Scottsdale/Phoenix is a great place to visit for a short holiday (unless you are a golfer and then you probably won’t want to leave). Jim’s company decided to go here for a 4 day business meeting. I decided to tag along but add in 3 more days :). We stayed in Scottsdale Old Town this time, at the Hilton Garden Inn Old Town, which turned out to be ideal, we could walk to some amazing restaurants like Olive & Ivy, the Mission, Tommy Vs and Franko’s Italian. The food was top notch and the nice thing we could even walk home after.
There are 365 days in Scottsdale and I would bet 365 of them are perfect (maybe a little hot in July and August) but at this time of year, it was shorts during the day and a light sweater at night. They also have golf carts whipping all around town, for $3 to $5 / person they would take you wherever you wanted to go. For the first time I also saw Lyft Scooters, these were dropped off on every corner and you just tapped your visa and off you went, when you got to where you were going you just tapped off and left it there (no we didn’t use them, foot power was the mantra for this holiday).
Our first day we decided to climb Camelback Mountain, how hard could it be, well it was hard. The first 1/3 was easy peasy other than the kids running up and down, like seriously, it was too hot to stand. I gather if you get there at 8 in the morning the temperature is better, but you have to line up to go up and down. After the 1/3 mark we ran into railings going straight up with big cuts in the rock to use as stairs. This lovely young man had just come down so I asked him if it was worth it, he looked at Jim and I and said maybe try this bit, and just up and around the corner is a nice view but you won’t make the top.
OK off we go for a nice view. Jim got to the top of the first level, I made it about 2/3rds. Grab the rail, brace your leg and pull. If you could get the rail otherwise you were doing the same thing on the fence. I look over the side and see that there is another whole section likes this before we get to the viewing area. JIM, forget it, I might make it up but my arms will be shaking so hard I won’t be able to get down LOL. Jim was more than glad to join me. I can go back in time and look at the beautiful pictures I took the last time in Phoenix when we had a drink at a restaurant called a Different Pointe of View on top of the mountain with great views especially at sunset. The next day our thigh muscles weren’t happy with us.
The next day we head down to Papago Park, famous for it’s hole in the wall. 850 feet up with brilliant sunsets. We made the mistake of going at High Noon, there was already a crowd in the hole. We looked at it and I said not today, not at this time and not with that many people. LOL I had a lot of NOTS. As I’m watching people basically crawl into the hole on all 4’s, I’m thinking again of the number of beautiful places to get sunset pictures where I don’t have to climb a mountain (maybe more of a butte than a mountain) either way I was saving myself for Sedona. The park itself was beautiful with lots of trails, a zoo and a botanical garden. We walked up to Hunt’s tomb (a pyramid) for one of the founding father’s of Arizona. After our hike we were off to the beautiful little town of Tempe, home to the University of Arizona and the beautiful Salt River. The river walk was beautiful and there were paddleboats, paddleboards, etc that you could rent. Beautiful bridges crisscross the river, from the old train trestle bridges to the modern highway bridges with the Arizona Sun emblazoned on the pillars. The city itself was quite lovely, we found a great little pub for lunch. A ton of building going on with lots of glass, the reflections in the glass were amazing. At first when we walked by this one building, we thought they had painted the “A Butte” on it, but it was actually a perfect reflection.
A great busy time with lots of good food, good wine and fresh air. Tomorrow we are off to Sedona.