Tag Archives: Experience Arizona

Wild Horse Pass Casino

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino Is The Perfect Place To RUN WILD

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino Is The Perfect Place To RUN WILD

Wild Horse Pass PoolWild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino is Arizona’s premier entertainment destination and was recently awarded AAA’s prestigious Four Diamond award.  This stunning property offers 242-luxury hotel rooms, 100,000 square feet of gaming space including over 1,000 slot machines and 70 table games. Three full service restaurants and the ever popular food court are available to satisfy every appetite. Looking for libations? Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino offers four distinctive lounges and Chandler’s hottest Nightclub, AiRIA. Looking for entertainment? You can catch top name acts in the state of the art, 1,400 seat Ovations LIVE! Showroom.

Pick-up a complimentary Player’s Club card today and start earning your way to valuable rewards. Play your favorite slots or table games and qualify for Free Bonus Play, daily promotions, special giveaways and a whole lot more. The action on the gaming floor is hot and that’s just the start.  The casino is also home to popular amenities including: Encore Lounge, Center Bar, the award winning Classics with a Twist and Reflections Lounge. Take your pick of several dining choices including Shula’s Steak House, Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill or Café 24-7. In a hurry? Then grab your favorite burger, deli sandwich or pizza at Fatburger, Boar’s Head Deli or Pizzeria Famiglia in the food court.

Wild Horse Pass HotelAfter you’ve experienced all the pulse-pounding action you can handle, relax in a luxurious hotel room just steps away from the excitement. Each guest room at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino is tastefully appointed with modern amenities. Suites are available and in-room amenity packages let you customize your perfect getaway.

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino truly has something for everyone. High stakes casino gaming, fine dining, world class hotel amenities and the hottest entertainment options in the Valley make Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino the perfect place to RUN WILD.

Out of Africa Entrance

An Out-Of-Africa Arizona Safari

Ever dream about a safari vacation in the Serengeti? Have your kids been begging you for a day where they can play with impalas and jaguars? (And I’m not talking about cars, you American junkie.)

Well, look no further than our own Southwestern jewel of Sedona for an African experience that’s Out of Africa … and this world.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park sits on 104 acres of land atop Mingus Mountain, overlooking the spectacular red rocks and San Francisco Peaks.arizona safari out of africa

In its 23 years, Out of Africa has held no boundaries. Founders Dean and Prayeri Harrison dreamt of a land where species could interact with one another as naturally as they do in Africa, and as their homepage suggests, “the concept of oneness is illustrated with unsurpassed majesty.”

Although I visited the park two years ago, my mother still talks about how she came to understand the expression, “you’re laughing like a hyena!” She saw them in action, laughing, well, like hyenas. My most memorable experience from the park? A giraffe steering his neck to lick pellets out of my hand; I really did feel at one with nature at that point.

Your standard jeep safari is a double-decker trolley that’s usually filled to capacity, but don’t let that turn you off; the tour-guide-slash-walking encyclopedia that knows everything you’d ever want to know about animals makes up for the crowded space. An ostrich egg, the world’s biggest egg, is even passed around to be admired — and boy, let me tell you, that thing is HEAVY. To be precise, they weigh 3 lbs on the average; that’s over 20 times the weight of a chicken egg!

arizona safari out of africa

Hope to see you soon!

If you’d like to keep it personal with your family, there are also more authentic, private tours that come equipped with a park guide and your dream jeep.

The park also has three once-daily shows. Unfortunately my family did not get there on time to watch these seemingly awe-inspiring shows. The Tiger Splash, everyday at 1:15 p.m., has Bengal and Siberian tigers playing fetch and swimming together all the while the MC teaches the audience about how various instinctual, animalistic behaviors become habits.

With the help of a stick and the fence between you, you can also feed a tiger for just $5 (daily at 2 p.m.). If you’d rather watch trainers do the feeding, every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 – 3:45 p.m., you can see just how much lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) eat as their caretakers lunge up to 800 pounds of raw meat their way in the Predator Feed.

Reptiles more your thing? The interactive snake show occurs daily at 2:15 p.m., where guests are able to touch, pet and hold the serpents as they wish. If you want to paint a big picture of the beauty of wildlife and each animals’ way of life, the best show to see is the Wonders of Wildlife, occurring Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. No matter what route you take, a day at the park is sure to be fun for the whole family, at any age.

The Arizona Safari park is open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving and Christmas day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission closes at 4 p.m. Children 3 to 12 are $20, adults are $36. Seniors and veterans/active military get discounted. Annual membership is also available.

Skydiving, Desert Skydiving Center, Buckeye

Throw Momma from The Plane

Tired of buying the usual perfume bottle, purse, spa gift certificate or other stereotypical woman’s gift, I decided to make my mother’s 60th birthday more interesting by taking her tandem sky diving at Desert Skydiving Center in Buckeye.

When I told people I was taking her skydiving they thought it was the coolest thing ever—and the craziest.  My dad was particularly concerned about it because of her prior medical history (she used to suffer from high blood pressure), but as she got older she adopted a healthier lifestyle and lost weigh so oddly enough, 60 was the most appropriate age for her to start living on the edge, or off of it.Skydiving, Desert Skydiving Center, Buckeye

So I decided to take my first leap with my mom by my side.  Whenever I had ridden a roller coaster in the past, I cried for my mommy so jumping out of an airplane at 11,000 feet would warrant something more, i.e. her physically there holding my hand.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out quite that way.  The plane wasn’t big enough for my mom and I to jump at the same time so I had to “let” her go first.  She was, of course, more than thrilled with not the slightest hint of fear.

Our reservation was at 11:30 a.m., not 10:30 a.m. as we thought.  By the time our paperwork stating that we might die and if so our family won’t sue – all that boring stuff – was filled out and we were in full gear, it was past noon and well into the 100 degrees already.

My mom and I don’t do hot weather.  When I say, “don’t do,” I mean we become highly irritable mainly because of the small pools of sweat we each create on our upper lips, which is NOT attractive.

That might be why we were too preoccupied complaining about the heat to think about the fact that we were about to throw ourselves from a plane two miles in the air entrusting our lives to strangers for nothing more than a quick thrill.

When we were told the temperature was much cooler in the air, my mom and I nearly had a wrestling match to see who would go first.  But alas, being that I’m such a good daughter I stepped down and watched my all too happy mother fly off into the air with four men, who by the way didn’t speak a lick of Spanish—my mom’s primary language.

I hadn’t considered the language barrier until the moment before I waived her off when one of the jumpers asked me how to say “no” in Spanish.  That was scary.

Twenty minutes later the cameraman fell from the sky as I saw my mom in the distance, only it wasn’t her.  It was the man who asked for the “no” translation.Skydiving, Desert Skydiving Center, Buckeye

I just about had a heart attack wondering where my mother was until I was told she was coming and Mr. “No” had just hitched a ride on the plane.

Finally I saw my mother approaching and I heard the instructor yelling “put your feet up” to my mother who unfortunately was not able to and scraped the dirt with her knees and stomach.  But she’s a trooper; she dusted herself off and smiled for the camera.  Later she said the circulation in her legs was weak because of the leg straps.

Five water bottles and an equal amount of trips to the restroom later it was my turn and still, the nerves hadn’t kicked in.  It had only gotten hotter so the heat was the only thing I feared at that moment.

I calmly got into the plane and enjoyed the ride and then something weird happened.  It wasn’t hot anymore.  I then realized what I was about to do.  As the door swung open and the air flew in and out of the plane I had definitely forgotten about the heat and the fear kicked in full force.

I first stuck my foot out, which was rather difficult because of the wind’s force, I then held on to the plane only for a few seconds for fear that I would not let go.

As we dove into the air there was no crying for mommy.  The only thing I could utter was “Oh my God.” But there was no fear at that moment.  It was surprisingly calm and peaceful.  I just enjoyed the free fall, which felt like a lot longer than the five to seven minutes promised.Skydiving, Desert Skydiving Center, Buckeye

My legs and arms began to feel numb so I told the instructor because I surely didn’t want to take a belly dive like my mom did.  When he loosened it I feared he would do it too much and I would fall off so I held my shoulder straps for dear life, literally.

As we approached the ground, I lifted my feet up and pretty much had a textbook landing, thanks to mom.  If anyone ever said you’ve never taught me anything, they certainly can’t say that now.

The initial jump was the best moment of it all.  Going from a quiet ride up to the sudden burst of noise from the propeller and the wind, not to mention the fear, gave me such an intense adrenaline rush.  I’m glad I was a “little” scared.  And it was nice to have mom there as well.

 

rock-climbing

Rock Climbing In Atlantis, Queen Creek

A couple months ago, several friends and I traveled up to Queen Creek for two days of camping and rock climbing – and the experience couldn’t have been better!

Ryan Snow, ClimbingAs we made the hour drive from Tempe to Queen Creek on the 60, our departure made for perfect timing to a gorgeous sunset over the desert.  Reds, oranges, purples and yellows painted the desert sky, and reminded me that Arizona has the some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever experienced.

The four of us in the car arrived first, and began unpacking our equipment that we would need for the quick two day excursion– tent, food, water, and a sleeping bag.  As 8 o’clock rolled around, the rest of our group finally arrived and the camp fire talk began, in what was then a VERY cold February night.  As others were talking and socializing, I took time to adventure off into the desert a bit, and noticed how much clearer the stars were only an hour outside of the Phoenix.  It was so quiet and peaceful, that I must have stayed out there for an hour alone – just enjoying the serenity of the Arizonan desert at night.

Upon my return, we continued eating, and talking about everything that anyone had on their minds – school projects, after graduation thoughts, etc…As we continued grilling hot dogs and roasting marshmallows, neighboring campers began making their way over to our spot and chatting with the group.  As the night turned frigid and moon was glaring down on the dwindling fire, we decided to call it a night and get rested for some morning climbing.

As 7 am rolled around, I found myself awake, and noticed that a stray cow had made its way into a neighboring site – apparently a normal event for the area.  After a bit of exploring, I returned and we were off to do what the camping trip was for – rock climbing! Matt Hasson, Climbing

Being from Southern California, the most climbing I had ever done were the stairs that led down to the beach.  He let us know that we would be going to “Atlantis”, a climbing spot just down the road and one that was crafted for beginners.  With much of my nervousness eased, we drove no less than 10 minutes down the highway until we pulled to the side of the road, parked, and hiked down a short hill to set up.

As I looked up the 40 foot inline, I noticed quickly that there were dozens of other routes, marked by predrilled hooks.  After a short lesson in climbing technique, my buddy “led the climb”, and I nervously followed after – flash forward a few minutes; I reached the top with an enormous grin on my face and feeling of accomplishment, fingers hurting from the tight holds as I caught a glimpse of a gorgeous Arizonan afternoon in Queek Creek’s “Atlantis” area.

After a few hours of climbing, and watching my experienced friend climb seemingly impossible routes, we packed up and started our return to Tempe.  As we drove back, I felt that the weekend was a success.  Bonding with friends by the campfire, and climbing for the first time made for an awesome experience – one that I would advise to anyone seeking an outdoor experience exclusive to the beautiful nature of Arizona.

For more information on this climbing spot and others in the area, check out  Queen Creek’s “Atlantis”