Sunday morning was an early one with a 6:30 a.m. hike in the Phoenix Mountain Park to the top of Pietewa Peak (this was much needed after the dessert last night). Our fearless hike leader Scott pointed out the flora and fauna we hiked through, such as saguaro, prickly pear, barrel and jumping cholla cactuses (which is also called teddy-bear cholla, Scott explained, as he stuck it in his arm and asked if we wanted to try to do the same. After my luck walking away from the alligator wrestling, I opted out of the cactus taming). We also saw many trees native to Arizona, such as palo verde (green stick), creosote and mesquite.
After our invigorating hike (and near death car accident…thanks Scott), we headed over to the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa (http://www.kierlandresort.com/) for “Bubbles & Brunch” in the resort’s Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Café. Named for “The Angel of the Mining Camp” and Arizona’s oldest woman, Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Café offers casual dining with an emphasis on locally-grown produce and indigenous recipes along with Chef Jason Christie’s Southwestern-Mediterranean flair. Patty and I were the first to find the cocktail cart, and were completely impressed that the Westin was one of the first golf courses in the world to offer Segways versus golf carts.
We traveled to the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort (www.fairmont.com/scottsdale) for spa treatments, accommodations and a wonderful dinner at LV Bistro. The Fairmont is absolutely magnificent with its McDowell Mountains backdrop, Southwest setting, Spanish-colonial style architecture, 44,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa, five heated swimming pools, Bourbon Steak (by Chef Michael Mina), Stone Rose Lounge (presented by nightlife entrepreneurs Rande Gerber and Scott Gerber) and their newest dining options, LV Bistro. I was thrilled to arrive at Willow Stream Spa for my 90-minute Jet Lag Massage. What a wonderful treatment! I did not want to leave the spa.
After my treatment I met my good friend Tatiana (who lives in Phoenix) for drinks poolside to people watch during the Stone Rose Lounge’s Sunday Pool Party. Tatiana joined us for my Girls Getaway to Montana, and we have stayed in touch ever since July. After catching up, I headed back to my room to freshen up for dinner at LV Bistro, which provides only the freshest local organic produce, all-natural meats, sustainable seafood and organic cocktails.
Upon arriving at LV Bistro, I had a difficult time deciding between two of their infused vodkas: the Tomato & Basil or the Cucumber & Pomegranate. I finally decided to try the Tomato & Basil, which was phenomenal. We all liked it so much that most everyone ordered that for their second drink. Here’s to trying new things!!! The food was delicious. Upon Valerie’s recommendation, I ordered the All Natural Braised Beef Short Ribs. Although I was hesitant to try them (mainly due to the mess I knew I’d make), the meat just fell off the bone and was every bit as good as she promised. Dessert was sweet and entertaining as the chef created mini desserts in shot-sized glasses, which contained favorites such as chocolate mousse, carrot cake and chocolate peanut butter.