Anniversary Trip: Part 2

We loved our honeymoon so much, we made a deal to relive it each year! For our 1st anniversary, we went on our honeymoon again! We traveled to the same little town in the mountains, stayed in the same cabin, and did some of the same activities and also some new ones. Last minute we decided to go camping on our way up to these mountains! You can read about our camping trip here. We did this trip two weeks after our actual anniversary. You can read about how we celebrated our anniversary the weekend of here.

This quaint little town, Greer, is located in the White Mountains of Arizona. I came here a few times growing up with my family, and then I brought Donovan here for his first and now second time. We both love it! After we packed up camp Sunday morning, we made our way to Greer and went to our favorite restaurant, the Greer Cafe. We both were SO sad when we saw that it had shut down and went to the Rendezvous Diner instead. There we met a sweet old couple who talked with us and told us how amazing the chips were! They were so cute. After our meal, we explored the town and our favorite river spots and went back to the cabin for the night.

We love this cabin #3 at the White Mountain Lodge. The cabin inside is so cozy and we spent hours out on our porch swing hanging out and eating our meals. There’s also a few fun swings in the backyard of the large (pictured above) with a beautiful view of the mountain valley and the Little Colorado River. We also enjoyed the grill and picnic table in our side yard.

The next morning we went on a hike. Out of a whole pamphlet of hiking trails, we chose the South Fork trail. The views were gorgeous at first, but unfortunately, we didn’t realize how much of this trail had been burned by the Wallow Fire in 2011. Soon the shade disappeared because of charred trees and the hike got a bit more rough with fallen trees blocking the trail. About 2 miles in we decided to turn back and save our energy for another activity. The beginning of the trail was still a great experience because it was alongside the river and so peaceful.

The trail before we ran into fire damage

Even though we didn’t hike as far as we anticipated, we still worked up an appetite! We made mac n cheese and threw in some grilled bacon and hotdogs. And of course, ate it on the swing on our porch with a beautiful view.

Later in that afternoon, we went fishing and hiked all along the Little Colorado River. The main road of Greer ends right at this part of the river and it is my absolute favorite place. Everything about it is gorgeous and serene. We fished for fun, without catching anything, and ended up walking quite a bit down exploring. Of course, we had to walk back so it turned into quite the hike!

That night we dressed up and went to a nice dinner at the historic Molly Butler’s Lodge. We did this on our honeymoon as well. The food was amazing! I, like always, should have just ordered what Donovan did because his food always ends up being WAY better than mine! I ordered the salmon and he ordered the prime rib — which has received many awards and totally lived up to them!

We ate on the second floor patio. It was nice to be sitting outside as the sun set and then they turned on a large outdoor fireplace once it started getting chilly. As you can notice, a lot of the mountain behind Donovan is burned. The damage is from the humongous Wallow fire in 2011. All of Greer and surrounding areas were evacuated and it came extremely close to burning its way straight through. It definitely took a toll on the views, but we are so glad Greer is still standing!

Funny story: as we are sitting up high on this patio, a car pulling a trailer on the street below stops. Someone gets out and waves at us. It was an old friend from middle school who we both knew that had moved away from our hometown about 8 years ago! He got out and talked to us for a bit. He had never been to Greer, but was vacationing with his family in a nearby town and they drove into Greer to check it out and recognized us high up on the patio. So random, but cool to run into him and his family in TINY little Greer out of all places!

 

The next day we went kayaking! There was a new rental shop in town that rented kayaks not only fairly cheap, but they took the kayaks down to the lake for you. We originally went to the shop to rent mountain bikes because we didn’t have a truck to take the kayaks. We quickly chose kayaking though once we found out they offered that, and decided to mountain bike the next morning instead.

This kayaking trip went way better than the last time I kayaked in Greer! I could just not figure it out before. This time I got it down pretty quickly. We kayaked for a bit out on the lake and then went back to grab our fishing gear for fun. Again, we didn’t catch anything but we both thought we had some pretty good bites, until we realized that we were just in a very weedy area at the edge of the lake. Fisherman’s luck!

We stopped at the Lazy Trout Market for some ice cream on our way to the lake!

The kayaks were open kayaks and despite my best efforts of sunscreen, I still fried like a lobster. It’s two weeks later and my legs are still peeling their second layer – it was that bad. I don’t burn easily either so I was surprised!

If you look closely, you can see one of the the egrets (I think?) that were hanging out around the lake

Beautiful views from the kayak

After we kayaked, we went to a place called Parkside Cafe for lunch. We ordered a pizza and played cornhole while we waited. We oddly love cornhole and play it every time we get a chance! After we ate, we walked down the road and visited a couple shops. One in particular was so adorable, it was a cabin home turned into a gift shop with tons of cute stuff! I got a really cute souvenir hat.

Later that evening we continued our comfort food habits of the vacation and ate grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. Afterwards we took a walk to walk off some of those calories! We went down this road, looking for a trail that I remembered walking with my family as a child. It turned out not to jog my memory and be a totally new road, but I am so glad we found it. Something about the mountain air and sounds is so peaceful at dusk!

One of the topics of conversation on our walk was the idea of getting a dog. It’s an idea we’ve lightly tossed around but never seriously considered because of living in rentals and not being in a position to “parent” a pet. However, recently we have definitely warmed up to the idea! We’d love to add another family member to the family, but aren’t ready to have kids yet, so a dog is becoming more of an option for us. Ironically, as we were talking about this, we came upon a bench with this engraved plaque (below). Coincidence? I think not. 😉

Further along in our walk we made this friend! He walked across the field as he heard us coming. I think horses are one of the most beautiful animals.

I loved going back to Greer with my husband. I really look forward to all of the new places we will travel to and discover together, but will still always love going back to our previous vacation spots. It was neat to go back to our same honeymoon cabin and revisit old memories and make new ones. We took lots of retakes of honeymoon pictures and it’s been fun comparing our before and after shots! Here’s one.

Honeymoon picture

Anniversary picture (ft. my new souvenir hat)

To top off our trip, I got to meet up with one of my old roommates from my Idaho college days! She, Taylor, was visiting her parents in her hometown which was on our way home. I absolutely adored all of my roommates and love reuniting and catching up. I’m so glad we were able to see each other!

Our vacation, anniversary trip, second honeymoon, whatever you want to call it was one of my favorite trips we’ve taken. Staring it off camping made it that much more fun. We were so content with all of the fun, new things we got to do, but also loved all of our hours in the cabin watching reruns of shark tank (and by hours, I actually mean 10 hours). I love our beautiful world and our beautiful life!

—Have you traveled back to your honeymoon spot since being newlyweds? How have you celebrated your anniversary?—

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