May 11-14   Shreveport – Dallas – Phoenix- LAX – Maui

How I did it:      May 11 –  Drove from Shreveport to Dallas.  FLIGHT: Dallas to Phoenix – Southwest Air (2 OW TKT) $167.96.  RENTAL CAR: Hertz Premium upgrade 3 days $218.89.  HOTEL: Redeemed 45K IHG reward points for 3 nights (upgraded to suite).   May 14 –   FLIGHT: Phoenix to LAX to Maui – Redeemed 45K reward miles from United Airlines after transferring 40K from Chase Rewards, taxes $57.20 + upgraded premium seats  $120.   Total: $564.05.

Note: The rental car was pricey. We decided to upgrade to a luxury car since we knew we would be doing a lot of driving. Well worth the price for that extra comfort.


The drive from Shreveport to Dallas is approximately 3 hours. We made good time on the road as we headed out at 6:00 am.  We returned our rental car and boarded our flight to Phoenix. It was a short flight on Southwest Airlines.

Our drive from Phoenix to Prescott would be longer than expected due to an accident on the freeway. Once we got passed the wreckage we were well on our way. The terrain was dry,  but still gorgeous with cactus lining the hillsides.  Our hotel was even better since the hotel upgraded us to a mini suite at the Prescott Holiday Inn.  As a  member of IHG we felt well taken care of by the staff. They even went above and beyond when we realized upon arriving home to Maui we had left an item back in the room.  They sent it at no charge. What great customer service.

 

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Arizona is a big state with lots to see and do.  Our first meal in Prescott was just a few steps from our hotel.  The Texas Road House restaurant was just the place to get a steak and some fancy margaritas.  Just what we needed after the 2.5 hour drive from Phoenix.  We were also within walking distance to Trader Joe’s.  Picked up some snack foods to take with us on our journeys.  I just love the location of our hotel.

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The drive to the Grand Canyon National Park was 2 hours from our hotel. Oh the scenery was, well “grand.”  There was lots to see on the way with clear skies and gorgeous trees.  But, nothing can compare to the beauty of the Grand Canyon.

20160512_112053_Richtone(HDR)This is why it’s call the Grand Canyon. Everywhere we looked it was mesmerizing.  The scenery from every point was incredible.

 Leaving the Grand Canyon we made our way through Sedona.  Everywhere there were beautiful colored hills and unique shapes and formations. 

The town of Sedona was very quaint with lots of shops and restaurants.

 

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Our 2nd day in Arizona had us driving to Camp Verde to see another impressive sight.  The Montezuma Castle National Monument. Here was the cliff dwellings of the Southern Sinagua people.  They lived in the caves high above the lower landscape. They farmed the land below next to the creek. It was a safe  haven from predators and hostile tribes.  Ouch the weather started to heat up and the dry air made it feel like it was over 100 degrees. It was probably close to it.

 

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We decided to drive north another 2 hours to Winslow to see the Meteor Crater!  This is the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site.

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Meteor crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep. It was a fascinating place to visit.

20160513_154504_Richtone(HDR)-COLLAGEThis place is rich with history, science and geological wonders.

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We drove over 1500 miles in 3 days.  We saw some of the most beautiful scenery with canyons, cactus, hills, forestry and wildlife.  The restaurants we found were local foodie establishments that made us happy we took a chance and stopped by.   We love you Arizona and thank you for a fabulous trip we will always remember.

 

Places we ate:

Texas Road House – Prescott

El Charro Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

Saba’s Mediterranean Kitchen

Trader Joe’s

 

Places we visited:

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Grand Canyon National Park

Meteor Crater

Sedona

Jerome State Historical Park – Mining Town