Day 1: Skydive Arizona and a stop in Phoenix

It took us a little over an hour to get to our first destination—SkyDive Arizona in Eloy. And what a thrilling experience it was! Looking down from the plane, we were both scared to death, but our tandem instructors were extremely nice and somehow convinced us that jumping from the moving plane was a good idea. Once we went over, it was just blue skies for as far as the eye could see—truly amazing.

After falling from thousands of feet in the air, we decided to ground ourselves in a Arizona D-backs bleacher seat. It was jumbo dogs and cold beers for hours with the Chase Field stadium open to the starry night sky. It was enough to turn anyone into a fan, and my friend and I screamed and cheered along with the other die-hard fans.

Day 2: The trek to the Grand Canyon

We woke up bright and early the next morning and were immediately off to the Grand Canyon. Sunroof open and good tunes made our five-hour trip more than worth it. The incredible views on the way were just icing on the cake. But no view was even close to the view from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Between the two of us, I think we took around 200 photos, but no postcard or photo could ever do it justice. The Grand Canyon is something you really have to experience first-hand.

After a few hours of taking in the majestic views, we hopped back in the car and spent the night at Flagstaff’s infamous Hotel Monte Vista. And our room was entirely pink. Carpet, walls, ceiling, bedspread and grout in the tiles. Before we laid our heads to rest, we decided to pub-crawl around downtown Flagstaff to enjoy all the amazing local brews around the area. It was delicious!

Day 3: Sedona and Jerome

Sedona_THEMAC_1_hi- framed.jpgMorning time in Flagstaff was wonderful—starting with a big breakfast at The Place. With full bellies, we headed south to Sedona, driving along the pine forests on 89A. With the windows down, the fresh pine aroma guided our way into the red rock territory. Once there, we parked and enjoyed some lunch looking out over the famous red rock formations like Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Snoopy Rock. The area of Sedona is so beautiful, and such a great place to catch a sunset.

But we couldn’t wait for the sun to fall on this trip. We still had Jerome to see. Continuing down 89A, Jerome is a destination unlike any other. It’s a former gold mining ghost town, but you’d never know it with all of the locals wandering around. Our favorite part was driving back into the Gold Mine. Part junkyard, part memory lane, we couldn’t get enough of all the old cars and antiques that were left behind.

We finished the day by heading back into Phoenix, but not before we stopped off for some amazing pie at Rock Springs Café in Black Canyon City. It was honestly the best pie I’ve ever eaten. When you go, be sure to try the chocolate or the apple.

Day 4: Back home

After being in the car non-stop for a few days, nothing sounded better than some downtime at around town. We got massages and pedicures at Dolce Spa, grabbed a movie at the local theatre and soaked up the sun at the pool. Our trip was over, but we still haven’t stopped talking about all of the great things we saw, did and ate on our road trip. It was truly unforgettable.

Stephanie Stafford moved to Arizona in 1999 from Western New York where she grew up in a small town on a lake. And even after her move, she never lost her love for adventure, the calm of the great outdoors or her wonderful canoe. Nothing is better than heading out of town to find something new to explore.