Early Bird Catches The Desert Sunrise
Our final day in Scottsdale was an early one for me. I booked a facial at Agave, The Arizona Spa at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. My appointment was at 8am…sunrise was around 7:30am, so I decided to try to venture out a little early to see if I could get a beautiful sunrise picture. I wasn’t positioned correctly from either the villas or the hotel to get the epic sunrise picture I so desperately wanted with the sun coming up behind the mountains…but I did get a couple of cool shots like the picture above and these two below.
The colors in the sky that morning were beautiful. This area really is pretty! For me, it’s an unconventional pretty…as you’re there you start to seek out the massive saguaro cactus…seriuosly, they are massive!
Cactus, mixed with palm trees, and mountains in the desert…it doesn’t even sound right trying to group all of those objects together…but add in some of THE MOST PERFECT weather, and somehow this beautiful hodge podge becomes soothing to your soul! I am convinced that there is absolutely no way that someone could visit this area and not leave relaxed and refreshed. Needless, to say…I’m a fan! And, I’ll be coming back!
As I stated earlier, I had an early facial on our last day in Scottsdale. Agave, The Arizona Spa did not disappoint! Y’all, this spa was beautiful! From the high end robes you are given to wear while you’re there, to the super posh and comfy lounge room…this spa was impressive! The staff was friendly and thorough. The hot tub in center of the locker room was gorgeous and inviting. There are wet and dry saunas, and the showers were roomy and spotless! This was a spa that definitely fostered relaxation!
For reference, I get a facial on almost every vacation that I go on. Massages are great, and I do love them, but I feel like you get a little more bang for your buck when you do a facial at a spa. Massages vary greatly depending on who you get as a masseuse. I’ve had some great ones, and I’ve had some not so great ones…and at the rate that you pay for a massage at a resort…it’s too much of a crap shoot for my taste. A facial on the other hand…even if your esthetician is not the best, it’s more about the products that they use on your skin…that just feels like it levels the playing field a bit. Plus, during most facials you get little mini massages in the “wait times” while the products work their magic on your skin. So for example, during my facial I received a hand massage and treatment, a foot massage and treatment, and a neck, shoulder, and scalp massage…it was AMAZING!!!! Almost felt like a 2 for 1. The price for an 80 minute massage was the same price as my 80 minute facial. That’s a win in my book. At any rate, my facial was really good…to keep in theme for the weekend, I chose the Wellness Facial. Honestly, I didn’t love the smells of some of the products, but I did love the way my skin looked and felt when my treatment was done!
Lazy Saturday Brunch
When my facial was finished, I went back to my room fully relaxed, face glowing, ready to tackle trying to repack my overstuffed suitcase. Being in a little zen-like state made a huge difference in trying to tackle that task…much easier than state of panic I was in when I packed the suitcase for the trip out! I hate packing!
Elizabeth and I packed our belongings, said goodbye to our beautiful home away from home for the last couple of days, and headed out to Old Town. We had reservations for brunch at a place called Olive and Ivy Ugh! This place was soooo cool!!!!
Olive and Ivy has the perfect weekend brunch patio and atmosphere! The patio overlooks the river. There were 20 somethings there celebrating birthdays, and snowbirds enjoying a late breakfast. #BestFriendGoals It was like one of those posh restaurants that any Real Housewife of _____________ (fill in the blank) would go to catch up, make up, or pick a fight with someone! For me, eating at a restaurant is just as much about the atmosphere and the service as it is the food. Think about the last time you went to your favorite restaurant but had terrible service…the food is the same…but your experience isn’t. At any rate, Olive and Ivy had great atmosphere, great service and incredible food to boot! Our waiter, Larsen, literally told us that he is not allowed to tell us NO to anything! It’s a food allergy and picky eater’s dream!! Larsen is pictured below…if you go make sure to ask for him…and tell him Girl You Tripping sent you! We had lots of fun with him!
Olive and Ivy is in a part of Scottsdale called Old Town. It’s literally old downtown Scottsdale, but it’s been revamped into a shopping and restaurant haven! The area is filled with shops full of local southwestern art and jewelry, and quaint little fashion boutiques. There are tons of great restaurants and watering holes. It’s totally walkable, but Elizabeth and I opted for bikes! The first ride is free…after that it’s only $1 an hour. The bikes were super easy to rent…just download the app and follow the instructions printed on the bike. It was super fun and a great way to get around Old Town!
Old Town has a couple of different areas to it…all with walking distance…it’s just divided up a little. The 5th Ave shopping district is literally the old downtown area…lots of southwestern art and jewelry shops dotted with the occasional super cute boutique. Then there is Scottsdale Riverfront…this is more of the restaurant and bar area. Lastly, just about a block away is Scottsdale Fashion Square. It’s your traditional high end shopping mall…complete with Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Burberry, etc..for a full list of store available at this mall click here. There is literally something for every kind of shopper in this area. Visiting Old Town is the kind of experience you can only have in Scottsdale…which made it one of our favorite stops on our trip. #BuyLocal
I want to leave you with this…Scottsdale is the type of place that you could visit over and over again and not have the same experience twice. It’s easy to navigate, it’s not overly congested with traffic…if you’re an outdoorsy person, this is a great place to visit…if you’re a shopper, this is a great place to visit…if you’re a golfer, this is a great place to visit…if you’re into spa treatments, this is a great place to visit…if you just want to hang out at the pool, this is a great place to visit! There truly is something for everyone here…including incredible weather in the winter!!!!
Are you a buy local kind of tourist? Or do you love to hit up highend retailers when they are in the area? I’d love to know!!!
Suggestions From Day 3
Agave The Arizona Spa at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa was AMAZING! One word for you…Relaxation! So good!!!
Best Patio Brunch in town goes to Olive and Ivy. The food is exceptional! Everything is made in house. The thing they are known for is their cinnamon rolls…don’t miss out on them! They were over the top good!!!! It’s just a great place to relax, have a slow meal, soak up the great weather,and spend time with your family or friends. Olive and Ivy is a DO NOT MiSS!
And for shopping that is quintessentially Scottsdale…visit Old Town. Window shop, ride a bike, or grab bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area…this is another DO NOT MISS kind of place!