Thursday, March 10, 2016

Scottsdale & Phoenix, Arizona

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, Ryan and I spent the first week in March on vacation in Arizona!  Our 10th isn't until June but we went early while the kids were busy at school :-) Thank you so much to my parents for taking good care of the boys!

We stayed at the Hyatt at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale.  We spent a lot of mornings hiking or walking, and once it got hot we headed to the pool.  We also did a little sight-seeing.  It was the perfect trip because we like to do a little of this and a little of that.

Let the fun begin!

The courtyard area.  We liked to sit here in the morning and watch the sunrise (we were up at 5 am their time!) or sit by the fire places and listen to the live music in the evening.

Some of the pools.

The first morning, we met up with Ryan's (2nd) cousin Kaylene at Pinnacle Peak, where she used to work.  We had our own personal tour guide, and then walked the short distance to her home to visit with Kaylene and Ed.  :) Thanks again guys!

(That is Pinnacle Peak behind us - it says the highest point is 2889 feet.)

Cooling off!

Walking to dinner

Another highlight of our trip was hiking at South Mountain Park in Phoenix.  We chose a moderate trail (moderate trail out west is much harder than even difficult trails in the midwest, in my experience! ha!) called the Mormon Trail.  We took that to National Trail to see Fat Man's Pass.  It was steep and rocky up to the top! We only saw 2 lizards, but no rattle snakes or mountain lions, whew!

At the top, overlooking Phoenix.

Fat Man's Pass

Coffee at the resort one morning.  The mountains aren't as obvious in pictures but they were pretty!

Another favorite was getting a tour of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's summer home.

I was excited the resort had Pinacolavas (or Lava Flow) - I hadn't had one since our honeymoon and they are delicious!

Our last evening we went to a nice dinner at Cafe Monarch. It was really cool and the food was some of the best I have ever had.

My mom asked how we picked Arizona? When deciding where to go, we wanted to be able to do some hiking in the morning, relaxing at the pool, preferred to stay in the United States, and ideally highs in the mid-80's. Arizona proved to be just that - every day was a low of 55, high of 89 (a little warmer than typical), and sunny.  It was gorgeous!   A lot of my searches came up with Scottsdale as a suggested location, and a friend had recommended it, so we went for it.

All of the pictures are here.  I just took my point and shoot on this trip.


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