This review took place in October 2016.
I woke up to a big breakfast thanks to my father! Can't go wrong with Eggs, toast, bacon, and fruit especially when you don't have to make it! We all hopped in the car and made our way to Dead Horse State Park. We stopped at the visitor center first for a chat with the park guides and some souvenirs. Last year Greg, Fred and I hiked one of the trails but this year Fred got to relax in comfort with my parents. While they drove to the viewpoints Greg and I hiked our way up to Dead Horse Point.
We met Fred and my parents at Dead Horse Point where we walked around together for photographs. The area is great for families. There are restaurants, seating area, and beautiful views.
Before heading back to our AirBnb we drove up and down and back up the main road in Moab trying to decide on lunch!! 4 people with varying tastes and allergies can't always decide easily apparently. We finally opted for food from Fiesta Mexicana. The food was hot, fresh, and pretty tasty.
That night we hung in and had the insane task of organizing all of our stuff and all of our new purchases and pack up the car for the ride home. Luckily we had a very big Chevy Suburban!!!
This review is from October 2016.
Breakfast time so let's try a new place.....or not. We ventured into Sweet Cravings Restaurant. Unfortunately there is not one thing on their menu that was or could be dairy free. I wish I was kidding but I'm not. Two people in the restaurant confirmed this. Greg and I opted for some black coffee's and sat outside in the gorgeous sunshine with Fred while my parents dined inside. Their experience wasn't much better. They both ordered biscuits and gravy and the biscuits were hard as rocks and the gravy tasted like uncooked flour.
Once they were done we drove up the way to Peace Tree Cafe where I enjoyed breakfast last year. I ordered my warm quinoa bowl with coconut milk, maple syrup, and blueberries. Greg also ordered their green monster juice. Both were perfect to go items and a delicious and not overly filling breakfast.
Today we were exploring Arches National Park which was a little for my parents and a little for us. My parents got to experience the park at the viewpoints and we got to have them watch Fred as we went off on short hikes. We got to drive through the entire park together and then my parents dropped us off to hike at a few areas. We hiked Park Ave, Double Arch, Sand Arch, and Broken Arch. Unfortunately a few roads weren't passable due to flooding and other hikes would have taken us a longer time than we wanted to make them wait. This park is truly one of my happy places.
Leaving the park we drove back into Moab for a late lunch at Eddie McStiffs. Greg and I dined here last year too and so we knew what we could expect. We were greeted and given a table right away on their pet friendly patio. Our waiter was very friendly, funny, and took great care of us. We ordered the Miso Shrimp, Fish & Chips (which were gluten and dairy free), and the cowboy reuben burger. Our order consisted of large portions, fresh ingredients, and perfect seasoning.
To end the day we went back to our AirBnb for a bottle of wine, snacks and some star gazing!
This review is from October 2016.
Early this morning we stripped the beds, wiped down the kitchen, and loaded up the car. We made our way out of town (with one last stop at Jackey Leighs for a bagel) then on to Bryce Canyon National Park. First up was a stop at the Visitors Center for some shopping and restrooms. We decided to drive all the way to Rainbow Point before stopping. Sadly almost all of our stops were fogged in but it was really unique to see the sights at the different elevations, in the fog, and to see the fog clearing. Bryce is definitely another park we would love to come back to and do some hiking.
Heading out of Bryce we drove the short distance to Mossy Cave trail. The waterfall was turned off for the season but it was a pretty and quick hike. Of course we had to take some silly photos of the men holding up the cave before heading back to the car.
Back onto Highway 12 all the way to Moab UT. Highway 12 is one of the most beautiful roads I have ever been on. The road scared me with it's heights and sharp edges, amazed me with it's towering rock formations, and calmed me with it's serene beauty.
We were all pretty hungry when we entered into Moab so before heading to our home away from home we stopped at The Blu Pig. Last year we dined here twice and enjoyed their pet friendly patios, the friendly service, and the delicious food. Since it was a long day we all opted for take out this time. The Hostess took our order and was conscious of my allergies. We ordered wings, brisket, pulled pork, tri-tip, and a variety of sides. The food was just as good as we remembered!
Our AirBnB was very easy to find thanks to the directions and maps we were given. We booked Red Rock Getaway for our stay. The unit is a 3 bedroom 2 bath property with a living room, kitchen, dining area, laundry area, garage, gated back yard, and all the amenities you would need. The property was kept up well, and was very clean. The only things we noticed is that the walls were a bit damaged probably from moving the furniture around. We also noticed that one of the chairs in the living room tips over very easily.
When I received our information about entering the property we were told that there would be 2 keys and a garage door opener on the counter. Unfortunately when we got there only 1 key was on the counter. I messaged them on AirBnb and didn't receive a response. The next morning I called the number we had for the housekeepers and was told that a previous renter accidentally drove away with them. This would have been good to know before we arrived so that we knew the garage wouldn't be an option but also so we didn't panic about the owners thinking we lost them and charging us for the loss.
Here we are at Coral Pink Sand National Park. The color of the sand is phenomenal and this was my first time visiting Sand Dunes. We frolicked around a bit climbing up and down the dunes until the skies opened up and decided to soak us! Running back up the dunes to our car wasn't what we were hoping for but it made for an adventure!
Back in Kanab we went for a late lunch at Big Al's Burgers. It's a pleasant surprise when a local restaurant is willing to accommodate my dairy free and gluten free needs! We all ordered burgers, french fries, onion rings, and lots of their delicious fry sauce!!! Our food came up quickly and we were able to eat at their outside picnic tables.
To end the night we stayed in at our AirBnb and just had some light snacks and then packed up to head to Moab the next morning!
In the afternoon we made our way over to the offices of Dreamland Safari Tours. We had pre-booked the Mystical Slot Canyon Tour. Dreamland Safari Tours does also allow dogs provided that others on the tour approve of the dog coming along. Luckily we had another couple with us who didn't mind Fred joining us. Our guide Brent met us at the office and it was just a short wait until the tour started. Brent drove us up past Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, then off road, and into the slot canyon. Brent was knowledge about the area, very friendly, but also wasn't obtrusive. I appreciated that Brent allowed us to experience the canyon and take photographs at our own pace. All of us thoroughly enjoyed this tour however Dreamland Safari lists this as recommended for all ages and abilities. I kind of disagree with this. My mother is a senior citizen and has knee issues which causes her to walk unsteady. During this tour we had to walk over loose rocks, climb some large rocks, and maneuver under a fallen tree. We were amazed that my mother did go through the entire tour (with the help of my father) but it's something to keep in mind if you have similar concerns.
After the tour we headed back to our AirBnb and make a nice steak dinner and shared our favorite parts of the day with each other.
This review took place in October 2016.
Early in the morning we left Sedona and made our way to our first stop of the day. We had previously been to the Grand Canyon South Rim but this would be the first for my parents. We found a parking spot easily and made our way to the visitor center area. My mother was unfortunately having a bad day with her knees but luckily there are several shaded areas for resting on the way up to the south rim. The 5 of us finally made our way to the Rim and we spent a couple of hours at different view points. Pets area allowed on trails above the Rim but I would love to go back and be able to go hiking in the canyon sometime.
When you are heading into the Grand Canyon South Rim and traffic starts to build up at the gates make sure you look around and see which gates are open. Apparently no one noticed the gate on the right hand side was open. We were able to by pass all of the traffic and sail right on through. Instead of heading back into the parking area we turned onto Desert View Rd to continue on to Kanab UT. Desert View Rd also offers multiple pull offs for beautiful and different views of the canyon.
Heading further north we were able to drive through Page AZ. In Page we got to take some peeks at Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam.
We have stayed in an Airbnb once before and we thought we'd give it a try on this trip. We booked a house in Kanab UT for 3 nights. Stewart's Point offered 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a great location, all the amenities you would need, and was very clean. Some areas of the house are a bit dated and there were some cracks in the wall but the home is very comfortable. I don't know if it's an Airbnb issue or an owner issue but I really wish all of the rules of the house were posted online. When we got to the house there was a booklet of rules. The rules weren't outrageous however it was a little shocking to arrive to that.
For lunch we stopped at Pisa Lisa in Sedona. The patio at Pisa Lisa is pet friendly and our waitress brought over a bowl of water for Fred without us asking. We started the meal with the Caesar Brutus Salad (expect for me because it contains dairy). We then ordered Deluxe Semplice which is a vegan pizza. I was also able to order it on their gluten free crust. Everyone else ordered the Melanzane Parmigiana. Everything was delicious but I must go a step further and praise the restaurant for their gluten free crust. My vegan and gluten free pizza was a wonderful texture, salty from the tapenade, savory from the grilled eggplant, a touch of bitterness from arugula, and utterly satisfying! Oh how I wish I could get one of these in Boston!!!
On the way out of the restaurant my parents stopped to by a few items from their store. I noticed some gelato and sorbet and just had to try the coconut lemongrass. It was delicious! Bold in flavor and yet refreshing. I keep saying I would go all the way to Santa Fe for Taco's from El Chile Toreado and I would for sure go to Sedona just for this pizza!!
After lunch we headed up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Last year Greg and I only took pictures from the lower parking area. The Chapel was extremely busy and congested with cars but we were able to find a parking spot. My parents were able to catch a ride with one of the golf carts to the top. Greg, myself, and Fred walked the short distance. Not only is this Chapel unique and beautiful but the views are stunning.
We had dinner reservations for Creekside American Bistro so we headed back to our hotel to freshen up. We arrived at Creekside American Bistro on time and were shown to our table on the pet friendly back patio. The hostess gave each of us our menus....including Fred. Yes Creekside American Bistro offers a dog menu.
We started our meal with drinks, the charred calamari salad and the hummus sampler plate. For entrees we ordered the country style chicken breast, the duck confit, curried lamb adobo, and the seared scallops and pork belly. Fred thoroughly enjoyed his huge portion of steak tartar! The staff at the restaurant are always smiling, knowledgeable about the menu, and understanding when it comes to allergies. The food is beautifully presented, seasoned perfectly, and consistently delicious.
This review took place in October 2016.
We left Santa Fe early in the morning and took a scenic route while heading to Sedona AZ. The Turquoise trail is only a little longer than heading out on the highway and it provides beautiful views and goes right through Madrid NM. Our next stop was for pictures and shopping at The Continental Divide.
Next up we had an unplanned but amazing excursion! We decided to visit Petrified Forest National Park. We stopped at the visitors center for restrooms, souvenirs, and the post office first. We made our way through the park and saw amazing scenery, petrified wood, beautiful colors, and cool petroglyphs! This was truly a first for me! The couple of hours we spent here were well worth it!!
The drive from Flagstaff to Sedona on Route 89A is just beautiful. When you start to enter Sedona it's like a hidden gem among the forest.
We greeted right away at the Sedona Real Inn. We were given our two rooms, a pet bowl, leash, and treats. The new manager was very friendly and very honest about the new changes. I had previously inquired about my allergies and breakfast at the hotel (included in room rate) and received a not so nice response. That individual is no longer with the property and the manager was willing to work with the staff for my allergies.
Our rooms were on the first floor and were spacious, very clean, and nicely decorated. The gated picnic, fire pit, and pet area are really nice and was perfect for our stay. We never had breakfast at the hotel. We went one morning and unfortunately the breakfast area is small and was beyond crowded with people (looked like part of a bus tour) and the room was stuffy. Otherwise we enjoyed our stay.
This review took place in October 2016.
On our 5th day of vacation we spent the day in and around Santa Fe NM. In the morning we drove out to Santuario de Chimayo. We enjoyed the short drive to the church and even found a small farmers market to stop at on the way back to Santa Fe. The church is picturesque, serene, and inspiring. Within the property you will find the church, a gift shop, multiple monuments and more. While there we took lots of photographs, bought some souvenirs, and brought home Holy Water, and Holy Dirt.
Heading back to Santa Fe we found lots of fun places to stop and enjoy on this beautiful day. Our first stop was just down the road. We enjoyed a wine tasting and gourmet shopping at Estrella del Norte Vineyard. The tasting room is pet friendly, offers a nice standing area as well as tables outside. The staff was knowledgeable and social. We all purchased several bottles of wine. Our favorite ended up being the Tempranillo. We highly recommend the stop. Our next stop was at the farmers market for some pinions.
For a unique and tasty stop we visited Kakawa Chocolate House. Kakawa Chocolate House offers delicious drinking chocolates in a variety of flavor combinations, handmade chocolates, and desserts. I especially love that they have a large offering of dairy free drinks and chocolates! We ordered drinks and chocolates and enjoyed the sunlight on their pet friendly patio. Since coming home I have also ordered from Kakawa and found the service just as wonderful.
After our snacks we went over to see San Miguel Chapel and the Oldest House in the U.S. After our sightseeing we just had to go back for some more tacos at El Chile Toreado!! On the way back to our hotel we crossed the street and visited the Santuario de Guadalupe. My parents met a very friendly guide inside the church who gave them a tour of the entire property.
For dinner we had reservations at La Plazuela. Unfortunately, I made a mistake regarding the reservation time. However what ensued was outrageous! I contacted the hotel to verify that they were pet friendly. Once I heard they were I made a reservation. The gentlemen I spoke with gave me a very hard time because I wasn't traveling with a service dog. We finally agreed to two tables in the hallway for 4 adults and a small dog.
We checked in and we were early. After explaining this to the same gentlemen he informed me that we would be seated at 7:30. I thought I made it for 7. This part was completely my fault. However there was no we can't seat you earlier, just a constant condescending remark that we would be seated at 7:30. Finally I had to say I am aware that this was my fault there is no reason to keep bringing it up in your condescending tone! I said please cancel our reservation since that would be too late for my parents.
I was so flustered by this interaction I asked to speak to a manager. Gabe Martinez, the very friendly and warm hotel night manager understood my concerns completely. Gabe asked if we would like to return unfortunately we are leaving in the morning. Gabe went a step further and offered us complimentary drinks in the hotel bar. Again, I had to decline as my party was already heading elsewhere. I completely appreciated the sentiment though. Thanks Gabe!
This review is from October 2016
This morning we got an early start so we would have time to explore in the unique cities along the way to Santa Fe NM. It was really nice to see Cadillac Ranch early in the morning. We were practically the only people there, the temperature was cool, and the sun offered us different views of the ranch. As an added bonus we found some paint cans that weren't empty. Naturally we had to contribute to the art!
In Tucumcari NM you will find many original Route 66 locations. On one hand Tucumcari is a little forgotten. There are lot of closed down buildings, a lot of rundown historic sites, and has a small population. With that said Greg and I both really like Tucumcari. We have found the people we met were friendly and cared about the history. We both have said that we would love to move there and restore more of the town.
One of our favorite stops in town is to visit Tee Pee Curios (pet friendly). We stop in for some nice conversation and for some fun souvenirs. The unique pictures we get to take of the outside is just a bonus.
Onward to Santa Fe and to some lunch!! We were getting pretty hungry so the minute we entered Santa Fe NM. We headed to El Chile Toreado!! I can't even begin to express how good these tacos are! These are my favorite tacos I have ever had. We ordered Carnita's, Al Pastor, and Chicharones (soft not crunchy pork fat). The Al Pastor were the favorite in my opinion. They were tender, rich, and not overly sweet from the pineapple. The Carnita's were also very good. A must on the Carnita's is El Chile Toreado's green sauce! YUM!!
Our last stop of the day was to our hotel www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-mexico/hilton-santa-fe-historic-plaza.../index.htmlThe Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza. We were welcomed as Diamond Members. We were given 2 Deluxe King Rooms on the 3rd floor (last year we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite), breakfast vouchers and access to the executive lounge. Our room was large with a king bed, chair, couch, table, fridge, and coffee machine. The Bathroom door isn't 100% private (similar to a sliding barn door) but it doesn't bother us. This was our 2nd stay at the hotel and we found the staff just as friendly/helpful, the property in great condition, and the rooms comfortable.
During our stay we ordered drinks from the bar a couple of times and enjoyed them out front on the patio furniture and lit fireplaces. Since we had Fred with us we had to take our breakfast to go. The staff helped us with napkins, utensils, and a bag. We again enjoyed our food out front on the patio furniture.
We would definitely stay here a 3rd time and recommend this hotel to others.
For dinner we went to Casa Chimayo which was pet friendly. We were seated right away and had a nice corner table where Fred wouldn't be too much of a bother. Perfect for us! Our waitress was very nice and offered suggestions. To start we ordered chips, salsa, and El Burro's (vanilla bean infused vodka mules). My entree was the Chicken Mole. The Mole was good and plentiful but I was hoping for a little more depth in flavor. Greg enjoyed the Blue Corn Enchilada's which were also featured on The Food Network's Diners, Drive In's and Dives.
My parents stayed back at the hotel that evening so we brought them some dessert. We brought them some Pastelitos's (apples in flaky pastry), and Elena's Sopa (a type of bread pudding).