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My Mommy Freedom Ride

I’m a work-at-home mom, trying to manage life with a husband, two kids and a small business while leading a community organization in one of the largest cities in America: Los Angeles! My lifestyle is nonstop. Between juggling the kids' schedules, trying to work when they sleep (which seems like never) and attempting to schedule date nights (you know what I’m talking about!), life can get pretty hectic. So, when I received an invitation to escape to Sedona, Arizona, for the weekend to test out the new 2018 GMC Acadia, I was quick to jump on the opportunity for some much-needed relaxation! Overstuffing my suitcase, I jumped on a direct flight to Arizona and drove out to the beautiful Amara Resort on what I like to call Mommy’s Freedom Ride.

If you’re not familiar with the GMC Acadia, it’s the American-based car company’s mid-sized SUV with a configurable second and third row, making this a dream for families who need both space and comfort. This was my No. 1 pick among the three-row SUVs from the Los Angeles Auto Show, so you can imagine my excitement! The double-panoramic sun roof and contouring seats made the drive from the Phoenix airport to Sedona an enjoyable road trip, but it was the built-in Wi-Fi that really blew my mind. Thank you, GMC design team, for realizing that we (drivers) need this feature! No more trying to pre-download movies onto the iPads (and hello Wi-Fi calls!).

The first night, we dined at Mariposa, a Latin-inspired restaurant that has a beautiful panoramic red rock view we were able to enjoy as the stars began to shine. Head chef and owner Lisa Dahl graciously greeted our table while we sipped fine wine and ate dinner. Lisa’s been energizing the Sedona culinary world for more than two decades with restaurants Dahl & Diluca, Pisa Lisa and Cucina Rustica.

The sun shines 300 days a year (more than Florida gets), but the temperatures dipped in the evening. So, when we got back to the resort, we brought our roll-up Pendleton blankets with us out to the fire pits, where we curled up to enjoy an evening of relaxation, as we listened to the sounds of logs crackling in the fire and watched the stars dance through the sky—the kind of peace and quiet that doesn’t exist in my home!

I’m a bit of an adventure seeker, so when I woke up (after an actual full night of rest with no middle-of-the-night wake-up calls), we had a day of activities to take in the sights. I headed out to the back country for some serious off-roading with Sedona's only guided ATV tour. I loved the warm breeze blowing over me while I bounded down red dirt trails, taking in the canyons that surrounded us. This was definitely a fun and unique experience that I would recommend to any adventure seeker visiting Sedona. After a morning of backcountry trails, I headed back to the resort to wash the dirt away and refuel with lunch, and then navigated my way to the Verde River for my next adventure: kayaking!

I could have easily put a kayak on the top of my SUV, but there was also so much space in the back, where it fit perfectly.

Being only 5'3", I try to pack as much into my vehicle as I can, so I was a big fan of all that space! I spent a few hours floating the river while watching the serene beauty around me start to fade into the giant sky above. With my seat-heater warming me up, I enjoyed the sunset drive back to the resort to clean up before dinner at the American eatery Hudson Restaurant.

Known for their vortexes (supposed centers of energy that encourage healing), which attract more than 2 million tourists every year with spiritual and wellness attractions to indulge in self-care, Sedona is a must-visit for any spiritual and wellness enthusiast. Touring Sedona was the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle I’m used to in LA. From behind the wheel of the GMC Acadia All Terrain, I was able to enjoy beauty, relaxation and comfort for Mommy's Freedom Ride!

(Disclosure: GMC provided press accommodations for this trip. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

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