What an incredible couple days of family and fun this was!! I left completely exhausted, but the best kind of way. Only to be followed by the worst kind of exhaustion--strep throat. Needless to say, this post is long overdue but I had such an amazing time I couldn't not share. The entire side of my dad's family lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. At 6 weeks old I took my first flight there and have regularly visited ever since. In fact, my grandparent's house is the only place any of my family still lives in from my childhood so often times feels the most like 'home.' It just holds so many special memories. On the 4th of July my Aunt married her fiancé of 14 years, Robert, in Scottsdale, Arizona at their golf club. To say it was 4 straight days of joyful celebration would be an understatement.
We all arrived at The Hyatt at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale on Monday, where all of the wedding party, as well as out of town guest, were staying. We quickly went to the rehearsal at Starfire Golf Club and returned back to the hotel for the rehearsal dinner, which was pretty much just 10 people consuming a little bit of food, a lot of alcohol, and two children falling asleep at the table.
The next day was the 4th of July and the wedding! Bright and early we were all up and headed over the the golf club. Fortunately, the champagne was flowing and the outdoor part of the ceremony was kept to a minimum since it was in the 100s at 11am! When the reception was over (mid-afternoon) we headed back to the Hyatt at Gainey Ranch where we had a cabana at one of the pools (there are 10!). We spent the remainder of the afternoon on the waterslide, sun bathing and drinking, followed by the fireworks. Around 10pm my cousins, some friends, and I went to Noh, the sushi restaurant at the hotel, and took over the sushi bar...which was delicious! We continued to celebrate in the hotel's vast courtyard until who knows what time. It was my favorite 4th of July I think I have ever had.
Wednesday was a total repeat of the previous day's activities of enjoying the cabana and pools, except with a much slower start because we were all feeling the pain! However, the foodie in me was super excited because that evening I was experiencing the hotel's 'Wine Me, Dine Me' at their SWB restaurant. This is described as a 'culinary journey prepared by Chef and his culinary staff who will take you deep into the heard of fresh authentic Southwest flavor. Chef will custom prepare a four-course menu for you complete with tequila and wine pairings.' I took my cousins Alexis and Ashleyann as my dates and we had the best time, but then again we always do! We were seated at the bar so we could watch as everything was prepared and the Chef and Sommelier came over to talk to us at the beginning of each course to tell us the inspiration, etc. To say the food was delicious would be an understatement, and the experience was unforgettable. I don't even drink Tequila and enjoyed it!
Now for my favorite part, SPA DAY!!! Thursday I was leaving, but not without first visiting Spa Avania for a Hydramemory facial. I have dry skin anyway, but the travel, drinking, and dry desert air really took a toll on my face. It was amazing--so moisturizing and relaxing. Plus, the spa has a gorgeous, mineral pool that's like its own sanctuary. The minerals are brought in from France and I was desperately wishing I could rewind the clock and spend less time at the other pools and more time in this oasis. Plus, in a separate area, they have two small plunging pools, one with a temperature of 60F and the other at 102F. It's recommended you submerge first in 102F for two minutes, then in 60F for two minutes, then repeat. Basically, cold water is used to stimulate and invigorate, increasing the body's internal activity, while hot water is used to calm and soothe, loosening muscles, and slowing the body down. So the hot water and jets massage the body, stimulating the lymphatic system and flushing toxins while the could plunge pool activates the body's circulation. This is all helpful in reducing muscle tension, stress relief, boosting the immune system, and detoxification (hello, days of alcohol). It's tough, especially for me who doesn't like water under 80F but it was so, so worth it and super invigorating.
It was the perfect ending to an incredible trip, and anytime I am back in Scottsdale to visit family I will be sure to go to this spa!
Hot plunging pool (left) cold plunging pool (right)