18: Stay Classy, Phoenix

My morning went from good to great in a three hour plane ride and a two mile hike. Hiking equally reminds me not only why I love the outdoors but why I hate working out. I get shortness of breath, my chest begins to ache, my muscles sometimes give out and if you look these up, they are also symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Regardless of my views on engaging in activities that can lead to unintentional suicide, this was the first thing two training class friends and I did upon our arrival to Phoenix. The trip that was planned in 30 minutes, and about 19 hours before my flight left, on Facebook when I posted “Who wants to adventure with me?”. 

Lesson fifteen thirty five and a half: Always post on social media outlets to reach out to fellow travel buddies, you never know who has the day off and 50 bucks to spare.

See kids, social media can work wonders if you actually do half the things on your Pinterest board.

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Haley, who managed to escape Chicago, moved there and offered to host Valerie and I for my 50 week long adventure. Fast forward 18 and a half hours and I’m looking for Val in the PHX airport, who flew in from New York. After that we began changing into our hiking gear in the baggage claim bathroom with our bags spread across the counter. This was normal. Haley scooped us and we head straight for the mountain so we could finally be outdoors in shorts in what felt like years. After we parked, the walk to Camel Back Mountain may have been longer in miles than the hike itself but it was much easier.

While deciding what we wanted to spend our day doing, we learned not only were spring training games going on, but we just so happened to be there the day Will Farrell would be playing for all the teams. This is where I insert 17-23 of my favorite emoji: a cat with hearts for eyes. Haley, being into baseball, didn’t know the specifics but due to my social media crazed techniques I found his full schedule for the day within three minutes. Some may call this creepy, I call it fantastic investigative and research skills.

Either way we now had an evening plan to watch him play baseball to earn money and awareness for Cancer for College and Stand Up for Cancer. Back to the hike. 

We started by going through the residential mansions that surround the stunningly intoxicating area and after about a quarter mile up we got a decent view of ASU. Eventually the trail got slightly more narrow slash  rocky and it was at this point I learned that people get lifted off of the mountain via helicopter daily due to injury or other inconveniences. The clumsy Carly that takes over my day to day on a regular occurrence got scared.

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With people walking in all directions and a cliff to my right, it reminded why I love hiking: the adventure, the exercise and the thought that if I saw a raccoon, freaking out could cost me my leg (or face, or elbows, or life). Oh the thrill. *Insert emoji of a laughing cat with a gun next to its head* After getting most of the way up and an even more amazing view, we decided that Will Farrell and In & Out Burger were more important than the additional 30 mins it’d take to get to the top.

Going down was much harder than walking up. Not because of the hike (because it’s safe to say that about killed me) but because the shoes I wore were designed for everything except hiking. This meant slipping, scraping, and just blindlessly running while trying not to knock down Timmy and his grandma going way to slow for the chocolate colored wrecking ball I turned myself into. The most important part is that we made it to In & Out and after shoveling anywhere from 500-2000 calories of animal style fries down the trap we did what any girl would want to do once full; went to a near by hotel to lay out and read by the pool.

I like to think the hike balanced out the fat free burgers and gluten free fries, but who cares? Though we weren’t staying at the hotel they had a solid policy that if you bought drinks, you could swim and lay out.

Lesson 148.56: Some hotels do in fact let you lay out by the pool if you promise to buy from the bar; always check near by locations.

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Didn’t know this was a thing but now I want every hotel to make this a thing. I laid down under the shade and grabbed my book of the month “Please God Let It Be Herpes”, which is a man’s very entertaining journey of failed almost relationships and hilarious sexual encounters. With a drink in hand and Palm trees aft facing, the day was incredibly relaxing. After a couple hours we decided that it was time for the main event: beers and sunsets with Ron Burgundy himself.

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We watched the San Diego Padres and LA Dodgers set up the game while we enjoyed local brews and cool weather. After 6 innings Farrell came out to shit talk and shake hands before delivering pretty impressive pitches to the opposing team. Funny or Die filmed it, Buddy the Elf made an appearance and we laughed until the sun set. Obviously based on these events our day was AWFUL but despite the shitty weather, gross beer, heart attack and terrible friends, it turned out pretty fantastic.

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We ended with Mexican food and a Corona before heading back to Haley’s to get sleep before our early flights. Not all vacations have to be long but that doesn’t mean they can’t be memorably bad ass. Until next time Phoenix, you stay classy.

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