New Mexico – The land of enchantment and some cool funky shit.

This year I took dad to New Mexico for Father’s day. We headed to Albuquerque & Santa Fe, New Mexico with stops in Flagstaff, AZ, Winslow, AZ and a final stop in Sedona, AZ on the return ride home to Las Vegas. By car this trip takes about 8 to 9 hours to Albuquerque from Vegas so I feel better splitting up the drive and spending a night half way along the route. We considered driving to Kingman, taking an Amtrak and renting a sleeper room, but the cost didn’t justify the investment so road trip it was. Flagstaff is the perfect stop for such a short night trip. We stayed at a Courtyard Inn by Marriot which is well maintained and close to the 40 freeway exit. I ordered takeout BBQ and had some amazing chicken wings that you can see below in the gallery of photos. The next day we hit the road at about 11 am and drove an hour to Winslow to see, what else? The “Standing on the Corner” exhibit made famous by the rock & roll legends the Eagles. Needless to say the place is pretty cool, with several dining options and souvenir shops that you’ll most likely go into when you are there. We had tacos at BoJo’s that was served with rice and beans. The food was tasty, but it was time to move on to our destination. From Winslow to Albuquerque it’s another 4 hours of driving, but it’s a nice desert landscape with plenty of options to stop and buy Native Indian jewelry and visit the reservations. However, we just wanted to get to our hotel, eat and rest so we could explore Albuquerque. Keeping to our tradition of ordering takeout during the pandemic, we chose Italian. The place we chose is called Saggios. The restaurant is located at 107 Cornell Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. They have pizza, pasta, salads and also serve beer and wine. The location was just a few miles from our hotel at the Fairfield Inn and right across the street from the University of New Mexico. The next day I played golf at the University of New Mexico’s golf course which I’ll write about separately in another blog post. We ended up staying in Albuquerque 3 nights, then drove through the turquoise trail with a stop in Golden, NM and a final stop in Santa Fe. I wish we had more time, but we spent just one night in Santa Fe and it was time for us to drive back. Next time I visit New Mexico I would like to visit with a date and explore more of the dining options. In addition, I would like to learn more about the native Indian population since we didn’t get to do a lot of that. Until next time New Mexico! Thanks for having us and treating us to some good food and awesome photo opportunities.

Valley of Fire – A Nevada state park and awesome day trip.

Like most things in life I saw this park on Facebook and thought it would be a great trip for my dad and I to explore the beautiful red rocks of the Valley of Fire. I have driven by the entrance several times unknowingly on the way to Mesquite and Southern Utah in the past. This time however, was a full deep dive into one of Nevada’s hidden gems. Just off the 15 N interstate on the way to Salt Lake City from Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire exposes it’s magnificent landscape for park attendees. Admission is $10 or $9 with a veterans discount and the park closes at sundown. I got out of the car several times to take short hikes around the natural wonders and snap photos. I was fascinated by the red sand that is extremely fine like the white sand found at Pebble Beach located in and around the rock formations. The park also boasts ancient hieroglyphs from long lost tribes of the southwest and many unique rock figurations including an arch that is quite simply cool. My dad and I made the trip in late March and it wasn’t hot at all. After several hours in the park we decided to stop for a bite to eat at a restaurant named The Inside Scoop. The food portions were most generous and the milkshake was killer. I highly recommend this day trip for locals and tourists looking to get away from the strip. You can find the Valley of Fire at 29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040.

Oak Quarry Golf Course – Hit your ball of the rocks and score!

Wow this course is a one of a kind. Big rocks that you can ricochet your ball off onto greens and a track that you will never forget. One of my Facebook friends posted this course on her timeline and I knew I had to go check it out. Living in So. California for over a decade, I had never heard of it. The clubhouse and cart barn are pretty standard, but the golf carts are top notch with awesome GPS and big comfortable chairs. The layout is unique to say the least with challenging tee shots and slick greens. I was hitting the ball well that day, but I found the course to be a perfect challenge of the need for distance, control and accuracy. My only complaint was the tightly packed grass in the fairways which have a matted down feeling when hitting iron shots, but that was probably due to the time of year in early spring. I highly recommend this course for the challenge and photo opportunities. Oak Quarry can be found at  7151 Sierra Ave, Riverside, CA 92509. Their website can be found by clicking here.

Pelican Hills Golf Resort

If you’re in Newport Beach, California and you want to play golf this is the premiere course(s) to play. Pelican Hills was designed by Tom Fazio, offers 2 courses to choose from(the north and south course), is open to the public and tee times can be made on their website or sometimes on GOLF NOW. Like most things in Southern California the resort was closed for intervals during the Covid 19 pandemic, but opened back up at the end of February 2021. I was looking for a spot to play with my friend Dave and jumped on the opportunity once I found out we could tee it up on these beautiful grounds. Situated just above the historic Pacific Coast Highway, with views of the ocean and Balboa Peninsula, Pelican Hills offers golfers of all levels a chance to test their skills. Although not the most difficult of layouts a golfer must keep their ball in the fairway in order to score well as the hazard areas will engulf your ball and will be unable to find. I recommend setting up a tee time in the afternoon to take advantage of the reduced twilight rate. The practice facilities are top notch with an uphill driving range, and a beautiful putting green next to the pro-shop. If you have time grab a nice lunch or breakfast at the Pelican or Coliseum grill which has a great view of the Pacific Ocean, or stop in for a drink after your round to soak up the experience. You can find Pelican Hills at 22701 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657. Please see my photos below to get a feel for the course.