In my quest to hit all 50 states at some point in life I decided to go to Arizona this summer to visit one of my closest friends. I am a full blown New Yorker … and I preface my story with this, but I am also very open minded. So… moving on!
My initial trip to Arizona was supposed to start at 830 in the morning… but due to unforeseen circumstance 50.00 I ended up spending the entire day in JFK and catching a 455pm flight. Instead of reaching Arizona at 10:30am Pacific time, I reached at 7:00pm PCT. So that was the first speed bump in a bumpy interesting trip. Once I landed, I hopped off the plane and into a rental car and towards the hotel.
Once I got to the hotel I was informed there was no reservation in my name. Why? Because Cheaptickets.com which is the company I used to book my flight/hotel deal charged my credit card and never sent the money or booked the reservation at the hotel. Needless to say after a long day of traveling I was near tears due to my frustration and exhaustion. The hotel itself handled the situation very well and professionally and I applaud them for that. If you are ever in the Arizona area I do highly recommend the Wild Horse Pass Casino Resort (not a sponsored or paid advertisement). They put me in a room on good faith that the company would send over the money after they contacted Cheaptickets.com for me.
Fast forward through my terrible travel day I was in a room at 10:00pm PCT and starving. EVERYTHING was closed besides room service and they took over 40 minutes before I decided to cancel and give up on eating that night. So I had a rough start in Arizona. The next day I took it extremely easy! After a quick trip to the hotel gym, I lounged by the pool for majority of the day waiting for my friend to get off of work.
I ended up going to my first dine in theater in Scottsdale to see “Straight Outta Compton” and had an amazing salad. I know that sounds strange but I enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed the salad so I was extremely happy with my first experience. Scottsdale was very “Manhattan” or as Manhattan as a place in Arizona can get. It had the cutest artsy stores/shops and tons of culturally charged restaurants. What I loved most of all in Scottsdale is the famous “LOVE” sign. I love being super touristy in places I’ve never been, and taking a photo with the “LOVE” sign was as touristy as you could get. There’s still no better “LOVE” sign than Philly, but this one is a definite close second.
My third day in Arizona I spent with my close friend driving (8 hours total) to go to the Grand Canyon. Which I must add… was extremely beautiful. It was breathtakingly beautiful I couldn’t even take it. I was expecting beauty but the Grand Canyon truly looked like art work even though I was seeing it first hand. We took in the sights and hiked around the Grand Canyon so we could see it from different angles. By the way if you ever decide to go and see the Grand Canyon (which I recommend you do) there are two things you want to keep in mind. The first thing bring a sweater/ dress in layers because the Canyon has its own climate and it is extremely different from the regular weather in Phoenix. Second thing if you want a very detailed tour then it is going to cost you a pretty penny but you will get to ride on a donkey. We chose the independent tour route and did the sight seeing on our own. I didn’t get a chance to get down to Sedona due to the amount of traveling we’d have to do but I also recommend if you have the time to hit up Sedona for beautiful sights as well.
I spent my last day in Arizona working out, hanging out by the pool, at the outlets, and in downtown Phoenix where their sports centers are. I had dinner at a fancy rotating restaurant … which wasn’t rotating at the time so I guess it defeated the point. I will say downtown Arizona isn’t as country/mountain filled as the rest of Arizona is which was a nice refreshing break from all of the nature. Overall I think Arizona is a nice place to visit for 2-3 days if you are a city girl and 4-5 days if you love nature and need a break from all of the city life and dirt.
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