Easy Bake Oven

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
Trip End Sep 12, 2009

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Where I stayed
Linsey's house

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The two travelers began their descent southward through the Coconino National Park, heading towards Phoenix. Awed by the magnificent mountains and shrubbery that brightened the landscape, the duo thoroughly enjoyed the ride.  The rocky, desert-like views led to a mirage along the freeway: Sedona, AZ.  Located in a valley surrounded by glorious, red-rock mountains, the little town offered many attractions to passing-by tourists.  Trinkets, coffee shops, and bars lined the main drag of the street.  The two stopped by the Tourist Information shop to ask where they could encounter some wireless internet, and were greeted by an interesting man who made himself a bit too familiar with Nick. He first attempted to sell him a night in a luxury suite, he then tried to talk him into purchasing a time share, and finally tried to get him to marry Chelsea on the spot because he claimed to have a license to wed them. When Nick declined his offer the man proceeded to exit his post at the information booth and shout at Chelsea who was waiting in the car, "You know he doesn't want to marry you, he’s only using you for sex!" (This is no joke…he was crazy!) This awkward situation was made more awkward by the fact that passengers from a Christian tour bus were unloading just in time to witness the scene. After this startling display the two were ready to escape beautiful Sedona and continue on to Phoenix.

Phoenix was a nice place for Nick and Chelsea to regroup. They set up camp at Linsey’s house (Nick’s cousin Tony’s friend). However Linsey was out of town, so the two spent time with her hospitable and hip roommate, Matt. On Tuesday night the pair found their way to a local brewery and pizza place called Four Peaks. They enjoyed the fun atmosphere and were even greeted by a fellow Buckeye. After a long day of traveling they turned in early.

On Wednesday they arose early so they could make it to the library, where they ended up spending half their time in Phoenix planning for their trip and getting up to date on their blogs. After their planning time they ventured to A.T. Stills to check out the Osteopathic Medicine program. The campus was small, but beautiful. Initially the pair wrote it off due to its small size and mediocre-looking facilities. However, Nick decided that it would be nice to talk to a counselor anyways and was very glad he did this. The A.T. Stills counselor was very helpful in answering Nick’s questions and explained the very unique program that they had to offer. Nothing was decided that day, but his potential future could be in this small school of Mesa, Arizona.

Later that day Matt suggested they hit up happy hour in downtown Tempe at a little place called My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. The three of them enjoyed some delicious Greek appetizers and fantastic drink specials while Nick and Chelsea heard all about Matt’s adventures of living all over the United States. As happy hour came to an end, Nick and Chelsea’s presence was requested by Kris Haas, a fellow Ohioan and acquaintance of Nick through Tony.  They trekked from Tempe up to Phoenix, and were greeted with hugs from the lively and cordial Haas.  He proceeded to take the two on a tour of the newly acquired estate: a beautiful ranch-style house with an incredible master suite, (jacuzzi included,) great living areas, and beautiful back yard with an underground pool.  All of this, explained Haas, was purchased after the prior residents declared a foreclosure, and as Haas put it: “The price was right.”  The three enjoyed each others company over a couple of summer-style ales and delivered Chinese food.  Nick and Chelsea admired Haas’ animated yet caring demeanor, and thoroughly took pleasure in their visit. 
Their conversation took them anywhere from native Ohio life, politics, Burning Man, friendship, and how time changes people.

The next morning, Nick awoke early with the ambition of hiking Mount Camelback: a treacherous 1.5 mile journey to one of the highest points in the Phoenix area.  The hike was rewarding as he enjoyed beautiful vistas of the city, a great work-out, and clean porta-john at the bottom of the trail.  After returning home and spending another 4 hours at the Tempe Public Library, the two had their plans made to continue on to the Californian coast.  Per advice of Matt, they had their sites set on Malibu: not only the make of Chelsea’s car, or her favorite flavored rum, but also beautiful beach and Californian hot-spot.               
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