Weekend Getaway: Phoenix

Yes, this is the view of Phoenix from above.

And yes, this is me overlooking a driveway. There is more to this. I promise.

But first, more beautiful views from where I stayed – The Hilton Pointe Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Gosh, it is gorgeous.

 

Ok, ok….So it’s no surprise to anyone Arizona has been my favorite state in this country. I hope and wish everyday my life ends up taking me permanently to this magical state. I’ve been repeating that since I first visited well over 10 years ago. Naturally, Phoenix  produces a top favorite weekend getaway anytime of the year for me, alone, as a couple, as a family. And NO, I don’t mind the crazy summer heat – it’s my kinda of heat. Nice and dry.

In the winter it specifically calls my name because: no snow, you will likely get a beautiful sunny day even if it’s not pool weather, but most likely it always is! It is a must to Visit Phoenix  in the winter, not only to get away from freezing temperatures, but to get to enjoy the great outdoors in months where otherwise it would not be possible, in most places that is. Not to mention the beautiful scenery.  This specific view is from the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort – it is simply gorgeous and strategically located to get the most amazing view of the city.

I brought the whole family to this. It was a weekend get away for all of us and well deserved!

Especially for my mini=me. Fun fact: I love Phoenix so much this was there very first location Alexandra ever visited. Her first flight and her first weekend getaway back in February 2016!

 

This is an aerial view of this beautiful colorful resort we got to call home for the weekend Well, we had the privilege to stay here and enjoy the beautiful weather Phoenix offers during winter months – celebrating with a short, sweet, and magical stay at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, where I got to relax with the family, eat the best of foods, and spent some quality time in and outdoors.

What an incredible, colorful place!

Now for what really drives our vacation plans: FOOD! And there is no shortage here. Southwestern food is my FAVORITE, and Arizona hits all the spots this season: Weather, food, people, activities….check, check, check!!

I come to the southwest to eat. To enjoy the magnificent flavors it has to offer. The bold, the spicy, the smokey, ALL the flavors. Other things include the fantastic year round weather, and of course, relaxing in fabulous locations.

For starters: for our first evening, winecoach and I enjoyed date night dinner with this spectacular view. Simply the BEST VIEW of Phoenix. Not only is it breathtaking, but an amazing restaurant.

I’m talking about “Different Pointe of View“. The name of this magical place, and obviously it gets its name for that reason alone. The only “negative” was that I arrived there after dark (because we missed the sunset), but come to think of t, it will just mean I have to return for a sunset dinner, because the view is absolutely breathtaking, day or night. It is also amazing to see Phoenix lit up by night, so I guess I’ll retract that statement all together! Also, the food more than makes up for any trace of sunlight!

Another special event….We got to meet the Chef, which was a HUGE honor.

Thank you Chef Anthony for taking the time to come say hello out of your busy night in the kitchen! What a wonderful surprise!

This place is an experience, and in talking to the Chef Anthony DeMuro (by the way, the coolest most down to earth guy that also happens to be an award winning chef, YES, I’m #fangirling!), I learned they do a chef’s table in collaboration with wineries a few times a year, something else to keep in mind if you’re into that, which who wouldn’t want such an experience! I’m in line, hey!

These are some of the dishes from our amazing dinner.I can’t wait to go back and experience very this restaurant near sunset (did I mention that already?. It is something else to experience fine dining with the view this place offers though. It is the perfect place to bring your significant other for a special night, or even your family for a special occasion.

 

Cheers to life!

Check out their menu here – you will not be disappointed. They have signature dishes in the menu that haven’t changed in over 30 years, so you know they are doing something right! They also have daily specials with the freshest of ingredients, so definitely pay attention to that. My fish was one of those, and it was out of this world delicious.

Ah, the memorable lobster bisque. This is one of them. You NEED to order it.

More amazing food at the Tapatio Cliffs Resort

Points In Thyme (is that not the best name!?)

I think so, including their delicious lunch menu which is colorful, healthy and oh so delicious! Their motto is literally: Eat Healthy|Indulge|OR Both. This is My motto. This is where I belong.

Always start lunch or brunch with a bubbly. Pretty much my rule of thumb.

Get the mac & cheese. Just do it. You’re on vacation and you need this in your life.

Cheers to love.

I think she will be a french fry lover.

Check out their menu here. Delicious food and gorgeous interior.

ACCOMODATIONS

An amazing stay with beautiful views, golf car rides all over the property, and very comfortable accommodations. We stayed in a Signature Suites, and this is a place where I could literally live for the rest of my life. I love the adobe finish everywhere! My mom stayed with us and her suite shared a middle door with us and it really felt like a mother/daughter accommodation which is perfect for our situation.

Check out this beautiful “apartment” like room that faced the sunrise and can fit our family so perfectly.

Beautiful and spacious accommodations – perfect for a family or two. These villas are fabulous, and makes you feel like you need to move in!

Fun activities about town

Hot air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders

Yep! How cool is this! Another fun activity during the winter months as the chilly weather cools this ride down. You won’t be cold up there at all! It’s a common misperception. Just wear comfortable clothing as this can be a bumpy ride, haha.

I love flying, and I really wanted to surprise my mom since she does so much for us, so I figured riding in a balloon would would be the perfect thing to do with her! It was incredible! I knew Mom would have the time of her life, and she sure did! There is something about early rides, but it’s hard to make it a surprise when you gotta be up at 5 am for it!

Mother daughter bonding time!

Still it was an unbelievable experience and I regret nothing! Even if the landing was a little rough, haha. And it was something special to do with mom.

Guys, this is definitely a ride to remember, I highly recommend this bucket list item crossed off your list when you are visiting Phoenix. Only there can you really enjoy a winter sunrise that is bearable up in the sky since temperatures are so mild during this time of the year. FANTASTIC!

Had to make it official with our pilot! Cool guy, and on the market ladies!

Another reason why I love balloon rides…There is always bubbly in the end! ALWAYS!


Be ready for an exciting landing, no matter what! With ballooning, you just never know where or how you’ll land, but I guarantee you, it will ALWAYS be exciting.

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Something to look forward to: Bubbly at the end of the flight! That is how Balloonists celebrate each flight along with the balloonist’s prayer and champagne toast. This is totally a thing, and reason alone to go on this wonderful visit to the friendly skies, amongst the clouds, sunrise or sunset – being alive is a good excuse for having champagne way before noon don’t you think!? Ha. Just for the record, there isn’t much I would do that early in the morning but FYI, totally worth it.

Rainbow ryders are the official balloon company responsible for the balloon fiesta! A huge happening each year in Albuquerque, NM! Something else worth checking out!

Dinner in town:

Stock and Stable

And while in Phoenix, let’s do some more exploring and eating! This area probably has the most deliciously hip food scene in the southwest. Every time I visit I try to find the next restaurant to blow my mind, and quite frankly, Phoenix hasn’t disappointed. We ended up at this fairly new, very hip, bar inside meets restaurant outside with specialty drinks and a delicious new age All American menu. Music to my ears!

Was very impressed with the colorful menu, offering lots of healthy yet indulgent eats which is quite my style! Everything was so delicious, and the fresh farm to table concept takes it home, this place is fantastic, both of ambience and taste!

Brunch just outside of town in Mesa

Queen Creek Olive Mill – A personal favorite following the Fresh Foodie Trail

This is a personal favorite in Phoenix area, and part of the Fresh Foodie Trail in Mesa, AZ! They have brunch on weekends and a fresh menu all week long (now with pizza everyday, YEAH!). I also picked up their family cookbook and had the pleasure of having it signed by Perry, the founder of the Olive Mill.

You can typically find him in the premises, as well as his precious family, as this is a family owned business and it shows. You get all the warm fuzzies when out here, and they really make every single guest feel at home with their fresh delicious dishes. Not to mention they now have  a skin care line that is just amazing, olive oil based and perfect for our every drying lizard skin in the winter, or anytime for that matter!

Here are some moments to share…

Xo, Ana

Count Colors, NOT Calories!
Color your Plate, Color your Life.

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Phoenix, I LOVE YOU!!!

There are no skies like Arizona skies….

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