First the business: I have been a complete blog slacker for the last several months. I don't know what my problem is. I could say I've been busy or distracted, but I think mostly I've just hit a blog rut and haven't felt I've had much to say here lately. I will try to do better this year!
Well, I really have been pretty busy with work (not making excuses!) and trying to make my goal of 100 pieces in my Etsy shop by the end of 2011. I ended up with 82. I'm not terribly upset with this, as I had a last minute show in early December, and November and December found me a nice amount of sales from the shop too, so, all is well. I think I'll reach my goal of 100 pieces very soon and then set the next listing milestone for myself.
I hit my first sales milestone — 50 sales — on Etsy at the end of October. 60 wasn't far behind and hopefully things keep rolling now that the holidays are past.
In other news, my husband started a new job back in September which has him doing a fair amount of traveling. So far he is really enjoying his new endeavors, and he is home on the weekends and some weekdays in between engagements, so I am ending up with plenty of time to work on new jewelry and listings.
Now the pleasure part of this post: The afore mentioned new job found hubby in Phoenix, AZ for about 4 weeks. Rather than coming home for one of those weekends, I found pretty decent airfare out of Dayton, OH and so I flew out there to meet him. We planned to drive up to Sedona for a weekend, which is just a couple hours away. It was my first time flying solo, which at first was a bit frightening to me, but I got over my fear and then ended up at the conclusion that it's just a little boring.
We booked a jeep tour with A Day In The West. It was originally supposed to be a photographic tour (smooth trail, panoramic views), but that trail was closed by Forestry the day before my arrival due to ice. We switched to a sunset tour instead. Well, this was not a smooth trail. It was quite rocky. Bumpy is an understatement! It was so much fun and so interesting to hear our guide's stories and he was very knowledgeable about the plant life, which was very cool, and about Sedona in general. This is the sunset over the mountains:
The next day, we didn't really have any plans, so my husband mapped out a route to drive around to some of the well-known vantage points. We stopped at one of the visitors' centers too, and found the lady there to be quite helpful, providing advice and maps. She recommended Weber's IGA's deli counter for great sandwiches made to order, so we stopped there for sandwiches, snacks and drinks. So pretty much what we did is take advantage of the gorgeous day and we drove up around the red rock mountains, stopping here and there for photos. We ate our picnic lunch at the overlook at the Sedona Airport. The sandwiches were awesome and the view too, of course.
One place the visitors' center lady recommended was Boynton Canyon. You can drive through it yourself without being on a Jeep tour. We were in a regular car, but I guess they have to warn you about the road being unpaved. We didn't have any issues getting around, but it was definitely bumpy!
At one point in Boynton Canyon, we started to see these cactuses along the side of the road and we pulled over to snap a couple pics. Then we looked up and realized they were scattered all along the mountainside. I guess it was a particularly favorable spot for them to grow. There must be some water run-off or something on that side. They look like something out of a movie. I made it out without being injured by one!
So that was our little taste of the Southwest. I would go back there in a heartbeat. It is something to see! I made it back home safe and sound too, wrapping up my first solo flight. I have a feeling I may get to have a few more little weekend trips this year if my husband goes somewhere interesting. I will fly solo again for more great photo opportunities!