|At the Arizona Snowbowl.|
The F in Flagstaff should stand for Family. Flagstaff wasn't even our original pit stop in Arizona, but after we couldn't get any responses back from Phoenix, we tried different cities surrounding the area. Jordan and I hadn't heard of Flagstaff before, but luckily Jordan found a Couchsurfer who had an unusual situation. Her name was Annie and although she already had someone staying with her at her apartment, she offered up her mother's house instead.
Since we didn't have any other people reply to us at that point, we said yes. We got to the address and was greeted by Annie's mother and grandmother. It was the first actual house that we had stayed in during the trip, and I instantly got homesick once they gave us the tour of the place. Jordan and I even got our very own room with twin beds. After sleeping on couches in living rooms, this was a nice change.
Once we got settled, Jordan and I sat at the kitchen table and talked to Annie's mother and grandmother while they made us food. I asked them how they got into Couchsurfing, since we apparently weren't the first strangers to stay in their house before. They both said that Annie never liked saying no to Couchsurfing requests, and they were more than happy to take her surplus (she stayed at her own apartment in town). They even had five international kids stay there earlier in the year for months while they worked in the U.S.
I instantly felt at home and it was as if they had adopted us not only into their house, but into their family– no questions asked. Annie and her friend Brenna showed up later in the night after we were fed and settled. They wanted to show us Flagstaff's nightlife, so we all went downtown to a brewery and bar. Annie was lively, vibrant, and was in the marching band at her university. Brenna was a spunky blonde that had the same bubbly personality. Jordan and I immediately clicked with the duo, and we fed off each other's vibes the entire night.
The next day they took us around town so that we could experience Flagstaff for all that it's worth. Jordan and I decided to pick up a present for Annie's grandmother, since it was coincidentally her birthday. We settled on some purple earrings since they were her favorite color. The best part of the day, however, was when they took us to the Snowbowl, which is infamous for their skiing and snowboarding resort in the winter. Since it was still technically summer, however, we had the chance to admire the greenery and beautiful aspen trees.
Out of all the couchsurfers we had stayed with, I think that Jordan and I connected with Annie and Brenna the best, from day one. I don't know how to explain it really, but sometimes when you meet certain people, you just know that you are cut from the same cloth. What is more, her family embraced us with open arms, and made us so comfortable that Jordan and I found ourselves lounging by the dining table or living room loveseat to talk with Annie's mother and grandmother.
We were home.