Spur of the Moment Trip to Phoenix

Grand Canyon Sign
Almost there!

A few weeks ago during the middle of the week we started talking about what to do over the weekend.  We decided that we’d never seen the Grand Canyon (the last time we were in Phoenix there were 2 feet of snow in that part of the state), booked the tickets, and left for Phoenix Saturday morning.  We had a nice flight, picked up the rental car, and headed north, out of the city and into the mountains with beautiful evergreens and clean mountain air.  We spent about 5 hours at the Grand Canyon (with breaks for snacks and a few trips to Fazoli’s).

California Condor
We saw quite a few California Condors at the canyon.

We had lovely weather – about 80 at the canyon, 100+ in Phoenix – and the crowds weren’t too bad.  We found a place to park and spent some time walking along the rim trail, admiring the views into the canyon.  Along the way we decided to go right instead of left, and several moments after that an immature condor flew right over our heads.  The wingspan was maybe 4′, and the bird was beautiful.  Later on we went down to the village section of the park, where we got to see 2 adult condors from a distance of about 30′, as well as several flying through the canyon.  The birds are huge, and very cool to see.

Grand Canyon Sunset
Sunsets are an amazing experience here.

We also had the chance to see the sunset over the canyon; it was hazy inside the canyon but the haze turned different shades of purple as the sun was setting.  After the sunset we drove back to Scottsdale, just outside of Phoenix.

Phoenix Sunset
They are also amazing at Tempe Butte.

On Sunday we went to Butterfield’s Pancake House for breakfast, and then to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.  Many of the cacti were in bloom, and although it was very warm outside we had a great time.  We had a leisurely dinner at NYPD Pizza, where we had incredibly good pizza, yummy garlic knots and fried pizza dough tossed with powdered sugar (called zeppolis) and served with raspberry and chocolate dipping sauces.  (We enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast the next morning before heading to the airport.  After dinner we went to the Tempe Butte over by ASU’s stadium to watch the sunset, then drove by the Arizona Cardinal’s new stadium.

plane mountain view
If you are flying over Colorado on a clear day, you are in for a treat.

We were awake at 3:30am the next morning to catch our flight back to Denver; the view from the plane was great, we could see many of the snow-covered mountains.  Once we landed, we retrieved our car and went to work.  Officially, it was our longest morning commute.

Photos from the trip:

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