.  I was ready to quit after 4 hours, but my husband talked me into staying for 15 more minutes.  Well, guess what happened?

Arizona mountains

 Kai caught a fish and the wind calmed down.  Over the next 2 hours, we caught 18 rainbow trout between the five of us – Kai caught 6!

Arizona mountains

Arizona mountains

We threw some of them back, but came back to the cabin with 13 fish which I cooked for the kids.  As for me, I caught 5 fish and 2 severely sunburned feet 😉


Although we were only able to spend two full days there, it was just what we needed as a family to refresh and rejuvenate before school starts again in only 5 days….

**I do want to apologize for not posting, visiting and commenting as often as I would like, but my life has been quite crazy this summer.  I am thankful that school is starting again and my life will get back to normal 🙂

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
25 replies
  1. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, I am so pleased to hear that your son is making a good recovery. These are worrying times for you all and, I am certain, that the holiday was exactly what you all needed.

    You seemed to have great success with the fishing. It did show that patience is a virtue after all!!

  2. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    What a great post Noelle. Kai is doing very well, you all got a much needed mini vacation, and it definitely looks like you were refreshed and had fun.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  3. Ami
    Ami says:

    Noelle: Glad to hear Kai is having good progress. It is good that you got a small vacation before school starts. My family also just came back from our 3 week vacation in China, and kids will still have four week summer vacation left.

  4. Kyna
    Kyna says:

    I'm so glad you guys were able to go on a nice vacation 😀 I love fishing. I'm not very good at it, and Chuck has to take the fish off the lone for me because I'm a chicken lol. I LOVE that photo with the thunderclouds in the background, it's beautiful 😀

  5. Ginny
    Ginny says:

    I remember how exciting it was to catch a fish as a child. It sounds like you all made some good memories! Glad that Kai is doing so well.

  6. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    Fun place Noelle. It looks beautiful ~ I see that big thunderstorm in the background of your photo too!
    Glad your son is recovering ahead of schedule. I can't believe they start school in five days! Are you all on year-round school? It seems so early.

  7. Teresa O
    Teresa O says:

    Noelle..It sounds like you and your family had a wonderful getaway. It's good to hear that your son's recovering so well and being such a brave boy! Take a little time for you once things return to a more serene life.

    Have a grand day!

  8. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    Yay! I'm so happy to read that Kai is able to walk about a bit again, and that your family will soon be readjusting to its happy normal. (Not that you didn't have lots of joyful moments, even amid the upset and stress.) Hope you're feet are feeling better soon, too, and I hope you know you never need to apologize. Look at all you manage to do, and do well! You are a wonder, Noelle. 🙂

    How wonderful, to take the kids fishing! I grew up fishing a lot as a kid, and it's such a restful, peaceful activity. I'm sure it was exactly what you all needed. So cute, y'all all standing there with the catch strung up. 🙂 Ah, and there's nothing tastier than fresh grilled rainbow trout… mmm…

  9. Rosey
    Rosey says:

    I am so glad you were able to get out and have some fun family time.
    Your children are so cute and such good sports for all they have gone through this summer.

  10. Rose
    Rose says:

    I'm so happy that Kai is able to get around on his own once again. Catching so many fish must have made his day. That's a great photo of the four of you, Noelle; you can see from the smiles on their faces how much the kids enjoyed this trip. It's good that you were able to have this getaway before school starts…wow, school starting already??

  11. Gail
    Gail says:

    Noelle, Sometimes a few days is all you need to get recharged and energized! I am so glad to hear that your son is progressing so well~Soon, he'll be running! gail

  12. Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ
    Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ says:

    Hi Noelle,
    As soon as I saw the wonderful photo of you and your family with all those tasty fish, I could see your feet were very sunburned. Who ever thinks of their feet getting burned? I hope that are okay now and didn't cause you too much pain. It looks like they would really hurt!

  13. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    Woohoo! Great catch! So glad to see Kai walking and smiling so happily. I too can't believe school starts so soon. I always dread the start of school. Summer is wonderful!

  14. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hello Everyone and thank you for your comments 🙂

    Susan, we fish at the Santa Fe Dam in Williams. We have had great luck there for the past 4 years.

    We are on a modified year-round school calendar with 8 weeks off in the summer, a 2 week fall break, 2 weeks for Christmas and 2 weeks for spring break 🙂

  15. Grace
    Grace says:

    I'm so glad you all had such a great time, Noelle!! I'm amazed at the amount of fish you caught – I have never caught any fish up there.

  16. Patchwork
    Patchwork says:

    So good to hear about Kai's progress.

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. I love to fish…I'm jealous.

    Thanks for sharing this good time with us.


  17. Pam's English Garden
    Pam's English Garden says:

    Noelle, Congratulations to Kai on the great progress he is making. My son and his wife with their two children are in the process of moving to Phoenix. The early start of the school year is a bit of a culture shock, and they are scurrying to be there in time. When they are settled I'll be out for a visit. So I will be getting to know your beautiful state first-hand. I'm glad you had a nice break and I wish your children a wonderful new school year. Pam
    Incidentally, my two grandsons are also adopted.

  18. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    So glad that you had this special time with your family. My whole family loves to fish too. It's such a great thing to teach the kids.My grown (in their 50's)still talk about all the fun times we had while fishing.The more elaborate vacations seem to have been forgotten, but not the simple ones spent in a cottage and fishing.Happy to hear that Kai is doing so well. He was a brave little boy. Balisha

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