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As a last-minute decision, the weekend before school started, we decided to head north to Sedona, AZ for a quick trip with the kiddos. Two things made this possible:
We could leave without guilt or stress and soak in the last weekend of summer!
Ahhhhh….Sedona! If you have not seen the red rocks of Sedona, AZ, you really don’t know what you are missing. Pictures are beautiful, but being there is a little bit magical.
When we first arrived it was raining, but the sun was peeking through the clouds. It shined brightly on Cathedral Rock and the view of it was nothing short of stunning. The photo is blurry and certainly does not do it justice, but it was AMAZING!
Friday Night and Dinner at Elote Café
We quickly checked into our room at The Sedona Summit Resort, unloaded our car, and headed to dinner at Elote Café. We had never tried this restaurant, and it was actually recommended to us by my mom who had been there a number of times. We checked Yelp and the ratings were super high with over 1600 opinions posted! We were sold!
Dinner was outstanding, but our tiny company were not. We are going to chalk it up to the kiddos just being tired and having a long day but they were whining and fit-throwing and just disastrous all around. It was a big bummer when the food was so good! Our favorites were the margaritas and an appetizer actually called The Elote. It was a spiced corn dip with chips for dipping and was simply delicious!
Due to the kiddos really just being DONE, we headed back to the hotel so we could get up early for a fun-filled day!
Saturday Hiking and Fishing
The first stop on Saturday was Red Rock Crossing Trail. The trail was along the river allowing for wet feet and a fairly leisurely hike. We like to see how many animals we can spot on our hikes and the favorites were tiny pools of water that had tadpoles of differing ages. Some had legs, some just tails, and some super close to being full-fledged frogs. The kids thought that was just the coolest thing! We also found this awesome snail, and he took part of the hike with us!
Along the trail is a place called Buddha Beach, where people have stacked stone towers. The kiddos liked stacking them up AND knocking them down! Thankfully there were not others there with us expecting a more quiet and zen moment.
Past Buddha Beach you can cross the river and hike a bit further, but the current was fairly strong. We opted not to chance it with all four kiddos and headed back.
After grabbing a quick lunch at the local Whole Foods, we drove to Rainbow Trout Farm. Our kiddos, especially our 6-year old son Kaden, have been asking to go fishing for months, maybe even longer. We had bought fishing poles and some tackle but never made it out to actually fish. Even though a trout farm is not our most ideal fishing location, it was a good place to teach the kiddos because fish were constantly biting so we could teach them what to do without them getting bored too quickly.
Although you do have to pay for your fish, they also fully gut and wash it for you making it much easier for us while on vacation. We caught a total of 6 fish, but one of them was HUGE! Kaden caught it and he was SO PROUD!
Let’s just say it was enough for our entire family to eat with lemon and onions one night and use for fish tacos a second night. One. Fish. Whoa.
Once we caught all our fish and had them cleaned, we saw that the afternoon would likely be filled with rain again. Instead of chancing another hike, we decided to head back to the hotel and spend the afternoon swimming if the rain would let up for a bit.
I am sure I have mentioned that our kids must swim at every hotel. We had a great time splashing around, enjoying the nice weather, and taking in some relaxation. The jacuzzi with the waterfall was an extra bonus!
Sunday Trip to Out of Africa Wildlife Park
Sunday morning, we woke up, packed the car and drove south to Out of Africa Wildlife Park. One of the coolest things about this park is that it has a zipline course through the whole park. Unfortunately, you needed to be at least 8 years old and none of our kiddos are quite that old yet. We had fun watching other people sail over us!
The Out of Africa Wildlife Park is an animal sanctuary for rescued animals. They don’t breed there and much of the park is open so the animals can wander fairly freely. The first section is the African Bush Safari, and you ride a bus through the park to see the animals. The favorite part for our group was without question feeding the giraffe. He came right up to the bus and would take celery right from your hand! The kids were a little bit scared but loved to be up close and personal! Other animals in this area of the park were zebras, mountain goats, an emu, a camel, water buffalo, onyx and more!
We headed up the hill to the Wildlife Preserve section of the park after our bus ride. This part of the park had enclosures for carnivorous mammals, reptiles, and more. The favorite for our kids were the tiger “brothers” that had been rescued after someone had them as pets in Texas. They were enormous, and I cannot imagine having one as a house pet!
After our time at the park, it was time to head home and get ready for SCHOOL! We had a great weekend and we were ready to start Monday with a bang!
There is really so much to love in Sedona whether you are there to hike, shop, animal watch, fish, or just relax. We were so glad were able to make this trip work out! Have you been to Sedona? Do you have favorite hikes or things to do with kiddos? We would love to hear them!
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