In my last post, I talked all about the delicious food my husband and I ate during our first two days in Phoenix and our visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens. Well, this is where our trip got very interesting.
We decided we wanted to do an easy hike to prepare us for Camelback Mountain, which holds some of the toughest hiking trails in Arizona. We were looking to hike something around a total of one mile with a gradual incline that still had pretty decent views, so we agreed on Piestewa Peak. The online reviews seemed to fit what we were looking to accomplish, but, boy, were we wrong! We found out AFTER the hike that this trail has an elevation gain of 1,208 feet in 1.2 miles. Did I mention that we had walked to the trail from our hotel, in which we completely underestimated the distance? What we thought was going to be a short walk, turned out being 3 miles. I repeat 3 miles. Did I also mention that it was 100 degrees in the shade? Yeah, we were not smart at all.
Apparently not many people get to the top because the trail is harder than it appears, which doesn’t surprise me all that much after hiking it. We were extremely underprepared, which has made this, undoubtedly, the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. Among many other factors, we were traveling with less water than needed, climbing higher elevation than we’re used to, and bearing the brutal heat that our bodies weren’t ready for. Let’s just say I went through some things while I was up there, including hyperventilating because of my fear of heights. I was psyching myself out and had some moments that I’m not too proud of. I honestly couldn’t have done it without my husband couching me the entire way (even on the way down, which was harder than I thought it was going to be!) – he’s seriously an angel. It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, which made it all the more remarkable when we got to the top.
After our long, strenuous hike, we washed up at the hotel and walked a very short distance to Seasons 52. They have this awesome vegetarian sampler platter that you can easily make vegan (just leave the cheese off the tacos). It was nutritious and delicious – exactly what we needed after being on the trail all day. I didn’t snap a picture, but here’s one from a long time ago when I ate the same thing in Atlanta (the only difference is the fresh veggies which get switched out each season)…
The next morning we woke up ravenous…I wonder why! We decided to check out Nami, a place that had nothing but rave reviews. Kevin got the breakfast burrito (look at the size of that thing!) and I got the bagel with tofu and “ham.” It was outrageously good! Even though it was before noon, we got their soft serve vegan dessert that’s the equivalent to a DQ Blizzard. They were so good that when we went to Nami’s sister restaurant Green New American the next night, we shared another one.
After this amazing brunch, all we wanted to do was sit in the air conditioning and veg out. So, we went and saw the movie Noah. I actually thought it was a really good film! I could see why people have said it has a pro-vegan message, which is awesome to see in mainstream media.
For dinner, we wound up going to an Ethiopian restaurant, which was good but wound up keeping me up all night with heart burn and nightmares – not a good combo. I took a picture, but the lighting was so dark that it didn’t come out that great.
This is where I’ll leave off with this post, but stay tuned for the next one, which will be all about Sedona – my favorite part of the trip!