Cold during Christmas? Warm up in AZ!
Start your long weekend in Phoenix. Go shopping and eat in the old quaint western part part of town. Enjoy the beautiful views around you. Baseball junkies know it is the place to be for spring training, and if you go after, you can get great deals on resorts. We highly recommend the Hyatt. They have tons of interlinking pools with waterfalls and desert cliff views for those who want to relax. And for the active sports enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails.
Not too far away is beautiful Sedona. Sedona has tons of activities for all levels. Hiking, jeep excursions, shopping, or just driving around to take in the views. I bought a beautiful western jacket in a boutique there that I love to wear.
Just about an hour away, down a beautiful drive full of camp sites and scenic views is Flagstaff. There a a great pita place we ate.We then took a little nice drive on the famous route 66. While we were eating I asked how far we were from the Grand Canyon. Since it was just an hour and a 20 min away I said we had to go! Our leisurely vacation then went out the door!
After taking in the grand canyon sites, I was not as impressed as I thought I would be. Was it because I had made it bigger in my mind? Was it because the weather wasn't too clear? I could help but think the Kauai Wayamea Canyon was much prettier, not as big, but it has vibrant colors. As we were taking pictures of the sunset over the canyon, Uncle Map was staring at his phone. "What is going on?" I asked. He then informed me that he did not see a gas station the whole way from Flagstaff, and he was worried about our gas level. His GPS said that there was one 40 miles away,and our car showed we had about 30 miles to empty. It was then I realized how desolate and dark the desert is and started thinking about what wildlife was out and about. Uncle Map did all he could to coast down any hills and we turned off the a/c. Panic rose when the car showed 0 miles to empty and the trusty GPS said we were still a few miles away from the closest gas station even though we didn't see any evidence of human existence anywhere. Then I saw a soft glow in the distance.... we held our breath as we rolled into the gas station. I never fully appreciated how truly dependent we are on civilization! Our grand canyon trip got really close to a true desert wilderness experience!
So in short, go visit AZ, but always keep a full gas tank!