Thursday, May 14, 2009

Valley of the Sun- the Queen's Vacation

Jeff was booked to speak in Scottsdale and when the plans were being finalized I decided to tag along- as a mother's day gift from me to me. I had been chomping at the bit to get two nights of sleep in a fancy resort and do all the other girlie things I rarely do anymore. I have a love affair with the Scottsdale area ever since Wende moved there in Junior High School.

The two day vacation started off with great on time service from Southwest Airlines. I arrived at the Alamo rental terminal only to discover they did not have any cars available in the class I rented. I was mildly pissed because when you only have 54 hours of vacation time the last thing you want to do is stand around waiting for people to do what they were supposed do before you arrived. The manager on duty was apologizing and I could tell he was frustrated too, so in his nicest tone, he said, you look like a Mercedes girl...just take this exotic car and let's call it good. I happily went to the booth to exchange my paperwork and drive away in a 2009 black Mercedes 300E. It was totally what I needed to glam up my vacation. Renting a MB 300E beats the hell out of some Pontiac Grand Am any day. Remember in Ferris Bueller's Day off when Ferris says, " It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up!" Yeah, that was me.

Jeff and I made a quick pit stop at Paradise Bakery we refueled with tasty snacks and checked into the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center. The hotel has undergone a major renovation and the rooms were lovely. The only negative I can report is that the rooms are really far from the lobby and elevators and when my Via Spiga Wedges were pinching my instep and causing a blister I wished we had been given a room within a moderate walking distance from the doors. Note to self: bring Advanced healing Blister bandages on all future trips- these are worth their weight in gold.

I spent all day Wednesday on ME. I met a realtor in the North part of Scottsdale and he showed me some properties. I loved the views, the scenery, the homes, and everything about the area, except for the distance to and from the airport. I don't think there is any way Jeff could be that far north- so if and when we make the move to the area, we will be forced to stay closer in town- I have always wanted to say I lived in Paradise Valley- it has a Queen like ring to it don't you think?

Since I promised to bring you along I made sure to document the house hunting part with my camera.


This home is perfect for my family in every way- except being too far North- I could smell Carefree and Cave Creek from the driveway. The house features a guest casita with a large bedroom and full bath-



beautiful courtyard with fountain and fire pit, and views to die for. The main house has a ton of nice touches from the custom builder- the two story master bedroom closet had me at hello. I also fell in love with the children's rooms- the boy room had a safari mural painted on the walland featured a JEEP style bunk bed. The photos do not do it justice. The little girl room was also muraled and was highlighted by fairies and flowers with butterflies hanging from the ceiling.
It was a princess room for sure. Natalie and Charlotte would be right at home here. The kitchen and great room were perfect- Viking stainless appliances, tons of cabinets and a huge eat in nook with bench seating around the window that overlooks the boulders. Amazing. I loved that the entire home had automatic sunshades that adjust for sun and wind and they are controlled by a light switch- genius. This is my kind of abode.

I redeemed a generous gift certificate that I got for turning 40. The Elements massage studio was offering a Mother's Day promotion and I was savvy enough to reserve myself a spot. I relaxed and melted during my 80 minute hot stone massage. I swear it was like heaven. The whole time I kept thinking- all I need now is an unlimited resource of money- the rest is all ready perfect. All of my "problems" can be fixed with money, so they are not problems at all, right?

After Jeff's program we met up with our friend Elaine. We made our annual trek to Nordstrom Last Chance- the place where the things that did not sell at the Nordstrom Rack go to die. It is like a combination of Goodwill and a Consignment store since the merchandise is relatively designerish- but is either shop worn or not otherwise sale worthy at Nordstrom. I think this is where they put all the crap that people used and returned- but even so if you look long and hard enough there are some diamonds in the rough. I bought a few miscellaneous things for about $16 and got the hell outta there.

We dined at a cozy little Italian place on the way back to Elaine's house. The place was DEAD...dead as a doornail. We were the only customers except for a guy at the bar that looked like Tony Soprano.The food was delicious and we could not believe they weren't packed because they were offering a special- 2 entrees, 2 salads and a bottle of wine for $40. It should have been jamming in there but with the recession and the depressed financial economy in Phoenix, it was sadly all our own.

We lolly gagged the morning away at the resort before returning home- it was just enough time away from the kids for us to miss them terribly and vice versa. I shocked the shit out of myself when I checked my luggage to return home. Normally I push the 50 pound weight limit to the max and end up shuffling things between bags to meet the rules. I barely bought at thing on this trip and after I drank all the boot leg Propel I took in my checked baggage on the outbound flight, my suitcase only weighed 29 pounds. TWENTY NINE! This has never happened before. NEVER EVER. I was liberated by the lightness of my bag. I know that most of you probably pack the bare minimum but for me this is unbelievable.I even took a photo of the scale because I figured Jeff would be calling the Guinness Book of World Records.

Sure I could spent a few more days paying attention to myself but when I was greeted at the door upon returning home I realized there is nothing I could have done in Scottsdale that would make me feel as special as the resounding roar from 4 little people.

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