Desert Vibes

Once again just slaying the blogging game over here. Coming in hot with a new post every 60 days. I’ve been in full throttle travel mode lately between a family vacation to the Jersey Shore, Arizona with the bestie, and upcoming trips to Denver and Chicago.

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I had to share a few quick details about my trip to AZ, though, because it truly exceeded my expectations. I’m very fortunate in that my best friend Cathy loves to travel as much as I do. She is also a major planner, so she takes care of all the details! We were looking for places that Southwest flies direct so we could squeeze in a quick vacay over a long weekend. When she first suggested Phoenix, I honestly was underwhelmed at the idea. But my desire to see a new place combined with reasonable prices (since no one wants to go to the desert in the summer) warmed me up to the idea!

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We flex into Phoenix late on a Thursday night. Our tentative itinerary was to hike Camelback Friday morning, drive to Sedona and spend the afternoon exploring there, then wake up early Saturday for a day trip to the Grand Canyon, and then drive back to Scottsdale Sunday for a spa and pool day.

We started our attempt to hike Camelback around 10am Friday morning in the blazing sun with temps already at 95 degrees and climbing. This was a big effing fail! We made it about 40 minutes in, only seeing people climbing down the mountain on our way up. It was pretty miserable. Luckily we were both smart enough to just call it, and head back down the trail before one of us passed out. On to Sedona, it was!

The drive into Sedona is full of jaw-dropping views. Honestly, the pictures don’t do it justice! We arrived at l’auberge de Sedona Resort & Spa, which is nestled down by a creek that runs through the town. The property is comprised of cottages and a lodge. It may sound quaint, but it’s a beautiful luxury resort. After our near heat stroke situation, we rewarded ourselves with lunch and a glass of bubbly al fresco on the shade covered deck that overlooks the creek.

As much as I wanted to see the Grand Canyon, we vetoed spending another 4 hours in the car and decided to spend the time taking in the views that Sedona had to offer. Saturday morning we redeemed ourselves and conquered a 5-mile hike with spectacular views and only 1 baby snake in our path.

That evening we took the Pink Jeep Adventure Tour. If you do one thing in Sedona- do this tour! It’s an off-roading experience that takes you up the mountain to places you could never reach in your own vehicle. There were several times that I thought our tour guide might be on a death mission and send us careening over the edge (but that’s part of the fun).  I was so glad we booked our tour at the end of the day, which coincided perfectly with the sunset. Our guide advised us not to watch the sunset itself, but watch how the colors of the rocks change with the setting sun (glowing deeper red as the sun drops).

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We wrapped up our last day at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Treating our sore muscles to a spa day. They even have a private pool just for spa guests, which you can use anytime during your spa day, which is a great deal if you’re not staying on property.

It was a quick 3 days, but it opened my eyes to how beautiful and magical the Southwest can be. It was a great lesson to get out of my vacation comfort zone (the beach), and enjoy others wonders our world has to offer!

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