Phoenix Travel Diary

Friday, December 19, 2014

After a wonderful time in Las Vegas, Karl & I drove all the way to Phoenix, Arizona, just in time to catch the Cardinals vs. Redskins game we had tickets for on the same day. The drive was amazing and peaceful, we even found a couple of minutes to stop and grab a bite even though we were in such a hurry to get there. Didn't want to miss that game for the world ! One thing I love about that part of the country is the gorgeous weather at all times of the day. Being very close from the desert, the air is dry (perfect to avoid any type of health issues!) and the sun is bright (perfect to work on my tan!). At some point, I even thought we were in one of these Hollywood Far West movies, with the amazing scenery the Road US-93 South had to offer.

In Phoenix, the weather was so hot, I had to actually put a few layers back on so I wouldn't catch any sunburns. You all know how careful I usually am with the sun and everything but I have to say, even I, who's pretty used to strong sun, had to pay a little extra attention to my skin, regularly applying on sunscreen and sun block creams, and wearing my sunnies on all day long. These are just little things I do for my body so it preserves its youth and natural fitness ;)

There were so many things we wanted to do, aside from the game, in Arizona but we had so little time. The next morning, we had to head straight to Los Angeles so I could get some work done for PBTH. But why, we are definitely planning on coming back very soon to see and experience all of the things we couldn't ! I loved the charming neighborhood of Glendale though (where we stayed), which also happens to be a huge campus where most of the students attending the University of Phoenix hang out. That's a major thing the U.S. have I wish we had here in Canada, incredibly large and developed student communities. It reminded me a little of Ottawa U where I studied Law for a year and a half. The vibe there was so vibrant and energetic, definitely a big change from the main campus of the University of Montreal, if you ask me.

Of course, no proper trip to the Southwest of the United States would be complete without a taste of the South. Okay, okay, you got me ;) Chipotle isn't exactly typical Mexican food but hey, it's a pretty good start. The food there is so good and so fresh, well prepared even though it's not a 100% authentic. Plus, preferring Chipotle to any other fast-food chain is a pretty good deal for you and for the planet because their philosophy is to serve food with integrity. What exactly does that mean ? It means they are committed to finding the very best ingredients and components raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers. I have been very vocal about it, socially and digitally speaking, I just cannot wait for the first Chipotle to open in Montreal ! If this doesn't happen by 2020, I might just go ahead and do it myself ;)

In a nutshell…

Car rental company 
Advantage Car Rentals. So as this was our first time ever renting out a car abroad, Karl & I looked up almost every possible car rental companies before finally committing to Advantage because of their great deals on smaller cars. I you ever rent a car and aren't at all used to it, I would suggest to save on the insurance instead of saving on the quality of your vehicle. Thing is, no matter what your situation is, you are very likely to be already insured for minor damages (double check to make sure though!).  For instance, Karl's credit card had us fully ensure no matter what would happen to our vehicle. However, having your car break down in the middle of nowhere really isn't how you want things to turn out, now is it ?

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phoenix-Glendale. Although Karl & I rarely stay in hotels that are part of a chain such has the InterContinental Hotel Group, we thought that, for a single night in Phoenix, it was definitely worth the savings we made over preferring a high-end hotel such as the Renaissance Glendale, which wasn't located too far from our hotel. At the end of the day, we just wanted to be close to the University of Phoenix Stadium and so, the Holiday Inn Express did the job quite nicely. One thing that bugged me (wait for it..!) was that I found a cricket casually resting on my pillow, right before I was into bed ;) The scare it gave me, you would believe it ! But hey, it's Phoenix huh ! That's the desert life I guess and it could have certainly had been worst, trust me. Oh, and breakfast is included !


Dining Spot
Chipotle Mexican Grill. Like I have previously mentioned, Chipotle is an all-time favourite of Karl & I, mostly for the fresh and great flavors they serve but also because of the commitment to supporting and sustaining family farmers who respect the land and the animals in their care. Plus, they proudly source organic and local produce when practical and they use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones ! At Chipotle's, food with integrity is a journey that started more than a decade ago and one that will never end. Fun fact: Chipotle in Pheonix is amazingly, and quite strangely, less expensive than anywhere else in the country. On our part, it was almost half the price we're used to pay in Toronto of in New York ! Yay ;)


Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, currently members of the West division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League. Founded in 1898, they're the oldest continuously run professional sports team in the United States outside of baseball ! Plus, this year, Phoenix will be hosting the Superbowl XLIX which will be held on February 1st (right before Fashion Week season starts!). Did you know Katy Perry was confirmed has the halftime enternainer for this edition ?!


On the road
To travel from Las Vegas to Phoenix, we opted of the Road US-93 South which heads in an almost straight direction to the capital of Arizona in about 4 hours and 30 minutes. With two stops and a tiny bit of traffic, it took us about 5 hours and 45 minutes which wasn't too bad. Thing is, the road to Pheonix was so mesmerizing… We had a wonderful time contemplating the huge mountains and incredible amount of giant cactus along the way, which truly was a mythic experience. Discovering the Southwest of the United States by car if definitely opportunity you MUST experiment at least once in your life !

The post Phoenix Travel Diary appeared first on PBTH **

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