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Travel Diaries: Scottsdale, Arizona

My cousin (and one of my best friends!), S, is getting married next week...and in honor of that, I decided to recap the weekend we spent at her bachelorette in Scottsdale, Arizona. We had a choice between Napa, Sedona, and a couple other places but Scottsdale took the vote on an email thread of over twenty people.

Set on the outskirts of Phoenix, I wasn't completely sure what to expect...Phoenix has just never been on my list of places to visit for some reason, but now I wonder why that was.

I thought flying out would take much longer than it did--namely because it was during the government shutdown and I had heard JFK and LaGuardia were experiencing significant delays. But the flight out was perfect, and we landed at 11 PM without any issue.

And the landscape? Even from the sky I could tell how flat it was. This Pennsylvania/New York girl isn't used to that. My Uber driver told me that in the summers, the temperatures can reach 135F...not only an unhealthy prospect, but an awful one.

Once I reached the resort and met up with my cousins, I got ready quickly so we could go out. We went to the Scottsdale W...the crowd there was interesting--an eclectic mix of hipsters, preps and former fraternity brothers, but the band there was AMAZING. I don't know who the girl was who sings on Friday nights but she is talented and it's worth it to go just to hear her unique voice sing top 40 songs. We left after only about 20 minutes there because the East Coasters couldn't handle the jet lag, but it was nice to check out the atmosphere.

The next day, as the sun came up, the beauty of Arizona hit us. Sand colored buildings everywhere, cacti growing in the middle of nothing, and greenery poking out from was breathtaking. The architecture of the homes in Scottsdale is much like California but with a Native American twist, and I loved watching houses pass by on our drive to the Saguaro Lake Ranch in Glendale.

I've never been horseback riding before...and my horse was pregnant! Expecting a baby in a couple months, my horse, Heather, did a fabulous job of hauling my butt around the trails. All fifteen of us on the bachelorette getaway got amazing horses to take us up the trails of the mountains of Saguaro Lake, winding through the cliffs, and overlooking the lake itself. We took a 90 minute tour (80$ with a 20% tip for large parties). and it was truly one of the most relaxing mornings of my life. I was so happy when I got off that horse and could have spent all day wandering the area. We even forded a (shallow) river.

Afterward, we ate at O.H.S.O. Brewery and Distillery...and guys, the food is AMAZING at this place. I got a Green Chile Burrito, and a Summertime mocktail...and fries I didn't even touch because the burrito was so damn good. Check it out if you're ever in the area.

We headed back to the Scottsdale Plaza resort after that--people needed naps and some had work to do...but we got ready a few hours later, played a ton of bridal games for S (for the record, I found out my cousin is a level 2800 Candy Crush player {addict} and I don't even know what to make of that...) and went to Sumo Maya, a Japanese-Mexican fusion restaurant that had created a menu just for us. They were even amenable to vegetarian diets (quite a few of us Indian girls), and created a vegetarian alternative to every course. The five-course meal was so filling, I thought I'd roll out. The service was impeccable, and I'd highly recommend eating there. It was a $70 meal for 5 courses, and it was worth every penny.

We thought we'd go out afterward to Old Town...and we ended up going back to the hotel and playing drinking games in our pajamas because everyone is apparently old and the East Coasters couldn't handle staying up until 4 AM our time.

The next day was brunch and we shopped around Old Town, an area full of shops with Native American gifts, wild west themes, and beautiful artwork. The artisanship on jewelry and art is amazing, and checking that out is worth a few hours.

All in all, it was a beautiful weekend celebrating S, whose wedding I will likely recap on the blog in March. I'm excited to see what the future holds and now, I hope I get to go back to Phoenix and check out more of what it has to offer, as well as the Grand Canyon (only a 2 hour drive away).