I wanted to share my fabulous Southwest vacation with you. As you may know, I love to travel! I have been to Japan, Ireland, Italy & Greece, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, and Israel. (Not to mention my undocumented yearly trips to Asheville and Savannah). I am so grateful to be in a profession in which I can travel and enjoy this wonderful wide world.
I am especially thankful for all of the adventures I have been able to go on right now because for the next couple of years my wanderlust will be put on hold. As much as I will miss spontaneous trips I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the reason for the hiatus is that I am going to be a mom!
To celebrate our good news, my husband and I went on a ‘babymoon’ during spring break. We knew we wanted to go somewhere warm and in the U.S. and somewhere neither of us had even been so we decided on a Southwest road trip.
We flew into Las Vegas early on the first day. Once we picked up our rental car, we headed over to the Seven Magic Mountains art installation. Being in Las Vegas early paid off, there were only a few other folks around so we were able to really enjoy the artwork and get great pictures!
From there we headed over to Zion National Park in Utah. The massive rock formations were magnificent! We enjoyed a day of mild hiking and exploration of the park and stayed in the town nearby.
The next day we drove to Page, Arizona. I really enjoyed each of the drives during this trip. The scenery was so gorgeous.
We arrived in Page and went to Lake Powell for a canyon boat tour. We learned all about the geography of Glenn Canyon as well as the history involving the Navajo people. It was a fascinating tour on a beautiful day.
From Lake Powell we headed over to Horseshoe Bend. I was astounded by the beauty of this majestic place.
The next day, we drove to the Grand Canyon. I didn’t really know what to expect other than that it would be grand. I cannot even properly describe how magnificent the Grand Canyon is. The closest I can get is to say that looking into the Grand Canyon feels about the same as looking up at the stars. It fills you with gratitude for being a human being and having the power to enjoy such splendor.
Pictures truly cannot capture the glory of the landscape, you really have to go for yourself and see what all of the fuss is about – I am telling you, it is WORTH IT!
We decided to do one of the “easier” hikes called Bright Angel which is basically a 4 mile decline down into the canyon. Spoiler alert – it was not easy! Especially for two Atlanta hikers who are not used to the dry climate and insane inclines. We descended about a mile down before turning around and making the steep incline back up to the top. The view was spectacular!
We made it back up to the top just in the nick of time, I was craving an ice cream cone and got one right before the closed! It was the perfect sweet treat after hiking 🙂
We randomly walked into a lodge and heard a last call for the sunset tour. We hurried to buy tickets and made it just in time onto the bus. The tour took us to several overlooks. Our tour guide showed us an ammonite fossil on one of the overlooks. It is 270 million years old! I found this completely mind-blowing – the fact that there is a fossil of an ancient sea creature at the top of the Grand Canyon.
The sunset was unimaginably beautiful, the way the the changing light dances over the rocky canyon cliffs and made the landscape subtly change was magical.
As much as I love my job, I am super envious of the park rangers who get to spend every day in a beautiful place like this. I hope to return one day and adventure further into the canyon, perhaps even camp and backpack through.
The next day, we drove to Sedona. We began our day with a walk around
The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. It was a serene place filled with a deep sense of peace that permeated through the air.
From there we went to do a hike that was recommended to us as “easy.” Spoiler alert again – it was not easy! But it was super fun and unlike any hike I have ever done before. The trail is called Soldier’s Pass and it takes you through a lush valley up into a cliff overlook. We enjoyed the plants and scenery which was so foreign. Living in Atlanta, we are used to southern, humidity-loving plants and in Arizona there were all kinds of Dr.-Seuss-looking weirdo plants. The trek was filled with great scenery of plants as well as the buttes and mesas that seemed to accompany us on our hike.
The next morning, we drove to Phoenix to hop on a flight home. We arrived in the city a bit early and a quick Google search of things to do pointed us in the direction of the botanical garden. I was so excited to see such a variety of cactus plants and southwestern species!
After a lovely stroll around the garden, we headed to the airport and back to Atlanta. I loved every second of this vacation and cannot wait for my next great adventure in August – being a mom 🙂
❤ Mrs. K