Haley Nicole

I'm a peppy and talkative go-getter, and I'm so glad you're here on the blog. It's a collection of my latest projects & thoughts! Comment on a post, & let me know you're here!

hey y'all,

I'm Haley Nicole!

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Arizona – 50 States Stories || Travel Blogger

Last week, Haley and I took a trip to Phoenix, Arizona for business to do a few photoshoots.  We took off from St. Louis bright and early Monday morning! We ended up having to sit apart to get on the same flight, and Haley was seated between two gentlemen who slept the whole flight, while I was seated between two women. The lady to my left was legally deaf and blind, but the lady to my right, Rita, was quite the talker! In an effort not to be rude, I decided to wait to put my headphones in until there was a long lull in the conversation.. but the lull never came. She asked me all about my life’s story, and proceeded to tell me hers. She was a very kind woman, but it became a joke for the rest of the trip when I reference Rita (like she was an old friend of mine) and her suggestions she had mentioned about things we had to do in Phoenix.

Once we arrived, the rental car service offered us any car of our choice. We’re talking Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, Audis, huge trucks, convertibles, and more. At this point, Haley asked “What is the safest and gets the best gas mileage?” So as my stomach sank a little, I agreed to select a Nissan Rogue SUV which was great, but I couldn’t help but wonder what the other vehicles may have been like. Definitely not holding it against Haley though!

After meeting up with one of Haley’s hometown friends, we ate lunch at this hole-in-the-wall place called Chino Bandido’s. It is a fusion restaurant with Chinese and Mexican food. I found this restaurant from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives website. We love finding unique, local favorites, and this was the perfect spot. Haley was.. borderline terrified of trying something so different, but I talked her into it, and it was awesome! From there we stopped at a gas station because we had heard so much about staying hydrated. That’s when we bought a 1 gallon water bottle as if we didn’t look enough like tourists already!

We made the long drive up toward Sedona to see the red rocks, and on the way, we saw a variety of signs we had never seen before. One warned of elk crossing, one said “Turn off air conditioning for the next 20 miles to prevent your vehicle from overheating,” and one even said, “Poisonous snakes and insects inhabit this area.”  We were slightly out of our element to say the least, but that’s where the adventure is, and that’s what we were seeking. The red rocks of Sedona were beautiful, and naturally we packed a tripod in our suitcase in order to get pictures. So, we ended up parking at a trailhead in the back of a random neighborhood setting up our tripod because as you know #DoitfortheGram! From there, we continued north toward the Grand Canyon. I’d like to say that it was completely smooth sailing, but honestly, not exactly. We lost cell service and therefore all contact with human life out in the middle of the desert, and on top of that we encountered a $35 fee to view the canyon which we had no idea existed. However, we continued, because we were determined. And {as Haley would say} y’all, it was phenomenal. Worth every penny, ounce of gas, and minute on the road/in the air to get there. It is downright impossible to capture the view in a photo, but you know us! We tried!

I’ll share this next part since you specifically asked for funny stories. We arrived our hotel around midnight {2 a.m. our time}. It took the front desk about 20 minutes to check us in. We then found the only available parking spot in the entire property which required me to back into a parallel parking spot which our rental car baaaarely fit in, but I did it! Then we got to our room, and I desperately needed a shower. We were placed in a unit adapted for individuals in who use a wheelchair. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but the shower was even with the floor in the rest of the bathroom with a drain in the floor. Needless to say, my 10-minute shower flooded the bathroom and put the whole bathroom under about an inch of water. It was all drained by morning, and we learned to take quicker showers, but that was definitely a bump in the road at about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday morning!

Tuesday was full of Haley conducting photoshoots while I worked on Haley Nicole, LLC Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest at Starbucks. We were able to eat at In-N-Out for the first time which was delicious, but unfortunately, it made us both pretty sick to our stomachs. For dinner, I had it all planned out to surprise Haley and take her to this cute restaurant called Joyride Taco House that had half priced tacos for Taco Tuesday. But when we got there, the wait for a table for two was two hours.

So, we ended up at a random Mexican restaurant that had no wait time, did not warn us that the salsa they brought out was insanely spicy, and was overall average at best. Literally, the waiter dropped off two types of salsa and a bowl of chips. We’ve been to many Mexican restaurants, and we love eating up the typically mild salsa and salty chips. But guys, these two bowls of salsa were burning hot. We both grabbed a few chips and scooped up a full load of salsa. Moments later our mouths were on fire, and we barely had any water in our glasses. Haley and I couldn’t decided if we were just two Mid-Westerners that couldn’t handle a little heat or if the salsa was actually spicy. A few minutes later, the waiter came back, and Haley innocently asked, “so… are those salsas spicy?” The waiter looked her right in the eyes, nodded his head and with a smug look goes “mmhnmm.” I’m afraid Haley will never take the first scoop of salsa again.

I hope you got a good laugh out of some of our stories, but overall it was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever been on. I’ll never forget it, and I can’t wait to get the chance to go back! As you guys know, we’re trying to visit at least one new state every year. So, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more of our 50 States Stories!

Stay Classy

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