Hello all, this is my first blog post and I want to say thank you before anything else. Thank you for being here to read about things I want to journal. I anticipate bringing some entertaining and/or educational blogs to the table.
So where do we begin with this restless pursuit from my hometown of Minneapolis Minnesota destined for Phoenix Arizona. Let’s start with why. I have a buddy named Jared who left state to pursue a degree in AZ about two years ago. We always talked about the idea of a road trip or a flight down to visit him and after a year of ‘capping’ spring break was around the corner.
I had another group of friends that brought up the idea of meeting out there and going in on an Airbnb together. What a perfect storm this was to save a dollar on renting an entire house for the week by splitting the cost. I immediately began planning and asserted coordination as a priority. I favored driving because I had control of my location and the cost wasn’t exorbitant.
I had Dom, a friend amongst the group, drive with me the entire 1,650 miles to Phoenix. What a blessing it was to have someone to tag off with in order to make it straight there. We stopped in Denver Colorado to peep the scenes and grab some breakfast before finishing the second half of the journey. It was a little cloudy but being in a new city was enveloping. We stopped at a place I found on Yelp called Syrup. By the way Yelp is one of my favorite apps & this is not a paid advertisement.
After waiting a prolonged period for our food it was inadequate in the least to say. 6.5 out of 10 on the Dom scale. We continued on, soaking in a more scenic route through the mountains only making stops for gas.
After driving 25 hours between the two of us we finally arrived around midnight meeting with the others that had arrived days prior. We said our hellos and caught up on our travels ending the night with a comfortable bed made in the front seat of my car. Arriving a day early we planned on staying overnight at a friend’s grandparents. Well that fell through and it seemed I would be using my wind breaker as a cloak to a brisk slumber. Driving such a long stretch wore the both of us out so the night was easy to cope with.
Day 1 and here we are waking up in the middle of suburban community of Fountain Hills, right outside this guy’s grandma’s home. That was odd to think for a moment but as the morning continued we tour our way to the Airbnb in Phoenix. Upon arrival we met our wonderful Hostess Ari finishing up her final touches of cleanliness to the property. She greeted us with merriment and beers left from the previous renters, what a start!
After settling in we started to think of activities to do in the nearby area of course. The first stop we made was Lamborghini of Scottsdale. WOW, what a place I must say. Racecars from previous won races, McLaren, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce you name it they had it. I had never seen so many Huracans lined up at one time before, what I’m trying to say is this dealership was MASSIVE. They even had a full masonry Lamborghini SVJ, is this reality I am seeing or is this some beautiful dream I’ve conceptualized?
There was a gentleman that drove up in a McLaren 570S Spider. He was interested in purchasing a Ferrari for himself. I noticed that over the course of a half hour maybe more, this guy wasn’t helped by anyone at the dealership. I didn’t expect him to be neglected as he was for driving up with such a roaring vehicle of his own. He was helped before we left and I hope he got the vehicle he intended on purchasing at a fair negotiated price.
We then sought out our next venture being golf. I had never been golfing on actual green before, only at Top Golf where balls are dispensed onto turf at your feet. So, this was actually very exciting for me. I had interest in the sport and wished to acquire a higher skill level. Practicing was the best way to do so and being in a nice warm state was going to be an experience.
Everyone started getting ready to go golfing and the outfits they had were on point. I mentioned how they all looked like professionals and they countered with dress code being of requisite. I wasn’t aware it was that serious, all I had packed was ripped jeans, swim trunks, and flip flops. I didn’t prepare for mandatory dress code to be frank. I was given some hand me downs from one of the gents. The shirt was wrinkled, grass stained, and oversized to give you a good picture of how it looked on me. The shorts were a size too large, also wrinkled. Complete with my pair of 4D Adidas and a shoe string as a belt. I’m not complaining by any means, I was actually very grateful to have proper attire to make the cut. I think it's humorous to think about how I looked as a complete noob.
It was the best time ever, we got a couple of golf carts for the 4 of us and road around for 5 hours until we were exhausted. As we head back to the Airbnb and refresh there was the first word about quarantine over COVID-19. This was March 16th at the time so COVID wasn’t spoken about in all seriousness. What a shocker it was to hear about some cities contemplating quarantine. What if Phoenix follows suit? Well, they did; I decided to go get tacos with my cousin. When we arrived, the place was dead, there were only two other people there and the city was quiet.
The following days we spent our time hiking mountains and taking in the view. I actually entertained the idea of living in Arizona for the fitness related activities. I’m always down for the exercise/tan combo and climbing those giant rocks seemed easier the closer we got to the peaks. It was truly fulfilling looking down at the world from the cloud’s point of view, soaking in the moments as they pass ever so slowly.
The week came to an abrupt ending or so it felt. Jared brought up the idea of going with him to a family members in Texas. I had never been to Texas and it sounded like a good time. I knew Dom and I were going to drive back to Minnesota together so I had to think of the options that were available. Luckily flight prices were at all-time lows and he got a ticket for $17, problem solved. Last minute changes are never in favor and this plan had fallen through as the idea of quarantine got more serious. College students flooded the campus with family and friends assisting in relocating them back to wherever they came from. Everyone was leaving, and fast. It was crazy to fathom, now to see it first hand, that was something I won’t forget.
Now it’s me, myself, and I. Here’s where my entire spiritual journey start to really ramp up. I have always believed in something alike destiny. Things happen for a reason and you are here now because of those reasons. It’s a very engrossing philosophical idea in my opinion. So I sit in the living room of the Airbnb alone, the others had been out golfing again and I just got back from spending the day with Jared. Now, I don’t necessarily believe in any religion or belief myself but I do believe there is to be a higher power of some sort. I am open to ideas and belief systems, I find it interesting to learn about.
As I sit here thinking about this journey I am about to embark, I find 4 heads up pennies in succession. I didn’t find them one after another within seconds as if they were piled up next to each other. I said ‘thank you’ after finding each one to what I would like to believe is the higher power. It was after I said thank you and laughed almost at the joy in finding loose pocket change, that I look down on the floor next to me to find a heads-up quarter. I knew that whatever is to happen on this drive home was to happen for a reason. I just had a gut feeling that I was being looked over in some way. I felt protected.
So now with the whole team ready to take the long trek back to Minnesota. I wanted the drive to be over before it started. I have driven across the country before and I knew what I was in for. Starting my drive at about 11:00am I made a pit stop for drone shots at Papago Park, a place Jared told me was a must see, so I went. As you can imagine the views were breathtaking however I made it short lived. Of course you can’t start an adventure without a little conflict of preparation. My tires were immensely low, I’m saying ‘Houston we have a problem’ low. I went to the nearest gas station to fill the tires that seemed to be leaking on a 6-hour cycle. I noticed the rate in the loss of air because I had to fill them the night prior due to what I thought was the result of climate change. Now I begin driving home and everything was wonderful. The sights in Flagstaff on the way out were gorgeous. The perfect weather for fluffy snow, yes snow, to fall off the trees ever so lightly. The sun was just warm enough for snow to melt away at an erosive pace.
Driving all the way home solo really wears on a person. It’s exhausting, even more so when you push all the way through. You think to yourself about how the drive will only take nothing longer than a few hours more than a full day. Easier said than done. I learned the strength in power naps on my way back. They really work and I would suggest you practice them yourself if you want to get an additional 5-8 hours of energy with nominal sleep.
It felt so good to finally be home and plop right into bed. Let me tell you, I’d do it again.
Check out the video form of this story right here or on my YouTube channel.