from the dessert to the mountains
23.11.2012 - 03.12.2012 26 °C
We arrive into Phoenix and my Uncle Mike collects us from the airport. He takes us on a drive around town and shows us the Uni that my cousin Sarah goes to and then we go to meet Sarah at her work and decide to have some lunch there. She works at a really nice 5 star resort.
Then we head back to Uncle Mikes place and settle in. He lives pretty much surrounded by mountains that are excellent for hiking and trail bike riding which he loves doing, so we decide to go for a hike up one of the mountains close by.
Headed home and Sarah came over when she got home from work and we went to get some supplies for tomorrow feast and for the week staying there.
The next day we had a catch up belated Thanksgiving lunch at Uncle Mikes and all the relatives that live in Arizona basically came. Mike was up at 4am cooking the turkey, which was like 10kg... It was massive! There was like 25 of us all up attending. Everyone was there by about 11am 12 noon and then we had a big lunch. My Aunties, and then their children and their children. It was really fun and most of them I havent seen in like over 12 years so it was a great day of catching up with the cousins!
The next day, we got Mike to drop us off at the nearest shopping centre. It was pretty good. So far the best shopping and it was great because all the sales were on. Over in America, their biggest shopping day is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, not Boxing day, like back home.
It was a good day all in all and came home to relax cook some dinner and chuck on a movie.
The next morning we got a lift back to the airport to collect a car so we could get around, figured it would be easier and then we didnt have to rely on Mike for lifts as he was working. The car rental place, tried to screw us over when we got there, so we were furious. They said because we didnt have a American Drivers Licence, that we had to purchase their compulsory insurance. After 2 hrs of sitting at the airport trying to find another way, lots of arguing with them, we still paid more but less than what they were expecting us too. We got out of there. Then we got lost trying to get home as I had accidently wrote down the wrong directions.... Whoops! Needless to say, it was the shittest morning, Bryan felt sick and we both finally made it back to Uncle Mikes and didnt move from the couch all day & watched movies... Haha
The next day we decided to conquer the Camelback mountain, which is a really hard one, but I woke up feeling sick, with the same thing as Bryan had. I think it was a 24hr thing but it threw me off and even though I really wanted to climb this mountain, I just couldnt, I felt nausea and dizzy, so we only made it to about 1/2 if that.
So on the way down Bryan decided to have another bouldering session.
For the afternoon we met Sarah and her friend, at her work at the resort for an afternoon at the spa. This was amazing, we went in the Saunas, hot tubs, pools etc before hand then had a massage after. Bryan went in and used the other facilities and then we layed down in the Whisper room and that was nice.
The next day Bryan got up at 4am and went back to Camelback mountain and did the climb at sunrise and got some amazing photos.
Sarah met us at Mikes place and we then went to Sedona for the day. Sedona is where Sarah grew up. It has a canyon and its very famous for its 'Red Rock'. The town is very old fashioned and everything is boutique style shops and eateries. The whole town and its buildings had a colour scheme and even the McDonalds there had to fit in with the colour scheme, Beiges and Greens, haha, wasnt the tradional bright yellow 'M'.
Sarah took us to a place she used to go with her friends, its a place to go swimming and jump off the cliffs and only the locals knew about it. We had to cross the river with all our stuff, it was a little risky as the rocks were really wet and slippery. We finally got to the spot and Bryan went in, the water was freezing but he was determined to climb the cliff. He did a great job!
Then afterward, we made it back to the town and wandered around the boutique stores for a bit, had some smoothies and then headed back to Phoenix.
That afternoon, I decided to get my hair done so I got dropped off at the shops and did that, then the boys, Mike and Bryan can and got me. They went out to dinner together in the mean time.
We got home and packed for the flight ahead tomorrow to Vegas.
Early morning flight... Sick of these early flights! Haha. We had to travel via Los Angeles to get there which was a pain..!!!
We arrived in Vegas and caught a shuttle to our hotel, the Monte Carlo.
It was across from the Planet Hollywood, which is where my friends, Alice and Lewin were staying.
We had pre arranged to meet them in their lobby at 1230, so we checked in, had showers, freshened up and by that time it was time to meet.
The view from our hotel room.
We went and got a sandwich from this amazing little place called Earl of the sandwich. They were so good... Then we wandered around the Miracle Mile and looked in a few shops.. We decided to make a time for catching up later on, as we were tired and wanted to have a bit of a cat nap before the nights festivities....
We then got ready to meet back at their place, all ventured out and got some takeaway - Chinese and Mexican and headed back to their room with a litre and 1/2 of vodka between just us two, they had their own and we started playing drinking games. Time flew, we were all getting pissed making up our own drinking games. We then decided it was time to venture out so we left in search of somewhere to go. There are so many people on the streets with VIP cards trying to get you to tip them for giving you the cards. We got stuck talking to this guy and he was giving us all these cards under the sun. We were getting a bit annoyed and just wanted to walk away because he started to become really rude. The boys gave him $10 total and we ran off with the cards hahaha
Since all the clubs where charging hefty fees for the boys to get in, we thought stuff it and went gambling instead.... I won $30 on Blackjack... haha "Hey big spender..." lol
Anyway we then all stumbled home and called it a night.
Following day, neither of us got up till 12, lol and we met them to head to the Fashion Outlets down near Old Town Vegas (Fremont Street).
We caught the bus there and all split for a bit as everyone was looking for different things. I lost everyone for about 1.5hrs and finally found Bryan wandering around on his own. We stuck together after that.
I must say I was pretty disappointed with the shopping here. Everyone had told me, Vegas shopping is the best.... I was very disappointed!
I only found some stuff I liked when I went back into the first shop we walked into upon arrival.
With no sign of the others we figured they had already left, but in fact found out that they were still there later on.
We headed back to the hotel and got ready for another night. Since we couldnt get a hold of them and tried calling their room multiple times with no luck as the hotel staff were incompetent, (they kept saying they checked out already) we got ready and headed over to their room.
We picked up a fih bowl and a Yard glass and filled it with slushie, and then when we got back to the room we filled it with Vodka.... hmmm yummy.... We made them pretty strong and then decided to head out earlier tonight.
We tried to get into Marquee but the lines were so busy, none of us wanted to wait so we went back to the club at our hotel, which we had wristbands for and Alice and I got free drinks all night. So the boys bought a drink and then we would just pour the drinks into their cups too.
All in all it was a great night. We stumbled home at like 5-6am after getting distracted again in the Casino.
The following day was a right off..... We stayed in the room most of the day, only leaving to get food!
Haha. We organised to see a show tonight. Criss Angels, Believe. It was unbelievable. Sooooo good and amazing!!!
Afterward we got some late dinner, pizzas and salad and wandered around the strip. So many people out and about...!!!
After hanging in the casino and gambling a little more.... We decided to head to bed, before we spent too much money!
The next morning we checked out at 12 and left our bags at the hotel and walked the strip to the other end where they had some more shops. These were better, but I still would have liked some sales. Everything was pretty exy....
The strip was closed because they had a marathon running today so the streets were packed. We headed back and went to see Alice and Lewin for the last time before heading to the airport.
We had our transfer booked and we got down there at 445pm for our 5pm pick up.
545pm came and still no transfer..... (SOOOOOOO ANGRY!!!) We called them twice to find out where the hell it was.
We ended up having to pay so much more and catch a taxi and forfeit our shuttle otherwise we may not have made it on time.
Once again we were running to the gate and just made it..!!!
We had another ridiculous flight that went via Phoenix again, but in a way it was a good thing it happened that way, because the snowboard we ordered online for me, which was supposed to arrive ar Sarahs place before we left Phoenix, didnt get there in time.
We devised a plan, for me to stay on the plane when we arrived in Phoenix and wait until everyone got off so I could collect all our carry on luggage. Meanwhile as soon as the seat belt sign went off, Bryan took off, to run to the departures gate to meet Sarah out the front of the airport, check the seperate bag in and make it back to the gate all in under 40 minutes... I dunno how, but it worked!!!
We were both soo tired, we have just arrived into Denver and have had to sleep at the airport.... Possibly one of the loudest airports ever and with no sleep after Vegas, feeling like shit right now....
5 star luxury... jealous?
too many people...
We have been trying to book transfers to Vail and they are all so expensive!!! $150 one way for the both of us!
Anyway so we are currently awaiting 12 hrs at the airport for our shuttle to take us to Vail and our accommodation at Evergreen Lodge!
I figured, as tired as I am, its worth it to try and get this blog up to date....! Finally
Cant wait to go to bed tonight!!!!
Stay tuned for our adventures at the snow, where there will be plenty of stacks on my behalf thats for sure!