This year I decided that I wanted to travel more domestically so I planned a west coast road trip starting in Las Vegas with my mom since she recently retired and had a lot of time on her hands. When I told my friend CY of my road trip plans she invited herself along and I obliged. In Las Vegas CY offered to hang out in the evenings after my mom went to bed but obviously she's never seen the maternal unit at a casino in front of a winning 5 cent slot machine because that woman can put us all to shame. I usually alternate between Blackjack and the 5 cent Sex and the City slot machine, just call me a high roller! I did luck out on our first evening there pocketing $500 in winnings off of the slots! After the shenanigans in Vegas we rented a Mustang convertible and hit the open road. First stop was for a photo op of the temporary art exhibit Seven Magic Mountains right outside of Las Vegas which will only be around for another five months or so. It's really just a bunch of colorful rocks stacked on top of each other but to see something so colorful against the desert backdrop is really something.
After the pitstop we made our way to the Grand Canyon and took a slight detour to drive the famous Route 66 from Kingsman, AZ to Seligman, AZ. Driving the open road taught me several important lessons 1) always have at least a half of tank of gas in the car because you don’t know when you’ll pass the next gas station 2) eat when you can because you don’t know when you’ll pass another place that you can grab a bite to eat 3) cellphone service is spotty at best and shouldn’t be depended on for navigation. Despite these lessons we made it to the Grand Canyon safely and soaked in some awe inspiring views. As the itinerary only allotted one day in the Grand Canyon (rookie mistake), we work up before dawn to catch the sunrise in the park #goals.
We left the Grand Canyon and then made our way to Page, AZ to visit Lower Antelope Canyon. Though we had to wait a bit outside in the heat before making our way to the canyon the wait was totally worth it. I hadn’t see such sandstone formations before in my life and the vibrant orange hues were otherworldly and all of the pictures you see on the internet don't do it justice. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to actually visit this year.
Instead of spending the evening in Page,AZ or flying straight back to New York we drove another 3 hours to Sedona, AZ to spend a couple of days there for some R&R. As we made our way towards Sedona there was a very interesting mountain road with switchbacks that looked like someone’s intestines when viewed on Google Maps. Had I known the road to Sedona would be so treacherous I may have reconsidered but I really wanted to stay at the Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa as I’m a huge fan of Kimpton properties and generally plan my domestic trips around where they have properties. Needless to say, I’m thrilled about their international expansion. Our stay there was fantastic and I would go back solely for their specialty margaritas.