Vacations Survey

Today I'm linking up with The Blended Blog for their monthly questions and today's topic is all about vacations! 

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1. Will you go on a a summer vacation this year? 
We aren't really summer vacation people since the weather in MN is finally nice!

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2. Do nothing but relax or a pack it all in vacation?  
If I'm going somewhere special, I like to sightsee and do activities that are unique to that location, but overall I like my vacations to be relaxing! 

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3. What month do you like to vacation? 
Sometimes we'll go places for our anniversary (October), but otherwise February / March is usually my favorite since we're so over the cold and snow by that point! 

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4. Cruise: YES or NO? 
Nope! Rooms are too claustrophobic for me and I prefer to be on land. :)

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5. Favorite vacation tradition?
Getting a mani + pedi before the trip and getting Starbucks at the airport before flying out.
  

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6. Most memorable vacation?
I'd say our trip to Arizona last year was my favorite! 

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7. Pack light or Pack it all? 
I pack it all -- I need to have options!

8. Hotel, Condo or House? 
Hmm, depends on the trip! Probably prefer house / condo because then you can buy groceries and cook -- I always get so tired of eating out for every meal by the end of a vacation.

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9. Favorite thing(s) to eat on vacation? 
It's always so fun to try out new restaurants as well as treats and meals that are unique to that particular area.

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10. Warm or Cold Destinations?  
Typically warm since we live in a tundra! ;)

Favorite vacation that you've been on?
What's one place you'd love to travel to?

Spring Break in AZ: Day 6

Our final day in Arizona began at the Scottsdale Fashion Square! We had visited this area a few nights earlier when we went to Olive & Ivy for dinner and we wanted to check in out during the daytime! 

We arrived in the area mid-morning and walked along the promenade for a bit once the shops opened up. It was a beautiful and sunny day and it felt so good to soak up our last day of the fantastic weather in AZ! 

After walking around outside, we headed into the Scottsdale Fashion Mall to do some browsing. We loved walking through this mall because it reminded a us a lot of the Galleria back home! This mall was filled with lots of high-end stores such as Burberry, GUCCI, etc. and it was so fun to browse around! All of the natural light within the mall reminded me a lot of my trips to the Ala Moana Center while visiting my best friend, Allie! 

After our trip through the mall, we headed back to Modern Market for lunch since we loved it so much when we were there the other day! 

I ordered the same sandwich as last time because it was so, so good! Fresh mozzarella, arugula, tomato, and blueberry preserves on ciabatta! The blueberry preserves seriously MADE this sandwich! I definitely want to take a stab at recreating this at home!

After lunch, we walked down to the other end of the promenade and relaxed by the canal for a bit before heading to another park to hang out in the sun for a bit before returning our rental car.

It was just so crazy how it was low 80s and sunny in Scottsdale, and a chilly 28* in Minneapolis on this particular day! We've already started talking about how a warm weather getaway needs to occur each winter! 

After a couple hours in the sun, we dropped off our rental car and headed to the airport! We grabbed a quick dinner near our gate before boarding our evening flight to Minneapolis. We had such a great vacation and are already looking forward to heading back to AZ sometime for a trip to visit The Grand Canyon! 

Spring Break in AZ: Day 5

Our last full day in Arizona started out bright and early as we set out on a mini roadtrip to Sedona! It was so pretty up in Sedona--blue skies and red rocks all around.

It took us around two hours to make the trek from our hotel in Phoenix all the way to Sedona, but it was well worth the drive! 

Our first stop was at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a beautiful church built right into the rocks of Sedona. Andy especially enjoyed this tourist spot due to its influence by Frank Lloyd Wright. Afterwards, we headed up to Cathedral Rock, which was just a few minutes away. We started climbing up Cathedral Rock, but when we realized it was a very similar hike to Camelback Mountain, which we had hiked just a few days before, we decided to take the alternative route around the mountain. One rock climb was enough for us for one week! 

Sedona was a little chillier than Phoenix, but a light jacket layered over my Nike fleece did the trick! Our hike around Cathedral Rock was filled with beautiful views and a variety of terrains such as hikes along a stream, rocky portions, and field-like areas.

Our hike out and back took about two hours--we were starving by the time were were done! We headed into downtown Sedona to grab a bite to eat before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the area.

Andy suggested an organic cafe off the main street and it did not disappoint! Once we were fueled up and ready to go, we headed out to Doe Mountain, a hike that my coworker, Greta, had recommended to me.

We quickly climbed Doe Mountain, which was a relatively easy hike except for a few rocky areas, in anticipation of arriving at the top. My friend, Greta, said that you could hike around the top and experience 360* views of Sedona, and we were anxious to check it out! 

The views on the way up were so pretty--we especially loved being able to see the snow-capped mountains off in the distance since Sedona is further north than where we had traveled earlier in the week.

We enjoyed exploring the the top of the mountain and checking out the views from each side--such a unique experience! 

It was breathtaking up there! 

We quickly hiked down the mountain so that we could squeeze in one last hike before sunset! We headed across the road to hike Bear Mountain--a more challenging hike that we were more than ready for.

Our hike up Bear Mountain was during my favorite time of day--the golden hour just before the sun sets! 

The hike was a bit rockier than Doe Mountain, but much easier than Camelback! We enjoyed the challenged as we headed up higher and higher.

We started heading back once dusk hit--for we didn't want to be hiking down in the pitch black night! We both agreed that this hike was one of our favorites--maybe because we knew it would be our last hike of the trip before we headed back to cold and snowy Minneapolis the next evening! 

Spring Break in AZ: Day 4

We woke up early on Tuesday morning ready to hike and spend the day outside after the day before's rainstorm.

We grabbed donuts on the way to hike Pinnacle Peak and just before we got to the trail head, a quick thunderstorm blew through.

We waited it out by making a quick Target run for more snacks and then ended up swinging by a local restaurant for a quick lunch before take two of the hike. In less than an hour, the sun was shining again so we headed out! 

Pinnacle Peak was well worth the wait--it felt like such as "easy" hike after Sunday's crazy climb up Camelback Mountain!

The weather was absolutely perfect--blue skies, puffy clouds, and plenty of sunshine.

Pinnacle Peak overlooked a beautiful golf course and neighborhood with the mountains in the background--the views were so beautiful! 

After Pinnacle Peak, we headed to Cave Creek Regional Park for a sunset hike around the mountain. 

The views along this hike were so pretty--especially with the setting sun leaving a golden cast on all of the scenery. We got back to our car just as the sun went down--talk about perfect timing! 

We grabbed dinner at a local pizza restaurant on the way back to the hotel and it was located in the cutest little neighborhood! One of our favorite parts of our vacation was exploring new cities and trying out new (to us!) restaurants! 

Spring Break in AZ: Day 3

Our third day in Arizona started out a little overcast with an afternoon rainstorm on the radar. Due to this, we decided to spend our morning outside at the Desert Botanical Gardens and then head down to Chandler, AZ for the afternoon.

We both enjoyed browsing through the different gardens to check out all of the unique desert plants--there was even a butterfly garden as well! 

The Desert Botanical Gardens reminded me a lot of the landscape arboretum in Minnesota--except with a desert twist! 

After we finished up at the gardens, we headed to Cafe Rio for lunch! Cafe Rio is a lot like Chipotle but with more options--we both really enjoyed it! 

After our late lunch, we headed down to Chandler to browse the Chandler Fashion Center for awhile to avoid the rainstorm. After the mall, we grabbed a quick bite to eat along with another trip to Yogurtland before heading back to the hotel to relax and watch a movie.