So Jason and I decided to go play in the great state of Arizona. Our main reason for going to visit was to meet the lady from whom we got Korra and Tenchi. While things did fall through with us meeting her, we did get to see her kennel, so that part was awesome.
Our trip began when we flew into Phoenix on the morning of Friday, June 2nd. From there, we drove around, just exploring the city. We wanted to go eat at Cooper’s Town, which is Alice Cooper’s restaurant. But, Phoenix doesn’t seem to believe in free parking in their downtown area or even reasonably priced parking (the closest lot, which was connected to the restaurant, but not owned by it, was $5 if it was before 2pm or $10 after. By the time we were looking for lunch, it was after 2pm), so we decided it wasn’t worth eating there. Besides, the odds of Alice Cooper being there was slim… Right?
We ended up eating at a little hole-in-the-wall called Paradise Valley Burger Co. OMG, it was sooooo good. This place has been on the show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” with Guy What’s-His-Face. Jason got the Burger Brulee which has: fried egg, bacon, onion, burnt sugar, and havarti. His eyes rolled back into his head with the first bite. And the second. And the third. I just got a “plain ol’” cheeseburger. But I did get French Toast fries (which were little pieces of French toast with a cup o’syrup for dipping). I’m embarrassed at the rate those things went into my mouth.
Before our trip, Jason had looked up some places that we might want to visit while in Phoenix. One thing he found was the Phoenix Art Museum, which has a “Firefly Room.” The picture he saw looked cool, so we decided “why not.” As we were pulling into the parking lot, I saw a banner stating that the museum currently had a limited-time Samurai exhibition. This was meant to be!!! We spent the majority of our visit looking at the Samurai exhibition. Fascinating. Just fascinating. Finally, we went traipsing along to find the Firefly room. Oh sweet baby cheez-its!!!! I posted a video on Facebook, so if you missed that, you’ll have to see about finding that. The video or any pictures do not do this room justice. It’s a pitch black room and it’s slightly a maze (you go in one door and have to navigate to the exit). The walls, floor, and ceiling are mirror. Hanging from the ceiling are thousands of strands of lights. The lights flicker and change color. It’s just simply breathtaking. Jason and I had the room to ourselves for the majority of the time we were in that room. At one point, we just plopped down in a corner and just watched the twinkling lights.
After the museum and lunch, we decided to head on to our first stop of the night – a little town called Payson. This was just a small town and basically a half-way point between Phoenix and our next true stop, which was Snowflake. We did nothing more than eat dinner at a little restaurant right beside our hotel and then pass out from exhaustion. Saturday morning, we woke up to continue our adventure.
In Snowflake we learned that roads can look like driveways. And we were very, very happy that the full-sized car we had originally reserved through Hertz had been unavailable. Meaning, they upgraded us to an SUV for no additional charge. We needed an SUV or a truck to navigate around out there. In Snowflake we got to play with some Malamutes and just see where Korra and Tenchi came from. We got to play with some puppies and tried to figure out how to smuggle one or 3 into our pockets. We actually got see Tenchi’s sister. She was the spitting image of him, so that was a stab to our hearts.
After spending a couple of hours there, we left the property to head to our next stop – the Grand Canyon. On the way there, we planned to stop in Winslow. If you’re a fan of the Eagles, then you may be familiar with the song, “Take It Easy.” If you’re not, then there’s a line in the song that references Winslow, AZ. The town very smartly has profited from the song and a corner is made up as a tourist trap. There’s a store on the corner that plays Eagles’ songs all day. There’s even a flatbed Ford truck at the corner. This pit stop was one of the highlight of the trip for me.
Now, on the way to Winslow, we saw a sign for a meteor crater. Of course we were intrigued and decided to make that a waypoint. Whoa, seriously glad we did. Check out the website (http://meteorcrater.com/). Look at these stats: Meteor Crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep.
After seeing the crater and the corner in Winslow, we continued on to the Grand Canyon. Now, Jason warned me that I was going to dislike him a great deal Sunday morning because he wanted to be in the park in time to actually watch the sunrise. Just in case you need more clarification, this means: we had to wake up when it was still dark outside, head into the park, traipse around until Mr. Obsessive found the absolutely perfect spot so we could park our rear ends and then proceed to listen to the specially built playlist that he had created for this moment. While I did want to stab him a bit when he first woke me up from our “nap,” (by the time we got dinner and checked into our hotel, a nap was really all we had time for) I have to admit that it was worth it. After experiencing the beauty of the world waking up, we headed back to our hotel for another nap before heading back into the park… Because, as you can probably guess, Jason also wanted to watch the sunset. I hate to admit that by the time the sun was setting, I was over the Grand Canyon and just ready to move on to our next destination. While Jason did again have a specially made playlist for this event, I only half-heartedly listened/paid attention.
Finally, we were done with the Grand Canyon and that area. Thus began our journey to the city of Sedona. Unfortunately, we drove in at night, getting to our hotel just around midnight, so we didn’t get to see what exactly we were passing (in fact, pretty much all of our city hopping happened at night like we were gypsies, so there’s quite a bit of Arizona that we haven’t actually seen). Monday morning when we went out to explore, we were shocked at the beauty of the area. There’s a little airport in the area with a great overlook, so we headed there. We definitely want to take a trip back to Arizona to stay longer in the Sedona area and, hopefully, I’ll get to go skydiving there. I can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful that jump would be (the one time I’ve done it was out of the Salisbury airport… It was a great site and all that jazz. But, jumping over the red rocks???? Yes, please!!!).
Leaving Sedona on Monday, we headed to the small town of Jerome. Population of 462. Although, that’s about to go down to 461 as one of the residents is moving away. However, we met a guy named Taylor who literally that day found out his girlfriend was preggers, so the population will go back up to 462. Jerome was the coolest little town. It was a mining town back in the day and supposedly completely haunted. The town plays up the haunted aspect. We had lunch at a place called the Haunted Hamburger, where I had a Ghostly Burger. We took a ghost tour that evening (Taylor was our tour guide). We went to stay in the big hotel there, which is called Jerome Grand Hotel (http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/). Doesn’t it look spooky?? It was once upon a time a hospital. We went into the lobby, but decided not to explore the hotel any further. We’ll save that for when we stay there. There can be long waiting periods for the hotel! If you want to stay there on any given weekend, you could be looking at a 6 month wait. If you want to stay there around Halloween (and specifically that night), you’re looking at a 3 year wait. There is a specific room that has a sordid past and to book that room has a year waiting list. They actually had a vacancy on Monday! The guy in the lobby said that they usually do have rooms available during the week. We almost stayed there. We wanted to so badly. But, alas, we had already booked our hotel in Scottsdale (one of the neighboring towns to Phoenix) because we were flying out Tuesday morning. Since Jerome is about an hour and a half from the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, we thought it best to just stick with the hotel we had already booked.
This trip was, for the most part, so much fun. Jason and I had a blast just roadtripping around the state. We got to see a good bit of Arizona, but there are still quite a few places that we didn’t get to visit. Hopefully, those places will be in the itinerary the next time we head out west.