Hot air balloon ride/Sedona jeep ride/Grand Canyon

Trip Start Dec 13, 2013
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Trip End Jan 21, 2014


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What I did
Grand Canyon Grand Canyon National Park
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Snoopy Rock Sedona
Read my review - 3/5 stars
The Adventure Company Jeep Tours Sedona
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, December 21, 2013

This morning we had to wake bright and early to set off on our hot air balloon ride over the stunning Sonoran Desert. Admittedly, we probably went a bit too hard on the drinks last night which made getting up a little difficult! But we pushed through and it was totally worth it! Hot air ballooning was on my bucketlist so I was desperate to see what it was like and what better way than in Phoenix?! It was incredible! We got picked up in a cool "storm chasers truck" then spent half an hour or so watching the balloon getting set up and having our photos with the cacti- this is the only place in the world where this type of cacti exist! The whole scene was ridiculous, it didn't feel real. With the sun rising, the snow capped mountains in the background, the cactus plants, the balloons and the perfect weather! I'm not going to lie- it was cold but the conditions were perfect. Even our pilot said it was one of his best flights and he has been doing it for over 30 years! Hot air ballooning was definitely the highlight of my trip so far. I had a 'moment' for sure- our world is seriously incredible and I want to learn, see and do as much of it as physically possible!

A champagne breakfast followed and we were then taken to the contiki coach ready to set off again. We left the "Valley of the Sun" to head to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon! We stopped on the way in the quaintest little town called Sedona, where we drove past brilliant coloured sandstone cliffs and rugged peaks. We also jumped into the back of a Jeep 4WD with a cool looking local cowboy to give us an off road look at Sedona's famous red rock country. We learnt all about the pine forrests, rock formations, legends of the area and the fauna, such as rattle snakes, coyotes and black bears. It was so cold- I bought the daggiest woolen gloves at the local Native American store. But it was so worth it... Can you believe the jeep seats were heated?!? Crazy cool!

From here we drove through beautiful Oak Creek Country, saw snow for the first time on this trip and finally arrived at the Grand Canyon! Wow! There are no words to describe the size and absolutely striking nature of the Canyons. It was 1 degree outside, so it was so freezing cold but for some reason I don't believe it was the temperature that left me speechless! I'm really looking forward to the helicopter flight over the Canyon tomorrow!

After a brief stop at the lookout, we checked into our lodge in the Grand Canyon National Park. Our place is perfect. It's crazy how it's so freezing outside yet everywhere inside it is so toasty! We had dinner at the local restaurant tonight as we were so tired and couldn't wait to get indoors and keep warm. I came back to the room and had a hot bubble bath- perfection!

Now I'm off to bed to catch up on some sleep before another massive, but incredible day again tomorrow! There is just so much to take in on tour, such as amazing, strong friendships, sights that are too perfect to put into words and the overwhelming feeling of being so tiny! I don't know how to describe it- just what I am and what I do and the things that I stress about are so miniature compared to the whole wide world out there that I've only just began to explore. I want to do everything possible and this trip has inspired me to continue to travel.

 It's official- I have the bug and I don't think this is going to be an easy one to shake!

Simone x

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