Hope everyone is staying safe during these challenging times. I really only leave the house to go to the grocery store. Even though I’m obviously not traveling right now, I’ve been thinking about where I would like to go next once the quarantine is over and also reminiscing on my travel this past summer and fall. At the end of October I went to Scottsdale, Arizona for my friend Joanna’s wedding. Joanna and I met in 2008 and have been friends ever since. She was also one of my bridesmaids in my wedding in 2016. Scottsdale is about a 20 minute drive from the Phoenix International Airport. Arizona has the most spectacular landscape. Last April my sisters and I visited Sedona and the Grand Canyon for my sister’s 30th birthday.
Thursday October 24
After landing in Phoenix and driving to Scottsdale, I grabbed lunch at Flower Child, one of my favorite healthy chain restaurants. Joanna reserved hotel blocks at the Hotel Valley Ho and the W Scottsdale. Since Jeremy and I have Marriott hotel points, I stayed at the W. Thursday night Charlie’s (the groom’s) parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. We had dinner outside in one of the courtyards and it was lovely. Fall or spring is the best time to visit Arizona while the weather is perfect. After the rehearsal dinner at La Hacienda, Joanna and Charlie hosted welcome drinks at the Montauk.
Friday October 25
Joanna is from Texas, so this was a destination wedding for everyone. The wedding was on a Friday to make it a long weekend for everyone traveling. The wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Four Seasons, which is about a 30 minute drive outside the city of Scottsdale. If you can afford it and splurge – the Four Seasons in Scottsdale is absolutely worth it. The Four Seasons, Scottsdale is set at the foot of Pinnacle Peak and surrounded by saguaros and gorgeous natural desert. The surrounding scenery is stunning and I would go back in a heartbeat for a special occasion.
As a bridesmaid I love spending the day of a wedding getting glammed up in hair and makeup and spending time with the bride and the other bridesmaids. Joanna’s hair and makeup team was one of the best I’ve seen at a wedding. I particularly loved both my hair and my makeup for her wedding. But, the best part of a wedding is seeing someone you love get married to the person they love the most in the world – it’s such a magical experience. Joanna looked stunning, like a bride out of a bridal magazine on the day of her wedding. The wedding ceremony was so touching and Joanna and her husband Charlie make a lovely couple and are wonderful parents to their beautiful daughter Hayden (who also stole the show at the wedding ceremony).
The wedding ceremony was held outside in a courtyard and dinner was at another adjacent outdoor area. After dinner, the reception and dancing continued in an indoor ballroom at the Four Seasons. As a bridesmaid gift, Joanna gave us cactus pajamas and light up sneakers and glow sticks for the dance floor – the sneakers are the coolest bridesmaid gift I’ve ever received. We had so much fun dancing the night away and celebrating Joanna and Charlie’s special day.
Saturday October 26
On Saturday I woke up and went hiking on the Cholla Trail trail at Camelback Mountain. The hike took about 3 hours in total. The first mile or so is trail hiking. However, once you reach “the saddle” the hike becomes more intense and I was predominantly scrambling for the final stretch. But, once you get to the top it’s worth it and there are great views of Scottsdale and Phoenix.
Saturday afternoon Joanna and Charlie hosted a post wedding pool party at the Hotel Valley Ho. It was nice to have another day to hangout with everyone. In the evening we all met up at a sports bar near the W and then I grabbed dinner at a local Thai restaurant with one of the other bridesmaids I’m close with.
Sunday October 27
On Sunday I took an early flight home. Scottsdale was such a fun city and I’d definitely go back to visit.
P.S. Please note, the photos of me by myself in the cactus pajamas were taken by my friend with my camera. Joanna’s wedding photographer, Pinkerton Photography took the remainder of the wedding photos.