Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Arizona in a Weekend

This past weekend was a whirlwind of fun starting with taking the day off on a Friday and flying out to Arizona to KW who I had not caught up with a while. Once I landed at 9:45 am, I hopped in cab to the Heard Museum and literally lost my mind in Native American / American Indian culture and history. 

The Heard Museum is a museum that was started by a couple who moved to Arizona because the husband had tuberculosis. His wife started collecting all this Native American stuff. She had so much that people would stop at her house to come see her collection. Her kids made start the museum because she was basically a hoarder and people loved her collection. 

Now the museum is one of the richest collections of southwestern Native American history in the world. It was originally a small house but they've done a couple expansions. I was in love with the tile roof and the white clay material sides and basically everything about it. Also there's cactus everywhere and they was like literally are my favorite things look at because they're all wonky shaped! 

The museum has several interesting exhibits. One of them, shown above, is an exhibit on Native Americans and sports during and after the boarding school experience of the young children. 

Quick Boarding School Lesson: Basically Native Americans were forced into these camps to make the Native Americans forget their history when they were young. For four years they had to speak English, change their names to English names, and stop speaking their native languages or native practices. It's caused a lot of effects in their history/current events because they have groups of people who do not speak their native languages because it was forced out of their grandparents and parents. 

For lunch,  I went to the cafĂ© at the museum and it was delicious. I had the Dreamcatcher salad and it had couscous, tomatoes, seeds, corn, and their house made fake chicken. It's a vegan fake chicken patty made with different kinds of soy and gluten. It was delicious, it had a really good texture, and it really did remind me of real chicken.

Afterwards, I went on a tour with Sarah, who is the best tour guide there. If you go to the museum,  you have to go on tour- try to be on her's! We started with this beautiful modern art piece. On the right, it's made out of mostly stone and less glass and moved to all glass on the other side. It's supposed to represent how the Native Americans have their history rooted in the ground but move onward and upward towards the sky in their future.

One of the things that the museum emphasized is how Native Americans are always adapting in their  environment. For example, this Harry Potter plate is made by modern artist using old techniques.

Another thing that I really liked as an engineer with these baskets. Basically the artist of these baskets was an engineer and designed the baskets using a program on the computer. Then, the engineer wove of them by hand. It's this kind of technology use with the skills of the past that makes Native American art one of the coolest things to me.

Last but not least, there was this awesome exhibit - the superhero exhibit. This is supposed to be representative of how Native Americans take their culture and put it into modern times. How do you make young children understand their culture in a way that they really like? Use superheroes! They used Native americans as superheroes and different cartoon characters to show their culture in a fun way.  I was super happy to find some Marvel in the exhibit. 

After one more look at this really cool superhero exhibit (you have to go to it before the end of August if you get a chance because it's really awesome), I hopped on the Arizona Shuttle up to Flagstaff to meet my best friend!

When I got there, we ate dinner at this really cool restaurant downtown that had food from different cultures. Then, we (her friends and I) went out in downtown Flagstaff. The bars have really awesome deals like 2 for 1 drinks!

A weird fact about Flagstaff is that the altitude makes you feel more drunk than you actually are so keep that in mind if you're drinking in an elevated place.

The next morning we woke up super early and drove to Lake Powell.

It was interesting to see the landscape go from forest to rocks as we drove more north into Arizona. Lake Powell is basically located on the border of Utah and Arizona. When you park your car, you're in Arizona but when you're on the lake, you're in Utah.

We got this huge 26 foot boat and it fit eight of us on there with all of our junk and a ton of floaties.

We docked the boat in this area and swim around was totally gorgeous! We got to climb up on those hills in the background. 

In this picture, I am wearing a J.Crew underwire bathing suit top and a retro bottom I got on sale last year but there is some more suits like it online right now. 

After driving around in the boat for a while, we drove through Antelope Canyon. It's a really long canyon with these beautiful colored rocks and this pretty clear water. We docked a couple times and swim around, tried to climb some of the sides of these canyons and just really generally enjoyed our time there. 

After a wonderful day at the lake, we hopped in the car and drove all the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

Fun fact about the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is that it's the less developed side. There's more nature areas to be immersed in than the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was really beautiful with all the trees! Just while driving up, we saw so many animals and these beautiful rocks!

This view was literally breathtaking and I've never seen anything like it in my life.

 I don't even know how water could carve all of this! It was literally so so so deep and so wide!

We stayed until after sunset and then we hopped back in the car. It took us four hours to get back to Flagstaff. Flagstaff is near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The canyon is almost 3 hours across Drive which is insane to me!

I hopped on a plane at 6:45 in the morning back to Louisville but not without stopping to get some steel cut oats with strawberries, cinnamon, and pecans. I got back to Louisville at 4:10 in the afternoon. It really sucked losing the hours but the whole trip was totally worth it. It was lovely to see my friend and meet her friends from her internship as well as just go places I always wanted to go.

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