I know what you’re thinking. Arizona? How could someone love Arizona so much?…in the SUMMER!!!  The truth is that I’ve been there before with my husband, but this time we took our 8 years old son and seeing it through his eyes, it was like the first time.

We landed in Phoenix, and I’m not gonna lie but it was like walking into an oven. Thankfully we got our rental car quick, and hit the road in the cool air conditioning.

Our first stop was the Grand Canyon. I know you’ve seen pictures and videos, but there is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend taking a trip. There is no picture or video that could do it justice. You just have to experience it for yourself, but either way, here it is.

We did a hike down the rim to something called the Ooh Aah Point, and it was amazing. It’s about a 2-mile hike roundrip, and is pretty family friendly. It can get a little steep so just make sure you have shoes with traction. Snacks and plenty of water are also a must for this hike.

My son is into light parkour and I can’t tell you how much he loved making his way down that trail and back up again. All that jumping off rocks is any 8 year old boy’s dream. Here he is jumping off a rock in slow motion.


Any angle you look into that canyon is simply breathtaking. And quite humbling, actually. It reminds you of how truly small you are in this huge world. That’s me and little man on the trail to the left.

Look how small we are!

In my opinion, unless you’re a hardcore hiker who plans on doing more than one trail, a full day and night is more than enough in the Grand Canyon to have the experience and appreciate the beauty.

And what a beauty it is.

Next up was Sedona, a charming little town that is full of spas and healing centers, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s a great little town where you can take an awesome hike, book a relaxing spa appointment, or have an amazing meal. We stayed at a fabulous place called the Amara Resort and Spa, and it was just so perfect. A playful atmosphere with scenic beauty everywhere you look.

The view from our room was stunning. Not a bad way to wake up in the morning.

And you guys, they even have a happy hour in the lobby from 5 to 6pm, and we arrived for check-in just in time.

My kinda place or what?! { wink wink }

The next day we had the most delicious breakfast located in the resort restaurant, Saltrock.

I love when you don’t even have to leave the hotel to have an amazing meal!

After fueling up, we went for a hike on Brins Mesa Trail, which was a pretty unique experience in itself, among all the red rock and green. It’s a moderate hiking trail with a lot of stair stepping of rocks, and about 3 miles round trip. The pay off is so beautiful once you get to the top of the mesa.

Don’t forget your water and snacks!

You see, the thing about me is I can be fancy but I also don’t mind getting a little dirty and sweaty working my ass off on a good hike. This one applies…I’m a Libra, so, balance.

This is another moment when you can’t help but feel so very humbled and small with all this greatness around you.

After working up a good sweat on our hike, we changed into our bathing suits and visited Slide Rock State Park.
If you’re ever in Sedona, it’s an absolute must. It’s a natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to wear shorts over your swimsuit, and maybe even a t-shirt, but definitely footwear. Maybe an old pair of sneakers that you’ll throw away right after. That’s what I did, just to be safe and make sure I didn’t cut myself on any of the rocks.

And because I’m a wuss, I sometimes need to be pushed into these things.

While I was still cool…

Then this happened. See the fear on my face?

First, I was the chicken I usually am, but then I faced my fear and it was so much fun! I felt like a kid and I’m so happy I experienced slide rock with my little guy. Look at the joy in his face.

And of course, the hubby enjoyed too. He visited when he was a kid and I’m so thankful that he took me and E there. We’ll have these memories forever.

We deserved a nice dinner after our adventurous rock slide experience, so we went to have an incredible meal with incredible views at Mariposa.

The next day, we had a lovely breakfast at Mesa Grill, which is at the Sedona airport. We were able to see a few planes take off, which was pretty cool.

Before packing up the hotel, I finally hit the Amara Spa for a relaxing massage. I have no pictures to share from the experience, because relaxation was the point so I was “off blog duty” at that time. It was a such a great experience.

Here I am…post massage…super relaxed.

Our last stop in Sedona was this quaint little spot, Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, for lunch. We found it by accident and what a happy little surprise that was! It’s an outdoor market featuring art galleries, craft shops, cobblestone paths, decorative arches, and some great restaurants. This is just one corner of it. How cute is this place?

I switch it up from time to time, so I had a nice beer flight with my lunch at the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill…it was quite refreshing… {cheesy smile}…

Then we were finally ready to hit the road to Phoenix. Being at the Grand Canyon, and Sedona, we were basically in mountain territory. But once we head south towards Phoenix, wow. The temperature went up about 35 degrees! And there was huge cactus everywhere. It was pretty awesome…not the 110 scorching heat, but the cactus.

We stayed at the Arizona Biltmore which was simply divine. It’s a Waldorf Astoria resort so you can just imagine. It’s a must if you’re going to Phoenix, Arizona.

And because it’s hot as an oven when we went in July, the pool was open 24 hours a day!  We didn’t take advantage of any night swimming, but the next day, we basically had breakfast and were in the pool by 9am. It usually takes me a while to build up to getting all the way into a body of water, because cold, but this water was perfect. We had no problem getting in and spending most of the afternoon in the water. Granted, this hotel has 7 different pools on site, and you can go to any one of them, but we spent our day at The Paradise Pool.

Just to highlight a few of the goodies:

92-Foot Waterslide

Swim-up bar (score!)

Luxury Pool-Side Cabanas

Full Service Kitchen

DJ (aka party)

Overall, pretty amazing. Needless to say, I took part in all of the above, including a pose in the step and repeat by the pool.

The slide was so much fun! I am forever a kid at heart #boymom forever!!

Once the DJ started, it became a true party.

I would’ve spent the whole day and night there if I could. But alas, we had to get ready for Dylan’s cousin’s wedding (which was the main reason for the Arizona trip)!

Lil man E is a true heartbreaker, all wedding ready.

The wedding was in the Planetarium of the Arizona Science Center and was just so unique and beautiful.

Our cuzzo Robby is one happy groom.

Alas, our time in Arizona came to an end, and it was time for this city girl to say farewell to the desert heat.

Kudos to my hubby for all the research and planning…he knows what I like.

I never thought I would love Arizona so much, especially a second time around, but guess what? It was a whole new experience this time. There are so many beautiful places in this country and I want to show my son as many of them as I can.

If you haven’t taken a trip to Arizona yet, go for it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Stay tuned for our next adventure at the end of this month when we’ll be heading to Jackson Hole, Wyoming…heeeeee!

xo Karen

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Oh my goodness! Beautiful family. These pictures are stunning. Can’t wait to plan a family trip once the girls are a little older. 😘😘😘


Oh yea, your family will definitely love it there when the girls are older. It’s just so much fun, and really just makes you appreciate the natural beautiful world we live in. Thanks for reading and for the love!
xo Karen


Oh my goodness!! So I’ve been to Arizona multiple times but have yet to do any of these things!!! I absolutely have to go back! Also your family is so beautiful I can’t even handle it. Thank you so much for sharing!


You’re the sweetest, Air! Thanks so much! And yes, girl, go back to experience some of the other things you haven’t done yet, babe! You’ll love it!
xo Karen


Okay I’m going to Arizona!! It looks so beautiful!! I love your photos and thanks for including those videos!! It gave me a true visual!


Thanks for reading, Maria! Yea you guys are so close that it’s a must visit, especially when lil man is a little older!
xoxo Karen


Your trip looked amazing!!! Such breath taking views. I cant wait to take trips like this once my youngest is a little older. Stopping by from #Alittlebitofeverything link up!


Hey Regina, thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment! It truly was amazing and so worth a trip with your kiddos in a few years. I hope you use some of my tips too! 🙂
xo Karen


Beautiful pictures! I’m going to Arizona for my next trip thanks for sharing and giving good tips! Love u girl!😘


Aw that’s great, girl!! I hope you can put some of my tips to use when you go! Love you mama xoxo Karen


Arizona looks amazing I want to go so bad. Do you think this would be a good spot for me to travel being pregnant? I love nature


Hey girly, thanks for taking the time to read. I wouldn’t recommend going when you’re pregnant. There are some trails that are easier but generally, they’re pretty steep. You definitely want to go when you can do the hike without any worries. You’ll love it!
xo Karen

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