Sedona, Arizona

At the beginning of the year, when I first wrote down the places I wanted to travel in 2018, Arizona was definitely not on my list – but it was definitely needed.

When I initially came up with the concept for this section of my blog, it was meant to share how I’ve been able to travel to different places, while not breaking the bank. My trip to Arizona was a complimentary trip provided by Buick, but because the experience was so beautiful, I wanted to still share.

I arrived in Arizona via the Phoenix airport. When our car arrived, I immediately began to stare out the window to try to get a feel for Arizona life. I initially thought it would be smolderingly hot, but the city shared the same weather as Atlanta with mid temperatures in the 50s. So much for getting away to bask in the sun. Even though I didn’t get to feel Arizona’s hot rays, it was actually a blessing because Arizona usually peaks in the 100 degrees marker. Definitely dodged a bullet by visiting in January.

Though we landed in Phoenix, our actual stay was in Sedona. Myself and another journalist from New York were paired off for a 2- hour scenic drive to our resort. Who knew red rocks could be so beautiful.

Buick’s New Regal Tour X


If you ever find yourself in Sedona, I want to highlight three things that will make all of the difference. Since Buick had us on a tight schedule, I wasn’t able to explore as much as I’d like to, but these things were awesome, nevertheless.

  1. The Kimpton Amara Resort
  2. Fay Canyon
  3. Mariposa Latin Grill

The Kimpton Amara Resort is probably one of the best resorts I’ve stayed in, Stateside. The room and amenities made me feel I stayed in a 5- Star resort. Not only did they have an excellent staff, but the food was impeccable. From filet minion and superb sauvignon blanc wines for dinner to mouth-watering Belgium waffles and smoked bacon for breakfast, this hotel had it all. Even the things they didn’t have for my stomach ache at 3 am, The staff happily drove me to the nearest store to get all that I needed. If I ever find myself in Sedona again, they are definitely my top choice for boarding.

During the second day of my 3-day adventure in Arizona, I hiked the beautiful Fay Canyon. Buick set up experiences for the media team, and apparently, I was the only one out of the 20- people group to choose the easy hike trail. No shame in my game – I know my limits. For a total of about 2 hours, my hiking guide, my GM employee trip partner, and I, hiked up and down the Fay Canyon, discussing everything from the snakes and coyotes in the area to greeting a lot of the older couples on the same trail. Apparently, Sedona is a popular retirement town so I might make that move when I hit my 70’s. Who knows.

My last mention of the trip is the exquisite Mariposa Latin Grill. I’m not much of a wine drinker but whatever sauvignon blanc the restaurant served was literally life-changing. The only bad thing about it was I didn’t realize how much I drank until I stood up. But hey, wine drunk is the best drunk, so I wasn’t complaining. I loved how the chefs infused typical Latin staples like black beans and created beautiful dishes. I enjoyed the “Pescado Paradiso,” which was the Chef’s Fish of the Day with Campari Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, Charred Corn, White Wine and Herb Butter, Frijoles Negros and Quinoa Pilaf. True to its name, it was a paradise on a plate.


Though this trip was unplanned, I loved every second of it because I got to explore a land I didn’t even consider. The fresh air, food, and great wine allowed me to unwind and just live in the moment.

Whether your next travel is thousands or just a few hundred miles away from your home, remember to enjoy every second and truly live in the moment.


Until next time lovelies!



Nia C. Ballard

I am the Editor- in- chief dedicated to sharing the dopeness of the millennial generation.