Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The Ideal 2-Day Arizona Christmas Vacation
Allow me to re-print one more "blog of old"…I still haven't given up on this one!
If I ever have my grandkids come to visit me at Christmas here's what two days of their visit to Arizona would be like. I consider this to be my favorite Christmas fantasy.
Fly into Phoenix from the East coast and bask in December temperatures here in the 70's. Have a nice dinner, then send everyone early to bed for an early morning trip the next day.
Leave Phoenix at 6am and head up I-17 to Flagstaff. Allow every one to ooh and ahh at Flagstaff's Pine greenery and fresh snowfall. Everyone jumps out of the van for a good old fashioned snow fight, then a stop at Starbucks for coffee and hot chocolate, then head west on I-40 to Williams, Arizona.
Board the Polar Express in Williams. Soak in the scenery as the train chugs up to the Grand Canyon, listening to Christmas carols as Santa ho ho ho's down the aisle with cookies and greetings for all the kids.
Enjoy the wonders of the Grand Canyon, breathe in the clean, pine-scented air and walk off your worries of the past year.
Re-board the Polar Express back to Williams. Before heading back to Flagstaff, stop by that wonderful cafe/bakery just adjacent to the train station in Williams and buy a dozen delicious sweet treats for breakfast the next morning.
Arrive in Flagstaff just as the winter darkness is setting in. Take lodging in Flagstaff, drop off your bags and set off to the Lowell observatory. Arrive at seven and take in the pristine celestial views as the Lowell guides provide a two-hour tour of the facilities, with the highlight being their viewing of the "Bethlehem Star" that is part of their nightly Christmas tour.
After finishing the Observatory tour, head back to downtown Flagstaff, its streets decked out in holiday lights. Enjoy a late evening dinner at one of those charming restaurants downtown, then back to our rooms for deep refreshing sleep in the cold mountain air.
Pancakes at I-Hop the next morning, stoking you up for some brisk snow-sledding down snowy white slopes under a bright winter sun.
Shake the snow from your pants and coats and head back to the van for the return to Phoenix in mid-afternoon. Perhaps a little nap after arriving home to prepare for a spectacular night of festivity over Scottsdale way.
About 6pm we head out to Scottsdale on the 101 and exit at Frank Lloyd Wright. Head straight for FLW'S Taliesin West where special holiday tours are offered. We take the full evening tour of Wright's gracious home and school. Marvel how Wright was able to seamlessly integrate the man-made structure into a wild and natural desert setting. Return to the Wright home for the holiday "tea" as guests are treated as honored guests in Wright's home.
Leave Taliesman West and head home, sighing and smiling all the way.