Blessed again! I had to go on a recruiting trip to Scottsdale Arizona for work. Because we are empty nesters, my husband decided to join me. We are having so much fun "dating" again. While I worked, Michael's plan was to golf which worked well.
Arrival day: Our flights were on time but we had a mishap on the flight. A sixteen year old girl sitting beside me ate a full pizza, super sized fries and large coke before you put her head down on her tray and PUKED. You never realize how small those seats are until you try to get out of them in a split second. My first concern was not my outfit or IPAD getting ruined but my cross stitch that I had in my bag near her tray. It is confirmed now, that if I have a fire in my house, the first thing I will take is my cross stitch.
We arrived at Kierland Resort. It was beautiful but needed to have some renovation. The great thing about the resort is all of the outdoor seating. They have overstuffed couches and chairs out in the beautiful weather. There are some great nooks for reading and being alone and they all seem to have a water features. Our room was large and the bed was very comfortable. That evening, we ate at a local steakhouse which was called Mastros. It was overpriced AND not very tasty. It was a disappointment.
Day 1: Michael golfed at Kierland and had a great time. We went to lunch at a place near hotel called NORTH. It was an italian restaurant. Now, my prejudice is that the the southwest CANNOT do italian. But i was wrong. We had brushetta and grilled artichokes and it was tasty and very different. I am going back to lunch tomorrow.
Since Michael spent money on golf, I was determined to be his equal. I visited The Attic Needlework shop in Mesa. As Michael put it, "this shop is like The Noble Craftsman on steroids x 100". I spent 90 minutes there and purchased 3 new projects, books, supplies, etc. I was in heaven. Two of the projects are shown below. Pictures never do xstitch justice. They had hundreds of models on the walls, loads of fabric choices, accessories, trunk shows, books, frames, etc. I loved it. I suggested to them that they should have their projects on internet so that people can purchase patterns. It was unbelieveable. The largest I've ever see. Some of items I purchased are shown below. I also found a Teresa Wenzler book and a pulled thread instruction booklet.
For dinner, we visited the town of Cave Creek and went to a restaurant called El Encanto. They are noted to have the best margaritas in Arizona AND THAT IS NOT A LIE. We had chicken enchiladas with mole. It was the best mole I ever tasted; rich with cinnamon and chocolate. The restaurant was outside and had birds flying from table to table and their centerpieces were elegant: used bottles of Patron Tequila.
On the way to this town, we saw beautiful scenary.
I love how the houses are built into the rocks. It reminds me of SouthSide. HAHA! We saw many different types of blackbirds. One I particularly liked was the graeckle. I loved his cackle and they way he lifted his head when he cackled. I also saw a partridge. I love all of the wildlife but am a little concerned that Michael will bring back a scorpion to the room in his golf bag. That thought kept me awake for an hour last night.
In addition, what is a trip without either talking to people who love the Steelers or finding a Steeler bar. That's right, a Steeler bar in Scottsdale AZ PIC. It truly is a Steeler Nation.
After we returned from Cave Creek, we sat oustide the resort and listened to bagpipe music and then went to bed. We are getting a lot of sleep because we are trying to stay on Pittsburgh time but end up sleeping in until its Arizona time.
DAY 2: Michael golfed at We Ko Pa golf course and took this great picture. This is the second time he's golfed there and really enjoys it.
His view was spectacular.
For lunch, we ate a french restaurant called Zinc. I have coq au vin for lunch with polenta. My mouth is watering as I type this that's how good it was. I think it might be a chain.
That evening we ate at DeSeo which was the restaurant in the resort. I had my first Muddle. Doesn't this sound like a Harry Potter drink. Well, it is crushed fresh fruit with some type of alcohol. I had a Mango Muddle. Also, this restaurant featured an artist that painted pictures in their lobby.
DAY 3: Michael golfed at Kierland while I took the car and drove back to the The Attic. I bought more and more. I was like a gambler with such an addiction. My justification was that cross stitch shops were closing everywhere so I better get all the supplies now. (yeah right) That evening, we went to a restaurant on a farm in Scottsdale. It was called Quinessence. All of the items were grown on this farm. It was voted the most romantic restaurant in Arizona and it was!! PIC We had the farmers feast which included the following: Soppressata with lavash crackers, beehive full moon cheese, san juaquin gold cheese, Wild greens (sorrel, mulberries, miners lettuce, glacier lettuce, etc.), Cream of celery soup with lobster & mushrooms, farmers cheese gnocchi with asparagus, leeks, and meyer lemon, tortellini with osso bucco & mushrooms, honey wheat bread, Halibut with pureed carrots, free range chichken, pork, another white fish, and desserts. Whew! I am full just naming all of them. ONe of the best restaurants ever. "Very" French Laundry-esque. Great wine too.
DAY 4: Best day because I only worked a few hours. We drove to Sedona. Wow. what beautiful landscapes.
However, the most moving part of my trip to Arizona occurred in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. I have to give you some background. My husband, Michael is very spiritual. He believes in God, Saints, Ghosts, leprechauns and gnomes. Remember, he is IRISH. So, he wanted to make sure we walked through a Vortex because Sedona has 5 of them and they are grounds that the Indians named for their spiritualness. It was to give you a feeling of goodness, peace, etc. Well all of the labeled vortexes were on hiking trails and we did not bring appropriate clothing for the trip so we couldn't hike. So on our driving through these areas, we stopped at the Chapel. It is a Chapel built into the rocks.
When I walked through the doorway, I started to cry and could not stop. It was not a sobbing cry, but a good type of crying. I couldn't keep the tears from coming. We sat in this place for at least 20 mins. It was so peaceful and it was a catholic church. The view from the altar was the Red Rocks.
It was magnificent AND you knew that God was there! Michael felt the same way and didn't want to leave but we continue on our travels. We found out on the way home that the Chapel WAS built on a VORTEX. If only I could work in an office built on a Vortex. I would be the best boss ever.
IN the town of Sedona, they have statues of javalinas (which are wild pigs) and they dress them up just like Pittsburgh dresses up the dinosaur in downtown Pgh.
We ended this day with drinks and appetizers at North and went back to the resort to secure our "spot" so that we can drink more wine and listen to the bagpiper.
What a wonderful 5 days.