Arriving in Arizona, Chris and I did what every good tourist does – we headed straight to the Grand Canyon. We were lucky enough to get a beautiful day. It wasn't too sunny and the sky was perfectly clear, allowing us to see the GC in all its glory. Quick story, I never actually wanted to see the Grand Canyon. In my teenage years, I remember my mom always talking about going, which made it seem uncool and mom-like. It wasn't until my friend who had just finished traveling the world for a year said to me: "For everything we saw in the world, the Grand Canyon was truly epic." And that it was. Very grand, very epic.
We didn't spend a ton of time there, I know you can ride mules around the rim and there are a ton of tours, but we came in from the south rim and drove (gotta love having a car!) to various points starting from the main entrance. Not going to lie, my fear of heights really kicked in when Chris tried to get me to stand on a lone rock overlooking the canyon. Overall, definitely worth it. It's really hard to capture in photos because its depth is so detailed and intricate. I had chills walking up to its grandness. It's something you must do in your lifetime.
From there we arrived at Chris's aunt and uncle's home in Scottsdale. They were kind enough to let us stay for a few days, use the pool, and just veg out. It was 105 and sunny, right up my alley! We also ate at Flower Child, and I might've loved the decor as much as the food. This place is adorable, has amazing healthy food options, and Chicago needs one asap!
Once we set in, a day trip to Sedona was in order. People rave about Sedona, so it was an absolute must. Here is what we did in Sedona and what you should consider doing:
1. Hike Devil's Bridge Trail. An amazing trail that had me huffing and puffing, but not overly difficult. Plus I needed to burn off all those car snacks. When you arrive, you can either drive your car through a ridiculously bumpy path to get to the trail (which we did) or hike the bumpy path as part of the trail. I will say the trail was harder than I thought it was going to be, so I was pretty happy we drove in. At the end when you arrive at the bridge, you should walk out on it. It looks way scarier than it is! Chris immediately ran out onto it, and then we talked a father and daughter into taking little risks and overcoming their fear. They scored some great pics because of it! When you arrive, head towards the right side. There is a path to it hidden behind plant life, and it takes you right out.
2. Enchantment Resort. We weren't staying here, but we wish we were. However, you are more than welcome to stop in for lunch. Their restaurant, Ti Gavo, was really great and they have beautiful floor to ceiling windows so you can sip on some rosé and gaze out at the mountains. I only had two glasses and tried to plot sneaking into the spa (which I've heard is unbelievably amazing), but I digress.
3. Take a helicopter tour on the fly, literally. Chris and I decided to take a helicopter tour after strolling down the shopping strip. It was $89/per person for a 17 minute ride. I'd never been in a helicopter before, so it was worth the experience. We signed up in a small storefront on the shopping strip, and then simply drove to the Sedona Airport (you'll see the Airport Tours), hop in a copter and then look like a total badass. They distribute passengers by weight, and I was somehow lucky enough to get the front seat and some awesome pics. Our Pilot, Lewis, a veteran of the coastguard and our armed forces, was a funny guy who made us laugh. They video tape the whole ride, you just don't know it till the end. But since I gave you the heads up you can prepare for your closeup.
4. Tlaquepaque. We didn't make it here, mostly because we wanted to end on a high note (you know, flying in a helicopter) but Chris's cousin said it was worth it. More of a place to browse, unless you're in the market to buy some good art.
5. Take a pink jeep tour. Something else we didn't get around to, but highly recommended from everyone we talked to.
That's it for now! We're heading to Big Sur and then Carmel, CA which I hear is absolutely gorgeous. Updates to come!