A Summer Weekend in Asheville

Asheville, NC is one of my absolute favorite cities! Lucky for me, it is about a two hour drive from my house and we get to go there often. It’s beautiful anytime of year, each season for different reasons. We spent a summer weekend catching up with our friends and relaxing, and it was just perfect. We tried lots of new to us spots on this trip! Here’s a few highlights:

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  • This Airbnb could not have been better for two couples. There is a downstairs studio apartment and an upstairs studio apartment each with their own separate entrance. The house is conveniently located, while still feel very secluded. We had no issues getting an Uber to pick us up and it was just a short ride to everything we wanted to see. Bonus – it is pet friendly too.
  • We started our weekend with dinner and drinks at Wicked Weed Brewing. I’ve visited lots of the breweries in town on many different trips, and I think overall the beer at Wicked Weed is probably my favorite. They have so many choices, and unusual things you won’t find anywhere else.
  • We randomly happened upon Ben’s Tune Up. In all my trips to Asheville I have never heard anyone mention this place, but it is a seriously cool spot. From the outside, you may not even notice the place at all, but they have live music, a neat outdoor area, and a full bar menu (and apparently food too, but we didn’t try anything).
  • We tried out a hiking spot that we found in a guidebook in the Airbnb. Finding the trail was hilarious. After turning down random roads for twenty or so minutes, passing a tractor convention, and using the four wheel drive to cross a stream we finally arrived at the parking lot. BUT there were no signs for the trail. We saw a girl on a bike find her brother who she had lost on the trail for an hour or so, and still we headed off into the woods. It was very beautiful and quite the adventure and I’m happy to report that we did all make it back in one piece.
  • Our first trip to Sierra Nevada. It is huge and there were SO MANY people. There is a lot space so everyone was kind of spread out, making it not feel that crowded. That being said, I’m honestly not sure if I would go back. They do have some beer options that you can’t get in stores, there was an outdoor food area where we ate a great hot dog, there is a pretty garden area that you can walk through and live music outside so it’s definitely a fun spot, but for me it’s so far out of town that it’s probably not worth the hassle.
  • One of my very favorite things to do in Asheville is to go to the Grove Park Inn for cocktails. The view from the back porch is the absolute best view in town any time of year in my opinion. We had some wine and watched the sun go down over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I can’t think of much better. 
  • We tubed down the French Broad River for the first time. We went with Zen Tubing from their Midtown location. This was the perfect relaxing activity for a hot summer day. You float by several breweries and restaurants; we thought it would be easier to get out and check them out than it was. We ended up just staying on the river and snacking on what we had packed in our cooler and we loved our day on the river so much. 
  •  Luella’s Bar-B-Que was SO good! We all ate until we were completely stuffed, forgetting that we had a dinner reservation in just a couple hours. The wings there were some of the best I’ve ever eaten!
  • For me no trip to Asheville is complete without a meal at Curate. A pitcher of sangria made table side and a table full of tapas, YUM. Try the cured hams if you go!
  • We also tried Wedge Brewing Co for the first time. The highlight of this was that they serve Ginger’s Revenge Beer. So delicious and the perfect summer drink after a weekend of over eating! 
  • The last stop of the weekend before heading home was at Biscuit Head. I LOVE this place. There is usually a long line to get in, but going on a Monday morning really cut back on the wait. If you’re wondering if the wait will be worth it…it will! A gravy sampler and a jelly buffet, what could be wrong? SO GOOD!

 

 

 

 

 

Road Tripping From Vegas to the Grand Canyon – Part 3

So, it turns out taking two MBA classes in summer school and having a full time job is actually, like, really time consuming. So here we are with the final leg of the trip!

We woke up bright and early and had breakfast at the hotel before it was time to board the Grand Canyon Railway. The train leaves from Williams, AZ and goes to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Right before you get on the train there is a cowboy show. The cowboys also make their way onto the train too.

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The train ride take a couple of hours, and honestly I was shocked by what you see on the way there. For the most part it is surrounded by evergreen trees and some areas have big grassy fields. For whatever reason, in my mind I thought it would look like a desert. Our seats on the train were in the caboose, so it was fun to be able to go out on the plank at the end of the train to look around. The cowboys made there way through the train and there were also musicians that came through the car. We had access to snacks and drinks in our train car as well so that was really nice. Overall I really enjoyed the train ride, it was very relaxing.

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We saw a quick glimpse of the canyon on the train ride in, but when we got off the train we were still surrounded by trees so we still hadn’t had a chance to take it all in yet. We walked to a bus stop after we got off the train and took a bus to the rim. The bus made several stops so we were able to get lots of different views. Y’all this place is unreal. I don’t care how many pictures you have seen, the pictures cannot do it justice. It is an absolutely amazing place.

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After the bus tour we walked around a bit, there are a few shops that we checked out, and we had lunch at the Arizona Room. Just an FYI, if you’re planning a trip to the Canyon, pack a water bottle. There are signs everywhere advising you to drink because of heat related illnesses that are common there, but there is NO water for sale anywhere. The park is trying to cut back on littering so they have water stations where you can fill up bottles everywhere, but you have to buy a $15 dollar souvenir bottle if you don’t bring your own. Also – you can buy all the sugary drinks in plastic bottles, just no water. Just Saying.

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We spent the night at the Maswik Lodge. There are only a few hotels to choose from on the Canyon rim and they fill up quickly so you have to book your trip pretty far in advance. It was so cool to spend the night on the rim. We watched the sunset, which was amazing. The canyon changed colors as the sun went down, and it was absolutely beautiful. The night we were there the moon was bright and full so we were even able to see a little of the Canyon late at night. We had diner in the dining room at El Tovar. El Tovar is a really neat historic hotel and the food at the restaurant was great. The restaurants and shops were all within walking distance once we got off the train, so after dinner we walked back to our room. If I get the chance to go back to the Grand Canyon in the future I would love to go on the mule ride to the bottom, but they typically book up months in advance.

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The next morning we got up and had breakfast before heading out to take in more views of the Grand Canyon. We walked around and took another bus to different parts to take in all the views. It was so beautiful. That afternoon we boarded the train back to Williams, AZ. After the two hour train ride we had another long ride. We loaded up the car and were off to Phoenix. We spent the last night of our trip at the Marriott at the Phoenix airport. We had an early morning flight home from a great trip.

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If you missed it see Part 1 and Part 2 of the trip here.

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Road Tripping from Vegas to the Grand Canyon – Part 2

I loved Sedona. It is absolutely beautiful there. Everywhere you turn there is another stunning view. We started our day walking around the downtown area and doing some shopping. It was mostly touristy shops but there were a few nice stores as well. Then we checked in for our Pink Jeep tour. The Pink Jeep tour was SO much fun! Our guide was great, he was a Sedona native and made the experience so awesome! We chose the Broken Arrow tour which is a crazy off road experience down Broken Arrow Trail. We bounced all around in the jeep and at some points it felt like we would bounce out, but it was a blast. We stopped at several different places to take pictures and walk around. Each place we stopped had amazing views.

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Thank goodness for seat belts!

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The pictures really don’t do this place justice. It is so beautiful and literally every direction you turn you are surround by these amazing views, each formation a little different than the others. After our Pink Jeep tour was over we asked our guide where we should have lunch. He suggested Mariposa, so that’s where we went. It was realllly good. But the view was even better. It has the most amazing outdoor space with the most incredible 360 degree views.

We made one last stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona to take in the views and then we were headed back to Williams, AZ. It was finally time to see the Grand Canyon! After arriving in Williams we spent the night at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. We had tickets for the train to the Grand Canyon bright and early the next morning.

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Stay tuned for the last part of the trip, where we finally made it to see the Grand Canyon.

If you missed part one of the trip check it out here.

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MummyTravels

Road Tripping from Vegas to the Grand Canyon

I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon for as long as I can remember. When people talk about it, they always seem to be in such awe of what they have seen. I got the chance to go on a road trip from Vegas to the Grand Canyon with my aunt for her birthday, and it was everything people said it would be. We flew into Vegas, spent five nights in different hotels each night and saw some truly beautiful sights.

The trip started off when we landed in Vegas just in time to make it to see the Cher concert that we had tickets to. Everyone was all, we’re gonna miss Cher, and I’m all but we can’t skip dinner. So I started my trip to Vegas shoving airport Burger King in my face as we waited at the carousel for our bags. We got in an Uber and headed to the Monte Carlo, where we were also staying the night, passed our bags off to the front desk (I did a quick outfit change in the hotel lobby bathroom) and headed for the show. To be honest, I am not a huge Cher fan so I had no idea what to expect. It was a great show! Even if you weren’t into the music, the costumes, the hair, the scenery…it was all something to see. I was blown away by the fact that she is over 70 years old still putting on such a huge show and her costumes and hair are unreal. She changes so many times during the show and SO quickly. I was so impressed by that. We walked around Vegas a bit after the show and took it all in. This was my second time going to Vegas and it is still such an overwhelming place to me, I can’t decide if I like it there or hate it there! Have you been? What do you think?

We got up the next morning and had the typical Vegas hotel buffet breakfast where we ate ALL the things. We headed back to the airport and picked up our rental car and our road trip was officially underway. We headed south to make our first stop at the Hoover Dam. I had never seen it before, so I was excited to check it out. It was amazing to see it, and I thought it was so cool how half of the bridge is in one time zone and the other half is in another. A new bridge over the dam was built not that long ago, which is the one in the pictures. The original bridge is now mostly for tourists to walk around on and check out the views.

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View from the old bridge over the Hoover Dam.
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Long way down!
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Nevada side of the bridge.

 

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Arizona side!

After taking in all the views of the Hoover Dam we got back in the car to head south for Sedona, AZ. What should have been a 4 hour drive basically took all day. We definitely took the scenic route. We drove part of the way down historic Route 66. It winds through small towns and Indian Reservations, and there were a lot of beautiful views. We took Route 66 into Williams, AZ for dinner. We ate a steak dinner at Rod’s Steakhouse. It was delicious. The town still looks vaguely similar to what I imagine people traveling on Route 66 in it’s heyday saw. It was a fun step back in time.

Once we finished dinner we finally made it to Sedona. We made a quick loop though town to check out the sites before checking in to our room at the Sedona Summit. It was a little ways out of town but I thought it was a really nice place. We had heard lots of talk about the Prickly Pear margaritas in Sedona, so after checking in to the room we thought we would try one at the hotel bar. Turns out they didn’t have a hotel bar, so we took the next best option and found the closest Safeway and got the ingredients and made them ourselves and sat by the pool and drank them. P.S. you can make them at home too! You’re welcome 😉

Stay tuned for our adventures in Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

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