Yesterday we flew into Vegas around 6pm and Lisa picked us up from the airport! We immediately went to In-N-Out where Mark had his cheese burger, and Lisa had her double double. I only had a grilled cheese, because I don’t eat beef. It was fun, and it was nice to see Lisa.
We moved over to Target, picked up some essentials for a road trip, like a cooler, snacks and lots of water.
We headed back to Lisa’s house, pet Tucker and Dale and hit the hay early.
We got up around 5 a.m. and left Lisa’s house in our new Civic. We drove straight to the Hoover Dam. We had never seen the Hoover Dam and we weren’t sure what to expect. We approached the dam and saw all sorts of construction. We pulled around a corner and saw a half built bridge connecting two rock cliffs, and it was truly one of the most amazing things I had ever seen! The Hoover Dam was neat, and really interesting historically. Lake Mead was absolutely stunning. We pulled over, ran around and took some pictures.v
Next we got on the road again and hit the highway. We pulled off in historic Seligman to see the inspiration for the movie cars, and the birth place of route 66. It was pretty run down, and I felt bad. We stopped and got a drink, then moved on. It wasn’t very exciting, I can tell it used to be a small roadside stop with lots of cute old buildings now its just a rundown old town.
We hopped back on the road and drove the long way to the Grand Canyon. We started noticing lots of trees and found ourselves in Kaibib national forest, and it was really cool. We turned down the highway towards the Grand Canyon and we both got super excited with anticipation. There was so much random stuff going down the highway, including a complete replica of the Flintstones village, some old planes, and we got out at a gas station and heard cows crying on one of the slaughter trucks, my heart broke.
It was funny, we drove straight towards nothing, and you could see nothing. No hills, no nothing… we had no idea what to expect. We saw a parking lot near a view sight, pulled over and walked out… IT WAS INCREDIBLE. It didn’t look real, it still doesn’t feel real. It was so utterly massive, and so beautiful. I felt like I was standing in front of a giant pastel painting of the Grand Canyon. I couldn't even conceptualize this canyon, it was so unbelieveable. I am still not entirely convinced it is real! We encountered a ton of nice Americans and a slew of very eager Europeans. I like being somewhere that draws such a universal crowd. The cultural differences are definitely present. We saw people climb over the rail and go stand on these crazy small little walk ways. Dogs are allowed in the park, and we saw a lot of hot dogs running around panting. I got super sunburned because that Arizona heat is pretty killer.
Mark was feeling hungry and we left to get lunch. We headed back towards Flagstaff, AZ and found our hotel. We arrived to this amazingly beautiful city nestled below two mountains. They’re called the San Francisco Peaks. The city felt a lot like Auburn, for those of you from California. It had this earthy, seasonal feeling, that we couldn’t put our finger on. We ventured into the historic district and fell in love. Northern Arizona State University is here in Flagstaff, and its definitely a college town. Lots of breweries, pubs, Thai food, hiking stores, REI stores, and SAFEWAY! We were in heaven. We stopped at Safeway just because we could.
I found a restaurant called La Fonda on Yelp that was ranked the best Mexican food in Flagstaff, and we used the Garmin to find it because it was in the middle of friggin nowhere. We finally found it, sat down, and it was packed to the gills at 4pm on a Wednesday. We got our chips, and there was a chile sauce in a squirt bottle. It wasn’t salsa; it was like a chile ketchup, for a lack of a better descriptive. It was truly amazing. It was so hot my eyes were watering, and so rich and lovely. Mark and I went to town on it. I ordered blue corn chicken taco, cheese enchilada and a chile relleno. Mark had the same, but a chile beef burrito instead of the relleno. He wasn’t crazy about the burrito, but everything else was downright amazing. The end of the meal came with fresh sopapillas and honey!
We’re back at the hotel getting ready for a busy day of driving tomorrow!
(as always- the remainder of our pics are posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/runaroundrachel/)
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