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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

Hey guys! Welcome to Part 2 of my Arizona Travel Diary…where our plans take an unexpected twist! In case you missed Part 1, last month we went to Flagstaff, Arizona to visit our dear friends Jeff and Nicole. (If you didn’t see Part 1 you can read it by clicking here. )

Remember Jeff and Nicole and how cute they are? Remember how we want them to move back to McKinney?

The second part of our trip was super fun, but we had an unexpected twist:

DAY 3: Bearizona

The next day after breakfast, Brian and Jeff headed back to the golf course and Nicole drove the kids and me to a cool drive-through wild animal park called Bearizona. But before I tell you about Bearizona, I have something cool to show you.

So Jeff and Nicole are like the cleanest eaters EVER. Every time I see them they have discovered cool new snacks and products that aren’t bad for you, so I start buying those items. Then the next time I see them they have found all new ones. They are like our personal clean product gurus–in fact, I want them to start an Instagram account where they share all their cool finds. (hint)

On this trip, Jeff showed me his new coffee creamer that is actually made of collagen, which is really good for your skin, hair, nails and joints. It is dairy free, gluten free, kosher, Whole 30 approved, and stored in a BPA-free container. It contains 18 different Amino Acids, 8 of which are considered “essential.” The ingredients are collagen, organic coconut powder, organic bamboo shoot extract, and organic acacia fiber. I’d been putting almond milk in my coffee–just to soften the flavor a little bit–but have been looking for something that isn’t as “watery” and am super excited I found this. Jeff uses Vanilla flavor, but I bought the Coconut flavor when I got home.

You can buy it on Amazon, but I found it locally at Market Street in the health section. If you get some, or already use it let me know what you think or if you have any other suggestions!

So, Bearizona. Like I said Bearizona is a really cute drive-through wild life park that also has a zoo section that you can walk through. There are bears, wolves, buffalo, and the like–maybe it was the time of day, or maybe bears are just sleepy, but almost every bear we saw was snoozing. They were all so sleepy!

the one bear that wasn’t sleepy

James, Caleb, Nash, and Fitz

That afternoon when we got home, the kids played and Nicole made this really amazing watermelon and tomato salad.

Brian and Jeff came home after their final round with an affliction I call “Golf Course Mouth” which basically means every other word is a cuss word. I staged an intervention because you know, kids, and then we got dressed and went up to the club house for the end of golf tournament dinner and awards. If I’m honest, my intervention did nothing. Golf Course Mouth persisted.

How beautiful is the golf course behind us!!??

DAY 4: TO DALLAS. Scratch that. TO PHOENIX

The next day as we were packing to head to the airport I got a text from my neighbor with this picture:

There had been really bad storms with high winds in McKinney, and it knocked one of our trees over. Crazy, right?

Before we left, Brian got a text saying our flight was delayed…then a little bit later, he received another one that our flight had been cancelled. Turns out the storms in Dallas were so bad that lots of flights (both DFW and Love Field) had been cancelled, PLUS  I heard one of the storms knocked out a computer system at Love Field which caused even more problems.

The Flagstaff airport consists of one terminal and not many flight options, so we ended up renting a car and driving to Phoenix in order to catch a flight that night back to Dallas. Once we arrived in Phoenix, we stopped at our most favorite sushi place called Sushi Brokers before we headed to the airport. Caleb tried sushi for the first time and loved it. James is already a sushi pro.

After many, many, many, many hours at the airport and many, many, many, many delays, our flight to Dallas was finally cancelled. Again. We were told it would be a few hours before they could get our luggage off the plane so we ditched the airport and went straight to a hotel, exhausted and starving. Thank you to the JW Marriott Inn at Camelback for giving us tooth brushes and deodorant. We ordered room service at like 10:00 at night and waited on hold with the airline for hours, only to find that they couldn’t get us back to Dallas for two more days. Gah!!


So impromptu vacay in Phoenix.

I headed back to the airport early the next morning only to find our luggage had been sent on to Dallas on the first flight out. Awesome. Stuck in Phoenix with no luggage. So I Uber-ed to Target and grabbed some clean clothes for us since we had nothing. I ended up LOVING what I got myself! This gray T-shirt is super duper soft and only $9!! (I’m definitely getting it in more colors!!) I paired it with this White Denim Skirt and Leopard Sandals.  I wore it out to dinner on Monday night. We went to The Mission which is one of my favorite restaurants in Scottsdale. So, so, so, so good! #tablesideguacamole

I also got this Yellow Bikini Top and these Yellow Bikini Bottoms. The color is bright and summer-y and love the smocked top. I’ve never had a smocked swimsuit before and it is really comfortable. I got this Palm Leaf Cover-up to put over it and wore my favorite  Rose Gold Espadrilles to the pool.

And since I didn’t have any PJs, I bought this shorty pajama TOP and BOTTOMS that are cute, cool, and comfortable: three musts for summer pajamas!

You can shop everything through the widget below! Thank you Target for saving us when we have no luggage.

Without further travel problems, we made it back home with a broken tree, a few new clothes from Target, and some fun new memories with our dear friends. Until next time AZ…unless of course Jeff and Nicole move back to McKinney, then we can see them whenever we want. 🙂

To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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