Nick and I rounded out 2017 with a trip to Arizona for our 5th and final wedding of the year. When we were invited to my cousin’s wedding in Phoenix, I could not wait to celebrate but to also cross another state and Bucket List destination off of our list.
After a long day of travel, we decided to rest up for our first full day of our trip. Since my brother was also in town and the rest of the extended family were preparing for the wedding, the three of us decided to go on a local hike I found. I’m glad I dressed appropriately as it ended up being a more strenuous hike than I imagined. The scenery was wonderful, the weather was perfect, and it was a great workout!
After freshening up we hit up Old Scottsdale. I quickly found a restaurant on Yelp that ended up being able to seat us right away. Afterward we just perused around the few shops that were still open. Unfortunately, we waited a little too late to head downtown. Being mid-week, a lot of the shops were closed for the night. I did however find us a night cap…Sugar Bowl milkshakes! I found this little Soda Shoppe during my research preparing for the trip.
The next morning we checked out of our hotel, picked up my brother and headed to the Desert Botanical Gardens. We had some time to kill before the wedding that evening and this seemed to be a great way to spend some time outside without going too far. And bonus! They were hosting the Chile & Chocolate festival. After meandering through the butterfly sanctuary and various desert vegetation, we made our way to the building where all of the delicious treats were held.
As Nick and I were walking around, one of the vendors recognized his T-Shirt as an Audi Engine. He stopped him to compliment his shirt at which point they spent the next 20 minutes talking about cars. I tell you, this guy can find car friends ANYWHERE. I was pleased though, the guy was nice enough to give us a few samples of their gourmet truffles. Completely worth the 20 minutes of car talk.
The wedding was stunning and a blast! Brendan and Kerry picked an amazing venue. The Boojum Tree really is breathtaking. Every turn holds something new and beautiful to look at. The ceremony was held on the courtyard followed by cocktail hour. The dinner and speeches were in the greenhouse and dancing was back out front in the gazebo. It was perfect.
The last few nights of the trip we headed North. It is quite incredible the climate change driving from Phoenix through Sedona on our way to Flagstaff. Sedona was a perfect stop to break up the trip. The views and red rocks were incredible.
After having a quick lunch, we took an impromptu Sedona Orange Jeep Tour! It actually turned out to be a blast. We were able to get backroad views of the red rocks while bouncing around in a 4×4. Something we definitely would not have been able to do in our rental.
We arrived into Flagstaff later in the evening. Our accommodations were at the base of the Arizona Snowbowl, Flagstaff’s infamous ski resort. We were up early the next day to make the hour and half trip to the South Entrance of the Grand Canyon. Being one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon has been on my Bucket List for as long as I can remember. Upon arriving to the rim of the canyon, it was hard to tell if we were looking at a green screen or an actual canyon. The view was breathtaking. We spent the next few hours walking the trail along the rim taking in our surroundings and some ice cream, of course.
That evening was spent walking around the cute little town of Flagstaff. They have multiple shops, restaurants, and bars to allow for a very enjoyable evening. But again, the temperature different was incredible from the night prior.
Okay, enough of the scenery and adventures, now onto the food! Arizona is known for their Mexican cuisine being on the border. Throughout the trip we tried various Mexican style food; tacos, huevos rancheros, and fajitas.
More specifically though, Arizona is known for their Pork Chimichanga. On our last day of the trip I came across a restaurant that had rave reviews. Rosita’s was renowned in the southern part of the state so I knew this was our spot. Lucky for me, they had exactly what I wanted on the menu! Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I think this may be my favorite food of the USA Food Tour to date, at least pretty close to New Orleans.
There is so much more to see throughout the state of Arizona. We will be sure to make a trip back in the near future, not only to visit my cousin but to see what else the Grand Canyon State has to offer.