The Coker's

The Coker's

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sedona & The Grand Canyon

Nearly six months ago American Airlines had an incredible domestic sale so Matt and I swiped up tickets to Arizona to get away during the SuperBowl. February is an excellent time of year in Arizona. Cool in the mornings, perfect in the afternoons and clear, clear skies.

We certainly were not expecting to be delayed due to snow on SuperBowl weekend, but we dealt with it.  Once we arrived in Phoenix, we went straight to Joe's Farm Grill.   We are big fans of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives so of course, we had to stop and try one or two on this trip.  The food was surprising and fabulous!  I had the ahi-tuna sandwhich with sweet potato fries and Matt had the buffalo chicken sandwhich with their famous onion rings.  High quality food, fast service, quaint set-up... all good things in my mind ;)

Hotel: Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa

I give this hotel a 10 out 10. Our room was big, comfortable and clean. The staff was friendly and helpful. The location is perfect for hiking Bell Rock. The view was exceptional!

Saturday: We woke up early, as usual, headed off to Flagstaff for breakfast (45 minutes north of Sedona) and enjoyed an incredible drive. Brandy's Cafe, another triple D,  is off the beaten path through a run down neighborhood in Flagstaff. Don't be scared... it's worth it once you arrive! Matt ordered the Italian Egg's and I had Eggs Benedict which came with a gigantic pancake. I would highly recommend this spot for breakfast. Make sure to take home their pancake mix and a wheat apple scone (I should have bought a few more because they were the best scones I have ever had).

 After breakfast, it was time to head towards the Grand Canyon. It's roughly a 2 hour drive from Flagstaff to the entrance.  I suggest burning a CD for the drive in your rent car because not only do you lose service for part of this trip... there is a whole - lotta nothing to look at.  I kept asking Matt... "So where is this giant canyon"... because the landscape gives you no indication that there is a hole in the earth a few miles ahead.

The entrance fee is $25 (a mandatory 7 day pass)... it's the best $25 we spent the whole trip.  We entered through the South Rim entrance.

We drove around to several points and were truly blown away by the canyon.  I can not wait to go back during the warmer months and white water raft, hike, camp, etc. 

We took the long drive home to Sedona to catch the sunset.  Our camera is ok, but we really didn't capture the true vitality of the red color of the rocks.  Regardless, it's a must see for everyone.  It's romatic, surreal, and a perfect end to a day I won't ever forget.

For dinner, we read good reviews for a local brew house so we headed there after the sunset. 

Most breweries boast good homemade pizzas so we went straight for that.  This one is called the Smoking Gun Pizza.  I would have it again.  We also had fried pickle spears and apple crisp... oh and of course we had to sample their award winning brews.  All surpassed my expectations. 

Day two was meant for hiking and getting some red dirt on our shoes... literally!  We chose to hike in the Boyton Canyon near the celebrity favored resort Enchantment.  Now, for my Wilderness buddies who heard me cuss for a week while hiking the Continental Divide.... this was different... it was shorter ;)

I could not shake my fear of snakes and mountain lions.  If you hike this canyon, take a bell to hang on your pack with you. 

It was well worth the fears... the canyon is beautiful, peaceful, and not too difficult for an inexperienced hiker such as myself.  We will go back for long to really experience all the hiking spots have to offer.  By the way, if you are planning to hike in Sedona, you must have a different recreation pass each day!  It's $5 which goes towards the maintenance of the trails.

After a day of hiking, we watched the SuperBowl and dozed off.

A second blog coming later in the week....