30 Anniversary Trip – Part 1 – Phoenix

This year was a big milestone anniversary 30 years. 30 years since we walked down the aisle and said yes to forever!!

We’ve been talking about taking a trip to the Grand Canyon for awhile and we finally did it and escaped reality for 8 days to go on this latest adventure!! Jeff spent about a year researching, planning and making reservations.

We started the trip by flying from Birmingham to Phoenix, AZ with a connecting flight at Dallas-Fort Worth. On our way we had a 45 minute delay at DFW for a maintenance issue after we were on the plane. We landed in Phoenix and took the tram to the rental car terminal. We chose National Car Rental because one of their options allows you to hand pick your vehicle, and bypass the counter. It’s called the Emerald Club, and it’s free to join. Highly recommended. We just went to where all the vehicles were parked and were able to just wander around and chose the one we wanted. We wanted an SUV but there wasn’t any left that we wanted so we chose a Nissan Altima and set off on our adventure. We were just glad to be in Phoenix at that point and through that part of the travelling and flying process.

First stop was lunch as we were STARVING. We used Yelp to find the closet Mexican restaurant not far from the airport called Cocina Madrigal Tacos & Tequila.

We thought we might be able to have some real authentic Mexican food on this trip, unfortunately it didn’t start out that way. The street corn however was really good. I had the Achiote Braised Chicken tacos and my chicken had no seasoning on it at all. The rice and beans were good also. Jeff had chicken enchiladas. He usually gets ground beef but that wasn’t an option so he went with chicken. He didn’t like their chicken. Oh well this was just the first stop.

Onward to check in to our hotel in the art district downtown. We stayed at FoundRE: The room was really spacious and artfully decorated. The bathroom felt more like a wet room. The shower was open, with just a narrow wall where the controls were and a piece of glass above. There was a sink and mirror on one end of the shower. The sink was actually split by the mirror in the shower and the one on the room side. It was just one big sink. It did offer beautiful views from the balcony.

We crashed when we got to the room. At dinner we decided that we didn’t want to move, so we called the restaurant downstairs. It ended up being some of our best food of the week. Jeff had a flatbread and I had a salad.

We did eat breakfast Thursday morning at the hotel. The restaurant is called MatchRE: It took quite a while to get our food. I could see the order counter and kitchen from where we sat and it appeared that maybe Jeff’s order got skipped or maybe sent by room service. But mine was ready and they had to rush and remake his. So it took a bit of time to get our food. The food was good when we finally did get it.

Thursday morning, after breakfast we were rested and ready to explore, we made our way to Tempe to visit Hole In The Rock. We make it up to the hole and are about to take the steps down. I’m watching my feet and I feel Jeff move like he was stumbling. Well thankfully he wasn’t and when we get settled down I found out that he was trying to catch his hat that blew off. Thankfully it landed on the rock behind us so he didn’t have to go far. It’s his favorite hat he always wears and it would have been devastating to lose it. We make our way down the steps to check out the view, take a few pictures and then we move along so that others can get down in there. It doesn’t hold a lot of people. We go down on the opposite side of the hill and we are taking our time since the area is gravel. Well I stepped in a patch of gravel and my right leg went straight and my left bent sideways as I fell. I sat there a few minutes assessing myself, thankfully nothing was hurt too bad. I did end up with a bruise from a small rock and some spots in my foot that felt stretched, but it didn’t hurt to walk, so onward we went. We did have a couple in their 70s or 80s that stopped to check on me. They were moving better than we were.

We went to a nearby restroom and then found a nature trail. After a bit everything started looking the same. We did see some birds and rabbits along the way. We got back to the car and discussed what to do next and we settled on the Phoenix Zoo.

This zoo was different from most that we’ve been to, as some of the birds were in free flying and open areas and not cages. I did have an owl do a fly by of my head. Some animals were not out like the elephants.

They had a dinosaur exhibit that we walked thru, and took pictures.

We finished the zoo around lunch. So back to Yelp. We decided on the Dog Haus. The food was good. I had…….. and Jeff had a corndog. We were eat there again, and wished there was one locally.

After lunch we took a different, longer route back to the hotel. We rested and then we back to the Botanical Gardens for the evening.

We had dinner at The Old Spaghetti House down the street from the hotel. It was meh. Sounded like a good choice, I mean after all we like Italian. But the food was not that great.

Next stop Sedona!

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