Part II: How to do Phoenix right in 3 days

10:39 AM
Hello, guys! You know I have been super busy lately. My year started out extremely busy because my goal was to travel a lot. I just recently returned from my trip across the country. Oh, yeah, we were road tripping again, and this one was the best, because we were able to see a lot of cool places. I will share more details with you guys pretty soon. If you read my previous blog post, I shared how to do Phoenix right in 3 days, so I shared with you only my first part. We did so many of activities that I need to split my post into two parts. I will tell you a bit about what I shared in my first post in case you missed it or were too lazy to read. We stayed our first two nights at Hotel Valley Ho. The next morning, we went on a Hot Air Balloon expedition in the Sonoran Desert, which was absolutely fun. Afterward, we took a guided tour to Taliesin West to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright's life. Later on, we met for a quick lunch and walked around Scottsdale, ending our day with a delicious dinner at Mountain Shadow at Paradise Valley.

Our third day in Phoenix was even more crazy and adventurous! We woke-up early in the morning, as we planned to enjoy breakfast in bed. Hotel Valley Ho is pretty awesome, because you can make a breakfast order in the evening so that the next morning you can wake-up to warm delicious meal. Before we ate anything of course, as true dedicated bloggers, we took our chance to organize a beautiful morning breakfast gathering and shoot ourselves in white bathrobes. Ha-ha, aren't we the cutest?! Anyway, after a yummy breakfast we checked out from the best hotel to follow up with our travel plan. 

Breakfast at Hotel Valley Ho

Our plan was to hike! You will laugh, since you know that I am not a hiker. Plus, I actually hate hiking, running or even doing any hard activities. But my fellow bloggers friends (Melanie & Kimberly) were super motivated to hike over 1.5 miles. We arrived to Mesa around 8am to start our adventure to Usery Mountain at Regional Park that led us to the Wind Cave Trail hike. The hike wasn't bad, to be honest. I sweated a lot and took some breaks, drunk a ton of water, though suffered from allergies because everything was blooming. We made it to the Cave, and from there, we enjoyed a beautiful view of Mesa. While the girls were taking pictures of each other, I went out searching for animals. And actually, I was so lucky to meet cute chipmunks and a ground squirrel.

Hike at Mesa






Afterwards, we departed to Queen Creek Olive Mill in Mesa for an olive tasting. Oh God, I wish you knew how delicious it looked and how tasty was it. After taking a ton of photos of the serving table, Kimberly and I actually went inside to test out all the olive oils while others were enjoying mouthwatering sandwiches amidst the olive trees that surrounded the park. 

Queen Creek Olive Mill





But our food tastings weren't finished. For lunch, we went to Agritopia. Agritopia is a community for people who want to experience organically farmed food. I never thought that you can grow anything in a desert area like Arizona, but we tried so many foods, that it made me think that I want to live in Arizona for their healthy culinary options. While waiting for our food to be ready, we decided to take a walk to Barnone. Barnone is a popular craftsman community where you can find cool gifts and take a coffee break.





Later, we finally checked-in to The Scott Resort located in downtown Scottsdale. As soon as we entered, we were blown away by how elegant it looked inside. We got our room key, passed the main lobby, followed by a classy bar and two pools while walking to our rooms. After taking a small break, we appointments for a spa treatment that The Scott Resorts offers to their guest. My girls got earlier appointments and I had extra time to talk to the assistant at the front desk and walk around. When my time came, I was invited to the room, which was totally unexpected for me. My treatment was a South Pacific Vichy Polish, which entails lying under warm streaming water while getting a body massage. I felt so amazing after the spa treatment. I was ready to start our next tour of cocktail hour while talking to The Scott Resort manager. 

The Scott Resort & SPA





SPA Hours






Happy Hour at The Scott Resort





After delicious snacks, we took an Uber and went to SomoMaya. SomoMaya is a local restaurant that offers Mexican-Asian fusion. It is exactly what I wanted to try a while ago. If you ask me where to eat in Phoenix, I will send you to SumoMaya! The mouthwatering food was not just delicious, but also very beautifully presented. To celebrate our last night stay, we thought that we have to try as much as possible. My favorite was Korean tacos and scallops.

Dinner at SumoMaya



The next morning, we went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The garden was surprisingly big, and we had only an hour to walk around, take pictures, and read about the garden. I wish we could have enjoyed it more, but I needed to grab a quick breakfast and run back to the airport. After the Botanical Garden, we hopped on our transportation that was provided by Boss Transportation. Our driver (we discovered later he is the founder and owner) was super nice and always came on time to pick up us at any location. He was even so nice to drive us back to the airport. I actually almost missed my flight. I hate it when people cut in the security line, but I unfortunately ended up doing it myself by asking people to let me go first. Luckily, the Phoenix airport is relatively small, and I made it to my gate. Before running like a crazy person without shoes in the airport, we grabbed a breakfast at Phoenix Public Market Cafe and I got a delicious breakfast that I actually forgot to take pictures of. Haha, I think I was truly too hungry, but their pastries were delightful!



Breakfast at Phoenix Public Market Cafe
This trip was organized by Visit Phoenix, Experience Scottsdale, and City Limitless organizations. Thank you so much for an amazing adventure. All opinions are mine.

Part I: How to do Phoenix right in 3 days

5:32 AM
Hello, my sweet readers. I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. As you may have watched on all of my insta stories, my blogger babies Melanie (labellemel) and Kimberly (sensiblestylista) and I travelled together to Phoenix, Arizona. I was so excited to go there, because I have always wanted to have travel with BFFs, especially when my husband is super busy and can't travel with me. I met Melanie a few years ago and we actually hung out recently in New York. You can check out the latest blog post about New York travel for more back story. While in NYC, we thought it would be a cool idea if we could travel together somewhere. We thought that we should ask Kimberly to join us, because I have been following Kimberly on Instagram for such a long time and wanted to meet her personally. It was a plus that Melanie already knew her, as this made our friendship easier. While we were traveling in Phoenix, everyone thought we were super close friends, and they were surprised after discovering that we had met for the first time. I guess some people get connected right away ;). 


Anyway, I am so trilled to share with you how to do Phoenix right in 3 days. Phoenix is famous for stunning red rocks, desert cactuses and a young growing cosmopolitan scene that makes for the perfect vacation. After having a few flights between Monterey and San Diego, I somehow was always connecting through Phoenix. My husband thought that it would be fun to travel there one day. Well, here I am! I was not prepared for the striking beauty of Phoenix and the surrounding area. Also, I was amazed by how many activities you can do there. Beforehand, I only knew about Arizona as a famous destination for the Grand Canyon, which is a place that I'm hoping to visit pretty soon. But Phoenix is definitely should be on your travel list! Since we did a lot, I believe that I should split the post into two parts. I want to do justice to everything, which also included seeing Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix during our short stay. Big thanks to Visit Phoenix, dreams come true!




Let's start! When I arrived to Phoenix, I took an Uber to the Hotel Valley Ho, where we planned to stay for the next 2 days. Actually, since I travel a lot, and very often take Uber, the first thing that I loved about the Phoenix Airport is that they have an Uber station as soon you get out. I found it to be super convenient. You will find a girl outside that manages Uber drivers as they wait for their guests. It was only a 20 minute ride to hotel. As soon I stepped out into the Hotel Valley Ho (located in Scottsdale), I noticed something very familiar in the architecture. I later found out that it was designed by local designer Edward L.Varney, who is a student of the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 


DAY 1:




Hotel Valley Ho, Room #206


Hotel Valley Ho, Room #204




I checked-in and we got a big suite that was connected to the other room with two beds. The suite had a big bright kitchen, a modern living room with big screen tv, a balcony with a beautiful view, and a king size bed connected to a big bathroom. We decided that Melanie should stay there since she arrived the latest. As for the other room, where I stayed with Kimberly, we had a nice view with a small balcony, a big bath tub for relaxation, and two beds in room a very modern looking room. I am a big fan of rooms that get a lot of natural light, so it was just perfect. After taking a shower, I finally met Kimberly. We were so happy to see each other and decided that we have to celebrate our meeting by getting a dinner at ZuZu. There, I got to taste Buffalo Mozzarella, peppered NY strip, and for dessert, we got to enjoy Dark Chocolate Musse. All of it was insanely delicious. Plus, we were super hungry after a long flight and were ready to eat anything. As soon we got back to the room, we found a plate of fruit that welcomed us. We found it to be a very nice touch, since we needed to wake up the next morning super early. This would be a great snack to start the day. 


Welcome to Phoenix 💕💕


Watching Sunset from our balcony at Hotel Valley Ho



DAY 2:


Good Morning. Well, I can't really call it morning, because we got up at 3.30 am. It was quite easy to wake up for me, because I was super excited to ride along on a Hot Air Balloon Expedition. I have never done it in my life, and was a bit nervous. I knew that it is going to be a very memorable event. Hot Air Expedition provided transportation to pick up us from hotel and drop us off too. What made it even more fun was that our driver was a really nice guy. He explained to us what to expect. We drove to the Sonoran Desert to catch the sunrise, but since another group came late, we started our tour a bit later. We weren't able to catch the sunrise this time. But, it was still amazing to fly over Phoenix, and seeing wild bunnies running away from our ballon. Thanks to our pilot for having a very smooth flight. We knew everything was fantastic, especially when considering how Kimberly was scared of heights, yet she actually enjoyed it immensely! I actually planned to wear sneakers, but when my girls wore heels and I thought that well, I should just go for it. Haha, I wanted to laugh at myself after a few hours of standing on my feet. So I definitely advise you to wear comfortable shoes, bring extra layers because it is very chilly in the morning in the desert and make sure to wear sun screen. After a magnificent hour of flight, we finally landed. To be honest, I could stay in the air way longer, but the pilot explained that after noon the air gets hot and it can be dangerous because of turbulence. As soon as we got off from the ballon, the pilot brought us sparkling cider and invited us to the table to eat our breakfast in the desert. I thought it was a really lovely way to end the ride. After an early flight, I was quite hungry. We had a slice of apple, delicious vegetable Quiche, croissants and cheese. After the ride back to hotel, we had a quick break to change our outfits and take an Uber to our next tour. 


The Sonoran Desert










Our next tour started at Taliesin West. Taliesin West was a winter home for Frank Lloyd Wright. He is probably the most known architect world wide. Frank Lloyd Wright loved geometric forms, nature, and apparently women! After learning about his life and passion for structures and forms, visitors can walk around his building, which was built in the desert. It is considered one of Wright's greatest masterpieces. It was designed to serve as his personal home, studio and architectural laboratory. You will get mesmerized by all the incredulous details that you will find. I was amazed at how incredible the building looks in the middle of desert. Every single piece combines harmoniously with nature. You can find a lot of blooming trees thoughtfully placed around. We also were able to see his foundation's students work in their creative space, Though understandably, we were not aloud to take pictures. Just being there makes you feel inspired!













After a 90 minute tour, we departed to Farm & Craft to meet up with other influencers and organizers for brunch. Farm & Craft is focused on healthy options for food. Since living in California, we always have the option to eat something healthy, organic and gluten free. I was quite surprised that you can find so many healthy meals in Scottsdale. I picked a salmon entree that came with roasted beets, kale mixed with quinoa topped with a citrus glaze, and followed up with Green kiwi fresh juice. It was absolutely delightful. After a quick brunch, we walked to Old Town Scottsdale. We checked out some shopping opportunities and even enjoyed a wine tasting. Afterward, we took a short walk back to Hotel Valley Ho, and were amazed at how easily you can walk to old town. If you ever come here, definitely stay at Hotel Valley Ho, because it is close to all restaurants, shoppings districts and is very clean and safe.


Dinning in Farm & Craft




Old TOWN









Later we went to refresh in our room. We rushed to go downstairs to grab some refreshing delicious cocktails at ZuZu during happy hour. After, Boss Transportation drove us to the new Mountain Shadows boutique resort in Paradise Valley, located between Phoenix and Scottsdale. We were able to walk around, check out their new interior, which was then followed by a mouthwatering dinner at Hearth's 61. Since we had nice weather, we thought that we should have our dinner outside next by the pool. Kristin told us more about the new resort while we were enjoyed another incredible dinner. I hope you guys enjoyed the first part of our travel to Phoenix. Normally, I never write such a long post, but our schedule was super busy, and we truly wanted to see as much as possible and try all the best food that Phoenix has to offer. Stay tuned for my next blog post.









Dinning at Hearth's 61

This trip was organized by Visit Phoenix, Experience Scottsdale, City Limitless organizations. Thank you so much for amazing adventure!


 
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