What a FANTASTIC week in Arizona spent with the boy, his friends and family, and the weather! We left Thursday night and came back early Wednesday morning and packed a lot of fun in between. Here is my vacation recap. Picture gallery at bottom (you can click on the first picture and then scroll through them).
Thursday through Saturday before the wedding was all about catching up with Bryan’s parents and friends Justin and Stacey (newlyweds). Friday was spent soaking up as much Phoenix sun as possible with them, getting New Mexican flavors at Si Senor, and then Friday night we all went out to BJ’s Brewery and Restaurant for a great dinner with the “Trinity” (Bryan, Justin, and Matt were best friends in high school) and their family and significant others. Saturday morning I still woke up early to watch awesome victories by UM and MSU while eating eating homemade banana pancakes.
The wedding on Saturday was awesome. It was intimate (approximately 100) with mostly family and friends from high school. The wedding couple were adorable and accomodating. The wedding was set at the Gold Canyon Resort and Golf Course with a beautiful backdrop of the AZ mountains, lots of song, and a nice breeze. After the sweet ceremony us guests hit the open bar pretty hard outside during cocktail hour before moving inside the tent for dinner and dancing. Bryan and I had preselected both the halibut and the pork loin to share between us. Both were tasty, as was the lemon wedding cake, but what set me over the top were the late night churros with chocolate and caramel sauce and some great coffee (Arizona in general does NOT have good coffee). I had upteen of them while we danced and talked the night away. We sent the couple off on a golf cart to a sparkler send off.
Sunday after we entertained the parents by attending church (hungover at 9:00 am) we packed car snacks and set off towards the Grand Canyon. We stopped in Flagstaff after 2hrs for a nice lunch at Criollo Latin Kitchen and then continued on to the Grand Canyon Village. We first stopped at the main outlook to get my first glimpse of the Canyon and take a few pictures. We then checked in at the Maswik Lodge where we had reservations before hightailing it by park bus to the Hopi Point stop to catch the sunset at 6:43 pm. It was beautiful and we were glad we made it but it got cold quickly so we hurried back to the lodge’s cafeteria for some fueling dinner, soft serve, and the tail end of some dissappointing March Madness games. This was right after I had made my bet with B that the Final Four was going to be All Big Ten (at the time I made it there were still 6 teams in it!).
Monday we woke up at 6:30 to pack up and hit the Bright Angel Lodge for another fueling meal. We lathered on plenty of sunscreen and then set off on the most popular trail: The Bright Angel Trail. It was a steady 4 miles down and then another 2 miles on fairly level ground to Plateau Point which brought us a good ways into the Canyon and really gave you a different perspective of the depths and beauty of it. We had several snacks and lots of water during our hour break. We mentally prepared for the 6 mile return trip which was killer for us both. By the time we got to the top we barely gave time for a quick hug as we were afraid that if rested too long we wouldn’t make it to the car. It was at this point that Bryan surprised me by saying the magic word for the first time. Great day already but we still had Sedona to get too. We did the 12 mile hike in an amazing 6 hours with nearly a one hour break at the bottom. That’s good pace! We drove back to Sedona stopping for lots of snacks and chocolate milk. We made it to one of the nicest resorts and spas in Sedona (Amara) absolutely filthy, immediately showered, and set out for the restaurant. We dined at the very iconic Cowboy Club restaurant where we both demolished an appetizer of delicious cactus fries and our entrees with great service and in good moods. We tried to hit the ice cream parlor on the way back but they had closed minutes earlier so we settled on getting a molten lava cake and itty bitty ice cream topping from the hotel bar to take back to the room. Lights out!
Tuesday was our last day and we started off with a soak in the hot tub to a great morning in Sedona. We set off for West Side Deli in the downtown of Sedona for some killer sandwiches and then drove off to see the old west railroad town of Jerome (super cool, hippy, and lots of amazing local artists) in the mountains overlooking Sedona before getting back to Phoenix. Our last night was so similar to nights at home that it made me so happy. We grilled amazing cuts of steaks (filets for the three of us, ribeye for the B-dawg), baked sweet potatoes, green beans, homemade beer bread, and salad. We enjoyed an absolutely amazing bottle of wine that the parents brought back from Chile with them. After a long dinner and conversation I spent some personal time talking to Mrs. Miller while doing dishes while we let Bryan and his dad catch up with each other outside. After that all four of us had dessert by their patio firepit talking before we had to get to bed before our 7am flight back to Seattle.
The Millers thanked me for coming and told me how much they enjoyed our visit a hundred times and it was really great to spend more time with them and see Arizona for myself. We both had a blast and are now back to be back in Seattle with a lovely outlook for this Easter weekend ahead of us. I’m sure I’ll be back to Arizona again in the near future!