*This article was originally posted on my parenting blog, ClarendonMoms.com.
Last weekend was a dream come true. It was my first time visiting Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona. It was also my first solo trip since becoming a mother, over nine years ago. I love traveling with my husband and kids, but being able to be “deserted” in Phoenix Arizona was blissful and inspiring on so many levels.
I was able to completely enjoy being independent without the stress of managing the family schedule. I detoxed as much as I could from technology (well kind of—minus my occasional posts on Instastories) and I really focused on being present and soaking in everything that the magical desert had to offer.
A nonstop flight from DCA to Phoenix is only 4 1/2 hours. I am often road tripping with my family for the same amount of time with lots of frequent stops. Hopping on an airplane by myself seemed otherworldly, an easy and fast escape to a new land. This trip was truly what I needed to rejuvenate and restore from my usual hustle and bustle of balancing motherhood and a career.
I began my first day exploring as soon as I arrived. I ordered an Uber and met Trish and Jeanne from Visit Phoenix for a a fun and delicious southwestern brunch at The Farm at South Mountain. I had the chilaquiles and we shared one of the most delicious waffles I have ever had. The service was incredibly friendly and fast. It was nice to begin the weekend by relaxing next to the organic gardens while enjoying a refreshingly local menu featuring the market’s finest and freshest ingredients.
After brunch, we headed to the Heard Museum. The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Grand Gallery is the museum’s first new gallery in over ten years. The art collection concentrates on the lives of Native Americans and includes more than 40,000 objects and fine art work. Hands-on activities for kids allow them to mirror what the exhibits reflect. The exhibit I found most profound was the Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience. Few people know that American Indians were forced by the federal government to attend residential boarding schools located hundreds of miles from home. This powerful exhibit immerses visitors into the story, which draws on first-person recollections, memorabilia and the writings and art of four generations of Indian school alumni. This is a very important exhibit that I think is worth the visit to Phoenix.
On the way to check into my hotel, Trish introduced me to my new favorite healthy restaurant—Flower Child for a quick snack. Flower Child is a trendy, fast-casual dining spot where you can get Kombucha on tap and enjoy a variety of local beers and wines. Yes, Arizona produces local wine too! Little ones also have their own kids menu offering gluten-free Mac and cheese among other healthy items.
I arrived at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch exactly 7 1/2 hours after I landed. My excitement was still high, yet my jet lag hadn’t quite consumed me. I had about 15 minutes to do a quick wardrobe change and a refresh of my make-up before the Native American Dancers performance began.
I concluded my first day in Phoenix with Wine Me, Dine Me—a dinner series hosted at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale experience. This the ultimate culinary journey with famed Chef Juan and his culinary staff. It was an authentic Southwestern four course menu catering to all palates and included two wine pairings and a tequila tasting exclusive to Hyatt Regency Scottsdale by Patrón x Guillermo del Toro Tequila. I went to bed on cloud 9.