Trekking to the Desert

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Today I’ve been inspired to do a little writing, while simultaneously resting my very full stomach from Thanksgiving dinner.  I thought I’d write about my family’s trip last month to Arizona, and give you all a little taste of what we did there.

Most all of my mom’s siblings all went to Phoenix, Arizona mid-October to see their brother (my uncle) who lives there.  Most of us had never been to his house before, and I’d never even stepped foot in Arizona before!  We had an afternoon flight out of our local airport with a layover in Detroit, and arrived around 7 pm their time, and 10 pm our time.

It was really nice being with all of the family who are somewhat scattered around for a whole week.  My birthday was also mid-week, so it was really neat to celebrate in a brand-new place.  We stayed at a hotel in Scottsdale, right near lots of big, really nice outdoor shopping centers, and we were only about 20 minutes from my uncle’s in Phoenix.

I’m going to touch on the three most exciting things we did, sightseeing-wise.

Taliesin West

For those of you who may be new to my blog or not know much about me, I spent part of my college career in architecture school, and while I am not on that path anymore, it still has a huge place in my heart.  My dad is also an architectural designer, so we both have an appreciation for it beyond most.  Earlier this year, we headed to southern Pennsylvania to visit one of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses that he designed – Fallingwater.

When we got to Arizona last month, we remembered he actually had a house in Scottsdale too called Taliesin West – and this was one of his private residences.  So, for my birthday, my aunts and uncles banded together and decided to send my dad and I to the house for a tour.  It was SO neat taking a tour of a house in the desert surrounded by cacti, and seeing the ways he designed it and the reasons behind different elements.  We had a great morning there, and I’d love to continue touring different Wright-designed buildings in the future.

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Desert Botanical Garden

The second highlight was the place we went on my actual birthday – the Desert Botanical Garden right in Phoenix.  It features a number of winding trails that showcase different flora and fauna that thrive in the desert.  There were tons of cacti (my favorite!), flowers, and smaller trees.  There was a trail for kitchen herbs, a butterfly garden section full of plants they love, and more.  We were there for several hours, and I took a zillion photos.  So many in fact, that my memory card was running out of room (luckily, I had my computer in Arizona with me and could easily export them onto it when we got back).  I also found a hand-painted Christmas ornament to commemorate my special birthday in the desert.

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Grand Canyon

Last but not least, the grandest of them all – the Grand Canyon.  It was our first time to a national park (unless you count when I went biking in the Everglades).  My immediate family and I were bound and determined to go – and it took us four hours each way to get there.  I can’t even really explain what it’s like to see something so huge.  When you look out over the edge of the Grand Canyon, it’s like you lose all depth perception.  I couldn’t even comprehend how far away any of the rocks or the other edges (that I could see) were. We got there around noon and stayed until dark.  I could have probably spent a week in that park – walking the trails, sitting by the canyon, and I’d absolutely love to go back and camp there someday.  I also sported the most equipment of the trip that day: my GoPro, large Canon camera, and a backpack full of water bottles that I lugged around the entire time.  But it was worth it.

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My family’s time in Arizona was a really great getaway, and I fell in love with the desert and the entire Scottsdale/Phoenix area.  I saw cacti so much, after just a few days there I couldn’t imagine coming home and not seeing them haha!  If you’re looking for a vacation that may be out of the box from the typical, consider heading to that area.  I hope to go back many times someday, and I even wouldn’t be opposed to living there for a while.

Giving Thanks

Since I happen to be writing this on Thanksgiving, I figure a good way to close would be telling you some things I am thankful for.

  • A warm home, especially during cold winter days
  • Multiple groups of great friends who care and want the best for each other
  • My ability to widen my skills and write for a wonderful website called Cruise Radio
  • A family who loves me and each other
  • My Savior Jesus Christ – who is our only true Hope

For more photos from my Arizona adventures/everyday life, follow me on Instagram.  I will be dripping even more vacation photos out over the coming months!

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