Hopscotch Honeymoon Part XIV: Ending the moon in Moab

We started in Sacramento, ventured to Sedona, Santa Fe, Eureka Springs, Hannibal, Chillicothe, Oshkosh, Traverse City, Mackinac, Keokuk and Colorado Springs with fuel stops in between. And last but not least, we ventured to Moab, UT, the final stop on our hopscotch honeymoon. After 17 days popping around the country, we settled in at the Sunflower Hill Inn, a quaint home we’d visited four years previously on an air tour of the Southwest. My love affair with red rock continues as you will see below…

As the dirt turned red and distinctive mesas started to emerge, I knew we were crossing from Colorado to Utah.
Gorgeous colors and texture in Utah.
Volatile weather marked the second half of our trip and it was a sensational sight on the desert floor.
Thunder and lightning preparing to pummel the mesas.
Although we’d only been there once, the Canyonlands of southeastern Utah were familiar.
We cinched down our seatbelts as the ride became bumpy over the warm desert.
Breath taking.
It was surprising to see green bits here and there.
T had fun buzzing mesas and circling around Canyonlands.
It was about this time that I realized how far I’ve come as a plane passenger in four years.
T was banking and turning while updrafts jostled us up and down.
As I’d forgotten to take my bonine (anti-nausea medicine), I wondered when the sickness would set in.
Miraculously, it never came! T says I’m seasoned now. Basily maybe? Or cayennesque??
We’ll see if his opinion holds the next time we do aerobatic maneuvers. 😉
Wonder how long it will take for this ridge to wash away.
We flew into the valley which was surprisingly cool for August. Low/mid-80s I think.
T flew with one hand and snapped pictures and video with the other. Hrm.
Round and round we went.
Scrub brush.
I wonder if people have climbed to the top of this thing.
You can never have too many rock pictures, right?
Lovely valley.
Let’s call this a tributary of the Colorado River. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Welcome to Arches National Park.
For some reason, these rock formations remind me of smurf huts.
If you look closely, I’m sure there are people climbing those arches.
I prefer the aerial method of touring.
Hiking, climbing and cycling are major hobbies in Moab.
I’ve heard that Moab is the cycling capital of the world.
A few hours later, thunder and lightning smashed the town. I felt sorry for the campers who endured small flash floods during the evening.
Landing at Canyon Lands field.
Random fact: When parking the 182, we came within a foot of this guy’s tail.
I enjoyed starting and ending the moon in the desert.
Driving 20 minutes to town.
The drive seemed eternal because for the third day in a row, we’d skipped lunch. (For the record, I did think I would die each and every one of those days. I’m Italian, remember?)
I wonder how long it takes people to get used to the scenery.
Alllmost there!
T is wild with hunger now.
Thankfully we reached the inn where the hosts wisely had the cookies laid out already.
Lovely Sunflower Hill Inn.
Although the lush gardens are lovely, it’s even prettier in the fall when the colors turn and the leaves fall.
The last time we were here, extra fluffy deer with huge ears roamed the property.
We settled into the primo Bowery room.
The innkeeper said it’s usually the room featured on the printed collateral. Too cool.
We had a private deck and view of the garden.
The common area in the inn felt like a lodge almost.
Cookies, nuts and M&Ms, oh my.
Of course, man cannot live on cookies alone so we ventured to a tasty Thai restaurant.
Tom yum guy soup. We ordered medium spicy and twas mild, sadly.
This would be the “I don’t wanna go home” face.
But then the veggie spring rolls arrived.
And moods improved.
Our post-Oshkosh meals featured as many veggies as possible.
After Thai, we relaxed at the inn, listening to the incoming thunder storm and–I have the best husband ever–watching New Moon (quite possibly the worst movie I’ve ever purchased but still love because it’s part of my sparkly vampire obsession).
His cuteness, at the breakfast table.
Breakfast smoothies!
Despite gentle pleas, I was greatly disappointed to eat ANOTHER freaking egg puff instead of the delectable raised Belgian waffles I’d envisioned over the course of our travels. Even telling the innkeeper that I’d adopted their recipe and created a Christmas waffle tradition didn’t change the menu. Huh.
But the Irish oatmeal was tasty.
After packing in breakfast and packing up our stuff, we hit the grocery store for lunchables. Here we ran into the largest cheese wheel ever.
63 pounds of stinkyyyy cheese. Oh yeah.
By the time we returned to the airport, relaxation was at an all-time high. T called around and booked us morning massages before our flight. What a wonderful way to end vacation!
At the airport, the vending machines sold ice cream and frozen burritos. Best vending machines ever.
We packed up and headed out. Only five or six hours to home!

After our whirlwind adventure, we arrived home, happy to see friends/fam and sleep in our own bed once more. We’re exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to take a trip like this and for all of the well-wishes we received along the way. Thank you!

Now back to regularly scheduled programming and fewer oh-my-god-can-she-have-any-more-damn-vacation-photos-some-one-take-that-camera-away-STAT type posts. 😉


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