In part one, we left off at the Grand Canyon. After that amazing sunset, it took us about five hours to drive back to Phoenix, meaning we arrived at around one a.m. I was SO tired but it was SO worth it!
The next day we slept in and went swimming for a little while in the morning. We were planning on going to the Odysea Aquarium, but since it was Saturday it was crazy busy and there was zero parking. We decided instead to go to the Heard Museum, which was something I was so looking forward to.
The exhibit going on at the time was Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. (Unfortunately, TODAY is the last day of the exhibit there, but I think it’s a traveling exhibit so it will be at other locations.)
In sixth or seventh grade I was told to do a book report on someone I knew nothing about. (AKA – not a first lady. I had done Jackie O., Eleanor Roosevelt, AND Michelle Obama in past years!) I found a book in my school’s library about Frida Kahlo and I recognized the name and face. I knew my mom was a big fan of her but I really didn’t know too much about her.
The book was a cheap, middle school-age biography with a little information about her personal life, but it didn’t go into great detail. Nevertheless I learned so much about her and I wanted to learn even more. I thought her story was just fascinating and I was in love with her work. I was so glad I branched out and chose someone new to write about!
Before we left for Arizona I was researching some museums and events I wanted to check out while there and I came across the Heard Museum. It’s primarily an American Indian Art Museum, but the Frida and Diego exhibit had been apparently been a huge hit so I had to put it on my Arizona to-do/to-go-to list!
Tons of Kahlo’s pieces were on display and it was so surreal to see all of them. I had only seen one of her real pieces at MoMA in New York, so this exhibit was so awesome. It had Rivera’s work as well and many photographs taken by Kahlo’s father, too.
This was of the coolest things in this exhibit. Designers researched Kahlo’s style in great detail and made replicas of her clothes. I thought they were actually her real clothes before they mentioned they were replicas! So much detail is put into those outfits and they’re all so beautiful. I LOVE the flower crowns, too!
My aunt and I stumbled upon a tour group and decided to join it. The tour guide was super helpful. She explained the interpreted meanings of many of the pieces and I went home with so much more knowledge about Kahlo’s life!
They really need to make a year-round Frida Kahlo museum. This exhibit was absolutely amazing. It’s definitely in my top three favorite museums I’ve ever been to. (I think it just beats the First Ladies exhibit in D.C. 🙂 ) The gift shop was crazy awesome, too. (That’s always a plus!) I now appreciate Frida Kahlo’s work so much more knowing how much pain she went through throughout her life.
After the Heard, we went out for lunch at the Cafe at Phoenix Public Market. Other than it being super loud in there, the menu was great and the desserts looked gorgeous. I got the AB&J (Almond butter and jelly) and WOW was that good! It was just the right portion and the flavors were perfect together. I would totally eat that again.
After lunch, we went to SNOH Ice Shavery. It’s kind of like ice cream, but it’s kind of like shaved ice. It’s super weird but super yummy. They have boba and other drinks there too, but I was curious to try the “ice cream,” or whatever you want to call it! I chose one of the ones on the menu that was already created, but you can create your own too. The base was taro (that’s the purple in the photo) and it was so good. I had never tried taro before but it was really interesting and it doesn’t taste anything like it looks. (LOL, I don’t even know what purple is supposed to taste like. Grape?!) It was topped with condensed milk, almond cookies, and almond pudding. I would totally recommend this place if you want to try something new!
After that, we went to Changing Hands which is a local bookstore. I love bookstores and I so wish we had a Changing Hands on the East Coast. I got myself a copy of The Catcher in the Rye and had a lot of fun looking at all the books and little knick knacks and accessories they had there. It’s the perfect place for gifts!
When we left the bookstore, it was POURING. As we drove into Phoenix it began to settle down and really wasn’t raining too much when we got back. We went swimming again (it really was a daily activity for us!) and enjoyed the rest of the night.
The next day, we checked out the Arizona Science Center. It had a lot of cool activities and hands-on exhibits and I really enjoyed it there! Science is not my favorite – or best – subject, so the phrase “science center” never excites me. Whenever I go to one, though, I end up having a great time and learning a lot. Science IS cool, but it only interests me when I’m able to see it in action rather than sitting in a desk at school!
We were hungry after we left so we stopped for froyo on the way back. See the little hint of pink froyo? That’s mixed berry, AKA: me trying to be healthy. TBH, there’s no coming back from sprinkles, heath bar, oreos, AND butterfingers, so that decision was pointless.
That night, I think we swam again. I also witnessed the SECOND prettiest sunset on this trip! (First being the Grand Canyon, and nothing will ever top that!) I love the silhouette palm trees in these photos.
So there is part two of my trip to Arizona! There will most likely be two more parts… I have to decide how I want to split the trip up.
Happy Labor Day and Monday! Have a great week.