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By Ashley Logan
Feeling: Fat, happy and thankful for 2015
The Baby Moon seems to becoming a staple aspect of family planning. Never ones to miss out on the opportunity to indulge in a little bit of travel, my husband and I decided that we too should take a trip to commemorate our last few weeks of being a family of two.
The good news was that my cousin was getting married on January 2nd in Phoenix, so we already had an excuse to leave town. We opted to plan our getaway around exploring Northern Arizona.
How American of a Baby Moon is that? Not that I wouldn’t have loved to have gone to Hawaii or Florida or somewhere with salt water, but we both run businesses, flights to AZ were expensive and other than kissing a cactus, we both had one major bucket list item in Arizona that we wanted to check off the list: The Grand Canyon.
Still basking in the glory of our gender reveal, we headed out to the airport, the day after an ice storm kicked Chicago’s bootie. It was mayhem, but we were in good spirits and we even made it out on time.
Dan was none too impressed with my decision to go with the cheapest rental car company in greater Arizona, Payless Car Rental. We “upgraded” to a Volkswagen Jetta and once I figured out how to start it, we set off on our road trip. To our joy, we found the most amazing radio station 101.1 that played non-stop old school rap and 90s hip hop.
Our only agenda item for the day was to get to the hotel near the Grand Canyon, so we had plenty of time to stop for Mexican food in Flagstaff. We ventured off the beaten path to a hole in the wall joint my hubs found on Yelp!. Romance was in the air as we sat across from each other in booths of pleather taking in our enchiladas. The food was a little meh, but we scarfed it down anyway and set off to finish the journey.
Except the car wouldn’t start.
Insert 15 minutes of blame for not going with a more reputable rental car company—who for the record was completely unresponsive in our plight, wanting us to pay to have the car towed/fixed, despite multiple calls, Tweets and beyond. We still didn’t lose our cool, although Mexican food was feeling like a bad idea. Once the car started up again, we opted to take our chances on it for the rest of our journey and set off for the remaining 90 minutes of the drive. As we hit the last stretch of highway en route to the Grand Canyon, we were holding our breath that our bodies and the car would make it there in one piece.
We rolled into Tusayan, AZ, saw the Grand Canyon Grand Hotel and breathed a sigh of relief. The hotel came complete with indoor pool, gift shop and an all you can eat breakfast buffet. It would do. Aside from the aftermath of our Mexican dining experience, we were in good spirits.
After an awkward dinner experience with an hour and a half wait for an empty dining room, an early wake up and an amazing breakfast, we crossed our fingers that the Jetta From Hell would start up again for us to go see the big GC. It was zero degrees, I was 26 ½ weeks preggo and we were in the middle of nowhere. The baby Gods were on our side and the car roared to life. #Winning. We were on our way!
The Grand Canyon, for those who have never been, is absolutely spectacular. Aside from being an unfathomable hole in the ground, it almost feels like a spiritual experience to gaze down from the top into the shadowy peaks below. While we weren’t there to hike, we drove around to various lookout points and took in all of its glory.
After a few hours, we set out for Phase II of the Baby Moon: Sedona.
The drive alone was so darn western in the best way. With cactus in abundance and dramatic red rocks, we were developing quite the affection for the beauty of northern Arizona. In Sedona the plan was to relax and spoil ourselves. We stayed at L’Auberge where the service was outstanding. Wandering around Sedona felt like exploring a mountain town like in Vail or Wyoming, complete with charm and crisp fresh air. We walked around, did some shopping and enjoyed a late lunch at the Oak Creek Brewery. Let me tell you, ponying up to the bar at a brewery when you are noticeably pregnant is most enjoyable, especially if you have an appreciation for irony.
That night we got dolled up for our much anticipated dinner at the highly acclaimed L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek. Never ones to order the same thing at a restaurant, we tackled the menu, diving into our venison and duck, passing our plates back and forth, smacking our lips the whole time. We left to go back to our room feeling fat and happy.
Known for its spa, I couldn’t pass up indulging in a prenatal facial at the hotel the next morning, which was heavenly. Then we said goodbye to fair Sedona to made our way to Phoenix to meet my family to celebrate New Years and gear up for the wedding.
Short but sweet, our Baby Moon came to an end. Despite a few hiccups, we had a blast listening to old school rap, making a long list of baby (girl!) names and reflecting on what an exciting year it had been for us both. Between bachelor and bachelorette parties, wedding showers, our wedding day and honeymoon, we already had so much to be thankful in 2015. Adding a baby to the mix and getting to spend a few days celebrating our growing family was just what we needed to kick off 2016.