On my first day of summer vacation, my mom picked me up for a cross country road trip... as soon as I got home from my half day at work!!! My bags were already packed and I barely said goodbye to S before we were on the road!
More specifically, we were on the 10, which we took all the way to Louisiana! Which is why this road trip is the "LA (Los Angeles) to LA (Louisiana) road trip!"
We were heading out on an epic road trip as a memorial to my Grandma G, who passed away last summer. She was a true adventurer, and fiercely independent. So much so that she would frequently go on long, solo road trips between the Bay Area and Alabama, where my Aunt lives. The plan was for my mom and I to drive out together before I flew home, and she would continue the loop back to California with her sister.
The first day of travel was Los Angeles to Phoenix. We drove 374 miles in about 10 hours thanks to LA traffic, stopping only in Palm Springs for some food and near the state line to soak in the full moon.
We slept for a few hours in Phoenix before waking up around 5am the next day to take on the Cholla Trail in the Arizona heat. While the trail wasn't very long (under two miles), it's considered extremely dangerous in the sweltering heat. It was the first time I've seen so many warning signs at a trail head! If you decide to go... GO EARLY!!
Dear Arizona: I love your Chunky Caci!
Despite my love for the desert, I absolutely MELT in the heat! I'm quick to get heat sick, so I limit my time out in the sun and chug water/cali water as often as possible. This picture was taken half way up the trail and temperatures were already above 90*... before 7am!
Arizona, you're Gnarly!
Tee by Venforth
We ALMOST made it to the very top of the hike, but decided to turn around when we saw everyone climbing on their hands and knees for the last bit. My mom and I are both shorties, so getting up is fine, but getting back down becomes difficult very quickly. We opted to head back to the hotel to clean up and then get back on the ten to get to Tucson, AZ!
I have a slight obsession with Dino, the mascot of Sinclair gas (since the 1930's!!) so I made sure we stopped for some pictures when we passed one in Arizona.
My mom saw the T-rex coming before I did haha
In Tucson we stayed at "Hacienda Del Sol", a historic hotel that was originally built to be a ranch school for daughters of society's elite families. The ranch was built in 1929 (Dino, the sinclair dinosaur, and it are very close in age!). When it became a luxury resort in 1944, Hacienda Del Sol quickly became a place for movie stars to escape to.
The rooms were average sized but extremely comfortable and well decorated... but what caught my eye (and held it) was the landscaping. Whoever designed and manages the property does an amazing job! Cacti conceal old pick axes beneath overflowing planters. Fountains gurgle consistently between lush patches of green lawn. Mosaic tiles and bricks from the past are used to create new art pieces, and even some discarded horse shoes have been made into hidden Mickeys. Every inch of the resort is a perfect mix of desert landscape and rustic western props.
Dress from Shop Tobi, now on sale for $40!
We spent our evening exploring the resort and enjoying live music and great food at their restaurant: The Grill. I highly recommend Hacienda De Sol to anyone traveling through the Tucson area!
Next up: Texas!