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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

Good morning McKinney!!

Today I’m sharing with you part 1 of my Arizona Travel Diary. We took a trip to Flagstaff, AZ last month to visit our dear friends, Jeff and Nicole, who recently moved from Phoenix to Flagstaff, so it was our first time visiting that part of Arizona. Brian and Jeff played in a golf tournament for the week, so Nicole took us on a little adventure each day. This was such a fun trip to take the kids on while also getting to see our sweet friends (that we wish would move back to McKinney!) (hint)


Travel ready in white jeans, TEXAS t-shirt from Willow House on the downtown McKinney square, extra-long cardi from Karadise Boutique in Adriatica, and favorite Rose Gold Espadrilles that are my new go-to travel shoes. Easy to slip on and off at security and fun with the rose gold.

As soon as we arrived,  Jeff and Brian headed to the golf course for a practice round, and Nicole and I took the kids to play a little tennis.

That evening we had a super delicious dinner at home…Nicole introduced me to her Instant Pot, so of course I ordered one which was waiting for me when I got back to McKinney. (We are still getting used to eachother.) She also made our Grapefruit Guacamole from the May magazine which of course was amazing and she served it with plantain chips and sliced bell peppers.


Nicole drove us to THE GRAND CANYON which was such a neat experience. I think I sang that song “Holiday Road” the entire hour and a half drive there…you know that song from Vacation with Chevy Chase.

Caleb fell asleep as soon as we got in the car! And yes, he is wearing my sweater bc apparently the AC was just too powerful.

The Grand Canyon is such an overwhelming experience. It is enormous and intriguing and really beautiful. Seeing it in person made us curious about how it formed and how old it is, so James googled a bunch of our questions when we got home. Cool Grand Canyon Fact: there is an indigenous tribe of Native Americans that live down inside the canyon. Isn’t that neat?!

Another crazy fact…there really aren’t any railings anywhere so that was…interesting. And a little stressful. Oh! And all the bathrooms had these signs above the toilets. Anyone else find it odd that there would need to be a reminder to not drink from a toilet…regardless if the water was “reclaimed wastewater” or not.  And isn’t all water “reclaimed wastewater”?


The next day we headed to Sedona, Arizona which a really neat little town known for its magic crystals and energy vortexes. Yes, you heard me right, and yes, I bought a few magic crystals. I’m fascinated, y’all, because I love the idea of good energy, or clean energy, or rejuvenating energy, and if God made rocks and minerals and crystals to hold energy then I’m game. I haven’t really done anything with them accept sit them on the shelves in my office so nothing to report on whether or not they “work.”

While in Sedona we visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross which is a beautiful chapel at the top of a big summit and looks out over all the red rock mountains.

Here is James giving me a heart attack.

From the Chapel we could see this gorgeous home with beautiful gardens and water features in the back yard. I also love the green tile roof which is something we don’t see much of here in Texas.

We shopped around Sedona, ate lunch, and then stopped at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some sweets.

James, Nash, and Caleb

That night we had a sitter for the kids and the grown ups headed out for dinner in downtown Flagstaff. We went to a restaurant and wine bar called Brix which was absolutely incredible!!! Delicious food. Awesome ambiance.

This is Jeff and Nicole. Aren’t they so cute? Don’t they need to move back to McKinney? (hint)

So that’s it for part 1 of our Arizona Travel Diary. I know it was a long post, so hope you weren’t too bored. Check back soon for part 2!

To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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