I’m back from my amazing adventure in Arizona! I mentioned my love for the desert here before and that I would be venturing out there early fall for a time out and a scout around to look for a winter property. I don’t usually like to announce to the universe that I’m on vacation, but I’m always happy to share my adventures upon returning.
I chose the title for this post, Hello, I Must Be Going, a title used on one of Phil Collins’ old album covers because it describes how I feel about returning home from a most amazing place—Hello I’m home, but I must get back soon to Arizona.
I always felt that “I’m home” feeling when I’d land in Las Vegas, but this was different. Something I can’t actually put into words touched my soul as I stepped into Phoenix Harbor airport and it never left me. Even as I boarded the plane to come home to Toronto, I felt as though I left my heart in Arizona (not San Francisco). I’ve been to many states in the U.S. and to many other parts of the world, but I can say with certainty, that the people of Phoenix, particularly Scottsdale, are among the friendliest people I’ve met. It didn’t matter whether they were waiters, hotel staff, gas station attendants or otherwise; happiness was everywhere.
The sun was hot, 109 degrees and no matter which direction I looked out, the scenery was breathtaking. What’s not to be happy about? Heck even the TSA security guards were joking and friendly at the airport, definitely something I never feel in my home airport. I talked to everyone I met, taking in their happiness and hopefully spreading my own joy along the way. We made some wonderful new friends, which makes it all the more fun to go back there and spend more time with them. I am sending a special shout-out to Larry and Lois in Scottsdale. I miss you guys!
We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Princess Scottsdale hotel. I can’t recall ever loving a hotel and staff so much anywhere as I did at the Fairmont. Besides the gorgeous scenery on the grounds with its 64 acres property, the staff were impeccable, kind, friendly, obliging, fascinating, and any one of them would go out of their way to accommodate our every whim. If I tell you that those bellmen and car jockeys are unbelievably accommodating and felt like family, that would be an understatement.
Special thanks to my new friend Jerrod who always had our car awaiting us! These guys are outside all day in the sweltering desert heat running back and forth valeting cars. They are never without a smile or humor.
Is Scottsdale where all the friendly people live? Is it why they dub Phoenix Harbor airport the friendliest airport in America? The scenery only intensified the beauty of the city. I can’t even recall how many times a day I’d just stand in awe and repeat the word “beautiful” when I’d take in the views around me. The scenic desert with its wide roads and palm trees and low rise buildings and marley roofs and the cactus-lined shoulders of the roads don’t let you forget you are in a vast desert.
We rented a car from the airport and that was the smartest thing we did. Because of the lay of the land it would have made it difficult to walk to all the places we wanted to see or it could have cost a fortune in cabs. You need wheels in the desert and a half-decent car with powerful air conditioning.
We loved going down to Old Scottsdale where it was once the Old West decades ago. Many stores still try to represent those olden days of cowboy and Indian locales.
You can still find a few saloons there as well. It was down there that I purchased my first cowgirl hat(s), and yes, they came fully adorned with bling!
The hub treated himself to an authentic pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots, and we found numerous other souvenirs and artifacts to bring back home.
Oh and, we had to purchase another suitcase to get all of our things home. Route 66 no doubt! Yes a lot of Route 66 souvenirs to purchase were available there. My husband chose a suitcase with Route 66 signposts splattered all over it. No doubt it was easy to spot coming off the luggage rack at Toronto airport!
On day four, we decided to leave our beautiful suite at the Fairmont and journey up to the magical, mystical land of Sedona. It was a two hour drive, north of Scottsdale. A mere hour or so just south of the Grand Canyon. Sedona is the land of the red rock mountains and the powerful energies of the four vortexes (more about these in my next post) within the town.
I think of it as a slice of heaven.
Don’t even get me started on how ridiculously stunning the views are in Sedona and along the 179 North highway driving to Sedona. But I am going to save some of that for my post next week. Stay tuned for part two.
Have you ever been to this gorgeous part of the world?