Today was our last full day in Phoenix and Kate and I decided to enjoy a relaxing day of shopping and the Law & Order: SVU marathon. We first went down to the Fifth Avenue shops where we went looking for souveniors. Then, onto Mill Avenue, an area very similar to the Loop in St. Louis. We had Bob and Eric drop us off there before they went golfing. We walked around there for a while then decided to hoof it back to Eric’s place to sit on the couch and watch TV. When the boys came back, we all headed out to Four Peaks Brewery, a local brew-pub. Very good food and great microbeer (or so I’ve been told). Now, here I am sitting and watching SVU, until 4 in the morning. It feels so good just to sit around!
Today, Bob, Kate and I decided to be one with nature and hike up Piestewa Peak. What the hell were we thinking? I think that it took us about 2 hours to hike up the mountain, due to the fact that we’re fat and totally out of shape. During our ascent, there were people running up and down the peak. Absolutely crazy! I mean, there was a trail but it was by no means an easy one. We still had to climb up rocks and watch our footing. When we made it, we felt a sense of accomplishment. The view from the top was amazing, you were able to see all of Phoenix. And when I looked down, I was astonished that I even made it up here.
The best part of going uphill is that, “What goes up, must come down.” Due to gravity, we were flying down the mountain, no strain, no huffing and puffing. I was actually able to enjoy the scenery on the way down. Bob, unfortunately, did not have a pleasant trip down like I did. He must have pissed off Piestewa Peak because she decided to push him down the mountain, twice. Poor Bobby, doesn’t he look so sad?
Today, we were able to sleep in a bit. We got up and around, grabbed my parents and headed out to Taliesin West. Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter compound afforded us amazing vistas of the surrounding desert and mountains. We toured the compound, checking out the various buildings, the drafting room, the kiva (meeting room) and the auditorium. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by such vision. I’m a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan, and I’m just glad that everyone else in our group enjoyed it as much as I did. I recommend it highly to anyone who cares how they live.
Afterwards, we hit the all you can eat sushi buffet. Yum! Also, feeling our wrath was the original Coldstone Creamery store (take that, Kenny and Krissy)! I had the Apple Pie a la Coldstone. YUM ALSO!
Tomorrow: Hiking Squaw’s Peak. Stay Tuned.
As you know, I love taking pictures to document my various expeditions and this trip is no exception. Below are some pictures from Phoenix and I will upload a whole lot more when we get back into town.
It is Christmas Day and as you can see, we are enjoying the 70 degree weather outside on Bill and Carol’s gorgeous patio.
Kate and me rockin’ out in the “back back” of the Surburban.
Sedona and its famous Red Rocks.
Bob and me at Oak Creek Canyon, on the way to the Grand Canyon.
One of the many pictures of the Grand Canyon.
Today, we arose at the butt-crack of dawn to get to my aunt and uncle’s house by 8am, pick up the parents, and set sail for Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Jen and I had made a similar voyage back in February, but Kate had never seen either Sedona or the Canyon and our parents hadn’t been to the Canyon since 1978. Thankfully, dad drove the first half and last fourth of the trip, so we were all able to catch some much needed shuteye before we hit Sedona.
For those who have never been there, Sedona is an amazing landscape of red rock formations. Their size and color is truly breathtaking. Today, it was a fairly clear day, so we went into town and stopped at this little chapel built into the base of one of the rocks. It’s a common tourist spot with great views of the entire valley. After snapping away a bunch of pictures, we hopped in the car and went into town to do some souvenir shopping. Although we left empty handed (save the Ass Kicking Peanuts), it was still fun to walk around and see all of the Native American pottery.
We then journeyed towards the Canyon via Highway 89A, which follows Oak Creek along its twisty journey through that canyon, up an impressive set of switchbacks and into a nice viewing area befor dumping you out back on the interstate just south of Flagstaff. Highly recommended.
From there, we pressed on towards the Canyon. After waiting in the car for an hour just to get in, we finally got out to the rim. Even though we had been in the same spot just 10 months before, the Grand Canyon is, in a word, awesome. I’m not talking Awesometown awesome or the surfer dude “Awesome!” style awesome. No, we’re talking legitimately awe-inspiring awesome. We hit the three major points before the useful light began to fade in the day and we had to head for home. If you have never been to the Grand Canyon, you should definitely go. It isn’t one of the Seven Wonders of the World for nothing.
We returned to Bill and Carol’s and had some great leftovers heated up and ready for us. After that came dominos, naturally. All in all, a busy, yet awe-inspiring day. Tomorrow: Taliesin West.