I can not believe how fast time is moving these two months. It is the last day in March and I had such a great month I hope the Spring & Summer just get better and better.
I was able to head to Arizona for my last collegiate Spring Break with my boyfriend Ben. He LOVES this state and got to show me all the beautiful hidden spots in this hot desert state. We landed there on a Monday afternoon after a delayed flight and waking up early to head to the airport. Luckily, we gained an hour being in AZ so it was okay we got there a bit later than planned. First stop was, IN-N-OUT!!! The only place you go when you go out West. If Colorado had these, I would eat these burgers all the time, so good if you have never tried one!!
After we got all settled in at our hotel in Camp Verde, AZ, we went to the Cliff Castle Casino to see if we could win any extra cash for our trip…. Well we ended up winning at least half of it back and I was sipping on a fancy cocktail and that did not help our situation at all. At the end of our penny gambling night, we handed our vouchers to the lady and she asked, “How would you like that?” and Ben answered saying, “In cash please!” — What a goon!! She totally meant 10s, 5s or whatever – it was a good laugh for us especially only getting $25 back. Haha, I love him.
Our first day ended a bit early cause we were exhausted from traveling but I couldn’t be more excited at this point to see what else Arizona has to offer & to share it with someone fun and special!
We started the next day early because it was a big travel day! We got some coffee on our way to Sedona and were able to get a few gifts from the local shops around and about.
Driving on these open roads with open skies and seeing these huge red rock formations everywhere was so beautiful and magical. You could get lost trying to think how they even got there – it amazed me!! These figures were shaped by the wind, rain, earthquakes, thousands and thousands of years ago, it is unbelievable and hard to comprehend that I, myself, is there looking at them. They have been there and seen so much more than I have in my 25 years of living, it is was powerful to be in their presences.
We were able to relax that morning, soaking up the 75 degrees sun and hanging by the Oak Creek at Grasshopper Point. Ben was brave enough to jump ALL the way in the fresh snow water but as you can see bottom left picture, IT WAS FREEZING and I was not about it! I don’t know how Benjamin did it. Around lunch time we hoped in our cute rental economy car and head down south to the desert, Wickenburg, AZ.
We drove the long way, threw the mountains and threw this little town called Jerome. It was wild. This town was on the side of the mountain so immediately felt like Europe. Ben and I said we would love to stay here if we ever came back to visit AZ. It had old run down buildings, swanky hotels and restaurants that seemed to really capture the culture of this city now and back in the 1900s. We were there for maybe 30 mins and walked around, I highly recommend stumbling across this place if you’re ever in AZ.
After this mini pit stop, we headed to Prescott, AZ for some lunch at the brewery and to stretch our legs once again – this is another spot Ben loved! I had the best black bean burger EVER and a nice apricot beer brewed in house while Ben got the Grand Canyon Burger and an IPA.
Finished off the little road trip to check into our hotel in Wickenburg. We settled in, caught the sunset & drink more local beers with a whole pizza in our hotel room. Vacation doesn’t always have to be about adventuring and fancy dinners & thats what I loved about the ending of our second day – relaxed and enjoyed each others company!
Our third day was our last full one, and it was the most exciting!! The river was flowing kind of high and unfortunately we weren’t able to get to this rad spot Ben wanted to show me. We had to take the rental car threw it, which was sketchy or hitch hike there which would of taken a long time!! So instead we went to Vultures Peak and went ROCK HUNTING.
After that, we went to the Hassayayampa River Preserve, hiked around, looked for rocks, & I took a ton of pictures of all the wildlife. We were in the Sonoran Desert but when by the Hassayayampa River, it was SO green with so many flowers. It is crazy to see what can flourish with a little water source in the desert.
That afternoon, we walked around Wickenburg and did some more shopping. We got these smoothies for the hot spring sun and made a reservation at Ben’s favorite restaurant for some Mexican food – Anita’s Cocina. But before dinner, we went by the river that was flowing too high for our rental car to get by and watched the sunset. The open sky, the cacti, it’s all so beautiful & looks exactly like all the Arizona licenses plates!!
UGH – it was a great ending to a great trip!!
There were a lot of great and amazing parts to this trip like I didn’t think of school once BUT I did get inspired by the textures, the colors, and the terrain. I went to Arizona when I was about 6-years-old and this was the first time being back there. I did not have many memories come up but I definitely felt like a kid again exploring the outdoors with my sidekick, finding treasures and making adventures. It was an amazing last spring break!
Follow my art Instagram to see all the things that inspired me on this trip: @erikahicksart