As I write this post Mike and I are sitting on the return flight from the United States Lavender Growers Conference in Mesa, Arizona. Well...in the spirit of full disclosure, we're actually on our way home from Vegas which was a stop over after visiting Grand Canyon National Park, which was a must-do, bucket list check-off, after attending the US Lavender Growers Conference in Mesa. So, now that my conscience is clear...IT WAS AWESOME!!! We met so many new people, both lavender lovers and nature lovers. We ditched pre-conference workshops to hike the
There we met Jim and Donna, Arizona snowbirds, seat warmers, and outdoor enthusiasts. I hope they were a looking glass into our future...together, outdoors and enjoying both.
Thankfully, by the time we reached the bench where they rested, they were ready to tackle the descent. Please tell me it was the altitude not the post holiday poundage that made the difference...seriously needed more oxygen. Then we spent the next two days in classes. The conference theme was Let's Get Everyone Cooking With Lavender. I learned SO much! I cook with lavender...I wasn't expecting new things...but now I know why I like lavender foods. So interesting. Perfect timing for my upcoming talk at 30-60-90 in New Carlisle on February 20th. Nancy Baggett, cookbook author and chef, was the keynote speaker. We will be offering her latest cookbook, The Art of Cooking With Lavender in our farm shop when we open in May.
She was insightful and exciting and her recipes delicious. Too bad we only had four meals inspired by her talents...oh yah, and a cocktail (yum!). Then it was north to the canyon. Icy trails at the rim kept us from hiking into the basin...or maybe it was a healthy fear of falling from that dizzying height. Mike says it's a healthy fear of landing. I'll give that to him.
Either way, this trip I was just as happy to drive the entire south rim, stopping at every look-out, each spectacular. Of the 600 plus photos we took, I'll only post a few.
Pictures cannot capture the spiritual beauty of rock and sky and water and wildlife. But a taste won't hurt I suppose.
And in the last pic, a new friend from our own home town, Jake Loggins. As Mike was telling a fellow onlooker where we are from, Jake cried out, "No way! Me too!!"
And so we've proved it true again, it is a small world. No matter where we go, we seem to run into someone we know, or someone who knows someone we know, or unwittingly taken a picture of someone we know...you see where this is going...right to Vegas. Where the city never sleeps we were in bed by eight. Exhausted.
And though we did take in the Fremont Street Experience, we are not so naive to think that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Not in the age of Instagram, tweets, Snapchat and YouTube. So with that I'll end as Chicago appears on the horizon with sincere apologies if I got you in the Fremont Street photo. Check back soon for some recipes with lavender and southwest flare...straight from Mesa. Safe travels everyone!