California to Arizona
This past weekend, I was able to spend some time with my parents on a trip to Arizona. We drove 5.5 hours east to stop-over at Phoenix then 2 hours north to get to Sedona. On the way, we went through Palm Springs for a quick brunch at L'Atelier Cafe and grabbed some tasty Date Shakes from the popular Hadley Fruit Orchards. Here's a little glimpse of our journey to Phoenix.
After almost 6 grueling hours, we finally arrive in Phoenix! The first thing I noticed was the super cheap gas. It was a $1.76 for PREMIUM! I couldn't believe my eyes! I mean it was at a Costco, but that was still dirt cheap! Why can't California be the same?!?
As soon as we filled the tank, we drove 2 hours north to check in to the Best Western Inn at Sedona. Our location was in the middle of the beauty of Red Rocks. It was a magnificent sight to see. Since we arrived in the dark of the evening, we couldn't see much. When we woke up in the morning, we were in awe of what was around us.
After doing some self-exploration in Sedona (Dad bought an audio CD where a person was narrating about each stop. Haha!), we realized that all of the Red Rocks were starting to look the same. We even went down to the Oak Creek and the lady charged us $10 just to look at a stream of water. It wasn't anything amazing, but I knew my money went to the preservation fund.
Since we didn't know what else to do, we wondered if we should trek 3 hours north to see the famous Lower Antelope Canyon. At this point, I was already tired of being in the car for too long but thought it might be actually worth the drive. I researched for tours, read a couple of Yelp reviews, and made a reservation for Ken's Tours. It was $20/person + $8 for the Navajo Nation preservation. I recommend reading their guidelines online so you'll know what to expect. I could NOT believe we were going! Page, Arizona here we come!!!
We woke up early the next morning just in time for our tour check-in at 1:30pm. We got in the car and drove through Flagstaff where there were snowed-in cabins and white washed forests! It was a beautiful scenic drive and a bright little farmhouse caught my eye. It was so cute I had to sink my boots in 3-inches of snow to get up close!
After two bathroom breaks, we arrived at Page. It looked like a little town in the middle of nowhere. We decided to check the tour 2 hours early to see if they can accommodate us and they did! To our luck, it was just the three of us + a middle-aged couple. The tours hold a maximum of 15 people and here we are, the 5 of us, with the canyon to ourselves! We walked down the barren desert and climbed 1,335 feet down steep ladders and there it was.
"Wow. Wow. Wow." That's all we could utter when we were deep down in this beautiful wonder. I was just in awe of everything we saw and this is something you MUST SEE in your lifetime! Our young tour guide taught us what camera settings to use and didn't rush when we were taking pictures. It was absolutely an amazing sight to see. I felt like James Franco from the movie, 127 hours. Hahaha. I recommend you visit in January when there are not a lot of tourists so you can take tons of photos and have the canyon all to yourself. After the hour and a half tour, we did a side trip to the Horseshoe Bend which was only 5 miles on the way back to Sedona. The 3 hour drive up and the 3 hour drive down was WORTH IT!
I feel very fortunate enough that my parents have always included me in their travels. As a kid, I've been spending summer vacations traveling to different cities and countries and I'm just so thankful for being able to have a great time with them exploring new places. If you ever plan on going to Arizona, I recommend the Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona. Don't forget the Grand Canyon as well! I've been many times and you never get sick of that beautiful sight.
Here's to more adventures!