It was cool getting to go see the Grand Canyon as an adult, and also revisiting places in Arizona I hadn’t been in ten years. Also great to see one of my best friends, Nicole, and her family. Chris and I flew out for Thanksgiving weekend and arrived in Phoenix on Tuesday night. We caught up with Nicole and Mark, and the next morning we did a little Phoenix exploring- Frank Lloyd Wright’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Taliesin West, established in 1937- and then the Montezuma Castle National Park, nearly 1000 years old. Because Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun is so spread out, if you’re looking to visit, you will most likely want to rent a car to visit Phoenix, and nearby attractions.
The next morning, we headed up windy 89A and visited the canyons of Sedona and all the cool rock formations such as coffeepot rock, Cathedral rock, Courthouse Butte, etc, as well as the Chapel of the Holy Cross- is there a prettier chapel in America?- and my favorite bridge, Midgely Bridge, spanning Oak Creek Canyon. We stayed up on Airport Mesa at a little place called Sky Ranch Lodge, an absolute gem. We had a fantastic meal right next door at the Airport Grill- but shhhh! Let’s keep these hidden parts of Sedona a secret.
On Thursday we drove through Flagstaff- I did wonder if my dollar bill that I had tacked up in Collins’ Irish pub way back in 1998 was still there- and then on to the Grand Canyon, where we spent the day hiking around the southern rim and riding the bus around the national park. What a grand vista. It is truly mind boggling to think of time and the elements on that kind of scale.
The next day, we spent the morning around Sedona, and then we took the long way back to Phoenix, passing through Jerome and Prescott and other little towns, winding up back at Nicole’s in time to have Thanksgiving leftovers and chat with them. It was a great long weekend and a lovely look at some of Arizona’s finest features.