I'm sure you're all thinking to yourselves, "my, what a clever title that is," and I assure you it is. But while I wish I could take the credit, I must be sure to give it to its rightful source, my little sister, Katie Marie. My family and I were driving in our lovely red rental coming back from the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago and I mentioned that we are "foreign" in Arizona. She then proceeded to come up with "Califoreign," which is very suiting. While the people don't speak with some sort of unknown accent, there are many differences between California and Arizona (I can only speak of the places I have seen: Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon). These differences include, but are not limited to the following:
+The speed limit on most of the freeways we drove was 75mph v. 65 or 70. This was SUCH an amazing thing and I highly suggest that California follow up and do the same. The pace of life has changed and sped up, it's time the speed limits follow in suit!
+People tend to follow the traffic laws, both driving and pedestrian (ie. Actually waiting to cross the street till the pedestrian crossing light comes on, slowing down when the speed limit sign instructs, and etc).
+Where we have weeds and generally ugly shrubs, they have impressive, interesting, and oh-so-cool looking cactus.
+The terrain in general has red rock and random rock/mountain mounds/formations scattered about instead of farm land or vast expanses of, nothingness.
+The climate is generally warmer, and drier.
+The people are much more natural. They wear less make-up and just "do less."
+You can be driving in the desert one hour, and in a place covered with snow the next.
Overall, I LOVED the Arizona that I saw. Especially Scottsdale and Sedona. But as I previously mentioned, my parents took me to a movie right after picking me up, so my experience in Phoenix was minimal, but very good seeing as Sherlock Holmes was so great. Excellent cinematography, story, and acting. I can't express how excited I was to see Noomi Rapace of the Swedish ( and original) version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! She was phenomenal. The film was full of very artistic scenes and the expected/unexpected twists you expect from Holmes. And let's be real...how could I not be happy when I got to look at ginormous Robert Downey Jr.'s and Jude Law's beautiful faces!?! But onto the travels!
We drove from Scottsdale to the Grand Canyon, and while it was a 4 hour drive (of which approximately 2.5 I slept =/), it was incredible! The scenery was picturesque and so different from what I am used to seeing in the Golden State.
Sis and I getting our nap on :)
Pinkie & Brain
Just so you understand my family-- We flipped a U-turn on the highway so we could go back and snap this pic. And yes, I did insist that we do so. I'm sorry...
Beautiful white Birch Trees are all over
And then, we got the the South Rim of the Grand Canyon! It was one hell of a sight to see and leaves no doubt in my mind that it is one of the seven wonders of the world. It expands as far as the eye can see (here's a little perspective: to DRIVE from the South Rim to the North Rim would take about 5 hours 8-O ) and in order to get the true experience you have to stay for at least a couple hours, which is easy to do. We arrived around 12:30pm and spent the afternoon walking to the different view points and driving to the different look-outs. The colors change as the day passes, and when the shadows start to set in you can really see the details of its geography.
I think that it is only after leaving the Canyon that you really start to appreciate its beauty and realize just how exquisite it really is. It took my family and I 10+ years to go see it, but I am glad that we went at a point in my life where I will always remember what I saw, and I have no doubt I will return. After all, I still have to take a helicopter ride above/through it. :) I highly suggest that everyone make it a goal to go see one of the wonders of the world that we happen to have right here in the U.S. Quite amazing to think about!
Sedona was a true gem. The town is known for its red rock formations, and has the cutest area full of shops and places to dine. We had the most amazing buffalo nachos as an appetizer (I'm now hooked on buffalo meat!) in the Cowboy Club's Silver Saddle Room. I recommend stopping in to grab a bite and sip on a delicious, scrumptious, flavorful local Arizona brew if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood! I anxiously await the day I can return to Sedona and spend a bit more time there exploring all it has to offer.
The final city that I was blessed enough to see for a little while was Scottsdale. As soon as I found out that the giant "LOVE" was there, I made it my mission not to leave without getting a photo. And so I did :)
Tried my darndest to get up in that "L"
What can I say? They get it from their mama ;)
Sisters by chance, lovers by choice
And while the family vacation wasn't all lollipops and gum drops (but let's face it, when your family is in a car together/living together for that long, something is going to break out at some point), it was so much more fun than I could have ever expected, no offense fam! It was such a laugh-filled time and I am very excited to return to Arizona sometime and see more of what they've got to offer!
Today's Quote: “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” –