I'm popping in real quick with an update because I'm worried that if I don't get a blog post up tonight, it might not happen for another week. The past few days have been crazy, and the weekend's shaping up to be just as packed. But I wanted to share the deets on our recent spur-of-the-moment mini-trip.
First, let me get situated.
Late November had us spending more than usual. That's mostly due to the impromptu anniversary trip we took to Phoenix right after Thanksgiving. We woke up on Black Friday figuring that we'd lay low and laze around for the long weekend, but Fortysomething just *happened* to check Expedia and discovered some great deals in the desert. The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch was offering 50% off their rooms for the weekend, so we snagged two nights at the special rate, threw clothing and swimsuits into a bag, hopped into the car, and got our mini-vacay on.
(Sidenote: This isn't intended to be a hotel review, but I would absolutely recommend this resort. It's a little on the older side and the interior feels like a cross between a wine cellar and a WWII bunker, but it's well maintained and the pool is amazing. Plus, when we discovered that the people next door were prone to loud, ummmm, interactions, the front desk was able to move us to a quieter room immediately. Also, 50% off.)
While we were there, we hit up the ever-wondrous Trader Joe's for snacks and went out to eat at some pretty fantastic (and relatively affordable) dining spots, all of which we would recommend if you're in the Phoenix area: Scramble (a breakfast restaurant with vegan options), Pomo Pizzeria (wood-fired pizza, also with vegan options), and FreshMint (a casual Vietnamese restaurant with - you guessed it! - vegan options). I guess I should add Panera to that list, too, since The Kiddo is obsessed with it and insisted we have lunch there.
Other than hanging out at the pool, we met up with some relatives and tried to hike Camelback Mountain. I say "tried" because it turns out that there are two trails on Camelback, one that you could describe as Difficult But Doable and one that's Pretty Near Impossible. I accidentally took us to the latter. The hike came to an abrupt end when we found ourselves staring up what basically amounted to a cliff face with a handrail and the Kiddo refused to take another step. We turned around and went to Papago Park instead.
|Phoenix in its smoggy winter glory|
Phoenix isn't really my cup of tea for most of the year - it's too dang hot - but in the winter, I adore it. Sometimes you just need some sunshine.
Ah, you savvy personal finance people are asking, that's nice. But what was the cost?
Hotel, including all taxes and fees (2 nights): $258.58
Food, including all restaurant meals and grocery trips: $204.56
Total cost: $463.14
Inexpensive? No, but Fortysomething and I didn't buy each other any presents, and the time away together on our anniversary was priceless. We covered our expenses with money from our travel fund. Granted, we weren't planning on doing that, but I feel absolutely comfortable with our decision to do so.
After all, money is meant to be used... on the things you really value and care about. And for us, this trip fit that bill.