I'm back!

In case you were wondering where I've been, I spent the last 5 days in Arizona! My cousin and I flew out to Phoenix to visit a longtime family friend, who we refer to as our "adopted mom." It was both of our first trips to the state, so we were super excited to see as many sites as we could!

My cousin and I both arrived in Phoenix on Friday night. We checked into our hotel and then headed to dinner at one of the coolest restaurants I've ever seen. It was called Taco Guild, and it was located inside an old church! As expected, the food was incredible, ESPECIALLY the queso.

After dinner, we decided to stop for a couple of drinks and do some karaoke. We found a dive bar called Ain't Nicks Tavern and sang a few songs with a very fun group of locals. It was the perfect way to kick off our trip.

On Saturday morning, our first stop was In-N-Out Burger in Tempe. I've been wanting to try In-N-Out for YEARS, but I've never traveled far enough west to have an opportunity! I ordered a Double Double and fries (animal-style, of course), and I was not disappointed. Why can't we have one of those here in Iowa?!

Following our early lunch was a visit to the Phoenix Zoo. It took us FOUR HOURS to make our way around the entire zoo, that's how huge it was! Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the elephant or the giraffes, but we did see a ton of other animals! My favorites were the prairie dogs and the squirrel monkeys!

Saturday night we headed to a restaurant called Bobby-Q BBQ Restaurant and Steakhouse, which happens to be where our host's ACTUAL son works! Just like the other two places that we ate, it was fantastic.

At 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, all three of us left Phoenix and headed up to Williams. That's where the Grand Canyon Railway is, which took us on a trip to Grand Canyon National Park! The two-and-a-half hour trip was a blast. We had mimosas and snacks and got to hear some live music from a local musician. Immediately following the train ride, we hopped on a tour bus to check out the best viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Immediately after our bus trip, we checked into the historic El Tovar Hotel, which is located right on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was built in 1905 and has stunning views! We could see the canyon from our balcony. We ended up having dinner in the dining room on Sunday night and then breakfast there on Sunday. The rest of Sunday afternoon was spent shopping until we caught the train back to Williams, and from there it was another two-and-a-half-hour drive back to Phoenix. It was exhausting, but DEFINITELY worth it! Our favorite place to shop was Hopi House, which sells Native American-made products. I won't tell you how much money I spent there...

Here's a look at my entire trip to Arizona:

Photos From Courtlin's First Trip to Phoenix/the Grand Canyon

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

The next time we travel to Arizona, we want to spend time IN the Grand Canyon! I can't wait to go back.

Courtlin's 2023 Trip to Nashville

Here are some highlights from my trip to Nashville from March of 2023!

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

More From 98.1 KHAK