Oh man, these past few days have been super cray. If you've been following me via instastories, you already know that I was in Phoenix, AZ with two of my blogger besties, La Belle Mel and Queen Horsfall. I've been flooding my IG with content from my trip, but I'll be recapping everything for you guys in more detail today + the next post!
Now, let's start at the very beginning. I left for the airport around 11 to catch my flight but skipped lunch because I was in a rush. Luckily, the line for security was short so I was able to get something there. BWI's pretty big so there were a lot of options, but I decided to go with Pinkberry because their froyo's pretty much the best thing ever. I usually get plain with no toppings but went with pomegranate, mochi, and mango bubbles this time around.
The flight was long but it went by quickly because I slept for the majority of it. When I landed, I quickly gathered my luggage and headed to Hotel Valley Ho. When I got there, Diana was already settled! I've known her for quite a while (we've been instafriends for years now) so I was pumped to finally hang in person.
Our suite was SUPER cute, and I can honestly say that Hotel Valley Ho was one of the best hotels I've ever stayed at! With a giant kitchen, living room area, two showers + bathrooms, walk-in closet, ginormous deck, and washer + dryer, it felt more like a fancy schmancy condo than hotel. The decor was SO on point, too. There was beautiful artwork everywhere, and it was SO clean that you could literally eat off the floors. A huge thanks to them for hosting me and my frands! They even gave us adorable gift bags + a nomtastic fruit platter to make us feel extra welcome.
After unpacking, Diana and I decided to get dinner because we were hangry - Mel was getting in late so she told us not to wait! We were seated quickly and started our meal off with fresh squeezed orange juice + piping hot bread.
We didn't know what to get, but the waitress was super helpful and gave us some awesome recommendations. We started with the roasted tomato + goat cheese casserole ($13). Baked in an iron pot with spinach, red peppers, tomato, and goat cheese, this yum dish came with grilled noble bread. For my main dish, I decided to go with the Filet Mignon ($34). It was cooked to perfection and came with mashed potatoes, crisp brussels sprouts and yuzu hollandaise. So much yas - the meat legit melted in my mouth!
What meal would be complete without dessert? To finish things off, we got a chocolate mousse to share between the two of us. It came with cookie crumbles and a sorbet of some sort (I think it may have been cherry but don't quote me on that). Whatever, the important thing is that it was delish! A solid meal from start to finish.
After dinner, we headed back to our room for R&R! I felt fat from my meal so I squeezed in a quick workout before prepping outfits for the next day. I completed "Cardio Challenge" from Insanity Max 30 and then called it a day because I had to get up at 3:30 the next morning to get my hot air balloon on.
Fast forward 4 hours later...
We met our guide from Hot Air Expeditions outside at around 4:30 and drove down to the Sonoran Desert together to catch the sunrise! I have a crippling fear of heights so I was afraid I'd freak the eff out, but I actually did pretty well. The whole experience was super chill - the ride was extremely smooth, and I got killer views of the desert terrain and mountain ranges which was all kinds of awesome.
We were only supposed to be there for an hour, but we ended up staying for 2+ hours. Our balloon landed somewhere totally random so the flight crew had to fish us out, ha - definitely an unforgettable experience on various different levels. Afterwards, we had a lovely catered breakfast with fresh juice, champagne (I made a mimosa with mine), a veggie quiche, babybel cheese, and a croissant.
We needed to be at Hotel Valley Ho by 10:15 to depart for our tour at Taliesin West, but we were running super late so we ended up missing it. Luckily, the kind peeps there were able to squeeze us in for a short 30-minute tour so we still got to see everything. Before leaving for TW, the girls and I quickly changed because it was getting really hot. I threw on a cute summer dress from Charlotte Russe + comfy sneakers because I didn't want to walk in heels.
Touring Taliesin West was so much fun - I'm so glad we got to go! Built by Frank Lloyd Wright and his students in the 1930s, it was expanded and modified until his death in 1959. They built the estate out of the desert, gathering rocks and sand from the washes to keep everything in balance with the surrounding environment. The site was one of Wright's greatest masterpieces, and it served as his personal home, studio and workspace. In the photo below, I'm sitting in one of his famous origami chairs located in the Garden Room. He hosted fabulous get-togethers there so his students could practice sharpening their communication skills for future dealings with clients. He was also a fairly accomplished pianist so he enjoyed reading chamber works with his apprentices.
Anywho, after our tour, we went to Farm & Craft in Scottsdale to grab lunch. The food was ah-maaaa-zing! I ordered their Tocoa Steak Bowl ($15), and it came with grass-fed steak, organic farro, fresh corn, baby heirloom tomato, sweet potato, black beans, caramelized onions, cilantro vegan slaw, and avocado. For my drank, I got a fresh pressed juice called Carrot Cleanse - made of carrot, orange, turmeric, lemon & ginger. So much deliciousness for realz guys. In fact, I'm STILL drooling from the thought of this magical bowl. Who knew healthy food could taste so good?
After lunch, we spent a good hour or two exploring Old Town Scottsdale with the girls. We hit up Saba's Western Wear to check out their cowboy boots, Fashion by Robert Black to browse their vintage garb, and a cute souvenir shop to purchase gifts for frands and family back home. Afterwards, we went to Aridus Wine Company to sample a bunch of their wines! Their Rosé and Syrah were to die for delish. Then we headed back to Valley Ho to get ready for Happy Hour at Zuzu + dinner at Mountain Shadows.
We all decided to get cocktails! Mel doesn't drink so she got a virgin piña colada, but Diana and I got Hibina Coladas with donQ coconut rum, sweetened milk, pineapple and hibiscus triple sec - definitely one of the best drinks I've ever had. While sipping dranks, we met 3 new bloggers - the beautiful Sarah & Lindsey from Compass + Twine and the gorgeous Shaheen from Lows to Luxe - and got our chill on before heading to dinner.
Andddd oh my gosh, dinner at Mountain Shadow was crazy good. We started the night off by touring the resort and enjoying the killer view of Camelback Mountain. The weather beautiful so we decided to grab a table outside. I ordered yet another fab drink to sip - the Cherry Bomb, made with effen black cherry vodka white port, lime juice, activated charcoal, and egg white - on while browsing the dinner menu.
Everything looked ridiculously yum so I had a hard time deciding on noms, but I eventually went with the heirloom tomato salad (fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, smoked maldon salt, and aged balsamic vinegar), Moroccan spiced rack of lamb, and charred young broccoli. Everything was uber delish....but I was SO exhausted that I almost fell asleep at the table. We were all pretty tired + stuffed so we skipped dessert and headed back!
Mel wanted to work out, but I was dealing with a migraine all day so I decided to get some shut eye! Anywhoooo, that's it for today! I hope you guys had fun reading about my adventure. I'll be blasting part 2 soon so make sure you all keep an eye out.