Planning the Trip, one of my favorite parts!
Julie usually writes most of these blogs, but I wanted to give my side of the story for our recent Arizona trip. We had our 30th Annniversary coming up in April of 2023, and we had been discussing for some time what to do. We don’t usually do something big for our anniversaries, just go to dinner or a movie. With the 30th one coming up though, we wanted to do something special. I can remember for our 10th we went to Gatlinburg, and for our 25th, we got each other new silver rings. We talked about it and decided in 2022 that the Grand Canyon is something we really wanted to go and see. We had flown over it on flights to Las Vegas in the past but had never been to it. The closet we got was the Hoover dam on a tour on one of the Las Vegas trips.
Once we decided we wanted to do the Grand Canyon, the research and planning which I enjoy started. I’m a planner! I googled what’s the best time of the year to go, so we decided we wanted to go on our actually anniversary date, and that it was good time to go due to smaller crowds and cooler weather. Then I checked other Arizona itenarys for visiting other cities because everone said only two days at the most were needed for the Grand Canyon. I read some 5 and 7 day suggestions for Arizona. We wanted to fly into Phoenix, and decided on American Airlines due to my nervous flying issues. Delta is a nicer airline, but we would have had to flown to Atlanta, then a long flight to Phoenix. I wanted to break it into smaller flight times, so we decided to fly American to Dallas, TX, then to Phoenix. Flights were booked. Also of note, we decided in 2022 to get TSA Precheck. It’s around $80 each and is good for 7 years I think, and it was worth it. We didn’t have to remove our shoes, or electronics from our back packs. Plus we never had a line to wait in going through security at the airport. Highly recommended.
Rather than fly into Phoenix, and drive almost 4 hours to the Grandy Canyon, we decided to stay two nights in Phoenix. We researched what to do there, and ended up going to the Phoenix Zoo, the Hole in the Rock, and the Desert Botannical Gardens. All of these were actually closer to Tempe, rather than where we stayed in downtown Phoenix, but Tempe was still only 15 minutes away.
We had friends that had also told us about Sedona, AZ. Per research and recommendations, we decided to stay 2 nights in Sedona as well. There we ended up doing a Pink Jeep tour, which is highly recommended. We had also used Pink Jeeps for the Hoover Dam tour before, and they take good care of you.
Lastly, we knew we had to have lodging for the actual Grandy Canyon, so we researched that and asked friends that had been as well. There were options. We could have stayed in Flagstaff, or Williams, and rode the train from Williams to the Grand Canyon. We however, decided to stay in the park, at the Historic El Tovar hotel on the South ridge. We also booked a bus tour there so that we could explore more of the Grand Canyon.
With all the hotels, flights, and tours booked, we were ready, and just had to wait…