When Dave took a new position and had work trips scheduled, Jess didn't waste any time trying to figure out if there was a way she could tag along.  We were successful in landing ourselves in Scottsdale for a few days... Dave for work and Jessica for some serious R&R.

We flew out EARLY on Monday morning (following Kentucky Derby weekend... which we always throw a big party for) for Dave to get there in time for registration and a welcome reception.

We had a layover in O'Hare so Dave found himself eating a Chicago hotdog at 8:30 in the morning.  Hey, who doesn't love a hotdog for breakfast?  Meanwhile Jess enjoyed...

We really enjoy local food when we travel.  So yes, Dave insisted on a hotdog for breakfast and didn't think a single thing was wrong with it... because that's when we happened to be in Chicago!

Dave's conference was held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. It's a gorgeous resort with all kinds of lagoons, fountains, fire pits, colorful desert plants and expansive green spaces.  We were really looking forward to visiting the resort, and from the moment we arrived it did not disappoint. 

This mural was worked on each day while we were there with a little note that shared, "preparing for the best summer, ever!"  It was really neat watching it come to life a little more everyday... 

See what we mean?  Having the opportunity to witness live art is always so special.

7575 E Princess Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-4848

The Fairmot Scottsdale Princess is what dreams are made of, people!  Literally, everything was absolutely beautiful and not a single detail went unnoticed.  Plus, the service was wonderful.  

The resort is self contained and you wouldn't need to leave the property unless you wanted to.  They even have a few boutiques and a great community market shop at the spa.  There were signs everywhere around the property so you always knew which direction you need to head. 

We arrived around noon and to our surprise, our room was ready.  We checked in and grabbed a ride to our room to drop off our luggage.  Somehow we lucked out and were given a larger room in the Fairmont Gold area of the resort which is a little off the beaten path.  It was glorious, glorious! 

Next, we headed to Ironwood American Kitchen right there on property for lunch.

Dave enjoyed the quinoa lettuce wrap while Jess had a not so superior salad.  Caesar is Jess's salad of choice, so when you order one with a $17 price tag and don't think it's great... disappointing.

Dave headed to register for the conference and then had a couple of hours before the welcome event that evening.  We explored the property and then stopped by our room to grab stuff for the pool.  It's typically pretty hot in Arizona in May, but they were experiencing even higher than usual temperatures during our visit.

It worked out perfectly the adult pool happened to be the closest to our room.  We love kids, but at a place like this there is something nice about peace and quiet by a pool.  If you're bringing littles along don't worry, there are a more pools on property and one designated especially for the them!

When it's 105 degrees outside you need to stay hydrated.
And, a refreshing drink by the pool isn't a bad way to do it.

We lasted just over an hour.  It was the heat of the day and the sun in Arizona is NO JOKE.  There was sunscreen (and aloe) available at all of the pools.  Jess likes to use a minimum of 50 SPF and with sensitive skin we always take our own when traveling, but it was still a nice touch.  If you're visiting a place like this, apply and then reapply... and then apply again!

Dave kicked off the evening at the welcome reception for all conference goers while Jess got a head start on a little R&R.  Sipping on tea while reading a book in an absolutely beautiful setting in the peace and quiet was a great way to kick things off.  Our time here had just started and Jess knew she was in for a treat the next couple of days.

When the reception ended, Jess met Dave at an onsite restaurant for dinner.  La Hacienda has delicious modern Mexican cuisine complemented by an unmatched tequila bar.  We were told by friends who had previously stayed at the Fairmont Princess that the restaurants onsite really were wonderful, in fact so wonderful they had even eaten at one twice when they visited. 

They're similar to us when it comes to food so if they ate somewhere twice on vacation you know it was good, like really good.  Per recommendation, we ordered a couple of margaritas to share (so we could try more than one).  We had the El Pina Diablo and The Agave... both were yummy!

For food we ordered chips and salsa (so good and a little spicy) to enjoy first.  Jess could live off chips and salsa.  Anyone else?  They had five different selections of guacamole that also looked delicious, but Jess is extremely allergic to avocados (yes, really!) and Dave already had some snacks at the welcome reception and wasn't hungry enough to order it for himself.

We decided on a couple of things to share, lobster tacos and carne asada gringas.  We love getting smaller plates of different things when we eat out, especially traveling.  It allows us to try more.  They were great selections and variety.  If we had to choose one, two words: lobster tacos!

The next morning Dave was up early for the conference breakfast and Jess also started the day early with some reading while enjoying her coffee to gear up for a relaxing day.  We love our coffee!

The past six months (really more like nine) had been pretty hard on us with Dave's mom's declining health and her sudden passing following a harsh diagnosis.  Nothing about it was easy.  We had found some good days again, but we also shared really hard ones together.  Dave suggested on this little getaway (for Jess), that she focus on herself and allow the majority of time for pampering.

Most people would immediately think "spa" but, in true Jess fashion she picked out an aerial hammock yoga class before setting her sights on the spa.  And yes, he really is THAT wonderful.

You guys, the class was awesome!  But, be warned!  If you get motion sickness in the slightest (Jess gets it bad), this class is NOT for you.  Yeah... that happened.

Other than that minor major detail, it was really great.  Towards the end of the class, you lay in your hammock and the instructor asks if you would like to be still or swing.  Hello, was she serious?  "STILL!  Please just let me be still and forget that I have been hanging upside down."  For the record, we now know and as much fun as it was, no more aerial yoga is in store for this girl.

Jess headed to the spa pool after class to grab lunch.  They advise not eating much before taking aerial yoga, which now makes a lot of sense.  The salad looked fantastic, the breeze was refreshing and the view was stunning but she just couldn't stomach the $18 cobb salad. #whatawaste

Before long Jess found herself going to Provisions, which serves as the "convenient" shop at the Fairmont... in addition to serving Starbucks (a VERY important detail!).  After purchasing some medicine, drinking a little carbonation, eating a salty snack and hanging out in the air conditioned room she was feeling back to normal... after only a couple of hours.

Thank goodness because we had a couples massage scheduled for 5:15 later that day!  Jess headed back to the spa a little earlier (when you have a service scheduled that day, you get to use all of the spa amenities... and we did NOT want to miss out on that!) and left a bag for Dave at the front desk.  He wrapped up his day at the conference and headed straight for the spa.

We were both looking forward to the massages, as we don't treat ourselves to things like this often.  Well & Being the spa and wellness facility was beautiful and everything was first class.  

In addition to fitness facilities and several services, the spa offered a number of other amenities to choose from along with a private rooftop (adults only) pool.  It had everything from a wet steam room, eucalyptus inhalation room, swedish dry sauna, cold plunge pool, hot therapeutic whirlpool and swiss showers to a grotto waterfall which we (especially Dave) really enjoyed. 

The massages were fantastic!  We had the Journey Massage and added on a scalp and facial massage for each.  Spas are certainly not cheap, but we are realizing more and more how important it is to do these things for us every now and then.  Maybe we're getting older and wiser?

We were meeting some of Dave's colleagues for dinner off property that night in Old Town Scottsdale and since we were on a tight schedule, we got ready at the spa and then dropped our bags off with guest services for them to store while we were away.

Our reservations were for 7:30 PM (it was supposed to be 8 PM, which would have given us more time at the spa... but that's another story!) at Cowboy Ciao.  We received raving recommendations from friends about this restaurant and it did not disappoint.

Jess had the condiment crusted filet mignon and Dave had the seared sea scallops with truffled mac n' cheese... YUM!  Dave's selections were definitely the rock stars of the night (best scallops ever!) while Jess's filet was way overdone.  We did not indulge in dessert, even though they are listed at the top of the menu... we love a restaurant like that!  

After dinner, we decided we'd stay in Old Town for a little while and headed to Boondocks Patio and Grill where a private reception was being hosted for people attending the conference.

Before long we were ready to get back to the Fairmont and tuck ourselves into bed.  It had been a long day and both of our hearts were heavy as we had received hard news from some of our dearest friends.  If there's one thing that helps on restless nights, it's a big comfy hotel bed.

Day two had the same things in store for us as day one...
Jess: SPA
Sounds like a fair deal, right?  

Don't feel sorry for him!  He was actually having a blast at the conference and loved getting to enjoy all kinds of fun food breaks like this... not exactly roughing it by any means.

Jess was living her best life, and could certainly get used to the spa being more of a regular thing.  She had a deep cleansing facial scheduled for 11:15 AM and enjoyed a quiet morning at the spa pool with a book (a real book) and her morning coffee.  Peaceful is an understatement.

This was Jess's first facial experience, and certainly won't be her last.  She took home a couple of products to mix in with her usual routine plus a handful of skin care secrets.  Good skincare is certainly an investment, but it's an investment in yourself which makes it well worth it!

Jess left the spa for a quick lunch at Toro which is part of the Fairmont property, but you have to take a shuttle to get to.  She enjoyed the barbacoa short rib tacos with a view!  After lunch, Jess hopped over to do a little shopping because what getaway is complete without that, right?

This was the last day of sessions for Dave, so the afternoon wrapped up a little earlier and we were able to enjoy time together at the pool.  We met at the Princess Pool, which is centralized on property.

It was at that very moment we were wishing we had a few more days of hanging out by the pool instead of a 4 AM wake up call to head to the airport in the morning.  We will both tell you that even though Dave was working the majority of the time were were traveling, it was still nice to have the opportunity to visit Scottsdale... and Jess was certainly thankful to be able to tag along.

There was a closing party that night and let us tell you... Simpleview throws a heck of a party!  Jess let Dave get a head start to the party while she enjoyed more precious time at the spa.  

Told ya, we can't let that go to waste.  It worked out great and the spa was pretty much empty that time of day which was really nice, especially for being a popular spa that stays pretty crowded.  Meanwhile, Dave was also living his best life and beating people in carnival games at the party.

It was such a fun way to wrap up a conference.  Jess met up with Dave as things wrapped up and from someone who plans events, she was blown away.  From the elaborate photo booth to the DJ to the setup to a full out carnival AND a ferris wheel... this was a party, and a really cool one.

Did we mention fireworks?  Yeah, they had those too...
and they were perfectly timed with Katy Perry's Firework.  It was unbelievable!

Jess still hadn't eaten so we stopped by the The Plaza Bar on the way back to our room for her to grab something and for Dave to do some more socializing.  The Plaza Bar area is really unique and offers all kinds of neat places for people to gather throughout the day, but especially in the evening.

We got back to the room, packed things up and wished we didn't have to leave the next morning.  After running through O'Hare (and grabbing deep dish from Pizzeria UNO AND another hotdog for Dave), we were on our second flight and expected to make it home on time for Jess's work event that evening.

Unfortunately, we had to be those people and eat our pizza on the plane.  We hadn't eaten all day and wanted to take every advantage of being in Chicago... even if it was just a 45 minute layover.  Hey, we like to make the most of things!

We had the best time in Scottsdale!  Even though most of Dave's time was spent working, it was still so enjoyable.  Just an hour squeezed in by the pool beats a full day in the office.  We'd like to travel back to the area to do some more exploring, and hit up some of the surrounding National Parks. 

Jess had hopes of doing a little hiking while we were there, but it was suggested that she not go hiking by herself in Arizona.  Okay she probably shouldn't go hiking anywhere by herself, but apparently the snakes are scary.  So, she settled on the spa... which didn't turn out to be so bad.

We can see why people fall in love with Scottsdale.  We visited in the heat of summer and can only imagine how nice it would be there during the winter months.  We hope to venture back that direction some day... maybe a weekend in February for Jess's birthday to visit the spa?
Pack a hat!  Even when you apply (and reapply) sunscreen, it isn't a bad idea to have a hat with you especially if you'll be spending time outside by the pool or on a golf course.

If you want to have dinner at a specific place on property, especially at a specific (peak) time we would suggest making a reservation.

Take full advantage of the spa amenities if you book a service.  You can go early or stay late!

Drink plenty of water.  There is a lot of dry heat in Arizona so continually drink water during your stay.  There are lots of water stations set up around the property with fresh fruit so drink up!

If you are wanting to visit and there is availability to stay during a conference, you pretty much have the place to yourself during the days.  At least this was true during Dave's conference which included breakfast and lunch meals in addition to evening activities all but one night. 

No comments