I hope you’re well. Today is the last day of my ten-day vacation. Tomorrow it’s back to work and back to life as I knew it before vacation. . . sorta. I’m here to blog about the trip, relive some of my favorite moments and mentally prepare for tomorrow.
Blue Eyes and I flew out to Vegas late Friday evening. I had worked all day and was exhausted but I was running on excitement for the trip we planned more than nine months prior. We got into Vegas extremely late, but since Sin City doesn’t sleep, that hardly mattered. We picked up our rental car and made our way to the icky, gross motel that we were staying at for the night. The place had a smell. What’s worse is that by morning I couldn’t smell THE smell, but I knew it was there. I chose the dive because we were literally there for all of eight hours and it was cheap. We met a hooker who was just getting off work the next morning when we left. She was nice and had great shoes, but I will not choose this motel ever again.
We had a couple of errands to run Saturday morning before an appointment at noon. We got everything done and were ready to be picked up at the appointed time. The appointment went smoothly, we left very happy and a little bit changed – it was pretty spectacular and a lot of fun.
We had a nice lunch after and then we got out-of-town. We stopped at the Hoover Dam because I’d never seen it.
We drove into Kingman, Arizona and then on to Peach Springs. We got to Peach Springs just before 8 p.m. It was dark and the motel that we were staying at was closed and laid out kind of strangely so that it wasn’t obvious how we got a key to our room. They had a little bar on the property that appeared to be open so we went in and asked for direction. The bartender and his one patron, who also worked at the bar, told us how to ring the bell and get our key, and then invited us to sit for a beer. We accepted the invite and enjoyed crazy conversation about jackalopes and turtle herding over a nice cold IPA. Then we got our key and went to sleep since we were getting up at 4 a.m.
The next morning we drove 90 minutes to the trailhead at the end of Indian Road 18, arriving at 6:30 a.m. It was breathtaking –
We started the hike down into the canyon just before 7.
After a mile and a half of switchbacks we made it to the canyon floor.
We hiked, and hiked, and hiked. We got out-of-the-way of mule trains, passed people coming out, and had a few people pass us going in. We stopped for snack breaks, water breaks, and breaks from the weight of our backpacks. We stopped for pictures. We felt completely alone and incredibly together. It was amazing and everything wonderful.
After 7.5 miles (on my Garmin) of hiking we got to this sign
We were tired and ready to be there and even though we were close, the last 1.5 miles felt like 5, at least. We made it to the lodge, unloaded our backpacks and walked around the village while we waited for the check in time. It had taken us 5.5 hours to hike the 9 miles and we could feel every bit of those miles.
When we finally got into our room we were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. It was simple but comfortable and nicer than the dive we had stayed at in Vegas. We rested for a couple of hours and then made the two-mile hike to Havasu Falls. As if it hadn’t been worth it already (it had) the falls were what it was all about. Stunning. Seriously.
We hung out for a while and then went back to the lodge. We made our way to the café in the village and ate some dinner. Then we went back to our room and slept. Long and hard. We didn’t get up on Monday until almost 11. It was the first morning we didn’t have to get up at an exact time and we took full advantage of it.
We spent the remainder of the day exploring the canyon. Made our way back to the falls and into the water. Talked to a lot of people, took lots of pictures, and enjoyed each other’s company. It was perfection.
At the end of that day we reflected on the hike in. We realized we had packed way too much shit – the huge hiking back pack that Blue Eyes carried was super full and extremely heavy. The idea of hiking out of the canyon with it was painful – we joked about how important the stuff in it was, and maybe just leaving it – then we made arrangements for the mule train to carry it out. We put even more stuff into the backpack than we packed in so that my backpack would only carry water and snacks, making it a little lighter.
We started out of the village at 6:30 the next morning. Without the heavy back pack the hiking seemed much easier. We were passed by the mule train carrying our bag two hours into the hike. It was kind of funny to see it pass us by. Everything was peachy until we got to the last 1.5 miles UP. That was the hardest part of the hike without a doubt, but we did it and reached the top like champs before 11. It took us a total of 4.5 hours to get back to our car. Due in large part to the lack of heavy bags on our backs.
We headed back to Kingman where we had lunch, then on to Vegas where we stayed 3 nights at the Golden Nugget. After 4 previous nights in different motels/lodges this was the cushiest accommodations yet and a really nice way to end the trip.
We enjoyed margaritas made with muddled fresh fruit at Nacho Daddys. We danced (okay, I danced) along Fremont Street with the rest of the crazy drunk people – and people watched like you can only do in Vegas.
Day 2 in Vegas we took advantage of having a rental car and went exploring. Oh wait, first we went and had a massage. I thought it would be wise to schedule massages after our hiking adventure. I was discouraged, however, at the price of a massage at the hotel spa – so I checked out Groupon. I found a great deal for a 90 minute massage and foot detox for $38 in Vegas. It. Was. Awesome. After the massages we found an awesome place to have breakfast/lunch and then went to the Count’s Bar which were both a great distance from the Strip and Fremont Street. We then gambled and drank with the rest of them and managed not to lose any money. In fact Blue Eyes won money at blackjack. I only played some slot machines. I put $20 in and won some so I kept playing. When my money came back down to $20 I pushed the button and got my $20 back. So I didn’t lose any money. That’s a win in my book.
Day 3 in Vegas we went to the Vegas Car Museum and checked out some exotics and then we found Lagasse’s Stadium. Fabulous. I love Emeril Lagasse and my favorite way to gamble is to bet on sports – not because I’m so sports savvy, but because it takes longer to lose money that way — so I was thrilled to check out Lagasse’s Stadium. We sat in the big cushy chair/couch things watching the big screen of sports. We drank a beer, shared some amazing dessert and bet on basketball. Well, I bet on basketball. Blue Eyes bet on baseball. His odds were better, and he still has a chance. Sadly, I lost my $20 since Michigan got taken down by Kentucky (it was a good game though).
Thursday night I had to go back to our room to attend “class” online, and Blue Eyes played some more blackjack and won. After class we made our way back to Nacho Daddys to drink more margaritas and eat nachos (my favorite food in the whole wide world) then we crashed for 4 hours because our flight left at 7 a.m., which meant we had to get up at 3.
We made it home safely, I picked up my car at his house, then picked up my dog at the kennel and went home to find my house was kind of still as clean as I left it. The boys came home a few hours later and while the oldest tried to punish me for having the audacity to go on vacation without him, the youngest was his sweet self. The oldest got over his bullshit in a matter of hours and then asked me if I’d cook some stuff for him and his roommates to take back to Eugene. Wonderful mom that I strive to be I said okay and made a big pan of lasagna, a big pan of macaroni and cheese, a big pan of sheppards pie and some chicken burritos. They left yesterday very grateful.
And here I am trying to get ready for tomorrow. I’m ready to go back to work, but vacation sure was spectacular. Truly, I work to vacation. No doubt about it.
Until next time – be well!