#GirlsGoneMildAZ

Spring Break 2017 is officially underway! Oh how we (Alex + Abi + I) have been literally counting down the days until we could finally have some fun in the sun. Alex and I were definitely ready for the warmth as we rocked wearing our wedges all through the airport in Sioux Falls and on our flight to the Mesa airport in Arizona.

We were greeted from our flight by Abi’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Joy and ready for Spring Break at the Meyer’s. Walking outside of the airport definitely refreshed my soul from the long cold days back home in SD. Our smiles got even bigger as we cruised the town of Chandler on Ray Road to get back to the Meyer’s gorgeous household. We discussed our plans for the next day and decided that Sedona was calling our name.

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Our drive to Sedona lasted a total of 2 hours but flew by as we talked about the sights and history of Arizona. Dan even taught us his version of the 5 C’s of Arizona: copper, cacti, citrus, cotton, and climate. Before I knew it, we were pulling over and embracing what it truly means to be a tourist…taking photos beyond galore of the beautiful landscape. Off we went and made our way around the multiple roundabouts in Sedona. The art as we traveled through the city was indescribable. So much appreciation goes into making such rustic artwork that captures the vibe of the Southwest. We ended up stopping on Main Street and shopping our way up and down the road. Of course, we could not leave without grabbing a bite to eat at 89 Agave Cantina. I absolutely loved the vibe of the restaurant and enjoyed every bite of the homemade chips and salsa and my Mexican veggie salad with a creamy avocado sauce. Avocados = happiness!!! Our drive back to Chandler flew by and suddenly the day had passed by and we all found ourselves finally dipping our toes into the hot tub.

Day 2 started out with Abi and I taking a walk through a neighborhood park close to the Meyer’s house. The agenda for the day consisted of getting our nails done, grocery shopping at Whole Foods (!!!), and some much needed shopping…a total girls’ day! I must say, Abi’s Aunt Joy knows how to speak my language when it comes to foodie fun. We absolutely loved walking up and down every aisle of Whole Foods…you have to remember…there is no Whole Foods in South Dakota. We ended up with a beautiful grocery haul and ready to cook supper for the rest of the week. Plus, I was finally able to buy Califia Farm’s nitro cold brew coffee…mocha flavored of course! Not only would I say I scored at Whole Foods, but I also bought a “little black dress” at Francesca’s for $25 thanks to Alex and Abi! Now I’m just waiting on the perfect event to wear my new high-low dress! Supper for Monday night consisted of veggie and shrimp spring rolls and a yummy, big bowl of Parmesan pasta for Alex. Again, words cannot describe how fun it was to cook for such an open “audience.” Day 2 ended as we learned how to play the game Codenames. I by far am planning on buying this game for family game night back home in Minnesota.

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The real question is: Why don’t I live closer to a Whole Foods?!

Day 3 and we were ready to take on the world! We got in the car, and Alex punched “Hieroglyphic’s Trail” into her GPS. Off we went as we traveled a little over 30 miles to go on a six mile round trip hike up and back from a stream nestled in the rocks just east of the city. The view was breathtaking, and we managed to not enough ruin our pedicures as we hiked the trail in our Chacos. Trust me, those sandals are a girl’s best friend. Plus, who doesn’t love a good old Chaco tan line? Haha! We made it back to the Meyer’s house in time to spend our first afternoon lounging out in the Arizona sun by the pool. I almost forgot how amazing it feels to nap in the warmth of the sun. The weather was not too hot or too cold. A good thirty minutes was all I needed to start the beginning of my two week adventure (Jamaica here I come!) to get a nice tan before returning home to the cold for a few more months in SD. By the time 5:30 rolled around, I was in the kitchen and for the first time ever prepping Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. Homemade veggie pizza, chicken pizza, and takeout four meat pizza was on the menu for Tuesday night. Alex and Dan enjoyed the takeout while Joy, Abi, and I debated over whether or not the crust suited our pizza cravings since it ended up turning out to be more like focaccia bread versus a thin crust. All in all though, we all cleared our plates and decided to play Boulderdash for game night.

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Wednesday was another extremely fun and busy day. Abi and I decided to do a barre and booty workout in the morning before heading out on our adventures that ended up looping us around from Chandler to Tempe, Tempe to Scottsdale, and Scottsdale to Phoenix. Our first stop was to visit the ASU campus in Tempe. This campus by far does not even compare to back home at SDSU. The multiple shops and restaurants lining the roads of the campus gave off an exhilarating vibe as we entered one of the multiple bookstores located in Tempe. We all bought matching ASU crop top tees and also took a fun selfie in front of the pitchfork symbol located on the backside of the screen at their football stadium. After checking out campus, we were in search of the LOVE sign in Scottsdale. Attention! Anyone who is interested in getting a picture in front of the LOVE sign like we did, please save yourself some confusion and park in the library parking lot. Haha! We ended up testing our navigation skills and wandering downtown Scottsdale for a few extra minutes as we located the sign. Following checking off seeing the LOVE sign on our to-do list, we went to meet Dan at his office. We made a quick stop as he grabbed a bite to eat for lunch, and then we were back on the road to get some vegan eats! Stopping at Nami could not have come at a better time. The “ice cream” most definitely satisfied all of our sweet tooths. I mean, my cookie dough tsoynami was to die for!!! YUM! Abi and I also picked out a sweet treat (gf carrot cake cupcake and an oatmeal cream pie) to take back to the house for another day. The craziest of all our stops for the day though did not occur until midafternoon. We ended our road trip around the city at a makeshift ostrich farm. (There were also camels and zebras at the farm.) Never would I have expected to get up close and personal with some ostriches on our #GirlsGoneMildAZ Spring Break Trip. Haha! We made it back to the Meyer’s house with enough time to enjoy soaking up a few more hours of sun before heading to Joe’s Farm Grill where I enjoyed a big ole’ side of sweet potato fries paired with a perfectly balanced sweet and spicy pineapple “salsa” dip for my fries. What a day filled with great people, places, animals, and eats!

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Our final two days of break were total girls’ days out! We did more shopping in San Tan Village. We could not pass up being oh so close to a mall and only stopping by once. We enjoyed more fun in the sun by tanning a majority of Thursday afternoon. Supper involved a full blown Mexican meal. Alex requested that I whip up some guacamole, and I also introduced Joy to nutritional yeast! Our menu consisted of ground beef tacos for Dan, Alex, and Joy; a taco salad for me; and sweet potato tacos for Abi. Oh how welcoming the food preferences of others can be oh so enjoyable when everyone is willing to go on a little foodie adventure! Fast forward to our final meal together where we once again happily accommodated everyone’s cravings by eating at Pita Jungle. We sat on the restaurant’s back patio and munched on homemade pita bread and roasted red pepper hummus. Too good to be true! I also ate some of the best falafel I have ever had so two thumbs up for Pita Jungle and its mission to bring fresh and healthy eats to the people of the Valley! That was our last stop before we headed to the airport in Mesa and flew back home to 13° weather. Now, less than 24 hours before I head back to the airport in Sioux Falls and fly off to Jamaica!!! More blogging to come!

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