Watson Lake | Prescott, AZ

We find ourselves in Arizona wrapping up some last-minute business stuff this week in prep for our #RVhoneymoon! Mark and I have 2 investment properties in Arizona that we rent out as vacation rentals and we are looking at buying a third! To say the least, the rentals are successful and our renters love vacationing in our homes! We’ve had some nightmares.. the neighbor ran her car into our sun room, some renters threw all the outdoor furniture into the pool, a broken AC in the middle of an Arizona Summer.. but the highs greatly outweigh the lows.

car.. sunroom.. not great

car.. sun room.. not great

It is sometimes stressful managing a property remotely especially with a 3 hour time difference but I love hearing how much our renters enjoyed their time in our house and how they appreciate the small attention to detail that we put into the houses! Anyway, we flew out early Thursday and went straight to the house we are potentially buying. It is in the middle of the desert, literally where the black top ends.

because *right here* seemed like the natural breaking point for this road.

because *right here* seemed like the natural breaking point for this road.

It is a gorgeous setting and I could look at the mountains all day so I was in heaven. We meet with a few contracts to guestimate some costs to make sure the numbers will work with this investment. It all looks a go so we will mark this trip a success! Naturally no one wanted to meet with us on Sunday so we had the day to relax. It was a hot 108 in Scottsdale and Mark somehow managed to get himself a nice little sunburn  in the 27 seconds he spent surveying the backyard yesterday, so laying by the pool was out of the question. sigh. We packed (water bottles and sour patch kids, watermelon) and hit the road to Prescott, AZ- a 2 hour drive north. It was approx 15 degrees cooler here and it was on a ton of google searches for “day trips from Phoenix” so it seemed as good an idea as any.

Mark and I get super lucky 99% of the time when we just randomly decide to go somewhere. This time was no different as it just so happened that Prescott, AZ was celebrating its 150th anniversary and the city was filled with street festivals. Our favorite. We spent the day walking through the street fairs, indulging in “whiskey row” & relaxing at Watson Lake. Perfection my dears.

Sunset lookout point where we stopped when I had to pee about 15 minutes into the drive

Sunset Point where we stopped when I had to pee about 15 minutes into the drive.

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Part of Whiskey Row!

sorry my headband is beyond ridiculous but my hair needed washed about 4 days ago and I was desperate to cover it up. sippin' some whiskey before noon because we can.

Sorry my headband is beyond ridiculous but my hair needed washed about 4 days ago and I was desperate to cover it up. Sippin’ some whiskey before noon because we can!

when in Rome, right?!

When in Rome, right?!

Watson Lake!

Watson Lake!

but seriously, gorgeous.

But seriously, gorgeous.

sorry not sorry. #purebarrelife

sorry not sorry. #purebarrelife

That is all for now! If you get the chance to visit Arizona. DO NOT HESITATE. From downtown Phoenix and its skyscrapers to the middle of nowhere with desert dirt roads, we could not love this state more!

xoxo,
Rachel

Throw Back Thursday

Feeling nostalgic as of late. Probably considering our wedding is FAAAAST approaching. I normally don’t participate in #tbt (Throw Back Thursday) because I’m far too lazy to find pictures old enough to be considered a throw back. I’m talking baby pictures from Mom & Dad’s house. One day I will remember to just scan a lot of them when I’m there and have a backlog of them ready for every Thursday for the rest of my life. I could throw back some middle school pictures, but wait, no, way to awkward looking. [White eyeliner and glitter on my cheeks, yikes] or high school, but wait, no, way to awkward looking. [heavy black eyeliner and refusing to wear anything but inside-out-hoodies and sweatpants to school, yikes again] I could Throw Back some college pictures, but I fear my future in-laws will judge me in a very negative way. Also, these college pictures are still prominently framed in my office and I refused to acknowledge that my college days are now enough in the past to be considered Throw Back.

So on this fine Thursday, here are some Throw Backs of Mark and I. As much of a Throw Back as you can get from only knowing each other 2.5 years.

 

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Throw Backs from: the dinner after Mark proposed, the first time I took Mark to THE Ohio University, our first (and only) time skiing, a holiday work party, a dinner date at Gervasi Vineyards, the actual proposal, my favorite picture of us of all time, a picture of us climbing some bamboo trees in Hawaii, us at the Grand Canyon, a night out at Velvet Tango Room in Cleveland, us at a comedy show in Chi-town, a picture of us being slap happy in Arizona, a casual stroll along the beach in Malibu, The eve of New Year’s Eve, a Jason Aldean concert at Blossom, a picture from a spontaneous birthday trip to Florida, us posing for a picture while on a safari in Africa, and finally, a picture from a party we had on Dec. 21, 2012 (End Of The World Party). The End. Happy Throw Back Thursday everyone!

P.S. Sorry for all the pictures but it is fun to take a stroll down memory lane sometimes!

The Proposal 2.0

I know I have a page dedicated to the proposal, but I wanted to revisit the day with PICTURES this time!!

What a perfect day it was! The sun was shining, I was oblivious that my world was going to change (for the better) and I was head over heels in love.

Short version of the proposal: We were out on Lake Havasu, just the two of us and Mark starts playing music on his phone. The second song being “Faithfully” by Journey (our song). He comes over, gets down on one knee & asks me to be his wife!!!! I.am.in.complete.shock. I like to think of myself as pretty aware of my surroundings/able to pick up on things. I had no idea he was going to propose. I didn’t even know he had a ring.

For those of you who know me, you would think was reaction would be loud shrieks and screaming. WRONG. I was dead silent. My whole body was shaking and my throat was dry. I think I eeked out the words “are you serious??” Once I finally realized what was going on and was able to come to grips I was able to scream out yes and I couldn’t stop shrieking for the rest of the night!

I think my favorite part of the proposal was that it was our little secret for several hours. We were out on the boat all day and didn’t call/text anyone until a good 5 or 6 hours after the fact. How magical!

Here are some pics – enjoy!

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A reenactment of the proposal!

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Thumps Up & All Smiles

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Our Celebration Dinner

Wedding Planning

Although this blog will be devoted to our RV Honeymoon, I wanted to also include some wedding details because, you know, we have to have a wedding before we have a Honeymoon!

Mark proposed on May 11, 2013 and we are getting married May 10, 2014. Funny story about that.

As previously mentioned, we have rental properties in Arizona and were in AZ when he proposed. Arizona has SIGNIFICANTLY better weather than Ohio. Significantly. Arizona has 290+ days a year with sun. Ohio has barely 160. Not to mention Arizona’s winters are roughly 40 degrees. Yes, thats their winter cold. Anyway, we were in Arizona for most of the end of what most call late winter/early Spring. It was around 80 degrees and I was swimming and laying out at the end of March. I had a horrible perception that Spring is 80 and sunny and decided I needed to have our wedding outside… but in Ohio. I wanted romantic, rustic, elegant outdoor white tent. By the time we arrived back in Ohio and started looking at venues, it was full on summer – June – and the weather was gorgeous. I was having the hardest time finding a venue that would a.) hold our reception size, around 200-300 we were guessing and b.) was outside and pretty. I had heard of this winery, ThornCreek Winery but was having a hard time getting in contact with someone (botched email address correspondence, phone tag, etc). This venue was my last chance. I had driven around and visited at least 20 venues in the greater North Eastern Ohio and was slowly telling myself I was going to have to settle for an indoor, reception hall vibe.

In a final act of desperation, my mother and I just showed up one day at ThornCreek Winery. It was a Monday, they were closed. Luckily for us, the winemaker was in and he happily showed us around (& gave us wine, bonus!). It was love at first sight. After I came down from cloud nine & realized I had yet to ask the most important question yet… is it available for any Saturday May-August. I was very flexible in all details relating to venue at this point. Being the winemaker, he looked at me and said in the nicest was possible “I make wine, not wedding plans.” Not ready to accept that I would have to wait xx hours before finding out if there were any dates available, I kindly complimented his wine again and asked if there was anyway he could find out. He said he would check the event coordinators office because “he thinks he keeps a folder for each wedding.” He came back with a piece of notebook paper that, at first glance, every Saturday it seemed was filled until into August. Not Good. Panic swept over my body.

A look at the list of taken dates

My mom found a small hole in the date he had written down. May 10th was available. Quick check of the phone showed that it was in fact a Saturday! It is also almost 1 year exactly from the date Mark proposed. It was fate mostly!!! My mom points out it is Mothers Day Weekend. I’m okay with that. I quickly ask/demand that he allow no one to even breath in the direction of the event coordinator until May 10th officially becomes our wedding date.

After several emails and phone calls over the next 24 hours, the event guy finally tells me that the day is ours and I am head over heels. Now I just have to show it to Mark and get his approval….

Luckily, he LOVED it as well!

See you May 10, 2014 ThornCreek!