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Travel Blog: The Lovely Camelback Inn, and the Airline That Shall Not Be Named

Canceled flights and perhaps the greatest ‘hotel’ in the world.

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I’m still recovering from lack of sleep after six fun days in Arizona.

Aside from travel, the Fiesta Bowl trip was a great one, and it has set the standards in terms of following those Cardiac Cowboys around. Here are a few fun nuggets from the past week.

God Bless the Camelback Inn

I’m an Oklahoman at heart, in that most places I visit I enjoy being there, but I couldn’t ever see myself living there.

But, I could live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and more specifically the Camelback Inn (I’m going to need to hit the lottery first). I believe the slice of Arizona the Camelback is in is technically called Paradise Valley, and that name fits the bill.

It was unlike any “hotel” I’ve ever stayed at before. It resembled more of an Ivy League campus in the desert than a traditional hotel. It was awesome.

The weather was uncharacteristically cold for Arizona’s standards. Nearly every person I met from Arizona apologized for the weather as if they could control it, but it was still great. It was hard to want to go out and explore the city because you didn’t want to miss anything on the resort itself. The food was immaculate. The resort is between two beautiful mountains, so just sitting outside seems like a treat. It was all so excellent.

The discounted media rate was the only reason I got to call the place home for six days, but if you’re ever in the area for a vacation, you’d be silly to not at least give the Camelback Inn a look.

The Airline That Shall Not Be Named

Flights around the holidays are … well … expensive.

To save some coin, I decided to fly out of Dallas on Dec. 27 (planning my trip before everything got moved to Zoom) on an airline I have never flown before, an airline I will not mention in order to avoid being that guy going to someone’s manager.

Anyhow, I stayed at my mother’s house in Madill after Christmas, which is about two hours from the DFW airport. My flight left past 10 p.m., but I had to get to the airport early to hop on a Gundy Zoom that was scheduled for 5 p.m. After that Zoom and some work from it, I found a cozy spot in the airport to sit and start the audiobook I had downloaded for the trip “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I’m cultured. I’ve seen the movies, but I’ve never read the books.

So, I’m sitting there listening and about an hour before my flight was scheduled to leave, I get an email of doom. My flight had been canceled.

I haven’t flown a ton in my life, so I was in a full-fledge panic mode. Luckily, I was quick enough on my feet and somehow found a plane leaving 15 minutes later on American, or what will now be called the Airline That Lived. Moments after I booked that ticket, the price jumped up $400. Blessed.

I kept my return flight through the Airline That Shall Not Be Named, set to return Sunday morning. It, too was canceled Saturday night. I wasn’t as lucky with the Airline That Lived, but it did provide me a route home. I flew from Phoenix to Los Angeles (fancy, I know) on Sunday before flying from Los Angeles to DFW. I landed about 8:30 p.m. Sunday night and after a trip to Buc-ees, I made the trek back to Stillwater and got home about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Great People

OSU fans can be a vengeful bunch. Cross them once, and they’ll certainly remember. But rest assured Cowboy faithful, you have a great group of people covering your team.

And it’s all over, too. From experienced columnists like Berry Tramel and Guerin Emig to the hard-working folks at The O’Colly, it’s a good group. As great as the game was, and as elite as the Camelback Inn is, it was the people that made the trip special.

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