Starting back in 1989, Brian’s mom’s side of the family has a reunion every three years. His mom is the oldest of seven children and so far the gatherings have rotated through the siblings to plan. Two years ago, the last ‘kid’ in the family hosted, and the torch was passed along to the next generation — literally, there is a construction paper torch in our basement now. Brian is the oldest of the grandkids, so we have the honor of planning the 2015 reunion. The rules are fairly simple – the host picks a place and plans it out, everyone find their way to the chosen spot and then we enjoy a fun weekend together. When we figured out when our turn would be, probably ten years ago, I had picked Sedona.

I’ve been here twice, once with my mom and my aunt and once with Brian for our 10th wedding anniversary. It’s such a beautiful place, teeming with things to do, amazing food to eat, drinks to drink and sunsets to be savored (sunrise is probably nice too but that happens way too early). When we announced the destination to the rest of the family at the end of the last reunion, as is tradition, everyone seemed excited, so we began planning the adventure that is a weekend, destination reunion for 37 people (if there are no births, adoptions or marriages in the next 12 months).

When planning a trip for a wide range of ages and interests, variety is key – indoor/outdoor, active/passive, etc. After a stop at the official visitor’s center, we hopped on one of the Trolley Tours routes and got a closer look at some of the rock formations, while evaluating the fun-factor of the trolley itself. Afterwards, we were parched so we stopped in at the oldest operating restaurant in Sedona, The Cowboy Club, for a prickly pear margarita and some fried cactus. Yum!

We checked into our cabin (not giving it away until it’s posted on the official reunion website) and took a tour of the place. We rested up for dinner with a nap and headed back down (in elevation) to the Elote Cafe, which we had come to three years ago and Brian has raved about ever since. Unlike many amazing things the second time around, Elote did not disappoint. From the Elote (fresh corn dip) to the ginger margarita to the grilled ahi tuna tacos, every flavor was perfect. My only regret was that I was far too stuffed for dessert. Maybe next time!

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