Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 35th: Scottsdale

For what feels like several years, my college roommates- Whitney, Rebecca, and Emily- and I have been pontificating about how cool it would be to take a big trip to celebrate our 35th birthdays. We live between four cities in two states; have seven kids, four dogs, and two cats between us; and jobs/practices and husbands/boyfriend to hold down. Every year or so, we are able to get away for one night, meeting in a common town, but it’s just never enough time together.

A few months ago, we realized the time was upon us, so we finally decided to put a pen to paper and GO ON A TRIP. ON A PLANE. FOR SEVERAL DAYS IN A ROW. Three of the four of us could go in June (unfortunately, Em’s busy with her practice in the summer), so we set our sights on the spa town of Scottsdale to find some rest and relaxation. And lots of wine.

The best part of the trip was that when Whitney booked the hotel, the Phoenician, the concierge asked if we were celebrating something special. She told her that we were celebrating our birthdays. When we arrived at the hotel, we were treated like rock stars. We were upgraded to the Canyon Suites (a resort within a resort with very few rooms and amazing service), we received champagne and chocolates in our room, and at any meal that the concierge booked for us, we were served a birthday cake with candle. It was so special!

HG made these matching BFF bracelets for us Wednesday morning before we each left on our trips (she went to the beach with Granddaddy and Spiffer).

Wednesday: View from the back of the Canyon Suites lobby2015-06-24 16.11.562015-06-24 16.25.242015-06-24 16.25.33 HDRSo many different kinds of cactuses2015-06-24 17.28.482015-06-24 17.33.59 HDR2015-06-24 18.01.29We had dinner at J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician, a trendy and modern restaurant on the top floor with an amazing view.2015-06-24 18.57.09 HDR2015-06-24 20.05.032015-06-24 20.23.47The main lobby at the Phoenician2015-06-24 20.28.172015-06-24 20.32.41Thursday: After a morning at the spa which was WONDERFUL, we headed to the burger bistro on property, Relish, to chow down as we overlooked the golf course (and the poor golfer that literally had a head stroke).2015-06-25 12.56.38Then, we headed to settle in by the pool for the afternoon. Amazing views, even better service, and refreshing pina coladas!2015-06-25 14.37.54We had dinner at Mastro’s City Hall, a very dark and dramatic steakhouse with a live jazz band playing in the lounge.2015-06-25 20.48.202015-06-25 20.48.392015-06-25 21.11.17On Friday morning, we slept late and laid in bed for a while, watching the Today Show. What a treat! We finally pulled ourselves out of bed mid morning and headed to our reserved cabana by the pool, ordering lunch poolside.2015-06-26 10.57.192015-06-26 11.01.59The pool at Canyon Suites wasn’t very crowded, so we all pretty much received amazing service from our cabana boy, Ben. But having this cabana one day was heavenly. We had a couch, restroom, constantly fresh towels, and a stocked fridge with drinks and Evian misters (!!!). When we needed anything- aloe, chapstick, etc.- Ben would find it within minutes. He worked magic! 2015-06-26 11.09.312015-06-26 11.31.38My phone did NOT like the heat which was well over 100 degrees. I kept getting this message.2015-06-26 11.46.58The lobby of Canyon Suites2015-06-26 17.42.332015-06-26 17.49.10We had dinner at the Mission on Friday night in downtown Scottsdale. We were on a search for Tex-Mex food, which we thought would be everywhere, but it turns out that it’s really hard to find in the Phoenix area. The Mission was pretty close with its Latin vibe, and it hit the ball out of the park with its KILLER guacamole and margaritas. We even sat outside on the back patio. Despite the extremely high temps, a huge fan and shaded courtyard kept us comfortable. Fish tacos and corn/rice/chicken thing were delicious too.2015-06-26 18.13.20The front courtyard- which, for the record, was a lot hotter than the back one. Still picturesque though.2015-06-26 19.20.112015-06-26 19.20.24A beautiful Catholic church next door to the Mission2015-06-26 19.20.33We walked around downtown for a bit and did some souvenir shopping. The streets are decorated in traditional and classic Arizonan style. Very pretty! 2015-06-26 19.21.402015-06-26 19.21.572015-06-26 19.24.372015-06-26 19.24.502015-06-26 19.58.472015-06-26 20.06.482015-06-26 20.07.23Reba wanted to do some hiking each morning we were there, so finally on Saturday morning, we got up early and went on a hike up Camelback Mountain. We were a little unnerved by rumors of rattlesnakes and the heat, but thankfully, the clouds covered the sky, the hotel gave us great snack bags with water, and we didn’t hear a single rattle on our hike.2015-06-27 08.03.502015-06-27 08.05.592015-06-27 08.07.31
2015-06-27 08.09.53 HDR2015-06-27 08.15.252015-06-27 08.17.192015-06-27 08.19.17After seeing this view, we were so glad Reba made us get out of bed!2015-06-27 08.26.522015-06-27 08.32.582015-06-27 08.33.51We made it halfway up to the top- enough to see a great view and feel accomplished but not enough to be super sore and sunburned. Now back to the pool!2015-06-27 08.45.27After an afternoon poolside, we got ourselves cleaned up and headed to Fashion Square to do some shopping. How nice to have moral support to try on clothes and swimsuits! Then we walked (sweatily) over to Café Monarch. We had heard so many great things about Café Monarch, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s very small, American cuisine, and very wooden and romantic. All kinds of neat, rustic details. 2015-06-27 18.38.31 HDRAs soon as we sat down and started looking at the menu, all of our phones started going off with a weather emergency alert. A DUST STORM?!?!?! {Apparently, dust storms and monsoons are common in the desert in the summer.} We officially freaked out, especially when the back door- which was right next to Reba- swung open as the wind whipped it around. AHHH! 2015-06-27 18.45.15
At that point, there was nothing to do but sit and wait- and be grateful we had an inside table! We ordered some wine and tried to relax as we watched the trees lean to and fro. Eventually, it blew on through, and thank goodness, a monsoon didn’t follow it as it often does. We hightailed it back to the hotel!
2015-06-27 19.08.46A meteorologist friend later shared this pic from Twitter with us of the storm blowing through Phoenix. We never had our outside view obstructed from the dust, so it must have been worse in downtown Phoenix. We had enough of the experience though- no need to see any more ‘haboobs’!2015-06-27 19.55.59Our flights left EARLY on Sunday morning so that we could be back home early afternoon. At least the sunrise gave us a beautiful show to make the lack of sleep more bearable.2015-06-28 05.31.16
As grown ups living in different states with kiddos and jobs, our time spent together is rare. This chance to get away for FOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS was just a dream come true. No kid/work drama, no whining, no responsibilities- nothing but quality time well spent together. Time to talk about everything and time to talk about nothing. PERFECT. We missed Em so much though as our fab four wasn’t quite complete, but we are looking forward to our next adventure when we can all be reunited and celebrate another birthday year together!

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