Thanks to Ironman training, I haven’t really traveled much this year. I’d had a couple trips tentatively penciled in (tagging along with the husband), but none managed to pan out.
Then, B and his dad were planning on going to the Wild/Knights game in Las Vegas in late March. I was thinking, hey, I want to go too … why don’t I drive down and bring the bikes? And maybe we can go to Tucson after? Well, the game didn’t pan out, but the trip did.
Thursday, March 28
Since the game didn’t work out, B decided to go up to visit his parents in Minnesota for a few days while I made the drive out to the desert. Instead of doing Denver to Las Vegas in one shot, I decided to split the drive and spend the night in Page, Ariz., hoping for Horseshoe Bend at both sunset and sunrise.
I left Denver pretty early Thursday morning and trucked on through to Fruita. My first planned stop was Colorado National Monument. I was ideally hoping to run there, but the massive death plague (… allergies? bronchitis? still a mystery …) that hit me put the kibosh on that. However, I still stopped in to see it.
I also saw a sign for a Dinosaur Hill and I wasn’t not stopping there, either … so I did the small hike at the site.
From there, I cut down at Crescent Junction/Moab in Utah and moseyed on down that way toward Page. I almost stopped at Arches, but decided to hold off.
I honestly don’t remember what I ended up doing for lunch this day – I think random snacks at a 7-11 somewhere – but dinner was a sushi place in Page that ended up being pretty tasty. Horseshoe Bend was ridiculously busy at sunset, but it was pretty.
Friday, March 29
Dawn at Horseshoe Bend was much better. And much quieter as things tend to be.
After getting some photos, I headed back on the road to Las Vegas. I almost timed it perfectly to get in the same time B’s flight did, but not quite. I picked him up, we grabbed a simple and quick lunch at Chipotle, and then checked in to the Bellagio. Dinner ended up being at the buffet because we couldn’t really think of anything else and it’s an easy way to eat a lot of salad.
From there, we split up – B dropped me off at the Neon Museum, as I was FINALLY going back at night (… thinking that I’d need something to do while he was watching hockey) and he had a few errands to run.
The Neon Museum is awesome regardless of when you go, but I would suggest going both day parts, especially as they continue to restore more signs.
I also got tickets to see Brilliant!, an art installation in the north gallery (a gallery I didn’t get to see last time I visited back in … 2014?). Brilliant! was AWESOME. In the next few photos, the lights you see are NOT restored; it just looks that way.
Saturday, March 30
The original plan for this day was wake up, go for an early run, hang out in the spa, maybe by the pool, and gamble. A very low key, chill day.
Actual plan was a bit different. As I was still pretty sick – and coughing to the point that I was sleeping on the bathroom floor away from B so we could both get some z’s – I got forced to urgent care that morning in order for some definitive answers. I had puzzled out bronchitis with a nurse friend of ours … but urgent care people said allergies. I’m still unsure as to which it actually is/was.
Breakfast prior to urgent care was at Blueberry Hill off strip. Coffee post urgent care was, to no one’s surprise, at Cafe Lola.
The cappuccino was probably the worst I’ve ever had there (booooo) but still pretty good. The pasteis de nada (Portuguese egg pastry) was delicious as always.
Post-coffee, off to pick up my medication, get a car wash, and back to the hotel. B still wanted to run, so he hit up the fitness center while I grabbed a book and hung out by the pool. He joined me after and we both decided against the spa. We ate lunch at the Pool Cafe and then decided to gamble some.
Most all gambling for me was TERRIBLE this trip, btw. After a couple good trips, I finally had another bad one. Booooooo.
Dinner was at In-N-Out, as it is.
Sunday, March 31
We left Las Vegas pretty early to get to Tucson as we had an important detour along the way. Breakfast was just crap at Starbucks, as it’s easy. And stupid.
Our detour was Grand Canyon National Park – somewhere neither of us had ever been to. We didn’t have/take the time to hike, but we will definitely be returning at some point.
Lunch was at a KFC at some Route 66 town nearby (I forget which one) and then we continued the drive down to Tucson. Neither of us were all that hungry, so dinner was Cold Stone and french fries.
Monday, April 1
Since we were staying at the Doubletree Reid Park, we got free breakfast every day at the hotel, so that was food every day.
I think B made me do a virtual visit with another doctor this morning since I was still dying, but I don’t 100% remember.
We tried a new lunch place in Baggins Gourmet Sandwiches and it was really good. Have never tried them in Tucson before but we will definitely return. I tried running at Reid Park – got about a fifth of a mile in before hacking and dying. B continued on … but not me.
Dinner that night was an old Tucson standard – eegee’s and Lucky Wishbone.
B wanted a bit of pool time so he did that and we both decided on a drink by the fire pit – beer for him and a glass of wine for me.
Tuesday, April 2
After breakfast at the hotel, we decided to forgo Starbucks for coffee (like we did the previous morning) and headed to Le Buzz over by Mt. Lemmon. I had hoped to get some time on the mountain this trip, but alas, that was not to be.
Post-coffee, we spent some time at Bookman’s buying books before heading to Choice Greens for salad for lunch. B got on the bike today while I attempted to blow up my giant T. rex tail pool float I bought the previous year. It took forever, but I was successful!
After a couple hours in the pool, we headed off to dinner at our favorite Tucson Mexican food spot, Casa Molina … and ate a ridiculous amount of food. Oops.
Wednesday, April 3
Wednesday was hike around cacti day … which we are realizing needs to be way earlier in the trip. Like first night. It’s where we’re both the happiest.
The first stop of the day was at Saguaro National Park West over by Gates Pass … which we had never actually been to – we always hit up SNP East.
We stopped back by the visitor’s center again after hiking to let them know about the snake and then got lunch since we were both starving. Food ended up being a lot of repeats – lunch at In-N-Out and yes, dinner was at Casa Molina again. Regrets we have? Zero.
I forget what we did most of that afternoon post-lunch – probably mostly packed – but I did want to get some sunset pictures over at SNP East so we did go do that before dinner.
Thursday, April 4
We were up super early to drive back home, since we’re in the time of year where Tucson/Arizona is an hour different (silly daylight saving time). Breakfast was at Waffle House since not much else is open that early.
The drive was mostly uneventful, which is nice, but we did get a killer sunrise.
Lunch was at a Jimmy John’s in Albuquerque (that was highly obnoxious to get to) and dinner was pizza of fail when we got back home … since we didn’t have much food in the house.
I would argue this was one of our worst Las Vegas and worst Tucson trips. Partially because I was sick and partially because we didn’t have the best plan going in. Or the plan got shifted so terribly because I was sick. Still, time in the desert is a good thing and I know I needed to get out of town.