Today, I’m sharing a bit about our trip to Arizona two weeks ago. I mentioned in this post here that Arizona is so fantastic and I am now totally obsessed with this state. We took this trip as our “babymoon” and packed in a lot of both adventure and relaxation. Luke’s schedule is almost always crazy and unpredictable, so it was wonderful to spend time away, just the two of us, where we could both unplug and hang out (and not worry about Zika! haha).
Where we stayed:
The Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia. This fantastic resort is in Paradise Valley, and oh my gosh, it was AMAZING. The architecture, colors, service… every little detail was perfection. When we arrived, we immediately felt like we had transported somewhere far away. The Mediterranean and Spanish flare throughout the resort was to-die-for, and the view of the Camelback Mountains was breathtaking. I highly recommend this resort for anyone heading to the Phoenix or Scottsdale area.
What we did:
We ate, hiked, golfed, and relaxed—it was the perfect combination for us, since we love to be active and adventurous, but we also love to relax and just enjoy each other’s company.
We took a super early flight out of Nashville (which we almost missed… apparently 4am on a Thursday morning is a popular time to travel), so we arrived in Arizona around 7am local time. At the car rental counter, Luke decided last minute to upgrade us to a Mustang convertible they had a special on, and we drove about 20 minutes to our resort in Scottsdale. After we checked in and freshened up, we went to the Old Town Scottsdale area for food. We found a darling spot and had an amazing brunch. We spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool and eating frozen grapes—not a bad way to spend an afternoon, if you ask me. We went to dinner, cruised the town (top down of course), and then hit the hay early so we’d be well rested for our trip to the Grand Canyon.
We woke up early, packed some snacks, and hit the road for the Grand Canyon. It was about a three-hour drive from Scottsdale, and I don’t know about y’all, but when I think of “vacation” and “three-hour drive,” they don’t exactly seem to go together… But, visiting the Grand Canyon has been on our bucket list for years, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go when we were that close. Our convertible made the drive and sightseeing so much more fun than it otherwise would’ve been (props, Luke)! We enjoyed our time in the car chatting, jamming out to music, and admiring the intriguing desert scenery.
Once we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we hiked around to multiple lookout points. (Side bar: Despite being 5.5 months pregnant, I hiked Luke into the ground, which he admirably admits… Poor thing was groaning to ride the shuttles by mid-afternoon. Needless to say, I felt super proud of my preggo bod in those few hours haha.) The magnitude of the Grand Canyon is completely overwhelming, and the pictures I’d seen beforehand, and the ones I took while there, don’t begin to do it justice. Luke and I found ourselves so overcome by the glory and creativity of our Creator, which was so cool. If the Grand Canyon isn’t on your bucket list already, you need to put it on there ASAP.
When we left the Grand Canyon, we set out on one of the most beautiful drives ever: 89A into Sedona. Almost out of nowhere, we were winding down mountain roads in the shadows of awe-inspiring rock walls and beside quiet mountain streams. The temps dropped 15 degrees in a matter of minutes, going from the driest of desert spots to lush forests in the valley. Luke looked like a kid in a candy store getting to drive like Mario Andretti (thanks, Mustang “Sport Mode” button) through this unbelievable scenery in Oak Creek Canyon. It was beyond beautiful and easily the most fun drive I’ve ever been on. Ever.
When we thought things couldn’t get any prettier, and the valley gave way to the famous Sedona red rocks—right at sunset, no less. Our jaws hung open for quite some time, as we couldn’t believe a place like that existed and was so accessible. Our little southern roots were shaken in the best ways, and we quickly agreed that Sedona was too gorgeous to enjoy for only one evening, so we would return the next day. It was worth the just-under-two-hour drive from our resort to see that splendor.
*Pro tip: if you’re planning a trip out to the Scottsdale area, book at least a one-night stay in Sedona or camp in the Oak Creek Canyon… I promise it’ll be worth your while.
We woke up early and went to play golf. Well, Luke played and I rode around in the cart. Scottsdale is known as a major golf destination, since it has some of the most beautiful golf courses in the country and temperate weather for most of the year. Luke played a great game that day and I enjoyed every minute of riding along for the fun.
After we left the course, In-N-Out was on the list for lunch. Our first In-N-Out experience did not disappoint, to say the least. SO GOOD. I now understand what all the hype is about. I’ll dub it the Chick-Fil-A of burger joints (is that blasphemous?? haha)… and if I’m pulling Chick-Fil-A into this, you know I was obsessed.
We ran back to the resort to freshen up, took a quick power nap, and hopped in the car for Sedona (annnddd… made a second In-N-Out stop on the way). We made it to Sedona in time to do some afternoon exploring and confirmed that, yes, our eyes really had seen a level of beauty that’s hard to comprehend. We hiked to the top of the airport mesa to watch the sunset. So glad we returned!
After a busy, but fun, previous two days, we were excited to have to just hang around the resort on Sunday. We slept in, ate an amazing brunch at Prado, and spent the afternoon at the amazing Joya spa onsite. The Joya Spa is world-renowned, and for good reason. I landed us a great deal on a couples massage, which was a total treat. I also got a pedicure (while reclined almost upside down at an angle – very different, but very cool). Our massage package gave us access to the spa facilities for the whole day, including saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis, and relaxation rooms. I couldn’t do most of those while pregnant, but Luke tested a couple and enjoyed them. Our favorite amenity was the terrace pool at the spa, which has the most amazing view of the Camelback Mountains. We spent the rest of the afternoon just chatting, resting, and popping frozen grapes (delish!).
That night, we ate dinner at The Mission, per multiple recommendations. The atmosphere was trendy, and the food was delicious. Back at the resort, we hung out in the courtyard before calling it a night. Day 4 was by far the most relaxing day we had on our trip… much needed and cherished.
Travel day. We ate another wonderful breakfast at Prado—I’m so obsessed with their lattes—and then packed our things to head home. Our flight was delayed, so we had a little extra time once we made it to the airport. After almost missing our plane on the way out, that wasn’t such a bad thing.
Where We Ate:
Scottsdale and Phoenix are full of amazing restaurants, but we only had time for a few during our quick trip. We enjoyed each restaurant we chose and would highly recommend all of them.
- Arcadia Farms Kitchen: The brunch, y’all. The brunch. Also, the patio seating is adorable, and the black-and-white-striped drapes outside are picture-perfect.
- The Henry: You’ve seen the sign picture a thousand times. Great for coffee, brunch, and apparently every other meal… we just didn’t get that far.
- Rehab Burger Therapy: Not gonna lie, it’s kind of weird inside… but the burgers are delicious. I’m a total burger snob, and these definitely lived up to my standards.
- The Mission: Trendy spot with an authentic Mexican flare. The building is an old renovated church (hence the name), which we thought was cool.
- Prado: This was one of the restaurants onsite at our resort. We brunched here twice—y’all know I’m brunch obsessed—and it was insanely good. Also, they made one of the best lattes I’ve ever had.
- Hideaway House: This spot is in Sedona. It kind of feels like a tree-house with its indoor and outdoor dining and multiple levels with beautiful views of the red rocks. They serve incredible Italian food. If you get the chance, get there early and sit outside to enjoy tasty food, a glass of wine, and the most magnificent sunset views anywhere.
- In-N-Out: Had my first experience here on this trip… and now I understand. Why haven’t they expanded to the South?! Loved it so much we had it twice… in one day.
I have a few more food stops on my list for next time we’re out that way based on friends’ recommendations and reviews I’ve read. There just wasn’t enough time to hit them all, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Blanco Tacos, The Montauk, and North.
What I packed:
Overall, I think I packed pretty well for this trip. Because it was hot and we were doing all kinds of activities, as well as evening outings, I changed outfits often. Of course I still had things in my suitcase that went untouched (per usual when I travel), but in general I felt prepared without being overly excessive. Here are some of the pieces that came with me:
Of all the trips we’ve taken just the two of us, Luke and I agree that this was our favorite (aside from our honeymoon – duh). We were able to get away and unplug, see amazing places, eat great food, do activities we enjoy, relax, and most importantly, spend time together without worrying about any other responsibilities. We absolutely cannot wait to meet our little guy in September, but it sure was fun to just push everything else to the side and focus on the two of us for “one last hurrah” of a vacation as a family of two. xoxo
PS: Congrats if you made it all the way to the end of this long-winded and picture-overloaded post. Pregnancy hormones and sentiment for the win haha.