Arizona in February

If you have the Winter Blues and are reaching your limit on cold or snow or bulky jackets, might I suggest a quick trip to Arizona?  There’s palm trees and baseball and hiking and sunshine!  We planned a trip back in December and after a week in which it snowed THREE TIMES, we were more than ready to escape to the land of perpetual summer.

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We went the Airbnb route and stayed at a beautiful house in Scottsdale.  There was even a grapefruit tree in the backyard and though the pool wasn’t heated, it was pretty to look at 🙂  Post rental car pick up, house check in and brief unpack, we headed towards Old Town Scottsdale (though I think we were technically a few block from it) for dinner at Craft + Farm and look, they serve kombucha cocktails!

Afterward, we walked to Goldwater Brewing for beer and spicy popcorn, followed by a quick trip to the Sugar Bowl.  I think everyone was having ice cream buyer’s remorse after seeing all the interesting concoctions on the menu and having just ordered plain old scoops of ice cream.

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The next morning, we made our way to Hash Kitchen for breakfast and the restaurant turned out to be huge!  And there was also a DJ setting up, ha.  We were sat far enough away that the music was a fun addition instead of an annoying distraction.  Also, I can’t speak for anyone else, but my Huevos Ranchero Hash was incredible!  Can I put fried onions on everything from now on?

We hiked Tom’s Thumb afterwards and the weather was so perfect for mid-day hiking.  I thought the difficultly level of the hike was just right, but I’m not going to lie, my calves were sore for like four days!  Later on, we took ourselves to the Salty Sow for happy hour/early dinner and we saw two groups of people take a selfie outside and felt compelled to follow suit.  We ordered Brussels sprouts with golden raisins and nachos to share and both dishes were SO GOOD.

May or may not have accidentally driven to a way out of the way movie theater to see Black Panther later that night.  I’m not sure how I feel about superhero movies in general (I feel like they tend to lean into plot/action scenes and neglect character development, though this one offers much more nuance/depth) but I know Shuri was a hilarious badass and Michael B. Jordan plays an incredible villain that you almost end up rooting for.

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SPRING TRAINING!  BASEBALL!  ROCKIES! I’M SO HAPPY!  We had breakfast with Joey’s grandparents Monday morning then made our way to Salt River Fields to walk around for a bit before the game started.  We had lawn seats and though there weren’t many of us, it was kind of nice to not feel so crowded or hot.  Rockies maybe lost and we maybe left towards the end, when all the big name players had been switched out, but Joey caught a Kyle Freeland warm-up ball, I drank a margarita in the sun and most importantly, we got a taste of baseball ♥

For dinner, we went to Twisted Grove and ordered… Brussels sprouts!  But also pasta, chicken, a crab cake and a sandwich, all of which we approved of.  We tried to go to Top Golf afterwards and there was seriously a two hour wait, on a Monday night!  How?!  So we changed course and went glow-in-the-dark mini golfing instead.  I really really lost but I need you to know that at one of the holes, we had to spin a wheel and Lori was forced to use her club like a pool cue and SHE GOT A HOLE IN ONE!  I’m still amazed.  One last ice cream treat afterwards, then we were done for the night.

Tuesday, before our flight, we had a chance to grab breakfast and coffee at Maverick Coffee and then we popped into a cute little baseball apparel store (where I totally bought myself a shirt) before heading to the airport and back home to Denver.  Till next time, Arizona!

Where We Stayed: Turquoise House Scottsdale 

Where We Ate/Drank:

Farm & Craft // Healthy options, normal portion sizes and kombucha cocktails!  But most importantly, David Dahl eats here.

Goldwater Brewing // I had a Birthday Suit IPA taster and really liked it!  Plus they have a popcorn maker, where you can help yourself to a snack.

Hash Kitchen // This place is busy but it’s also big, so the wait is no big deal.  Get the Huevos Ranchero Hash and let your waiter talk you into writing a Yelp review (twist my arm…) for 10% off your bill!

Salty Sow // Order Brussels and nachos off the Happy Hour menu and just know that the entrees are big enough to split.

T.C. Eggington’s // We needed a place in Mesa to meet Joey’s grandparents and picked this place.  It was halfway between hip and homey and the Hilltop Acres skillet was plenty cheesy!

Salty Señorita at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick // This early in Spring Training season, lots of stands weren’t open but I was able to grab tacos and a margarita and they were both surprisingly good!

Twisted Grove // I had a hard time deciding what to order because everything looked good!  And luckily, it all was.  I ate a surprisingly good (for a desert state) crab cake.

Sweet Republic // This place was quite cute, but I’m just going to be honest, I thought the ice cream was really icy and flavorless.  Like if I just closed my eyes, I would have thought I was eating snow…

Maverick Coffee // I appreciated the hipster vibe (all the brewing methods, all the non-dairy milks, all avocado toast) and I was delighted to find they had overnight oats but the portion seemed unnecessarily large and it was topped with what I believe were dried banana slices that had soaked up some moisture and tasted REALLY off-putting.

What We Did: 

Tom’s Thumb // A really good moderate hike, that will get your lungs and leg muscles working.

Spring Training // If you’re not catching a Spring Training game, what are you even doing it AZ? 🙂

Glow Putt // In case Top Golf has a 2+ hour wait.

Baseballism // The best baseball shirts!

 

 

Spring Break in Arizona by iPhone

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Pre-flight libations.  

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Note the remaining time.  And this was about 6 hours into downloading Argo.  We still haven’t watched it.

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First stop in Arizona.  Naturally.

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Our rental car was a mini van.  Joey is now convinced that this will be his next car.

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Saturday night dinner.  Mushroom pizza, salad with a million croutons and beer.

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World Baseball Classic.  Italy vs. USA.  ‘Merica pulled out the win!

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Joey and his family take pickleball very seriously.

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Rockies Spring Training game with my friend and Arizona resident Zach.  The Rockies did not even care that it was my first Spring Training game and decided to lose. 

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Hiking in the desert.  

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See that rock in the very top right corner?  Yeah we climbed up there.

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Literally the happiest I’ve ever seen Joey look.

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Green Chili Chicken Burgers on the grill for Joey’s brother, cousin and grandparents.  Burgers were a hit, but we may or may not have burnt those brawts to a crisp.  Oops.

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Realized the Nuggets were also in town and paid $45 each to sit in the nosebleeds.  Fun!

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Intense Shuffleboard tournament.  I can’t wait to be retired. 

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First In-N-Out burger (I only got a chocolate shake on our first trip there).  Complete with fries and a Coke.  I was underwhelmed by the food but overjoyed at how much cleaner/more professional it was than any other fast food place I’ve ever been to.

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Till next time, AZ!