Archive of ‘PHX’ category

Flashback Friday: Roadtrip to Mexico

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Before I left Phoenix for the East Coast, I made a list of all the West Coast adventures I wanted to take. High on my list was a trip to Puerto Penasco (aka Rocky Point), Mexico. Just a quick 4-hour drive from the Phoenix area, I somehow convinced one of my co-workers and fellow adventurer that this would be a great way to spend a long weekend.

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We headed down on a Friday afternoon, stopping midway at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the giant dinosaur sculptures for a leg stretch.

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The scenery on the drive down was gorgeous. We were practically the only ones on the road and it was cacti as far as the eye could see.

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We made it to the border without incident and promptly stopped at a package store to pick up very reasonably priced bottles of tequila for our weekend.

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After realizing our planned accommodations were not suitable for a weekend stay (long story that includes scorpions), we promptly packed up and found a resort with plenty of vacancy for us for the weekend. We ended up in a 1-bedroom condo with a full kitchen, living room, and balcony. Here’s our view of the pools from the balcony:

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We ventured into “town” to have dinner and see some of the sites, but because it was off-season, many of the shops and restaurants were closed. We did manage to find an oceanfront restaurant with beautiful views of the sunset.

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The next day, we spent some time enjoying the sun, and made it to the pool just in time for happy hour.

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On our way home we found a cute coffee shop to fuel us for the drive ahead and stopped at the Super Mercado to buy Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, and other fun food items.

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All in all, it was a (thankfully) uneventful weekend and to be honest, we probably would have enjoyed a 4-hour drive in a different direction, perhaps San Diego instead. #liveandlearn

Wupatki National Park // Flagstaff, AZ

On our way up to Page, we stopped at Wupatki National Monument. If you know me, you know I collect National Parks cancellation stamps and I knew I could get at least one cancellation at Wupatki Surprise! I got two because Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is at the same location. The drive up to the ruins was incredible. The landscape changed with the elevation. At one point we stopped to take a few pictures at a scenic overlook and ended up taking a series of selfies in the middle of the road. I think my favorite part of the trip was the Lava Flow Trail that we hiked. I even found a heart-shaped piece of lava – I only took a photo of it and put it back. As we approached Page, it was nearing sunset and the Grand Canyon was in the distance. The sun hit the red rocks and it looked like it was glowing.

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Antelope Canyon // Page, AZ

Visiting Antelope Canyon has been on my life list for ages. The photos I’ve seen are surreal and I always thought they were photoshopped to look so, well, amazing. I’m here to say it’s all natural. The photos practically take themselves.

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We started the tour with Lynette, who was amazing. She was super knowledgeable about how the canyons were created, discovered, and even the best way to shoot inside them. She had all the photographers set their cameras to the right ISO and shutter speed before we went in. I was giddy with excitement and words cannot explain how breathtaking the interior is. I teared up a little bit as I walked through the orange glow and almost really cried when we spotted a sunbeam later in the tour. After walking through with our group for about 30 minutes, we were given about 20 minutes to spend some time exploring on our own before meeting the group back at the entrance. Overall, a dream come true. Check out some of the snaps I took with my new Nikon 1 camera. With the exception of the black & white shots, these are straight out of the camera.

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Horseshoe Bend // Page, AZ

Last week, I was in Phoenix for work. Because it had been so long since I was last there, I bookended the work-week with two fun weekends. The first weekend was spent visiting all the stores and restaurants that I had been missing. The second weekend was a girls’ weekend that I had been planning since January.

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I’d always wanted to see Antelope Canyon but never made it north to do the tour when I lived there. Determined to make it happen, I asked all the girls in the office to join me on a little road trip. Five of them took me up on the offer. One of the spots that we checked out on our way to the canyons was Horseshoe Bend. It’s a part of the Grand Canyon where the Colorado River has carved out a horseshoe shape in the rock. It’s actually the most photographed spot in Arizona.

Here are a few photos that I took with my new Nikon 1 camera. I was pretty impressed with how great the photos came out with minimal processing. (I only adjusted the tone and made the last image black & white.)
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La Grande Orange // Phoenix, AZ

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Before I moved from Phoenix to the NYC area, I made a list of all the places I wanted to visit. There were a ton of restaurants on my list and I’m sad to say I barely scratched the surface. La Grande Orange was a definite “must visit” and it didn’t disappoint.

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Part gift shop, part cafe, part grocery they offer ice cream & gelato, pastries, sandwiches & salads, as well as pizza. There is also a robust grocery section with imported meats, cheeses and a huge wine selection. I ordered a smoothie and an “old-fashioned” which was their version of a Hostess cupcake.

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I definitely enjoyed my time at LGO and would love to go back to try a few other menu items.

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