Monday, August 24, 2009

Girls Getaway, Day 3

On Sunday we got up--at whatever timed we wanted, I might add!--and after changing into our swim gear and cover ups, we moseyed down to our usual spot, Rita's Kitchen, for breakfast. Here's a look at the scenery we experienced during our walk.

210 - DSC04116

You literally could walk everywhere at the resort. It was so nice to park the car and just leave it! Rita's was where we had our free breakfasts and they had a huge variety of food. They had a made to order grill, where you could get omelets, pancakes, eggs, you name it. There was fresh fruit, pastries, yogurt and cereal, and ready made meats, potatoes and eggs. Yum-o. And during breakfast, there was always entertainment.

227 - DSC04122

After breakfast, we walked around a bit to try and document the beauty of the resort with our cameras.

221 - DSC04150

218 - DSC04158

134 - DSC04153

We also made our way to the other pool at the resort, where all the families were hanging out. After a quick walk through, we decided the adult only pool was the way to go!

136 - DSC04188

137 - DSC04191

We made our way back up the street towards the spa.

232 - DSC04240

We snagged three of the much sought after lounge chairs when we arrived. We proceeded to spend several hours in the sun. I had a few strawberry daiquiris and read probably half a book while lounging. Ahhh.... cool

Before I knew it, it was time to head into the spa for our final spa treatments of the trip. I was scheduled for the Adobe Clay Purification Treatment. This was definitely my first "body treatment" ever. Basically, you are completely naked except for the towels aptly placed over your privates. For my treatment, I was laying on this huge table/tub. I was covered in adobe clay and then wrapped in plastic wrap and covered with blankets. Then, the technician (I'm sure this isn't the proper term) massaged a wonderfully smelling lavender mint conditioner in my hair and left me to marinate for about 20 minutes. When she returned, she unwrapped me and turned on this huge bank of shower heads directly above me. There were probably 8-10 of them! She removed the clay with a loofah (my least favorite part...ouch!). For the final touch, she applied juniper sage oil, which had a very relaxing quality and smell.

I will certainly do another body treatment someday at a spa, but next time I'll be sure to pick one without a loofah'ing component. I'm sure it removed my dead skin, though!

As we were leaving the spa for the day, we snapped a picture of the pool. Ah, memories.

190 - DSC04260

I had an interesting time walking back, as I was slimy and slippery from the oils. I waited to take a shower until I absolutely had to, so the moisture could soak into my skin as much as possible. We decided to eat at the resort that evening, so there was no huge hurry to get to dinner. Once we were ready, we took a jaunt to Mummy Mountain, which was right past the spa.

235 - DSC04272

Mummy Mountain was a replica of a ghost town that they had created on the resort, complete with an outhouse, wagons, windmill and even tepee.

236 - DSC04275

243 - DSC04278

242 - DSC04286

239 - DSC04283

We even tried our hand at the camera timer to snap a picture of the three of us.

247 - DSC04297

It was dusk so it's lacking some light, but not too bad considering. After we departed the ghost town, we stopped at the bar for an appetizer and drink before dinner. Behold, my pear martini.

249 - DSC04303

This drink was so good that I actually noted down all the ingredients so I could make it when I returned home. If you're interested:

pear vodka
prickly pear syrup

Now the tricky part is the measurements. I haven't made it yet because I need to acquire some prickly pear syrup, but once I do (thank goodness for online shopping) I'll let you know how it turns out.

We had dinner at BLT Steak, and yes, you guessed it, I ordered steak...a sirloin to be exact. Coming from Missouri, I wasn't terribly impressed by the beef, plus they overcooked mine which is just a no no.

But our girly conversation made up for the mediocre meal. We couldn't believe how fast the time had gone - couldn't believe we had to pack up and leave the next morning. However, we were all convinced it was well worth the expense to get away from every day life for awhile--to relax, catch up and bond. I count my lucky stars to have such good girlfriends.

Hopefully this will soon become an annual escape. I know I'm already contemplating next year... Scottsdale will be hard to beat!

250 - DSC04304


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Girls Getaway, Day 2

Can we rewind one second to the mini golf excursion? I totally forgot about our photo booth experience. I'm not sure if I've ever posed inside one of these, but we had a blast...and got a good quad workout in the process from squatting down. Oh, and Lisa is the one in the front, who is half there and half not. smile

252 - Photo Strip

Okay, on to day two! We had reserved one of the cabanas at the spa pool for the entire day. What's a cabana? Well, let me show you...

191 - DSC04072

As you can see, we had our own little private area all to ourselves. And let me tell you, this was prime real estate as it was sometimes hard to find an open lounge chair around the spa pool! The cabana was half in the sun and half covered, so when you got hot you could sit in the shade to cool off. We had our own waitress for ordering food and drinks (oh yeah!) and we were provided water and fresh fruit for the taking.

192 - DSC04080

And the view out the back of our cabana was beautiful.

193 - DSC04074

We got some sun, snacked, read...I'm telling you, so relaxing! Don't we look like we're enjoying being lazy?

195 - DSC04082

We arrived at our cabana sometime late morning, so eventually we got hungry for lunch and perused the spa menu to see what they had to offer. I ordered some wonderful grilled shrimp and asparagus and we got a cheese plate to share.

196 - DSC04083

After lunch, we had another hour or two before our daily spa appointments were scheduled. We had all signed up for the Native Hot Stone Massage. It was my first hot stone massage ever and it was so relaxing. One funny thing, I actually had 3 or 4 red marks in the shape of rocks on my back when we returned to our room later. Apparently, this is normal for some people and they eventually went away later that evening. Kind of freaky when you first notice them, though! razz

At some point during the day, we took advantage of the hot tub inside the ladies spa locker room.

201 - DSC04093

There was a hot tub, steam room, showers and womens' lounge to take advantage of inside. We were sad to leave our cabana at the end of the day, but were so glad we had splurged to rent one. So worth it!

When we arrived back at our room from the spa, there was a mysterious package waiting for us. I was pretty confident it was from Lisa's husband - he's just the type that would do that sort of thing. Sure enough...

203 - DSC04102

He had ordered us chocolate covered strawberries from Sherri's Berries. How sweet of him! And the strawberries were sweet too. Yum!

Before we ruined our dinner plans and ate all the strawberries, we decided to get cleaned up and head out for another night on the town. We had asked our driver the previous night for a mexican restaurant recommendation and he recommended Los Olivos in Old Town Scottsdale.

205 - DSC04108

The food was delicious...and they had the biggest tortillas I have ever seen!

207 - DSC04105

After we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant--I was sooo full--we headed for the local movie theatre. We had collectively decided to see a chick flick, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

The movie, as I kind of expected, was predictable and slightly cheesy. However, you can't go wrong with Matthew McConaughey. He is a fine specimen to look at!

208 - DSC04115

Another day of our trip came to a close. I was definitely feeling my stress escape me the longer we were away - and I slept so well and got some much needed rest while I was there! Only one more full day was ahead of us...


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Girls Getaway

The idea for a girls getaway started way back in February, when I was talking to my friend Ang on the phone. She is happily married and has three beautiful children, however she hadn't taken a vacation on her own since the first little guy was born. She mentioned how wonderful it would be to get away from it all for a few days, and what better way than to plan a girls weekend with your college friends?

Ang recruited our friend Lisa and before we knew it we had our group of three - and we began brainstorming on possible getaway locations. We had a strict budget of no more than $1000/per person. The emails began quickly flying back and forth with lots of details and ideas. After about a month of research and conversations, we settled on the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona for our first girls getaway! It looked absolutely serene and we got an incredible deal by booking their Escape Spa Package. The package included:

* Spacious Resort Casita room (1 King or 2 doubles)
* Breakfast for two in Rita's Kitchen
* Daily admittance in our 27,000 square foot european health spa
(use of our fitness room, aerobic classes, sauna and lap pool)
* Choice of 2 spa services (up to 1 hour each) per night

Translated for three people, this meant that we each got two free spa services and one free breakfast. Super deal! For me, the planning and anticipation is a large part of the fun, so I was relishing in the preparation. However, before we knew it the time was upon us. And it couldn't have been better timing for me. Work was getting incredibly stressful and I couldn't WAIT to get away.

We all flew into Scottsdale early on Friday, May 1 and met in the airport. We were going to be in Arizona paradise for four days/three nights and were so excited. We had planned to do something "active" when we arrived in golf! smile But before showing off our putt putt skills, we had to grab a bite to eat at none other than Denny's. We were starving. (Does anyone else visit a Denny's almost everywhere they go, or is it just a weird Nate & Kelley inside joke??).

After filling our tummies, we made the trek to Castles & Coasters.

103 - DSC04019

I have to say, my mini golf skills were quite rusty. And even though it is just mini golf, my competitive nature always gets the best of me...and I get frustrated at myself for making stupid mistakes.

105 - DSC03988

We were all nipping on each others heels the whole time, battling it out to the finish.

107 - DSC04005

Ultimately, I was the winner. But only by ONE stroke. Whew...

116 - DSC04008

Once we finished our game (and I got my first dose of the AZ sun), we were on our way to the resort. We had Lisa's Garmin telling us the way and we arrived at the resort without incident. Well, we DID drive right by it, but that was just the first time. wink

When we pulled up to the resort, the first thing we saw was this:

120 - DSC04020

Yep, sure enough...that does say, "Where Time Stands Still." And boy, was that the truth. Heaven on earth. And the flowers, look at the flowers! I was thinking Arizona = desert = brown. Uh, hail to the groundskeepers!!

117 - DSC04128

119 - DSC04131

118 - DSC04132

After checking in, we were lead to our room by a nice man in a golf cart. Reminded me of Tahiti a bit (sniffle). Room #288 here we come...

142 - DSC04049

Since we really got such a fabulous deal, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when it came to the room. But this was a Marriott property, so I should've known I had nothing to worry about...

145 - DSC04027

151 - DSC04031

144 - DSC04035

We had two double beds, a shower, tub and double sinks, a little kitchenette with a sink and refrigerator, a huge flat screen TV, and a cute patio.

154 - DSC04039

After we got unpacked and settled, it was time for our first (free!) spa treatment.

181 - DSC04054

183 - DSC04053

I had signed up for the Camelback Signature Facial and it was wonderful. In fact, I was so relaxed during the service, I fell asleep! I'm sure it was a combination of being pampered and the lack of sleep I had been getting, but I came out of there feeling so refreshed and calm. And the fruity smelling products that were used on my face were lovely.

For our first evening in Scottsdale, we had decided to go out for dinner and then to a comedy show. After we got a lift into Old Town and after quite a bit of aimless wandering, we decided to eat at Metro. It was quite a treat, even though our waiter was a bit full of himself. Here's a picture of the beautiful shells that held my scallop ceveche. Yum!

157 - DSC04064

We all clean up pretty nice, don't we?

156 - DSC04061

After stuffing ourselves with some wonderful dessert confection, we huffed it to the comedy club. Thankfully, we had to burn at least a few calories walking there, right?

159 - DSC04067

Like most comedy clubs, it was definitely a hole in the wall. But they had cheap drinks, of which we partook in several. I have to say, it wasn't the best show I've seen, considering almost EVERY comedian that got up on stage was drooling over a table of distracting girls in the front row...please. rolleyes

We were wiped that night...I mean wiped. We had all had very long days, getting up early to get to the airport. But the first day in Scottsdale with my girls?
Just. about. perfect.

Stay tuned for days #2 and #3...



Books from my LibraryThing

  © Free Blogger Templates Photoblog III by 2008

Back to TOP