Many people asked why we went to Arizona in the summer, with temperatures in the high 30s/low 40s (Celcius). And the main reason why I decided was due to the accommodation deal.
Friday 1 July – Travel day
We had a 4:30pm American Airlines flight from JFK and arrived just in time for boarding.
We were so hurried to get to the airport that we didn’t realize a “Tornado Watch” had been announced and that many flights had been delayed or cancelled out of JFK.
(Note: we decided to take the train to the airport because a) I don’t really like cabs b) there’s no ‘traffic’ to worry about, c) it’s waaaaay cheaper ($7.75 train vs $57-65 cab)
We only found out about the “Tornado Watch” after we had sat on the plane, on the tarmac, two hours in.
According to the USA Department of Transport law, airlines must allow passengers to de-plane after three hours on the tarmac. I also found out that the airlines are to serve food and water after two hours on the tarmac.
We de-planed around 7:30pm and were told to wait in the airport – AA didn’t have any updates for us… until approx. 9:30pm. We finally boarded the plane and took off at around 10:30pm, and arrived in Phoenix, Arizona approx. 3:30-4am – New York time.
We arrived at our resort approx. 1:30-2am – Phoenix time, where we both showered and passed out on the bed.
Saturday 2 July – Shopping & Eating
Surprisingly, Gambit was up and about around 8am. The first thing he asked was whether I still wanted to go to the Premium Outlets. It’s pretty awesome to have a husband who enjoys shopping. I don’t have to kick and scream, or bribe to get him to go.
We spent about four hours milling around a relatively small outlet. Phoenix Premium Outlets is smaller than Woodbury Common in New York but we managed to blow a little cash at the ‘usual suspect’ stores; Kate Spade, Banana Republic, Gap, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Saks Off Fifth.
I bought three pieces of Kate Spade because they were having a 60% OFF with an additional 20%.
- A new ‘travel’ handbag that has two zip compartments – perfect for my iPad mini & Surface Pro when I travel.
- A new ‘card holder’ – I have always been jealous of Gamit’s card holder that he uses daily, and now I have a cute girly one.
- A new ‘wristlet’ – for those times I usually carry my purse around without a handbag. It fits my mobile phone which is awesome.
All three pieces came to less than $200.
I also bought four dresses from Banana Republic at under $18 each (usually $60+ each) which I will wear for the rest of summer.
Gambit bought some casual shirts, dress shirts, some gym gear, a pair of Ray Bans, and shorts.
We arrived back to the resort and watched the Germany v Italy game at the pool bar while eating $3 tacos.
Later that evening, we went to Frank & Lupe’s Mexican for dinner. This came as a recommendation from one of our Lyft drivers and I must say, it was not what I wanted. I wanted ‘authentic’ Mexican and this place was more Tex Mex. Still delicious though.
Old Town Scottsdale is a small tourist area – there are a few stores which you can buy souvenir type things from, and many places to eat and drink.
The Sugar Bowl is really charming. It is very vintage like with old school décor, faded signage, with a gaming arcade attached. And the prices… are… so…. good. When the menu came out, it reminded me of the Serendipity menus – huge laminated pieces of card with huge lists of dessert options. But unlike the prices at Serendipity, Sugar Bowl are just a fraction of the price. On this night I had the Creamed Walnut Fudge Sundae, and Gambit had the Buster Brownie.
After dinner and dessert, we headed out for some local fun.
The Rusty Spur Saloon.. what can I say… well firstly, there was a cup with a sign that said “Tipping is not a city in China” and as soon as we left they sang a song that mentioned Chinese in it. Another word that pops to mind is red-neck.
After I berated Gambit for his crappy choice, we headed to the Entertainment District, which we imagined would be more like the Darling Harbour area in Sydney. We stopped at the Second Story Liquor Bar for a quick drink first.
We arrived at the Entertainment District approx. 10pm and walked around to all the different bars before I decided to head into the Bottled Blonde because it was playing music I liked – and was the busiest bar at the time.
We stood around having a drink, watching the crowd build up before we left at 10:30pm.
Yes. We were the life at the club. Bars die for patrons like us – the ones that order a beer, a soda water, and stand around for 30 mins.
Sunday 3 July – Lounging & Eating
Being in Phoenix made me do strange things. For example, I lounged around the pool area for around four hours. For all those that know me – four hours is a long time as I am scared of the sun. However, I find the dry heat bearable and wonderful.
For dinner, we went to Diego Pops and had a mountain amount of Mexican food. The appetizers were half off so we ordered the guacamole, corn queso, and Brussels sprouts nachos.
For our main, we ordered various tacos: adobe BBQ chicken + braised pineapple pork + grilled shrimp + crispy code.
We then headed back to the Sugar Bowl for dessert. This time I had the apple pie with vanilla ice-cream.
[Note: before dinner I stopped into The Great Australian Bakery because we walked past it the night before but it was closed. I bought a chunky beef pie and the guy threw in a small sausage roll. The pie was better than the sausage roll.]
Monday 4 July – 4th of Zoo-ly
We didn’t do much in the morning before going to the Phoenix Zoo for the 4th of Zooly event.
The event was from 7pm-10pm and it included an American BBQ (hamburgers, hot dogs, choc chip cookies). After dinner we were taken to an area on the zoo grounds which provided us a spectacular view of the Tempe Fireworks.
The event cost $45 and I thought it was great as it was organized – the only thing missing was for us to have a little kid since it was such a family-orientated event.
Tuesday 5 July – Bye Bye Arizona
We had a noon flight back to New York and we arrived home just after 10pm.
I was sad to leave Arizona.
Overall, the mini-holiday was awesome. I felt super relaxed and found the area was very tourist-friendly.
I absolutely loved the random, huge cactuses all over the place.
Accommodation: we stayed at the Omni Scottsdale Resort – which we got at a great price because summer is their off season. For less than $120 a night, including the $25 resort fee, I found out it was about 1/3 of what the standard price is. The resort had 3 pools – we were around the Kasbah pool most of the time. The rooms are massive and the bathrooms were 2/3 of the size of the bed area.
Mexican food: although the places we went to were good, Gambit and I both agree that we are super grateful to have better Mexican a block away from our apartment. Nothing beats the tacos at El Centro.