The Wizard of AZ

After our inaugural trip to Phoenix, Arizona last year with our friends Katy and Ben, we decided it simply had to become a yearly treat. This time around was no disappointment, full of sun, laughs, and new adventures - A few of which I'll show ya now!
 If you decide to take yourself to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, definitely shoot for hitting a few of these spots. I already can't wait to go back (and that Washington rain is only enforcing that feeling)!

This place is like the Vegas of golf. Seemingly the most fun to go at night, you check in and pay for your bay, and after some length of wait (we waited an hour in the on-site restaurant, but they said on the weekend it can be up to four hours - you can book ahead online), a worker will come get you and guide you through the computerized choosing of games and score keeping. Each ball has a little microchip, so a simple wave of your club over a sensor and the system can track your ball amongst the hundreds zillions of others shooting out into the range towards the various lighted targets.
All the food from the restaurant is served to your lounge area if you wish, and each bay is stocked with comfy couches and heating lamps (yes, even the desert cools down at night). Not quite done with your fun? Even though you reserve your desired chunk of time upon check-in, a swipe of your card and you can add time as you go along.

 This place has a flavor for every frozen-dessert lover you could possibly come up with. The always friendly staff offers unlimited tasters, meaning you can try the bubble gum or the Guinness (yep, really), but still stick with a safe dish of dark chocolate in the end.
 True confessions: We were here 3 out of 4 nights. ...And we weren't an anomaly.

 There's not much to say here: It's incredible. Better than I ever imagined it could be. And as a kid who knew every childhood vacation came with a National Park, I've seen my fair share of America's beauty. Somehow nothing quite holds a candle to this one. Pictures can't do it justice, no matter how much of an editing master you are (and I'm not one at all).
It's about a 3 hour drive from Scottsdale, and there are plenty of stretch spots along the way. We stopped at the same rest stop coming and going, and it was a great mid-way point to hop out and get the blood flowing. Bring sunscreen and dress in layers - We were freezing driving over the higher elevations and when we arrived, but the day quickly turned bright and sunny. There are lots of places for food along the way, and even a small snack shop at the South Rim location in case you forget your water or PB&J.
See the brave squirrel?

 Pool Time
There's so much to do and see, it's pretty easy to completely miss the down-time that's so essential to a relaxing vacation. Make sure to pencil in some time to soak up the amenities of wherever you're staying. In between outings we had plenty of poolside time to read and nap and swim, and Katy and I even treated ourselves to a spa morning.What's vacation without some total self-indulgent lounging?!

I know this was a seriously image-heavy post, but it's so hard to capture The Canyon (yes. capitalized.) especially. You're going to have to just go yourself!

....No seriously. Book that ticket now. Thank me later.

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