travel

Scottsdale Weekend Getaway

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A couple weekends ago, I had the pleasure of returning to Scottsdale, Arizona for another visit.  Just as our trip two years previous, it was my husband, my mother-in-law and I staying in our family friend’s beautiful condo for a long weekend soaking up the desert sun and seeing the sights.  We arrived Friday afternoon, and lazed about the condo and pool, soaking up some much needed sunshine after the long, grey winter back home.  I love the dry heat, cacti, and vibrant blooms of the desert, which are so different from the rolling green hills of my home state.  I don’t know if I prefer it more because it’s fairly foreign to me, or it’s just my kind of weather, but I love it!

Our Saturday was filled with some sight-seeing and shopping.  We started our day with brunch at the delightfully retro-style Snooze A.M. Eatery, with delicious breakfast tacos and creme brûlée French toast.   Located near a high-end shopping center, my husband couldn’t resist a tour of the Tesla showroom with all their swanky electronic cars.
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We then drove to Phoenix, and stopped by a few vintage shops.  I found a colorful retro beaded purse, and my husband a vintage plaid shirt at Antique Sugar.  We perused old records and tapes at Revolver Records, and also stopped by Retro Ranch to check out their vintage clothing and antique selection.  In the artsy area of Antique Sugar and Revolver, there are some amazing murals to check out and snap a few pictures.
Also, if you are in need of a drink to cool off from the heat as we did, check out Snoh Ice Shavery.  They have a wide variety of refreshing smoothies and shaved ice, and slushies, along with a fun outdoor game area in the shade.  We sipped our slushies and played some connect four and Jenga while we cooled off.
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We returned to the condo for a short break before we headed over to Old Scottsdale.  We grabbed drinks and food at the colorful Saguaro Hotel, but let me honestly tell you, it was kind of a let down this time around. When we had gone there two years ago, we had happened upon the hotel with its colorful building and decor and enjoyed an amazing happy hour with delicious margaritas and sweet potato fries with blue cheese and bacon crumbles.  We should have left it to a good memory…Though the hotel is just as pretty, the restaurant must of changed names and quality.  It was busy at the time, so I couldn’t get the attention of a bartender to ask for the happy hour menu (I’m terrible at getting railroaded by other customers at bars).  Once I did ask, they didn’t contradict me when I asked for a happy hour menu, just handed me a regular one.  Under the false impression that it still existed (because when you search happy hour through google, it directs you to an old webpage on their website) we ordered the same items as two years before and THEN were told they didn’t have a happy hour…we ended up paying for overpriced food and drinks that weren’t near as good as before.  It was just a let down since it was so great the first time.  I recommend you walk around the hotel just to see it, but the prices aren’t worth the quality of drinks and food.  (Got some nice photos out of it though)
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We then wound our way through old Scottsdale, perusing a few shops that were still open later at night.  I found some pretty turquoise earrings and a desert animal book for my niece’s birthday, and we enjoyed looking at the other touristy items they had to offer.  A fair few shops also offer high quality authentic western clothing, jewelry and art, but expect to pay a pretty penny for those beautiful pieces.  Our night ended with drinks at the condo hot tub, a great way to end the day!

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ACS_0318 2ACS_0311ACS_0319We started our Sunday morning with an easy hike at Pinnacle Peak, a great trail for beginners that want a bit of uphill exercise without being too troublesome.  The trail overlooks the valley of low stucco houses, cacti and brush, dotted with rocky hills.  It’s a trail with a nice view, lots of sunshine and plenty of other hikers to greet.
 Once we freshened up at the condo, we went back to Old Scottsdale for lunch at Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse.  We discovered Bootleggers on Drivers, Dine-Ins & Dives, and really enjoyed our delicious brisket sandwiches and pulled pork tacos.
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We shopped some more at the stores we missed the night before, including a cool baseball themed clothing shop my husband purchased a shirt at two years ago.  Old Scottsdale embraces its western roots in a touristy but fun way, and makes me want to visit a real ghost town, tumble weeds and all!  We cooled off with some ice cream at the cutest ice cream parlor in town, the Sugar Bowl.  It’s been around for decades and it’s iconic retro pink decor draws everybody in.  I decided on a strawberry sundae to fit with the color scheme, yummmm.
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IMG_4909Still very full from lunch, we decided to skip dinner, but we did stop at a tiki bar before ending the night.  No surprise there, if the city has a tiki bar, I’m at it!  This one was super intriguing since it’s sort of speak easy-like.  With no signs outside, you enter the coffee shop and find basement stairs adorned with a bamboo thatched awning.  It’s your only clue to what lays beneath at the UnderTow.  Decorated like you are within a ship, it has animated ship windows with “ocean views.”  It’s a very intimate space, so we had front row bar seats to watch the bartender make his complicated concoctions.  While the others enjoyed a classic Blue Hawaiian and Mai Tai, I went a little out of my comfort zone and tried a Old Fashioned with a tiki twist.

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Our weekend in Scottsdale flew by, and I enjoyed it just as much as our first visit two years ago.  Arizona is full of stunning nature views, lively cities and an artistic streak I enjoy.  I can’t wait to explore more and maybe see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon on my next trip out there.
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