Havasupai Falls

I’ve been trying to get this permit for 2.5 years ever since I moved to Arizona. About a month ago was my lucky day. Every year on February 1st the office opens up their phone lines to sell permits for that calendar year. I called on repeat at least hundreds of times and never got through. On October 17th, 2017 I called randomly to see if they had any cancellations and it was my lucky day! I quickly learned that it is easier to get a permit during the week if you are able to take off work. The weekends permits go quicker.

HAVASUPAI CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS & PERMITS:

To make camping reservations in Havasupai, you can must call the Havasupai Tourism Office at (928) 448-2121.

2017 Costs*:

  • Camping permit – $25 per person, per night
  • Environmental fee – $10 per person
  • Entrance fee – $50 per person as well

This means that for the first night the cost for one person is $85, and $25 for each subsequent night camping. For more information, click here. It cost us $93.50 including tax per person for one night.

We crammed a lot into one weekend, it’s doable, but if you have more time to explore I would highly recommend to do so.

Gear rental

REI has some great free classes to prepare for your hike. I saw one locally called “preparing for the grand canyon”. You can also rent backpacks, tents, and more gear from them. Check to see what stores you can rent from here. OR a cheaper option would be to rent from Arizona Hiking Shack off of 32nd and Thomas. My friends went there and they had everything for cheaper.

Only way I could fit the bread lol!

What I Packed

  • 2 person tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • 1 gallon of water (Camelbak with bite valve)
  • Backpack
  • 2 pairs of wool socks
  • Change of clothes
  • Plenty of Cliff bars, trail mix, and stuff to make PB&J’s
  • Swim suit
  • Rain coat (you’ll want this for Moony falls)
  • Water shoes
  • Hiking shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Portable chargers
  • Camera/Go Pro

Think minimal! Unless you plan to have the helicopter or donkeys take down your stuff (extra $$) your bag can get reallyyyyy heavy.

Agenda

Friday

We left after work around 5pm to head to the nearest hotel near the trailhead which is still a 1.5 hour drive away. From my house (Scottsdale) to the lodge was about 3 hours and 22 minutes. Definitely worth staying closer Friday night so we are energized for the long hike ahead. To book a room at Hualapai Lodge click here. I got the AAA rate for $127/night.

Saturday

Drive to the trailhead then get ready for a 10 mile hike down the Grand Canyon to the famous Havasupai falls! We set up our tent right near Havasu falls for the night. I do warn you in November the canyon gets pretty cold. It was about 21 degrees at night and up to 60 degrees during the day.

My friend and I went swimming in Navajo falls. The water was cold, but not unbearable for being so late in the year.

Group before the 10 mile hike down!

Sunday

This is the hardest part! Hike 10 miles back and the last mile is straight up the canyon. Then we drive back 4+ hours to Scottsdale. It was a super exhausting day, but if you’ve seen the pictures I think it’s worth it.

Havasu Falls
Navajo Falls
Mooney Falls

Ladder down to Mooney Falls (it was wet and slippery)

Seattle

Seattle blew my expectations away. The weather was PERFECT! I kept waiting for rain and it never came. Which means….more time for exploring.

Place to Eat & Drink

  1. Elliot’s Oyster House- this place was packed! I highly recommend a reservation. It was right on the water with a beautiful view. Try to get an outside table if you can.img_1201
  2. Momiji- awesome Japanese food with a Twilight vibe in Capitol Hill. There is a super cute patio in the middle of the restaurant.
  3. Rachel’s Ginger Beer- just drinks!

Places to See

  1. Future of Flight Tour– we did a 90 minute tour in Everett, WA. About 1 hour outside of downtown Seattle.
  2. Space Needle
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass- we bought tickets for this and the Space Needle package $38 each.
  4. Original Starbucks & Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
  5. Pike’s Place Market
  6. Wallace Falls State Park– 4.6 mile trail to a beautiful waterfall just one hour outside Seattle

    How We Got There

    We flew American there and Alaskan back for about $250 per person.

Where We Stayed

  1. The Renaissance in downtown Seattle for $183 (AAA rate) per night + tax. Not bad for downtown! It was cheaper in area like Bellevue, but I figured we could walk to a lot of places from here like Capitol Hill
  2. Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle. We walked to the Space Needle from here! Overall the location was very central. I used 10k points so it was free!

Overall, I would definitely go back to Seattle and explore. There are so many hikes, parks and restaurants with great views.

7 Day Ring Road Route in Iceland

 

Route

This blog post includes a day 7 itinerary of the ring road including the golden circle in Iceland.

Day 1: The Blue Lagoon! It’s only minutes away from KEF airport. Buy tickets online ahead of time because they sell out. We choice the comfort package because it included entrance to Blue Lagoon, Silica Mud Mask, use of towel, 1st Drink of your choice and algae. 

We spent about 2 hours here. Let me tell you it was SO relaxing!

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Day 2: The Golden Circle which which includes: ÞingÞingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser , Gullfoss Waterfall, Crater Lake, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and Gljúfrabúi. Have fun pronouncing those.

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Day 3: Vik which included the DC-3 plane wreckage. This was a four km walk from the parking lot so be prepared. You won’t see the plane until you pretty much walk the whole distance.

Next stop: the glacier lagoon. They offer tours here, but be prepared with layers for this stop. It got pretty chilly.

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Day 4: Myvatn Lake, Godafoss, Horseback riding at Galsi horse rental, Grjotagja Cave and Rhino rock

Day 5: Kirkjufell, volcanic crater, Snaefellsbaer, and the seal stop.

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Day 6: We explored Reykavik. I highly recommend the Icelandic hotdogs. They have many food trucks and it’s only $4 which is cheap for Iceland. The Phallic museum which was interesting…only $15.

Day 7: Reykavik again. We visited the big church aka Hallfrimskirkja, Hapra and explored all the street art.

How We Got There

Check out my blog post on Wow Airlines.

                 Where We Stayed

Check out my blog post here.

Questions? Email me at jetesetbrunette247@gmail.com

 

Maui

This is my fourth time being in Hawaii. I can’t say I remember them all though. This time we stayed on the island of Maui.

How I Got There

I actually paid this time not using points, but I recommend booking as far in advance as possible. I paid ~$500 on American from PHX to OGG. My siblings booked the same flight a few weeks later and paid over $600.

What We Did

1. The Road to Hana

The road consists of over a 64 mile drive of beautiful waterfalls and nature. Before you go consider brining: a fully charged camera, water shoes, sunscreen and bug repellant. Also, check the weather because since it is a rainforest there can be road closings.

Within the Road to Hana we hiked in the bamboo forest

It took about 1.5 hours from the spot my Dad dropped us off. The beginning of the trail looked like this… 

Then you’ll cross this wooden plank…

Then you’ll see a 3 waterfalls and have to climb up this ladder. Don’t worry there is rope! But I wouldn’t do this hike with my parents…

At the end of the Road to Hana you’ll arrive at the black sand beach.

2. Spa Day at the Sheraton Black Rock Spa.

3. Snorkel

My dad rented snorkel rentals for $10 a day which was way cheaper than getting them from our resort at The Snorkel Store.

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4. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala is known as the volcano that formed most of Maui. We drove up this over 10,000  feet above sea level. Apparently, the thing to do is watch the sunrise here which we didn’t do. I saw you had to make reservations. If you are an early riser, I would do this because I saw awesome pictures on Yelp. Overall, it took about a half day.

5. Massages at the Spa at Black Rock

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Westin in Ka’anapali. I would highly recommend. It’s very family friendly with a few kid pools. In addition, theres a lot of amenities on site. We went to breakfast and dinner to two of the restaurants. The rooms even have a kitchen. The only thing we wished it had was an oven. In the end, this hotel has everything you need including the beach.

Where We Ate

 Breakfast: go to the Gazebo. We got there right at 7:30am. There was already a line. We probably waited about a hour, but it was worth it for the beach view. They are known for the fried rice.

Lunch: Paia Fish Market in Lahaina

Cool Cat Cafe

Dinner: Seafood try Merrimans

Mexican: Fridas

Italian: Pulehu (in our resort)

Taverna

Colorado

I’ve been to Colorado a handful of times. I can’t believe I haven’t posted about things to do until now.

I’m so lucky that my college bestie lives there and can show me the ropes of the mile high city.

Here are a few of my favorite things…

Favorite restaurants:

For brunch we went to Denver Biscuit Co.. It was super filling and busy, but worth the wait!  For dinner I would recommend Linger l love the variety of options here. From sushi to burgers to pizza theres something for everyone.

Favorite Hotel:

The Art Hotel which is located in downtown Denver. It is super modern with different art features on every level. The rooftop bar with the fire pit is great place to grab a drink.

Favorite ice cream:

Little Man’s Ice Cream…enough said.

If you’re looking for a killer hike:

Manitou Incline Trail a little over 1.5 hours from the Denver airport.

Skiing

We went to Arapahoe Basin to skii. I rented all my equipment including skiis, boots, pants and a helmet for about $50. You can buy a day pass. This was only about a hour and a half drive from Breckenridge.


Breckenridge… although I didn’t skii here we used the time share hot tubs and walked around and shopped.

 

 

 

Charlotte

What I Did

Work work work work work. Literally. I was in Charlotte for almost 3 weeks so I had time to explore.

Hike

Thanks for the recommendation from my friend Taylor. Crowder’s mountain was an awesome hike! The only issue was I had to wait about 10 minutes for parking. There was a place down the street you could pay $5 to park and walk. Here is the link to the website with the hours and things to do at Crowder’s National Park.

Banana Suit Bar Crawl

The best $20 I’ve ever spent (including the suit). This was the 5th annual crawl. We got tickets here. If you are in Charlotte during February you have to do this bar crawl!


Shopping

My work mom Sandy took me to Birkdale Village. It was a really cute outdoor mall in Huntersville. We ate at Red Rocks which was a super nice restaurant. I highly recommend we had the best server named Lucky!

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Hiking in Arizona

Since I’ve lived in Arizona one of the best things to do is find new trails and explore the beautiful sunny state. Let me first state I am NO professional. Hiking is something I have recently done a lot more since I’ve moved here.

Northern Arizona:

  1. Antelope CanyonPage, AZ. Okay this wasn’t really a hike… Just a couple set it stairs, but still super cool to see.     
  2. Grand Canyon-An american must do. I haven’t done this since I was about 10 years old.
  3. Horseshoe Bend- Page, AZ.      

Central Arizona

4. Fossil CreekPine, AZ. I have to admit my friends and I went here with intentions to find a natural waterfall…we hiked over 10 miles and never found it. If you decide to go here please email me, because as soon as we walked to the car we heard people jumping into the waterfall.
  
5. Sedona-Sedona, AZ. Sedona is an easy two hour drive from Phoenix. I’ve been a few times since living in Arizona and it’s absolutely one of my favorites. They are known for their pink jeep tours. We did a winery jeep tour at a Day in the West.

We went in the summer and it was perfect to do the natural water slides at Slide Rock Park in Sedona.


  
  

Phoenix Area:

4. Camelback MountainPhoenix, AZ. This is probably one of the most well known in the Phoenix area.


  
5. Pinnacle PeakScottsdale, AZ. 

6. Piestewa PeakPhoenix, AZ

Never been on a hike before? No Problem.

Here’s what you need…

  1. Hiking Shoes
  2. Water bottleS (you can never pack too much water I’ve learned)
  3. Backpack (to hold your keys, water, phone, etc.)
  4. Towel (on a really hot Arizona day you’ll want this to cool off)
  5. Protein bars (I love me some cliff bars)