To be honest, I expected Arizona to be pretty boring. I know there are some really beautiful hiking places, but besides that I didn’t expect much. This trip to Arizona surprised me and showed me just how awesome of a state it is! It was around a 6 hour drive from Orange County, CA to Scottsdale, AZ. My best friend Aubrey and I took the trip to visit our friend, Amy. She moved to Tempe knowing nobody because she got a summer internship here! Driving through the city, I was impressed. It looked very modern and well kept. One of the first things I noticed was the Metro system. It runs along a lot of the streets! We never used it, so I have no idea what it’s like, but it looked a lot nicer than the public transportation we have in Orange County!
We went on Yelp to find somewhere to go out to dinner. We decided to try Caffe Boa. It is a nice restaurant. I wouldn’t recommend going in your comfy workout clothes like I did! They have a ton of wine options, and since I’m a newbie at drinking, our server was very helpful in helping us choose one that we would like. The food was awesome! I ordered rosemary chicken with roasted potatoes. Aubrey and Amy both got ravioli. We all loved our meals and finished everything! The portions aren’t huge, but just enough. While I was eating, I started getting the worst stomach ache. I don’t eat dairy, and I think my chicken and potatoes might have been smothered in butter, but I didn’t ask. I hate being that picky person and demanding to know all of the ingredients in my dish. I don’t think the food was bad because everyone else felt fine, but just in case, I had to tell you.
The next morning, we got up at 4:45am to go hiking at Camelback Mountain! Since it gets over a hundred during the day here, we decided to get an early start. We went into this hike not knowing much about it, and I’m glad we didn’t because we probably would have chosen somewhere else to go. It is rated extremely difficult and I would definitely agree with that rating! There are two different trails that will get you to the 2,704 foot summit! The Echo Canyon trail is the one we took. It is a shorter hike (1.2 miles), but is steeper. The other trail is called the Cholla Trail and is a longer trail (1.6 miles), but is less steep.
I’ll start of by saying that the hike was beautiful. I had a lot of fun, even though it was very challenging. It was so rewarding getting to the top because of the hard work we had to put in to get there! The hike consisted of some tall stairs, two sections of climbing up rocks with a rail in the middle of the trail to assist you, and a lot of climbing up rocks. It really was more rock climbing than hiking. I used my hands to climb up and climb down for a good amount of the time. It took us a little over an hour to hike each way. Make sure to bring water and go when it’s not super hot!
Coming down was pretty scary. It’s easy to slip so if you have hiking shoes, make sure you wear them!
When we successfully all made it down alive, we decided that it would be a good time to gain back all of those calories at Cracker Barrel. There was no wait to be seated on a Saturday morning! One of my favorite things about Cracker Barrel is that they give you so much food for so cheap! I got pancakes with peaches, eggs, and sausage for $8. The syrup they use is pure maple syrup, which I love. None of us could finish all of our food, and we left sooo happy! The food never disappoints!
Next was shopping at Centerpoint on Mill. We parked in a parking structure that cost $6 for a little over an hour, so make sure to read the rates before you park! Mostly, there are a lot of food places along the street. They all looked like good quality food places that I want to try all of. We went to go shopping. There aren’t very many shopping places. We found 2 women’s clothes shops and one souvenir shop. We all found cute clothes at Pitaya. The clothes in the store is all sorted by color. They also have purses, sunglasses, and accessories. The clothes were reasonably priced which made me want to buy everything!! I got a dress for $40, a top for $14, and another top for $24.
For dinner, we went to Bandera in old town Scottsdale. Every single staff member in that restaurant was amazing. They were just so kind and helpful. We asked our server for drink suggestions, and I decided on a mojito. I really liked it. I also tried Aubrey’s Moscow Mule, and Amy’s Lemon Drop and they were both really good. Our drinks were $10 each. We all ordered the macho salad, which had chicken, avocado, tomato, dates, almonds, and fresh croutons all tossed with a citrus vinaigrette. Very good salad, but I probably wouldn’t pay $17 for it again. We also split french fries. They were the super thin shoestring fries, and they were kinda cold. I didn’t eat many. If you don’t mind something expensive, it was a nice dinner. Since I’m a poor college student, I probably would chose somewhere else next time.
After dinner, we decided to go to a bar. Which is weird for me because the only bars I go to are country bars so I can line dance. There is one country bar in Scottsdale that we tried going to, but if you haven’t ordered a new ID after turning 21, you can’t get in. Super lame. We went nextdoor to The District. It’s a pretty popular place.
We got there early, around 9, and there were a good amount of people. I ordered an $8 drink, and we sat on the couches and hung out. I only got one drink because I could think of a lot of other things I’d rather spend $8 on. My friends and I felt pretty uncomfortable there because it’s just not my scene. We were ready to go pretty quickly after getting there. We cut our night short and decided that ice cream and Netflix sounded like a better idea.
Our last day in Arizona was spent hanging out by the pool at Amy’s apartment complex, reading, and ordering Chinese food delivery! It was an awesome trip and I hope I get the chance to visit Arizona again soon!