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Trip Report Arizona Family Winter Break Trip Report

Day 1 - We flew out of Miami at about 4 pm Christmas Eve and unfortunately the flight was delayed over and over again, which made our arrival time at Enchantment in Sedona close to midnight AZ time and 2 am Miami time. It was a very dark drive, but it was a lot of highway driving. Its funny because we really couldn’t see the landscape until the next morning. The night sky was amazing. Check in at Enchantment was odd – I guess because it was so late. We really got no info and we followed a woman in a golf cart with our SUV to our casita.

Day 2 – We woke up Christmas morning and headed to the main building to meet our travel companions who had arrived a day before us – 2 other families. We had the yummy buffet – which always makes my kids happy – they love to sample. Our friends have booked us all on an ATV trip. I think it was called Sedona ATV – it was on the main highway 89. This was FUN, serious FUN!!! Each family rented a Tomcar, which we were told was developed as an Israeli military vehicle, this little car go drive over anything!!!! We were given maps and sent free for 4 hours. It was really cold so and the cars are all open so we were all bundled up and they gave everyone blankets. We drove back up towards Boynton Canyon to begin the “difficult” off road trail. This was a blast!! Hubby did most of the driving m but I had to take my turn too. We stopped off at area to do a little walk up to some ruins and petro glyphs and then got back in the cards to find the “extremely difficult” trail. OK – now this was sooooooo much fun!!!! I cant put it in words – but it was better than any roller coaster ride!!!! Getting back to drop off the ATV was a little iffy and Im glad we were with friends because I would have never it back! It was about 3 or 4 in the afternoon and we were starving. It was Xmas day and we were having trouble finding something open and after a lot of driving and stopping we can across the Red Planet Dinner. I almost wish we hadn’t – need I say more.

Day 3 - After breakfast we all headed out to Jerome. It’s a cute little town and we walked around. We had lunch at the Haunted Hamburger, which was PACKED, and everyone seemed to love. After lunch we visited the old gold mine and ghost town. It was hilarious – its like a junkyard with animals to feed. We all thought it was funny and the kids got a kick out of it. For dinner we ate at the Barking Frog back in Sedona. We all enjoyed it a lot!!! Service was excellent and the food was yummy!!! We got a kick out of the cactus fries.

Day 4 – After breakfast we decided to stay on the property at and do some of the hiking trails. Snow was in the forecast, very exciting for us Floridians!!! We took the hiking trail behind the spa up to the Vortex! It was a very easy hike and when we got to the vortex area it started snowing like wild. Very cool!!! We all went crazy!!! You couldn’t see it was white everywhere!!! And just as fast as it came it was gone!!! It actually happened a few times throughout the day and we hiked different trails around the property. In the afternoon the 3 mommies decided to leave the kiddos to the dads and head to the spa!! Ahhhhh, I had a fabulous massage in a room overlooking the red rocks and the falling snow. Gorgeous!!!
The facility is very lovely with a lot of co-ed spaces. Indoor and outdoor pools are co-ed. The sauna and steam rooms are in the locker rooms so those are not. Dinner that evening was at the resort at Che Ah Chi. It was very expensive, I had the sea bass and I though it was too salty.

Day 5 – Check out from Sedona and head up to the Grand Canyon. We hit a ton of traffic in Flagstaff and it took us quite a while to get into the park. We arrived around 2 and meet our friends who had taken the train from Williams for the day. It was very crowded – all the lodging was at 100% occupancy. We checked into Kachina next to El Tovar. Our room was basic, small, but very clean and warm as it was FREEZING!!!! Once the sun went down for the night we were talking about 5 degrees. I had made dinner reservations at El Tovar for 7:15, but realized there was nothing to do after sunset at 5:30. We were very lucky that they let us sit early. I saw them turn away those without reservations, I guess we were giving up a prime time reservation for an early bird one – so they made it happen. Dinner was much better than we expected and the portions were generous. Our boys even shared the lamb and there was a little left over. Hubby and my son went back into the freezing night after dinner to shoot night skies, etc. I was worried that they would turn into popsicles!!!

Day 6 - Wake up before dawn to make it outside to see the sunrise. The kids looked so warm and toasty in bed and we gave them the option to go back to sleep – but they didn’t want to miss out – so we started layering up to stand outside in the dark, brrrr again!!!!! It was a cloudy morning so the sunrise was less spectacular then we had heard. Hubby and my 13 year old stayed out much longer than me and the 10 yo. It was just too damn cold!!! We can back in just after sunrise to warm up!!!! Later in the morning we did the Ranger led Geology Walk, visited Yavapai observatory, got Junior ranger Badges, and walked out to Mathers Point. We left the park to head to Dove Mountain in the afternoon and stopped for a pizza break in town. We hit the Snowbowl and Flagstaff traffic again on the way back to the interstate and didn’t get to Dove Mountain until 10:30 that night. Dinner consisted of MnMs, Chex Mix, Apples, and Potato Chips!

Day 7 – Sauguro National Park and the Desert Museum. Super fun day!!! We learned so much about the area and all the cactuses. The Desert Museum was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Kids were also able to get their junior ranger badges here.

Day 8 – New Years Eve - Hiking around Dove Mountain. Visiting with Ranger Ron at the hotel. Kids loved holding liazrds, and seeing snakes, scorpions, tarantulas,etc. Ron took everything out of their cases to show the kids. Dinner in the bar at the Ritz Carlton.

Day 9 –Tombstone – This was a last minute decision and so glad we made it happen!!!! The OK Corral shoot out was really interesting and now my 13 year old is obsessed with the haunted accounts in both Tombstone and Jerome.

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