October 20, 2017

A Weekend in Phoenix

Last weekend was my fall break--4 glorious days off from school. When you're knee-deep in midterm exams, you'll take any chance you can get to not be at school! Most of my friends stayed near campus or went home to visit with much-missed pets and family members but I, ever the early morning enthusiast, decided a 5am flight to Phoenix, Arizona was in order.

Picture credit: Jim Louvau

I started my Saturday at 3:45 with a cab ride to the airport. 2 flights later, I touched down in sunny Phoenix! I was a bit too excited for the early hour but I couldn't help it -- I was going to be seeing one of my favorites in the last US concert of his tour! I've spoken of my admiration for Harry before and so my enthusiasm for actually getting a ticket overwhelmed my anxiety at attending a concert solo. The show was incredible and nothing could've kicked off my 4-day weekend better!(The photo above is not mine, all the credit belongs to AZ Central. I was much too enthralled in the performance to pull out my phone for even one quick snap!)

Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty poorly after my flights on Saturday and despite a revival during the concert my Sunday was spent mostly on the couch, in bed, or in the bath trying to nurse myself back to a nose I could breathe through. I drank a lot of orange juice and had lots of miso soup, watching football with Mom.

Of course, I wasn't quite sick enough to pass up the chance to taste one of Phoenix's best brunch spots!

The Henry, a place full of beautiful people and gorgeous art deco decor, was the setting of this gorgeous meal. Mom enjoyed a mango and passionfruit mimosa, a nice throwback to our favorite brunch spot ever, Wildflour, before we split a caramel sticky bun and a slice of coffee cake. The treats were so yummy we almost were too full to dig into our actual meals! Mom went for a spicy sausage scramble and I tucked into the traditional bagel, cream cheese, and lox. It was heavenly, and the leftovers kept nicely until that afternoon when I was peckish again! Outfitted with a pastry menu to die for, and a roaming Bloody Mary cart, The Henry definitely earns a spot on the must-brunch list.

The next day I was feeling much better, and a good thing too! Mom and I were slated for a trek through the red rock mountains in Sedona, about 100 miles from Phoenix. The drive was desolate and picturesque and completely relaxed me. We started our hike around 9am and the gorgeous sights could not have been better.

We had the trail mostly to ourselves, save a mountain biker or two, and the views were absolutely breathtaking. Mom has become quite the hiker since moving to the west coast and I have to say the lifestyle is quite appealing! We were mostly quiet, save for the occasional remark on how beautiful the scenery was, and the hike took us about an hour. If you're ever in the area, check out the Baldwin Trail, which we did, if you're looking for a simple hike with gorgeous views. If you want more of a challenge, or desire to take a swim in some hidden swimming holes, check out some of the neighboring trails! You'll certainly be in good company.

After our hike Mom and I quick-changed in the bathroom and headed out to explore Sedona. I have to say this little city really captured my heart. Artsy and friendly are the adjectives that come to mind when I think about Sedona. I loved exploring the spiritual side of Sedona; the numerous shops offering psychic readings, aura photography, crystals, and meditation while Mom was more drawn to the numerous art and jewelry galleries that we explored.

Of course I had to do some souvenir shopping! I picked up a mug to add to my own collection, some cactus candy for my candy conossieur friend Kelly, a shot glass for my friend Juliana, continuing our tradition of bringing each other exotic shot glasses everytime we travel, some cactus jelly for my jam-enthusiast roomie Tessa, and some wildflower popcorn for popcorn-loving Jess!

I left a firm bit of my heart in Sedona and was very sad to leave it! I'm already plotting my return -- hopefully more roadtripping and exploring nearby ghost towns is in my future! I really didn't want my trip to end; packing was a sad sad chore. The trip was a whirlwind for sure but the delicious food, friendly people, and wonderful scenery will stick with me for a while.

Have you been to Phoenix or Sedona? What did you think? What's been your favorite weekend trip so far?


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