It’s been said, “somewhere between living and dreaming, there’s Sedona.” We couldn’t agree more.
To kick off Nina’s 40th birthday celebration, her only wish for the “family celebration” was that it be just the 5 of us – Momma Vaid, Daddy Vaid, Sheena, Nina, and Dipti. This is not a simple wish, let us tell you. When you have hubbies, kids, jobs, school, and everything else under the sun, planning a trip, essentially leaving everyone behind was a task. But as you all know, our village is unlike any other and we quite possibly are the luckiest people on earth.
For the three of us, that village, “our village,” stepped it up as always. This was going to be a trip where all the moms and one set of grandparents were gone. That leaves very little options for help! Between the in-laws and hubbies, the kids did not skip a beat – they didn’t miss any sports, any recitals, nothing. They all ate, slept, and played to their hearts’ desires. As we’re writing this, we’re thinking maybe we should do this more often!
We think that maybe the universe aligned for us because it knew how much this trip meant to us. The last time we had gone away with just the 5 of us was 24 years ago on a trip to India that is a faint memory for all of us now. Knowing that this trip was unlikely to happen again for another, at least, 10 years, we wanted to take it in as much as possible.
At first, Sedona was just the excuse to get us 5 together in an accessible location in case anyone had to rush back. But the more time we spent there, the more we realized just how much we needed this vacation. Yes, we are that family that talks to each other every day about anything and nothing at all. But you truly can’t put a value on having uninterrupted conversation with completely present minds. During these 3 days, we had decided we were going to disconnect (as much as possible) and just enjoy the time with each other. To be able to talk to mom and dad, without a customer asking for the gold price, or dad driving between the Staten Island clinic and South Plainfield clinic was golden. We finally had some time to ask them questions, learn about their interests outside their engulfing jobs, and hear what they want from our lives.
Mom and dad also had an opportunity to learn about us. Our daily conversations with our parents usually revolve around the kids, food, or drama with each other (lol!). But during this trip, none of that existed for a short 3 days. We finally got to talk about what’s important to us – what we wanted for them, and what our goals and ambitions are. Like all parents, they raised us with their dreams for us, and during this trip, they were able to share those dreams with us. And like all offsprings, we had dreams for ourselves that didn’t necessarily align with theirs. Spending that time and reflecting on both sides was an experience we truly could not have gained more from.
It’s sad to think that this may not happen again for a long time or even at all. As time relentlessly moves on, life changes and priorities build, it gets tougher to leave people behind. But now it feels like we don’t even want to. We want the kids to experience the world and when we happen to find a unicorn, or 3/4 days off, we’d rather take them somewhere than experience something on our own.
But this trip, sharing it with just the 5 of us, was a trip we would absolutely recommend everyone do. Our parents have never shared their hearts with us the way they did on this trip – maybe it’s because we’re older now and understand more, maybe it’s because they never get the time to, or maybe because they’re so stuck in their routines that sharing their world isn’t priority.
By the same token, Sedona allowed us 3 to self-reflect on a much deeper level (and more than 5 minutes before a child was screaming in our face). To have that moment, where you’re not responsible for another human, you don’t have work piling up, and no one is expecting you to be anywhere… it’s an unimaginable, immeasurable sense of peace that you will never know until you experience it.
Nina has always preached to us to look within ourselves and stop getting lost in our minds, but of course, our minds wouldn’t allow us to do that. This trip, the 3 days we spent with just us and our parents, gave us all the opportunity to get out of our heads. It gave us the opportunity to be present, witness the magic of mother nature and appreciate how vast this world truly is. It gave each of us some level of peace (some more than others), something we all needed more than we knew.
At the end of our trip, on our drive home, Sheena asked each of us to describe the trip in one word. Our answers perfectly describe what this trip meant to each of us…
Daddy Vaid: family
Mommy Vaid: peaceful
We planned this trip keeping in mind that we wanted to take mom and dad to places that were on their bucket list and something they likely won’t do on their own. We focused more on the experiences of the nature Sedona has to offer and less on the wining and dining of the place. We are sharing a little glimpse into our three day itinerary that filled our hearts with everything we needed. More pics on our IG page to see the specific places we went and how stunning they really are!
11am – Arrival into PHX
12pm – Lunch in Phoenix, AZ @ Blanco – amazing food, great margaritas and hip ambiance!
3:00pm – Check into Amara Resort & Spa – quaint little hotel in the middle of city center Sedona.
4:30pm – Sedona Mystical Vortex Tour – an interesting 2-hour tour of the vortex spaces in the beautiful mountains of Sedona. I nice way to start our journey in the magic that lays ahead.
7:00pm – Dinner at Fresh & Natural Thai Kitchen – a small, casual Thai kitchen that made fresh food with fresh vegetables and had a very large vegetarian menu. It was ideal for us after a long day of travel!
8:00am – Antelope Canyon & Grand Canyon Air/Ground Tour – this was a memorable full day tour that was on all of our bucket lists
8:00 pm – Dinner @ Picazzos – another great casual, vegetarian friendly Italian restaurant right near our hotel (this was a last minute change due to unforeseen circumstances with our day plans – original reservation was at Elote, also right near our hotel).
8:00am – Pink Jeep Tour
10:30am – Sisters hike Sugar Loaf Trail while mom & dad shop around town
1:00pm – Lunch @ Chocolate Tree – an amazing little organic eatery in town that had delicious food and the cutest ambiance
2:30pm – Pool, Chill, Relax, Spa – all at Amara Resort & Spa
5:30pm – Sunset Hike/Family Photoshoot at Bell Rock Trail head by R. Gonzales Photography
7:30pm – Dinner @ Javelina Cantina
10:00pm – Fireside chat & wine, star gazing, reminiscing about the past 72 hours…
*Any questions on specifics of the trip, please feel free to reach out to us! We are more than happy to share!