Arizona Mountains - Temple photograph
Sometimes the most wonderful things, new adventures happen unexpectedly. One evening, Mr. Gorgeous came to me and told me that he'd have to go to Scottsdale, Az for his company's annual national sales meeting - for 4 days. My heart sank - four days without my Mr. Gorgeous! But before I could complete the thought, Peter reached into his brief case and handed me a piece of paper. It was a confirmation printout of his travel plans. As my eyes scanned the page, I saw that my name was on it too. He was taking me too! Our first couple's weekend getaway in 5+ years. It was February 1st.
My front walkway, 26" of snow - 1 February
As the photo above attests, the day Peter told me that we were going to Scottsdale, Chicago and Chicagoland were in the midst of the worst snowstorm in nearly 20 years, 26 inches of snow in 24 hours. We were snowed in for 36+ hours. The good news was that we were all together, safe and snug in our home with plenty of provisions. The better news was that in about 2 weeks, I was going to be in sunny and warm, Arizona!
As our departure date approached, I was so happy to be getting away with my man in a warm sunny place I didn't even notice the snow. Now I usually painstakingly research a place I'm traveling too; especially if I've never been there before. But when I went to our hotel's webpage - wow! I decided that I would not do any sightseeing or exploring. I was going to spend the weekend relaxing, renewing, reading, journaling, eating, drinking, and making love to my husband!
Hyatt Regency Scotsdale Restort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
This place sounded too got to be true: a 27 acre estate with a championship golf course, 2.5 acres of swimming pools, fountains, and paths surrounded by a private lagoon, tennis courts, spa, 3 gift shops, 6 restaurants, winding paths, outdoor fireplaces and heaters everywhere. It wasn't hard for me to decide to just laze around the resort.
The night before, I carefully packed my weekend bag (which Peter and I shared) and carry on. I was so excited, I didn't sleep. I know that since 9/11 traveling has been much more of a 'challenge.' Even so, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I love the ritual of packing, taking the limo to the airport, I even love waiting in line to check my bag! I don't even mind having to get to the airport 3 hours early. It gives me the opportunity to people watch. ;-)
Mr. Gorgeous and Me, in flight to Scottsdale,Az
Our flight was quick and smooth. About halfway through our flight I looked out of the window to find that we were flying in bright sunlight - amazing! Even tens of thousands of miles in the air, the sun felt so wonderful on my face. We landed, quickly got our checked bag (gotta love small airports), jumped in a cab and headed toward the resort.
Gainey Ranch Courtyard - Temple Photo
Gainey Ranch is even more amazing in person. Check-in took minutes and we were quickly shown to our room (the 1st photo in this post is the view from our balcony).
View of our room from the balcony
My spot in the sun on the balcony
Cactus on my balcony - in the desert baby!
Because Peter was in full work mode during the day, I didn't see him at all. But that was okay. I slept in, ate amazing room service (the BEST hotel food I've ever had, better than most restaurants too). And found several places on the grounds to read, eat, drink, relax and renew...
There were literally dozens of these bed/lounges scattered on the grounds.
Yeah, they're as decadently comfortable as they look.
There were several paths like this winding around and across the grounds.
Even the rain was warm and beautiful.
There are two huge outdoor fireplaces - near the bar of course.
The perfect spot to curl up with a book, a bowl of snacks, and a tall crystal cold stein of Stella Artois.
Yeah, I spent a lot of time there.
Susan & Carol - new friends/amazing ladies
I soon found two like-minded ladies around the outdoor fireplace.
On my second day, I stumbled upon an incredible event. Unbeknownst to me, every afternoon the resort welcomes a group of Native Americans that perform dances, sing and tell old stories - incredible! So incredible, colorful and spiritually moving that I forgot to get the name of the performers or the tribe they come from - Hopi, I think.
Peter was in meetings and such all day long and most of the evening. But we always managed to steal away for a late night meal at Alto. Every evening the staff would sit us in front of the resaurant's indoor fireplace and treat us like we were the Obamas (or some other really important people). The service was excellent, the food and wine even better, and the prices were reasonable.
Entrance to Alto
After dinner, the staff would give us two glasses, filled to the brim with delicious wine to accompany us as we wandered through the low lit paths of the resort - so romantic! But the best part was quiet, uninterrupted time with my Mr. Gorgeous.
My rainy day nook
Though of course I would have preferred to spend all of my time with my hubby, I was grateful and thankful for the opportunity to just...be. I love being a wife and mother. So much so, that it has been incredibly easy for me to focus on my beautiful babies' needs; happily, joyfully placing myself second in the process. And I don't regret or want to take back on scintilla of a second of my 10 years of motherhood. My weekend in Scottsdale gave me the precious opportunity to step away from the primacy of motherhood - and I was able to do so freely and without reservation because I knew that Peter and I had left our children in our comfortable safe and cozy home, with the person who loves them as much as we do (possibly more) - my mamma, Dorothy. So, I didn't concern myself with tours or obsess with photographing everything. I had 4 days to relax, reconnect with myself and renew. How...wonderful!
Explore! Dream! Discover!